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Old 08-30-2009, 12:50 PM   #1
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Zip Dee Awnings

So my 1991 Beaver came with Zip Dee Awnings. I've heard they're the best but I'd trade my eye teeth for something newer. These things are NOT user friendly.... I had to buy a ladder!

That explains why the main awning is in such beautiful shape - previous owners couldn't be bothered to get it out!!

Anyone out there with older coaches with Zip Dees? Any hints on how to make 'em easier to use?

I'm thinking I'll just buy an umbrella for my chair.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:25 PM   #2
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I always thought they looked really cool but...here are some other options. I personally don't like A&E awnings. I think that in the order of quality and ease of use/maintenance:

1. Girard

RV Awnings | Patio Awnings | Retractable Awnings - Girard RV Awnings

2. Carefree

Carefree of Colorado - Recreational Vehicle Products

3. A&E (Dometic)

Awnings — Dometic USA

Girard are expensive but to paraphrase from "Men in Black", "They are the best of the best of the best."

The Carefree Eclipse, Mirage, Paramount and Apex are also very nice. The powered Eclipse is the most affordable (it also comes in manual).

Check out this site for deals on the Carefree line.

RV Awnings Online - Guaranteed Lowest Prices

AFAIK, Girard is only available from Girard.

So much for my $.02.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:29 PM   #3
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Zip Dees great for curved side wall trailers

Janshark,

We had a '76 Avion 21-ft classic aluminum trailer and like the Airstreams, require a curved side arm. To the best of my knowledge, only Zip Dee makes the curved side supports. Ours was very well built and great quality, albeit expensive. Don't know about your Beaver Marquis, but the cheap A&W 8500 awning on my Tiffin Allegro also requires a ladder to adjust the tension and anti-flap aftermarket clamps. If I buy another awning, I would advise the higher end fabric (not vinyl) and especially the metal wrap to stop UV damage and water that gets inside the rolled up awning when underway or stored outside.

Bill
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:48 PM   #4
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ZipDees

Not sure I understand - what is the problem?? Our '87 has them and, to me, they are quite easy to deploy and stow. Tell us the problem - maybe I can help.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janshark View Post
So my 1991 Beaver came with Zip Dee Awnings. I've heard they're the best but I'd trade my eye teeth for something newer. These things are NOT user friendly.... I had to buy a ladder!

That explains why the main awning is in such beautiful shape - previous owners couldn't be bothered to get it out!!

Anyone out there with older coaches with Zip Dees? Any hints on how to make 'em easier to use?

I'm thinking I'll just buy an umbrella for my chair.
Our Marquis has the Zip Dee awnings - we find them easy to use and stow - what is the problem?? We have about a 30" hook rod that is used to hook the awning loop and pull out and return to stow ( also to lock/unlock the big awning for stow deploy ) - are you missing that? I've seen them for sale at RV supply places or you could make one from a piece of rod you can get at Lowes or Home Depot - just bend one end about 11/2" long to a 90deg hook - dipped ours in some latex rubber to keep from scratching things.

Hope this helps you -
Buck

Oh, by the way Zip Dee is still in business and supports our system with parts and info. - GREAT people to deal with!
http://www.zipdeeinc.com/diagram_caseandfabric.htm Item 6 is the pull rod I mentioned - guess it's longer than 30" but ..... you could still make one.
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:17 PM   #6
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Ok, to respond to all the posts.

My Zip Dee is circa 1991 and it's got straight arms, not the curved ones that you have to use on an airstream.

Yes, I have the awning pole.

Here is how you deploy the awning:

1. Take pole and unclip awning at both ends.
2. pull out awning
3. take side arms and attach them to the awning BACK AT THE TOP OF THE COACH. You need the ladder to do this which I find inconvenient.
4. pull on the awning until the catches click
5. Raise the awning to desired height, again requiring the ladder because it's so high off the ground. (and yes, I AM vertically challenged but my tall friend needed the ladder too)

I guess I was just used to the awning on my trailer. It was easy to use and you didn't need a ladder. And you could do it quickly if a sudden wind came up. I've put away my awning on my trailer in the wee hours of the morning if I felt it was too windy.

I don't see anything quick about using this older version of the Zip Dee, particularly if you have to get a ladder out of the storage compartment.

Oh well, just my personal gripe. I think I'll buy an umbrella for my chair.

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Old 09-28-2009, 11:45 AM   #7
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We also have a "91 Marques" with a Zipdee and there is a special rod you use, it makes the awning easy as can be. Check with this web site for one. Awnings By ZipDee its called a lift handle. Does any one else have a problem with the throttle peddle in that there is a slight pause when you push the peddle down? or is this just my problem? We have had our Marques for about 4 years and put an average of about 10,000 miles a year. We've never had a bit of trouble with the motor, it uses no oil and the best milage we have got is 9.6 towing a Suzuke. We have had other things go haywire, but nothing I could'nt fix myself. We have about 90,000 miles on it. This is the first forum I've been on.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:34 AM   #8
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I have Zip Dee awnings and have no problems connecting the arms to the roof. I don't know if yours is the same model, but you should not have to use a ladder. I would definitely contact Zip Dee noted above and get some guidance.

Regards,

Glenn
1986 Wanderlodge PT40
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:26 AM   #9
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Thank you for your guidance, I think I WILL contact Zip Dee and see what I'm doing wrong. I had to put the awning away to take the coach for servicing, again using the ladder.

By the way we tried to put it up just using the rod that came with it, including attaching the arms at the top of the awning... all we suceeded in doing was scratching my coach.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:41 PM   #10
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In reviewing your sequence...Step 3 does not require a ladder for me. Your sequence seems correct. A photo might help. What is the height from the ground to where the side arm attaches? I cannot imagine the Beaver is that much higher than the Wanderlodge.


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