By Michael Read, BRN 12413
How many Airstream owners have the electric Zip Dee awning?
Then, you know the PUSH AND RUN!
You PUSH the electric awning “extend” button, then RUN to the rear awning arm to pull it out as the awning is extending.
The reason for our high heart rate is due to a ‘Tubus Bumper’ (round rubber thing), — see image below — that has lost its ability to remember/return to its round shape to push the awning arm out.
Solution? Buy another ‘Tubus Bumper’ from Zip Dee or your favorite Airstream dealer if you want the same issue in a couple of seasons. Or, it just so happens that Zip Dee has a solution, the “Zip Dee Push Off” spring! The image below shows the Zip Dee ‘Push Off Spring’, courtesy of Woodland Airstream’s web page.
To remove the old Tubus Bumper, first extend the awning. This will be the last time you will need to run to help the rear awning bar extend. Next, take your Philips screwdriver, find the hole in the center of the round black rubber thing, (Tubus Bumper), and unscrew the single Philips screw.
*If your screw looks rusty, spray a little WD-40 on the screw and let it sit for 15 minutes.
Next, clean the aluminum thoroughly. Carefully use a bone tool, some rubbing alcohol, and a soft towel. See images below.
Apply sealant to the hole to stop any chance of water intrusion. Now you are ready to install your new Zip Dee “Push Off Spring.”
Each Zip Dee Push-Off Spring comes with a tiny plastic sealed bag with one new replacement Philips screw, and one new replacement washer. Take the screw and washer out of the bag and slide the washer onto the screw. See image below.
*Make sure no children are around for this next step because they may hear you use adult-only words!
With the washer remaining on the screw, feed the screw and washer into the center of the spring, working them down and into the center hole of the Push Off Spring black rubber donut.
*Both ends are identical, so you can’t mount it incorrectly.
Once you have the washer and screw through the center mounting hole of the spring, carefully, put the tip of the screw in the hole where you removed, cleaned, and caulked with sealant, the old worn-out Tubus Bumper. Carefully insert a long thin Philips screwdriver through the center hole, down through the spring, and begin to tighten the Philips screw.
If you have a long Philips extension for a cordless drill, you will be able the run the screw down quickly. See image below. Be careful not to over-tighten!
The last thing to do is wipe off any sealant that may have been pressed out from under the screw head.
While I was at it, I also replaced the front Tubus Bumper with the new and improved Push Off Spring. See image below.
Supplies: Rubbing Alcohol, bone tool, soft towel or rag, long/thin Philips screwdriver, long/thin Philips extension (not necessary, but helpful) and cordless screwdriver.
Part: Zip Dee Push Off Spring assembly for electric contour awning Part number: 201240. Currently $26 plus shipping.
This article was originally published in the December 2023 edition of “The Silver Penny” newsletter.