So you’ve decided to take the plunge and buy an RV – congratulations! Now it’s time to start customizing your home on wheels to suit your needs and style. One of the first additions many RV owners invest in is an awning. Awnings provide shade from the sun, shelter from rain and snow, and an outdoor living space for relaxing, cooking, and entertaining. With so many options out there, choosing an RV awning can feel overwhelming. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll walk you through how to determine the right size and type of awning for your RV, the different fabric and hardware options, and how to properly install your new awning so you’ll be enjoying it in no time. By the end of this article, you’ll feel equipped to choose an RV awning that suits your needs and budget, and confident enough to install it yourself. The open road awaits! Let’s get started.
Choosing the Right RV Awning for Your Needs
The first thing to consider is how much coverage you need. Do you want shade for just the entrance of your RV or coverage over the entire side? The larger the awning, the pricier it will be. But too small an awning won’t suit your needs. Measure your RV and think about how much space you want covered before shopping.
You’ll also need to determine if you want a manual, electric, or automatic awning. Manual awnings are affordable but require manually cranking to open and close. Electric awnings open and close with the touch of a button but cost more. Automatic awnings use sensors to automatically open and retract the awning – very convenient but the most expensive option.
Think about the material as well. Acrylic fabric is lightweight, affordable and water resistant but not waterproof. Vinyl is waterproof but heavier and can be noisy in wind. Metal awnings are extremely durable but more costly and require more effort to open and close.
Installation is usually pretty straightforward but you’ll want to make sure you understand the specifics for your RV make and model. It’s best to have the awning installed by a professional to ensure proper fit and operation. They can also advise you on any additional accessories like awning lights, wind sensors or stabilizing kits you may need.
With some forethought about how and where you’ll use your awning, you can choose the perfect one to keep you shaded and sheltered for years of outdoor adventures in your RV. Now that’s real peace of mind on the open road!
Installing an RV Awning: Step-by-Step Guide
Installing an RV awning is easier than you might think if you follow the right steps.
Gather the necessary tools
You’ll need basic tools like a cordless drill/driver, socket wrench, level, tape measure, safety goggles, and work gloves. Don’t forget the mounting brackets, bolts, and screws that came with your specific awning.
Choose the best location
Find a spot on the side of your RV that will provide the most shade. Make sure there are no obstacles like vents, doors or trim in the way. The wall should be flat for proper installation. Hold the awning up to your RV to determine the optimal height before marking and drilling.
Install the mounting brackets
Following the instructions for your awning model, attach the mounting brackets to the wall of your RV. Use a level to ensure the brackets are even. Once the brackets are secured, have a helper hold one end of the awning while you slide the other end into the brackets. Bolt the awning onto the brackets.
Secure the awning
Fully extend and retract the awning a few times to ensure it’s sliding properly. Then secure the awning by attaching the included straps or tensioners to your RV. These help prevent the awning from flapping in windy conditions.
Test and enjoy!
Double check that everything is installed correctly and securely. Then you can test your new RV awning and enjoy the shade and protection it provides from the elements on your adventures! With the right care and maintenance, an RV awning can last for many road trips to come.
What is RV Door Locks?
Your standard rv door lock has a latch and handle feature with key entry. Many RVs come with upgraded deadbolt locks for added security. A lock, of course, is only as strong as the door it’s on, so you may also want to also consider an upgrade for your RV door.
Troubleshooting Common RV Awning Issues
Once you have your RV awning installed, it’s important to know how to spot and fix any issues that may come up. After all, your awning is exposed to the elements, and wear and tear can happen. Here are some of the most common problems you may encounter and how to troubleshoot them.
Awning won’t retract or extend
If your awning gets stuck and won’t budge in either direction, the first thing to check is that the awning lock or travel lock isn’t still engaged. Release the lock to free up the awning. If that’s not the problem, inspect the awning gears and motor. Debris buildup or damage can prevent the awning from moving properly. You may need to have a certified RV technician service the awning.
Fabric tearing or damage
Over time, RV awning fabric can weaken, tear or sustain damage from weather, wind or accidents. Small holes or tears can often be patched or repaired using awning repair tape that can be purchased at most RV supply stores. For larger damage, the best solution is to have the awning fabric replaced.
If you notice water collecting on your awning instead of running off, the awning may not be pitched properly for water runoff. Water pooling can lead to leaking, mildew and extra weight stress on the awning. You may need to have the awning re-installed or adjusted to achieve the proper degree of pitch for effective rain and snow runoff.
•Sagging – If your awning begins to sag in spots, it could indicate damage or stretching in the fabric or issues with the awning’s framework or arms. Have the awning inspected as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
•Mildew – Treat and remove any mildew spots on your awning to prevent damage to the fabric. Use an RV-approved mildew remover and re-treat the awning periodically.
By keeping an eye out for these common RV awning problems and addressing them quickly, you can help ensure your awning provides shade and shelter for the long haul. Let the adventure continue!
You’ve done your research and are ready to take your RV experience to the next level with an awning. Now comes the fun part – shopping for options and figuring out the installation. With some handy tips and the right tools, you’ll be kicking back under your new awning in no time. Once you’ve made your selection, find a wide open space and invite some friends over for an installation party. Many hands make light work and a few extra sets of eyes will help ensure everything is secure and level before you head out on your next adventure. Before you know it, you’ll be posting envy-inducing photos of your new setup. An RV awning can make all the difference in comfort and enjoyment. You’ve got this – now get out there and happy camping!