Your RV awning is your best friend. It keeps you protected from the harsh sun and ensures you stay dry even when it’s pouring rain outside.
Friends treat friends well, right?
But, have you been treating your awning well?
An RV awning can be overlooked and, before you know it, it could deteriorate right before your eyes.
We’re breaking down some simple, yet effective, maintenance tips that will help keep your RV awning in tip-top shape - rain or shine.
First thing’s first: you need to determine what type of awning you have. There are generally two types:
Determining what type of fabric your awning is made of will help you maintain it better, as each type of fabric calls for different maintenance protocols.
Here are just a few things you should be aware of:
- Acrylic is resistant to water and oil-based stains, but over time this repellent can fade.
- Vinyl is mildew resistant, but this doesn’t always mean it’s “mildew proof”.
- Vinyl awnings don’t usually require special cleaning solutions and, in fact, these specialized cleaning solutions can do more harm than good on this type of awning.
Clean your RV awning
We get it - cleaning your RV awning isn’t something you might have time for, or even really think about doing. However, to increase the lifespan of your existing awning(s), it’s essential to clean them, as Do It Yourself RV also notes in their article about RV awnings.
Here are a few points to follow when washing:
- Don’t ‘scrub’ your awning - this can wear down the fabric.
- If your awning is vinyl, use a soft brush.
- If your awning is acrylic, use a stiff brush.
- Invest in the right cleaning products (if it suits the fabric / material of your awning), but you can also use basic soap or detergent for most awnings, depending on if there are stains that need to be removed, or anything else that might require a stronger solution.
Photo Credit: Carefree
Never roll up your awning when it’s wet
Rolling up your awning when its wet traps in a whole mess of trouble. This can lead to staining, mildew, and more problems. It’s essential to make sure you allow your awning to dry before storing it away.
Another tip? Water has weight, and when a lot of it is pounding down on your awning, it can cause some serious damage. While it’s raining and you have your awning up, keep one corner lower than the others so that water will run off, rather than collect and cause damage.
Purchase and use de-flapper clamps
The wind can be just as nasty as the rain, if not nastier!
You never want to leave your awning subject to winds that could rip or damage it over time. A de-flapper clamp helps make sure your awning doesn’t flap and tear when there are rough winds. You can even utilize an RV awning stabilizing kit to try and avoid tears as well.
Photo Credit: Canadian Tire
Limit your awning’s exposure to the elements
As a general rule of thumb, you want to avoid exposing your awning to harsh weather conditions in general. For example, continually exposing your awning to UV rays will break down the awning’s resistance to the sun, and leave you unprotected.
When you’re not actually using your awning, keep it stored away. This will help you increase its lifespan substantially.
*Cover Image Photo Credit: lawilson.info