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  #1  
Old 03-18-2008
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PirateJohn PirateJohn is offline
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Question Zip Dee Awning Maintenance, Information & More

Have we done an awning thread yet?

I have two awnings, one large and one small, that as far as I can tell were never used until I tried to open them recently.

The smaller one opened all the way but wouldn't retract so I removed it.

The larger one opened about a foot and refused to budge any further, and refused to retract. I was able to get it more-or-less folded back up and it's still on the side of the bus.

Corrosion is the presumed cause of the problems.

I don't see any obvious bolts to allow me to take the drum apart. And I am not sure that I would want to anyway, at least not without advice, because I suspect that there is a pretty healthy spring lurking in there somewhere.

Anyone have any advice on servicing these things, or should I check into sending them back to the manufacturer?
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2008
konehd konehd is offline
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If by the large one you mean the 'patio' awning there is a lock on it.
On mine its a lever on the forward end of the awning, just flip it down and it will release.

HTH, Joe
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2008
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The larger one is the passenger side one that is over the bedroom window. It's constructed the same way as the one that rolls out over the entry door and the forward compartments.

I have never noticed a latch but will look tonight.
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(and the required Wanderlodge bits: 1982 PT-40, full-timers, currently in the tropical paradise along the Tex/Mex border)
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  #4  
Old 03-18-2008
Lodgerhead Lodgerhead is offline
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John,
If the awning is a Zip Dee, which most are, the big patio awning will definately have a lock at the front, should be a black hook shaped thingy with a hole in the end that you stick a rod in to lock/unlock the awning. I had to buy a new patio awning for my bus, the folks at Zip Dee are great and can talk you thru most any problem on the phone. Thier # is 800-338-BEST (2378).

Dave
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2008
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Before you start taking the awning roller apart, please understand that there is a powerful spring inside the tube. If you release it's tension unexpectedly, it can cause a lot of damage -- possibly to you.

The awning that 'failed' may have had the internal spring become unattached from its anchor, or otherwise losing its tension. (Corrosion is a likely factor.)

The awning latches require an "awning hook" to operate. See
<http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-awnings/telescoping-awning-hook.htm> for an example.

The largest, "patio" awning has a locking device at one end that must be lifted to let the awning unfurl. There are also locking hooks that catch a loop mounted on the side of the coach just below the awning. On my coach, there are 2 hooks on the patio awning, and one hook on the driver's side awning. The smallest awnings (over the bedroom windows and above the entry door) don't have the hooks or latches -- they remain rolled up simply due to the internal spring tension. Of course, your coach may have a different arrangement.
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2008
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Dave,

I am in need of a new main awning for my SP36 as well. If you don't mind me asking, what did your awning run you? Did you go with an exact replacement, or did you 'upgrade'?

I have been considering upgrading to one of the new powered awnings, but am still debating, based on price...

Thanks.

-Robert
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2008
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measure th awning to the nearest 1/4 inch and give Zipdee a call they are excellent to deal with
if you are in the area they will do the work for your just call and book ahead
if you give them enough time all the parts are there ready and waiting
Zipdee only works on coaches Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday
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  #8  
Old 03-18-2008
Lodgerhead Lodgerhead is offline
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Robert,
If I recall correctly, it was about $1800. Don't quote me on that though, I really can't remember anything anymore. My Bird had no awning at all when I got it, no hardware, no arms, nothing, so I had to get it all from Zip Dee. Believe it or not, they still had the records of the original awning that they sold to BlueBird when I gave them the VIN number off my coach. I did not look into a powered awning, I like to keep things as simple as I can on my Bird.
Regards,
Dave
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  #9  
Old 03-18-2008
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Dave,

I am in exactly the same situation as you. When I bought the coach, the entire main awning had been removed. The only remnents are the mounting brackets for the arms, and the rail against the top that holds the fabric.

Apparently, it was damaged by wind, so the previous owner opted to remove it.

It's good to know that Zip Dee will have records for an exact replacement. I'll probably give them a call.

Thanks!

-Robert
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  #10  
Old 03-19-2008
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Tom McCarthy has replaced the awnings on his '95 with powered awnings. He had them attached to the goat rails (after some strengthening). It's a very clean-looking installation -- and is rather like the installation on the newest WLs. I'm tempted -- but the cost is higher than I want to invest (but if I hit my head on one of the support arms enough times, it may seem more affordable).
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