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How to Avoid RV Awning Failures

by Staci Ritchie in RV Maintenance Tips & Tricks, RVing Tips, Seasonal Travel Tips | 21 March, 2017 10:32pm | comments: 3

The automatic awning is one of the most beloved features of modern RVs. There’s nothing more relaxing than setting up your home-on-wheels in a gorgeous location, rolling out the awning and kicking back in nature. Unfortunately, as the experts in what can and will go wrong, our insider RV Warranty information shows us that awnings are one of the most commonly failed components. Even worse, the damage to awnings is almost always caused by wind, rain, or extreme weather, meaning it wouldn’t be covered by your extended service contract!

Luckily, it can be pretty easy to protect your awning from the many different weather events you’ll face while traveling. Learn how to keep your awning safe, dry, and attached to your RV where it belongs!

Wind: the Enemy of RV Awnings

Manual or automatic, brand new or well worn, no RV awning is made to withstand very high winds. RV manufacturers know this, and so do your insurance and warranty companies, meaning you’ll be stuck with the bill if you do face wind damage. Avoid that unnecessary cost by keeping a close eye on the elements while traveling, and always retract your awning at the first sign of unsavory weather.

Extended Awning Tips:   There are a few inexpensive add-onsRV Awning Wind that can keep your awning extra secure as well. If you’re only experiencing gentle breezes, Awning De-Flappers can prevent the extended fabric from whipping around and pulling away from the awning mount. You can also strap the awning down to the ground using an Awning Hold Down kit, which should help your extended awning hold up to light winds.

Sensible Add-Ons:   The last thing you want to do while relaxing on your RV vacation is keep a constant eye on the winds. Take some of the stress off your shoulders buy installing weather sensors that will alert your or automatically retract your awning if your rig experiences the heavy vibrations of a wind storm.

Prevent Pooling

If you hit a rainstorm while traveling, the water that pools on your awning fabric can cause tearing and pulling, ultimately damaging the pricey motor. When setting up camp, always lower one end of the awning to allow for water runoff in the event skies turn grey. As always, if you’re expecting heavy rain, you’ll want to wrap the awnings up tight to avoid damage.

Maintain Now to Prevent Failure Later

There are several quick maintenance tasks you can perform on your awning to extend its life and prevent costly failures.

  • When you pull your rig out after it has been stored for a lengthy period, make sure to clear any dust or dirt from your awning fabric by simply hosing it off. Avoid scrubbing or using abrasive cleaners, as it can damage the water-proof nature of the awning fabric.
  • Allow your awning to dry completely before retracting it to prevent mildew issues.

Common Sense RV Awning Rules

When it comes down to it, most RV awning failures could have been prevented by following a few common sense rules:

  • Never leave the awning extended when you leave the campsite, even if the weather is perfect!
  • Store the awning before you go to bed in case winds pick up during the night.
  • Retract and store your awnings tightly before hitting the road to prevent damage during travel!

There you have it—live life in the shade with happy RV awnings!

Have a great tip for awning care? Share it in the comments below to help out your fellow travelers!

3 Responses to How to Avoid RV Awning Failures

  1. Tom Linkimer says: March 30, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    When I extend my awning, it stops 4 times in the process before becoming fully extended. An awning repair person checked it thinking it was the motor, but he ruled that out. Any idea what might be causing this?

  2. Jerry and Daniela Henn says: March 31, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks for the information. It’s a great reminder and good to know.

  3. Joe Cordero says: April 10, 2017 at 6:23 am

    On manual awnings it is a good idea to use Valcro wrapped around the rails tightly to help hold the awning in while driving down the road. This is especially helpful on older awnings. Better safe than sorry.

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