The purpose of your RV’s awning is to provide shade and protection from the rain or summer sun while camping. The canopy extends your living area to outside the vehicle, offering more space to spend time with friends and family. A damaged awning exposes the outdoor space to the elements. Here are six tips for RV awning maintenance so you can enjoy outdoor living while on the road.

Maintenance of an RV Awning

1. Keep it Clean

Dirt, debris, and fallen leaves can accumulate on the awning, causing mold and mildew growth. This, in turn, can lead to costly cleaning or the need to replace the fabric. Clean the awning often, starting with a gentle brushing or using a low-pressure water spray. Make sure the awning is dry before retracting it.

2. Check the Tension

A sagging RV awning requires realignment. To correct this issue, tighten the tension by turning the turn knobs at each end of the awning. Over-tightening is a common mistake that can lead to damage, so consult your RV owner’s manual for specifics on adjusting the vehicle’s canopy.

3. Lubricate the Arms

The arms of the awning contain moving parts that need lubrication to function correctly. When inspecting the RV awning, lubricate the joints and pivots to keep them in good working condition.

4. Inspect the Fabric

The awning fabric is the most vulnerable part of your RV awning. It can be damaged by wind, hail, falling debris, or harsh weather conditions. A small tear may quickly become an extensive rip, damaging the fabric beyond repair. Check the fabric regularly, and if there are small holes, patch them before they worsen. For major damage, you’ll need to replace the awning material. Talk to an RV professional to get a quote and learn about your options.

5. Check the Hardware

The hardware, including screws and bolts, of your awning must be inspected regularly. If a fastener is corroded, replace it immediately. Damaged or rusted fasteners can break, and failure to replace a damaged fastener may cause the awning to become unstable and unsafe.

6. Retract the Awning in High Winds

While your RV’s awning can provide some shelter from sun and rain, the structure isn’t designed to withstand high winds or strong storms. Retract the awning when the forecast calls for heavy winds. Secure the structure correctly, following the instructions in your RV owner’s manual.

An RV awning provides a comfortable outdoor living space while on the road. However, it’s prone to damage, so routine maintenance is essential. With these six tips, you will enjoy the shelter and extended living area for years.

Associated RV Services provides professional RV inspections and services in southeast Texas and Louisiana. Contact us to schedule an appointment.