When maintaining your RV some things may get overlooked; your awning is one of them. Between maintaining your engine or other mechanical components of your RV, an awning may seem unimportant. However, it is still a very important part of maintaining your RV. Below are some simple tips to help you keep your RV awning in good working condition:
Cleaning Your Awning
Before you start cleaning your awning you need to figure out if your awning is made of vinyl or fabric. When cleaning an acrylic awning, you should use a stiff brush with soap and water. This type of awning can keep mildew from forming, but it is not as resistant as vinyl awnings. Make sure the acrylic doesn’t get too dirty.
When cleaning a vinyl awning, you should use a soft brush with soap and water. Vinyl awnings are often coated with a substance that keeps mildew from forming. Be sure not to scrub too hard, as you could end up scrubbing the coating off. If you’re not able to remove stains on your awning with soap and water, then you might want to use a high-quality cleaner that works on outdoor fabrics.
Protecting Your Awning
In an effort to keep your RV’s awning in good condition, there are a few things to consider – for instance, you should never roll up your awning while it is wet; if moisture collects and stays for long periods of time, mildew and dry rot will appear and can easily ruin the fabric of your awning.
Be sure to use a surface protectant after you thoroughly clean your awning be sure to treat it with a surface protectant. For acrylic awnings, you should use a commercial-grade fabric guard. For vinyl, use a high-quality surface protectant. It’s important that you periodically reapply any type of surface protectant to help your awning last longer.
Try to limit exposure to the elements – allowing your awning to flap around in high winds can cause the fabric to tear around the rail. Once that happens, your awning will be ruined and will need to be completely replaced. Continuous exposure to the sun can break down the awning’s resistance. Leaving your awning up while it rains can cause water to collect in the middle; the weight of the water could bend the tubing or rip the awning completely off of your RV. If you have to leave it up while it’s raining, try to tilt one corner down so the water has somewhere to run off. Overall, if you’re not using your awning, it should be stored away in order to keep it clean and protected.
Repairing Your Awning
Over time small tears or holes can appear. If left alone small holes and tears can turn into large ones. Small tears and holes, however, can be easily fixed with awning tape. Make sure to place your awning on a flat surface when you apply the tape and ensure you apply the tape to both sides of the tear or hole. You can repair large holes by buying fabric of a similar color and consistency as your awning to patch it up. Simply cut out enough fabric to cover the hole. You will need to use heavy-duty glue to stick the fabric to the awning. If you have several tears/holes, or if they are very large then you might want to think about replacing your awning as a whole.
Maintaining your RV can be difficult at times. There are many components to take care of and sometimes you might not know how to properly maintain everything; however, we hope these tips will help you feel more confident about properly maintaining your RV awning!