Your RV awning is great for protecting you from the sun’s harmful rays and light inclement weather, so ensuring it gets the proper care and maintenance it needs is vital to extending its life and keeping you kicked back in the shade! Here are some great tips on how to maintain and clean your RV awning!
Know Your Fabric
RV awnings typically come in two different types of material, vinyl and acrylic. Vinyl awnings are mildew resistant, but not mildew-proof. Mildew forms on dust and dirt that can collect on your awning and grows easily in humid climates and/or when stored when still wet. On the other hand, acrylic awnings dry quickly and come coated with a finish that is resistant to water and oil-based stains. This finish can wear off, leaving your awning more susceptible to stains and even leaks. Proper maintenance of your fabric can prevent this!
Cleaning Your Awning
Luckily, if you regularly clean your awning, it will be a quick and fairly easy task! The type of fabric you have will determine the course of action to take when cleaning your awning. It is important to note that it is best to consult your RV owner’s manual for tips and information on which cleaners to use on your awning!
Generally, you can get most dirt and debris off your awning by hosing it down regularly, especially when you’ve had it retracted for any length of time. Spray off both the top and bottom of the awnings and allow it to fully dry, and you should be good to go! If there are some stains that don’t come out with a good rinse, additional steps may have to be taken.
If there are tough stains or mildew present on your vinyl awning, the use of a specialized awning cleaner could be necessary! Be sure to never use oil-based or abrasive cleaners, as they will damage vinyl awnings! It is always important to follow the instructions of these cleaners to avoid causing damage! A very effective method to clean vinyl awnings is to spray the top and underside of your awning generously, then roll up your awning and let it sit for at least several minutes. Pull your awning back out and rinse with your hose and allow it to fully dry!
Since acrylic awnings come with a nice water resistant finish on them and dry fairly easily, a simple spray down is usually enough to keep stains and buildup from occurring! If difficult stains are present, use an appropriate cleaner to blot the stain. Do not harshly scrub your awning regardless of the material, as it will remove the protective finish and weaken the fabric!
Wear And Tear
Regularly check your awning’s material for signs of weathering, excessive wear, or rips and tears. Also be sure to check the awning’s hardware, like the arms, roller tube, end caps, etc. Replacing an entire awning is costly and inconvenient, so making sure to catch these problems early can prevent you from having to make expensive replacements! Check your owner’s manual and contact your dealership for the best course of action for repairing your awning!
Tips And Tricks
- Always be sure to retract your awning when you leave your campsite or at night to ensure no damage can occur from high winds or bad weather!
- With a manual awning, be sure to keep one end of the awning slightly lower to avoid rainwater buildup which will weigh down and damage the awning.
- Also with manual awnings, always make sure that your rewind mechanism is locked when traveling or purchase an awning lock to ensure that the awning doesn’t roll out while you’re on the move!
- Avoid rolling up your awning while it is still wet, as it is a sure recipe for mildew! If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have time to let your awning dry before departing, be sure to open it up as soon as possible and hose it down really well, and let it dry completely.
Now that you know just how simple it is to maintain and clean your RV awning, you can kick back without worry and have it made in the shade! Comment with your tried and true awning maintenance tips and tricks!