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-   -   Zip Dee: Why, oh why, doesn't Airstream upgrade? (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f442/zip-dee-why-oh-why-doesnt-airstream-upgrade-149905.html)

Lumatic 04-26-2016 08:23 PM

Personally speaking, once I figured out the correct way to open and close the awning it is easy. Several features the Zipdee has over the others is the canvas vs, vinyl canopy and the metal sheath the canopy rolls up into. Also IMHO there is not another awning that matches the iconic styling of Airstream. Another plus is parts are readily available and generally easy to replace.

AWCHIEF 04-26-2016 08:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by airdreamers (Post 1782600)
I was just at the Florida Rally in the Fl Keys. The Zip Dee rep was there and demonstrated the ins and outs of the maintenance of the Zip Dee Awning. Silicone is the key to lubrication. "If you think you sprayed too much, spray some more". I can't believe someone would say no lubrication. BTW, I ordered the street side and rear window awnings, just delivered, can't wait to install them!


That was one of the most informative talks I have attended. He stopped by my trailer and we spent 45 minutes talking about ZD and Fantastic Fan vents.

PaulnGina 04-26-2016 08:36 PM

Zip Dee: Why, oh why, doesn't Airstream upgrade?
 
I think ZD is the best awning you can choose. There's a reason why Airstream and Avion chose them ( until Fleetwood cheaped out and went with another brand as the Avions were going out of production. )

If I had bent parts, I would replace them then find someone who KNOWS how to operate one properly, including proper lubrication with silicone spray. Have them teach you how to open, close, and stow the awning. Practice until you are comfortable doing it. Putting it up or taking it down should NOT be a struggle.


PaulnGina
1987 Avion 34W
1995 Ford F250 7.3L PowerStroke

"I don't mean to sound degrading but with a face like that you got nothing to laugh about" Rod Stewart (Faces)

ROBERT CROSS 04-26-2016 09:10 PM

Easy-Peasy
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLsKflCqhkY

Thank you....;)


Bob
:flowers:

SteveSueMac 04-26-2016 09:30 PM

And instructions on lubricating

https://youtu.be/fMDV3qkgntw

SteveSueMac 04-26-2016 09:32 PM

And on repairing bent arms

https://youtu.be/yzEFViN5ZE4

robi 04-27-2016 08:06 AM

Thanks for all the replies, especially to the folks on the method of releasing the tension prior to dissembling an extended awning, a post I will save for sure. Just to clarify the content of the post and save folks from submitting more info, the issue isn't extending the awning, I tow between 10,000 and 15,000 miles annually and have extended and retracted the awning hundreds of times in the fashion described in the owners manual and the you tube video (there are many of these for multiple issues with the awnings) which I referenced upon using the awning the first time. Lubing the awning is not rocket science. As I stated at the onset of my original post, my main goal was to pass along information that I obtained about the awning from zip dee regarding a significant product issue due to the use of substandard materials in smaller Airstream trailers, and that upgrading a part may solve your awning issues. I had no idea so many folks struggled with figuring out the actual set up of the awning and am surprised folks would be so happy with a product that required seminars and personal instruction to use properly. Happy trails!

ROBERT CROSS 04-27-2016 08:09 AM

OOP's...discovered so long ago.
 
2 Attachment(s)
I've forgotten more that I'm currently aware of....;)

It wasn't really a ZipDee problem it was how it was installed that made it hard to operate.

The rear arm was out of plumb about 3". Had to remove the lower bracket and re-install so the arm was straight. Replaced phillips with hex and plenty of SikaSeal

Bob
:flowers:

Lumatic 04-27-2016 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS (Post 1782627)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLsKflCqhkY

Thank you....;)


Bob
:flowers:

The Zipdee guy makes it look easy. I use a couple of tricks he shows to deploy the awning which may it easy. From my experience where you have to be real careful is in storing the awning placing the rafter arm hook on the storage pins. With all the weight and leverage of the whole awning it is easy to bend the bottom curved end of the main awning arm. As an alternative attach the rafter arm to the storage pin after the awning is rolled up

Arcticfox 04-27-2016 08:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteveSueMac (Post 1782637)
And instructions on lubricating

https://youtu.be/fMDV3qkgntw

Thanks for the link Steve. I have never lubricated mine at all. So I'm guessing I might be a little over-due!.......:o

Cheers
Doug

airdreamers 04-27-2016 08:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS (Post 1782743)
I've forgotten more that I'm currently aware of....;)

It wasn't really a ZipDee problem it was how it was installed that made it hard to operate.

