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Awning roll-out keeps Airstream rolling

Awnings & Canopies, Markets, Projects | September 1, 2008 | By:

The Airstream recreational vehicle is a heavyweight icon of road travel, with emphasis on the “heavy.” In designing its new 17- and 22-foot Safari Sport RVs, Airstream aimed for a design lightweight enough to be pulled by a standard SUV or V6 minivan. The company looked at everything, including the awnings, and fabricator Zip Dee, Elk Grove Village, Ill., settled on WeatherMax 80 from Safety Components Fabric Technologies Inc., Greenville, S.C.

WeatherMax 80 is 33 percent thinner and 14 percent lighter than acrylic, stretch resistant, strong, durable and finished with HydroMax to combat mildew. “We’re able to roll WeatherMax 80 into a tighter package,” says Zip Dee owner Jim Webb. “That made it possible to remove 20 percent of the awning housing louvers. We used airplane aluminum rather than stainless steel for the rollers to decrease the awning’s weight by 14 percent.” Airstream made this and other adjustments, cutting the 17-inch Safari Sport’s total weight to 3,500 pounds. For information, visit

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