Ahhh…you’re finally out at your campsite, your RV is all set and hooked up as is necessary, and you’re out relaxing in the warm sun. What’s protecting you from the harsh UV rays? That’s right, your awning. Many RVs come with an extendable awning so you can have a place to give you a little shade and protect you from the occasional rain shower. You’ll probably start to take it for granted after a while, that is unless it breaks and you can no longer use it. Awning care is just as important as caring for the rest of your RV, so make sure you’re putting in the time and effort to keep it in proper working condition.
Crabtree RV has provided a list of tips and tricks for keeping your awning shiny and healthy, although you may find you need professional assistance.
If that’s the case, then schedule a service appointment with one of our technicians at our location in Alma, Arkansas. We proudly serve Fort Smith, Fayetteville, and Russellville, as well as all of Northwest Arkansas and Poteau, Oklahoma.
Knowing your Awning
Before you get started, make sure you know what you’re working with. Different awnings will require different kinds of care. Find out what your awning is made of. Odds are, it’s either vinyl or acrylic. Acrylic awnings come from a petroleum-based produced that is both water and mildew resistant, and when it’s exposed to a flame or extreme heat, it melts rather than catches fire. Think of it as really thick tent fabric.
Vinyl awnings tend to be covered in an anti-fungal coating in order to make them mildew-resistant. Because of these protective coatings, and in order to help keep your awning from wearing down too quickly, you’ll want to avoid scrubbing too hard in one particular spot. Also make sure you’re using a gentle soap (and never something petroleum-based) to clean your awning in order to prevent stripping it of these protective coats.
Avoiding Major Problems
A lot of your awning care will mostly be preventative, starting with reducing the possibility of mildew. Much like mold, mildew needs a dark, wet, enclosed space to grow, so if you regularly roll up your awning when it’s wet and then leave for a while, you’re creating the perfect environment for mildew. While mildew generally isn’t dangerous the way mold is, it certainly smells. Make sure that your awning is always dry when you roll it up to avoid this. If you’re already experiencing mildew problems, then seek out special commercial cleaners that will help you fix this.
Your next concern will be UV rays. While your awning is protecting you from these harmful rays, all that exposure can add up. The longer you leave it out, unfurled and in direct sunlight, the more the material is going to weaken and you risk developing a tear. And a small tear can turn into a big tear very quickly.
Finally, you’ll want to keep an eye out for high wind warnings. An extended awning in a windstorm can be severely damaged and lead to costly repairs. If you know the wind is exceeding 20 mph, consider rolling up your awning.
Awning Repair and Replacement
Sometimes there’s no getting around having to simply repair or replace parts of your awning. Like all major investments, there’s no avoiding general wear and tear, no matter how careful you are. While you may want to fix a broken part yourself, we highly recommend seeing a professional. The inner workings of an awning can actually be very complicated. Some models use spring-loaded opening assistance features and, if you’re not experienced, it can break in a way that could hurt you or your RV. Because of this, we don’t recommend you try to fix it at home.
Instead, contact our experienced technicians at Crabtree RV in Alma, Arkansas. We’ll help fix your RV–no matter what the issue is–as quickly as possible so you can get back on the road. We welcome all RV owners from Fort Smith, Fayetteville, and Russellville, all of Northwest Arkansas, and Poteau, Oklahoma.