Zipper Repair for Bag Awning - Pliers Method and Pull Replacement

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by HostileJava, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. HostileJava

    HostileJava Member

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    On our last camping trip when zipping the awning back into the bag we ran into a problem. I could get the zipper to zip along the bottom but it would pop apart on the corners after the pull had passed. I was nervous that it would open it self back up so I duct taped the corners shut past the point where it wouldn't zip and left the awning on the camper to get home. After the trip I started calling around to a few places to find out how much it would cost to either have the bag replaced or the zipper. Most places quoted me around $100-$150 to do either. I mentioned to one of my coworkers who also has a pup the situation and he suggested simply trying to repair the existing zipper. So I went online and found several videos on youtube describing zipper repair, I won't link any here, they are easy to find and all are about the same thing. The most common solution seemed to be that you need to take a pliers and squeeze the pull on the top and bottom to tighten up the channels a bit. I tried this and it worked beautifully for the first couple test zip and then the pull promptly broke into two pieces in my hand, I'm glad this happened at home and not while camping. Had the pull not been in bad shape this more then likely would have worked. Time to push forward now since I can't close the zipper at all. I had seen several other videos showing how to replace the pull with a repair kit. I had an onld jacket that I use for working in the garage laying around and decided to remove the pull from that as it appeared to be the same size. I used a pliers and thread cutter to remove the metal stop at the top of the jacket and a few threads that appear to be there in case the stop came off to prevent the pull from coming all the way off. After removing it I set the broken pull and the jack pull side by side and saw that the jacket pull appear to be slightly more open so I used my pliers again to close up the channels in the pull just a little. The next part I was nervous about. I had to pull a lot of thread off the beginning of the zipper on the awning bag that looked like it was going through the zipper, the bag, and the plastic that slips into the channel on the camper. As I examined it closer it looked like this area had been sewn over several times back and forth and that pulling the necessary threads out should not affect the stitch going to the bag and the plastic. I went to town with the thread puller and finally had access to the end of the zipper. I then slid the new pull into place(this took several tries and was frustrating). I ran the pull back and forth several times, used the pliers one more time to tighten it up and was then successfully able to zip and unzip the bag several times. I then stitched a new stop into place on the zipper end and using the existing holes restitched the zipper,bag, and plastic together at that end. Our next camping trip is next weekend so we'll see what happens. I probably should have gotten pictures of the entire process but I was more concerned about getting this done so that I could actually use the bag next weekend. I can take picture of the completed repair and the broken zipper if anyone is interested.
     
  2. Eric_in_PA

    Eric_in_PA New Member

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    Pliers method worked for me. Thanks for the tip!
     
  3. HostileJava

    HostileJava Member

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    Glad it worked! As an update, I added an additional measure to help in an emergency zipper break and also to take some of the stress off of the zipper. Went camping this weekend and everything worked great! See pictures below, I adapted the idea from a video I found on youtube to the materials I had on hand.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The cuts were made using a wire cutter to cut and utility knife to score.
     

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