Ah, the RV awning. It's a wonderful feature to have - for looks, for shade - but also one that needs regular maintenance. How many times have you heard your awning creaking in the howling wind when you forgot to lower it? How many times have you heard of somebody else's awning blowing off completely or seen one sagging to the point of no return after a storm?

The key to avoiding damage to your awning is being prepared. Knowing how to handle your awning can save it - and you - from loss in case of a “rainy day.”

When to Hold It, When to Fold It

Awnings are a standard part of most motor home and travel trailer equipment today and they can handle the typical everyday wear if they're cared for. Generally, your awning should be secured at its feet, pegged down so it will not flip in the wind. Awning straps are also available to help keep it secured.

In terms of weather conditions, a light drizzle or breeze should not be cause for alarm. At the first sign of menacing dark clouds or a whipping wind, however, roll up the awning. The best thing to do is practice rolling your awning on a nice day, so you'll be prepared to do it quickly when a storm really is about to hit. Nobody wants to be caught in the rain, struggling to roll up their awning while lighting abounds.

Keeping Clean

An awning that is rolled up a while will need to be aired out and cleaned as soon as weather clears. This type of maintenance is simple compared to fixing a broken awning or having to replace one altogether. Unroll the awning, rinse with warm water and a mild cleansing solution (you can gently scrub it with a brush or sponge) and then let it dry.

This is a good general practice for your awning regardless of whether it's been wet or rolled. Regular accumulation of dirt and other pollutants on a fabric surface can shorten the life of the structure, and quicken the deterioration of the fabric. Periodic cleanings are best in the long run to keep your awning in good condition.

Though some losses on the road may be out of your control, your awning shouldn't be one of them. Taking good care of it will help keep you “in the shade.

Need RV Insurance?

In addition to RV awning care, make sure you have insurance coverage specialized for your RV. Check out our RV Insurance coverage options.

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