Your awning allows you to enjoy an extended living space out of the elements. Learning how to keep your awning in good working condition is a must whether you’re living the full-time RV life or if you’re only RVing part-time. If your awning gets ripped, gets stuck or looks dirty, all of these things could decrease your RV value and they can ruin an amazing trip. Continue reading this article to learn the best tips for maintaining your RV awning.
We love our awning and since it is so high, we aren’t always hitting our head on it.
Don’t Abuse Your Awning
Your awning isn’t indestructible so don’t leave it up under all conditions. I’ve seen some people with their awnings out pretty much permanently and you could tell they had been there for a while. While the awning is there to protect you from the sun, you also need to protect your awning from the sun by keeping the awning rolled up whenever you’re not using it.
If you see on the weather that it is going to be windy keep a close eye on it. If it gets too windy, your awning could start flapping and tear.
Tilt Your Awning When It’s Raining
If you don’t tilt one side of your awning when it is raining, you could have a water balloon on your hands. If too much water gets in the awning, it could rip right off the side of your RV. When I was little, I remember a freak storm that came through and our awning had a huge bubble of water. I’m not sure how it survived but it never rolled up the same after that.
This awning can really tilt but you don’t have to have it tilted that much depending on how your awning is made.
Use a Hose and Cloth to Wipe Your Awning Down
If your awning is looking a little on the dirty side, use a water hose and a cloth to wipe it down. It’s as simple as that. If you have stubborn mold on it, you might need a little something extra to chase the mold away but otherwise the water and wipe down will take care of things.
Here are some products you might consider if you need to combat mold on your RV awning.
Don’t Roll Up a Wet Awning
The best way to get mold on your awning is to roll it up when it is wet. I know that sometimes you can’t avoid it and you have to roll your awning up when it is wet but if at all possible, wait for the sun to dry it out and then roll it up. If you have to roll a wet awning up for the move, when you get to your destination — even if you’ll be storing it, let the awning out and let it dry before putting it up again.
Keep Your Awning Closed As Much As Possible
The less you use your awning, the less opportunity there is for damage. Falling tree limbs can stab and make holes in your awning, rain water can damage it by causing the water balloon affect and who knows what else might happen. When you’re camping, you never know what you’re going to run into from bears, turkeys and people that don’t know how to drive.
Use Awning Locks
While most awnings will roll up and lock on their own, it never hurts to have a little bit more safety on your side. Awning locks will make sure your awning isn’t going anywhere when you’re driving down the road. Talk about catching wind while you’re on the interstate!
Consider Awning Stabilizer Kits
If you’re determined to have your awning out while it is windy an awning stabilizer kit is an inexpensive way to decrease the risk of having your awning ripped off or torn. These kits are pretty inexpensive since they are made up of some spiral stakes and tension rope. These kits give your awning more stability and protect your awning when unexpected gusts of wind hit.
Wipe Down All Moving Parts & Use WD-40
If it moves, use WD-40 on it.
Take a clean cloth and wipe down all of the moving parts of your RV awning. And don’t forget the always helpful WD-40. You might want to keep a few spray bottles around because you’ll need to reapply.
Don’t use grease on your RV awning. It attracts dirt and grime and can actually make matters worse.
Use Protectant On Your Awning
We have a vinyl awning so that is what I have the most experience with but if you have a fabric awning you can also use protectant on it. Products like 303 UV protectant can help extend the life of your awning even when you do decide to leave it open in the sun for long periods of time.
The Importance of Keeping Your Awning Well Maintained
Failing to maintain your RV awning could result in unwanted delays on your journey. A poorly maintained awning doesn’t look great either and some RV resorts don’t allow poorly kept RVs into their facilities. Take the time to take care of your awning and your awning can last for the life-time of your RV.
Taking care of your RV awning is going to save you money in the long-run. Don’t wait for something to break or rip to take care of it because that is going to cost a pretty penny.
Learn More About RV Life
Now that you know about how to keep your awning in good working condition, why not continue your RV life education? We have many articles that can help you be well on your way to RV pro status and are adding more regularly. Check out our RV supplies section for more information on the supplies you’ll need when you hit the road and bookmark our site for more great reads.