Common RV awning issues

Codi JohnsonRV Tech Tips

Often we hear a lot of complaints that they don’t make awnings the way they used to. You hear it all the time, “I’ve got a 1978 such and such type RV that’s got an awning and it hasn’t ever ripped off!”

Well, nowadays it seems as though they rip off fairly easily. So what’s the problem?

Let’s go over some information about awnings, and maybe this will help out.

When we open up our awnings, they become a kite during high winds. The problem is, we don’t know when those winds are approaching; it could even be just a small gust. Previously what would take place is the awning was built onto the rig so tightly that it would pull the side wall off, thus damaging the RV. We don’t want that to happen; we want the awnings to be much like a crumple zone, meaning that the awning fails before the sidewall. Now, is this a great set up? No. But this is what has taken shape over the years: the awnings are used as a fail safe to prevent damage to the sidewall. It’s much more cost efficient to replace an awning than to repair a sidewall. 

Don’t put your awning up wet! This is a fabric that will hold water when you roll it up wet. The next time you open it back up, mold will likely be growing inside the awning. To combat any mold issue, you can purchase a mold killing chemical from any local store or make your own from hydrogen peroxide and water, liberally spray the awning, rinse, and allow it to air dry. It’s important to remember not to use bleach, or anything containing bleach, as it can damage the fabric in the awning. 

Lastly, remember that awnings are not kites, and they’re not there to protect you from the rain! When we have rain, chances are we have wind, and wind will turn an awning into a kite in no time. 

And there’s your Tech Tip!

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