The rear arm was out of plumb about 3". Had to remove the lower bracket and re-install so the arm was straight. Replaced phillips with hex and plenty of SikaSeal

Bob
:flowers:

Be aware that ZD is replacing the bolt and collar where the hook arm sits. The collar does not seem to be big enough to separate the hook from the other arm. Be aware that the installation could have been made by anyone including the PO.

MelGoddard 04-27-2016 11:22 AM

Funny thing here;
Nobody has mentioned using some sort of ty down straps or lines from the roller to the ground.
These are attached to screw anchors in the ground and adjusted snug to support the awning from windy gusty conditions.
I just use a couple of ratchet straps adjusted snug.
It works!😆

kfrere 04-27-2016 11:28 AM

Concerns about the Zip Dee awning are what caused us to forgo that awning in favor of ordering a custom awning from Vintage Trailer Supply. We chose a scalloped edge in a stripe and colors that complemented our color scheme, and ordered a length that was specific to our needs. Awning, poles, etc. all came to right at $500. Yes, the awning must be slid along a rail, then put up using posts, but we have been able to use it just about every time we wanted to. (Exceptions being no ground or structure - such as a picnic table - to attach it to.) You quickly become proficient at putting it up, and it looks wonderful next to the trailer.

Plan-B 04-27-2016 11:41 AM

I used my ZipDee for 18 years on my first AS. Yep, occasionally had to kind of bend the bars back some. But I have never seen another brand and material out there last effectively this long. When I sold her, the awning was still functionally working as designed and looked good too. I guess some improvements could be made but I know of know other competitor out there with the degree in quality materials used.

SuzyHomemakr 04-27-2016 12:54 PM

Not to engage in any schadenfreude here, but I thought I was such a cheap dummy when I went with a Dometic awning. I managed to bend the arms a few times, and pull the rivets out of the top mount. I used a bunch of Boeshield T-9 dry lube (it's what sailors use on the mast track, to ease the sail going up-and-down) and it seems to be much better.

The Zip Dee looks to require more muscles and operator height than my Dometic. I wound up going with a thick aluminum mounting plate held down with many, many rivets that the actual mounting plate of the arm is fastened to.

ROBERT CROSS 04-27-2016 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by airdreamers (Post 1782761)
Be aware that ZD is replacing the bolt and collar where the hook arm sits. The collar does not seem to be big enough to separate the hook from the other arm. Be aware that the installation could have been made by anyone including the PO.


In our case the PO would have been JC, there are still a few things they have a hard time getting rite.....https://i68.tinypic.com/4ij285.jpg

FWIW...the zip tie is to prevent pre-mature arm deployment under adverse road conditions...once was enough.

Bob
:flowers:

Lumatic 04-27-2016 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuzyHomemakr (Post 1782881)
The Zip Dee looks to require more muscles and operator height than my Dometic. I wound up going with a thick aluminum mounting plate held down with many, many rivets that the actual mounting plate of the arm is fastened to.

IMHO height is not an issue to deploy the awning as it is first deployed at it's lowest level. Where muscle is most involved is lifting the awning from the lowest position to it's operating level, but it's not a real strength move.

Antique Pedaler 04-27-2016 02:11 PM

Back to the original comment, I'd never leave our awning out over night, to start. Then it sounds like his spring tension is too tight. On our "10 FC I immediately unwound the spring 4 full thorns so it will not retract by it self. This saves tension on the rear arm as well as keeping the awning from getting away from me. I replaced the awning storage pins with larger diameter ones to keep the arm claw from climbing up on the inner part of the stock pin and breaking. I'd gone through a couple of claws over the years. I also added a second storage hook to the patio side awning as well as the street side one. Finally, I added stock security straps and hooks to the ends of the street side awning because the single one in the center that came with the trailer did nothing to keep the awning from tipping in even a light wind. I've mentioned these additions to Zip Dee and they were not receptive.

Antique Pedaler 04-27-2016 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MelGoddard (Post 1782851)
Funny thing here;
Nobody has mentioned using some sort of ty down straps or lines from the roller to the ground.
These are attached to screw anchors in the ground and adjusted snug to support the awning from windy gusty conditions.
I just use a couple of ratchet straps adjusted snug.
It works!😆

We accomplish the same thing with our Zip Dee sun screen accessory. We bungee it to the ground to provide some give to the awning, should a wind slam into it.

Lumatic 04-27-2016 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antique Pedaler (Post 1782905)
Back to the original comment, I'd never leave our awning out over night, to start.

I agree that is a good practice, but sometimes I get a little lazy.


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