We have mentioned in prior blogs that our trip across the northern states included an appointment in the Chicago area. So after a beautiful encampment in Elgin at a nature preserve, we headed down to Elk Grove Village where we hooked up to a 20 amp circuit along the back wall of a factory. Our appointment was with Zip Dee Awning Company.
About a year ago while in Las Vegas, a gust of strong wind had caught our main awning and flipped it straight up in the air; something that isn’t at all good for an awning. Gary wasn’t at the motor home at the time and I had to get out the ladder and then struggle to get the awning back down by myself. It still worked, but it was definitely out of sorts as the main tube bent a bit, the arms were out of alignment, and there were some hiccups in the ratcheting/locking mechanisms as we rolled and unrolled it. This Spring, we had one shop in Tucson start to work on it only to see them allow it to flip up as well and then give up on any further attempts to try to fix it. Another shop looked at this Summer only to say we would probably be better off to take it to the factory. Throughout the past year, we used the main awning very little as we were always more than a bit afraid that we would open it one day and then not be able to get it rolled back up.
We took the advice to take the motor home and its main awning to the Zip Dee factory for service. They looked over all our awnings and concluded that with a very few parts and a couple hours of labor, they could have our awnings working as good as new. But then they proceeded to tell us all the other great things they could do for us as well. One item was some new rafter arms as they are called that would make the setup of the main awning much easier and eliminate the risk of scratching paint in the process of opening it. Second, when they heard we had been thinking about another awning over a bank of windows on the passenger side underneath the main awning, they cut down their lead time for manufacturing it from one week to one day just to be sure we would be buying it and not just specifying it for some future order that might never happen. And when they saw that the fabrics were wearing on our Zip Dee lawn chairs they also had new seat covers made for us within a day as well. Zip Dee is a very accommodating company when they are growing your work order by a factor of about five.
Without a doubt, this was the right place to have all of our awning work done. They knew just what they were doing, had all the parts, and gave us some valuable education about a few things we had been doing a bit incorrectly. But is was another of those two nights of the most expensive free camping RVers can have.