Cheap grommet can save your day – and your awning

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By Russ and Tiña De Maris

RV principles to live by: If rain is in the offing, tilt your awning; if serious rain is in the offing, roll up your awning. We had an unfortunate experience in Tennessee one spring night. We went to bed with our awning deployed and a fair tilt set into it. In the night a huge downpour blew through the area and even the tilt didn’t save us. In the morning we had to practically do a contortionist routine to get out the door — the awning fell right over it. Awning support arms, normally straight, were bent and pushed right into the ground.

RVtravel.com reader Wolfe Rose sent us his take on this precipitous situation, which we’re happy to share with one and all.

“I once got caught in a freak downpour with my awning out back at camp, and sure enough gathered 200+ gallons in a badly bowed awning before I could correct it. Just to be able to retract the precarious “bathtub” I carefully hole-punched the awning to drain and then installed a large tarp grommet to prevent tearing. As I watched the awning draining, it made me wonder why the manufacturer never thought to put any drainage whatsoever on the easily bellied awning, when this is a common RV mistake.

“After a new awning was installed back home, I preemptively grommeted the new one, and intentionally left it out while watching it in the next bad rainstorm. The grommet easily kept up, but now dropped a garden hose stream of water. With a roomy full-length awning, I don’t mind that drop zone, but a redirect along the underside, or even actual hose fitting, could be fashioned if I did.

“This solution doesn’t help in high winds or the general wisdom to take in the awning when you can, but a 50-cent grommet is cheap insurance if it saves a $1,000 awning.” Here’s a link to Wolfe’s (aka Gyro Gearloose) YouTube video on this subject. And here is a link to his more recent video of the grommet in action.

Oh, how we wish we had Wolfe’s suggestion in place when our freak rain caught us. As it was, we had to hire an RV repair firm to come out and cut down (and cart away) the demolished awning. Happily, our insurance company was gracious enough to cover the losses. Nevertheless, a 50-cent grommet would sure have spared us a lot of misery.

Thanks, Wolfe!

##RVDT1273

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Steve S.

In a related internet article, I read one that argued that all buckets sold should have a hole drilled in the bottom by the manufacturer so that small children could not accidentally drown in an unattended bucket. So it goes. As a previous poster stated, your stuff, your decision. As for me, I close my awning overnight, no matter what. I also close it if we are going to be leaving the trailer unattended. The few minutes it takes to open or close it are not worth the long term effects of damage.

Billy Bob Thorton

Are we running out of gooid ideas to write about. So, you punch a hole in a perfectly good, water shedding awning. Ok, am I missing something.

Let’s review; the number of times an awning properly sheds water, compared to ones deployed and a downpour overwhelms the natural shedding slope, is what you guess slim to slimmer. Solution is to puch a hole in good awning, to drip water on you, your stuff. Ok, you got me.

John R Crawford

The reason I use the awning is to keep the area under it dry, that’s why I leave mine tilted to the rear like the manufacturer recommends.

Ron McClain

It seems to me (also a crazy old fool) that getting the grommet installed would require two people. One on each side of the awning while it was hanging down. Also as the grommet is flat and will eventually cause wear to the rolled up awning. I keep my awning tilted all the time. My wife always tells me when to roll up the awning and she’s NEVER wrong!

Two Buck Chuck

Very good idea.

Loneoutdoorsman

Maybe the manufacturers didn’t put a rain hole in the awning because they thought RVers were smart enough not to deploy their $2,000.00 awning with a storm brewing.

Tom Gutzke

I always roll my awning up – especially after seeing an RV across from me that left their awning extended overnight. The awning arms had bent down and the occupants had a difficult time trying to get out the door. The roll-up tube also buckled! Wish I had taken a photo of it.

Tommy Molnar

I like this idea. We never go anywhere with the awning deployed, but still . . .

Donald N Wright

What a great, cheap idea.

Joe

Cheap grommet can save your day – and your awning

Can we get some pictures of the grommets placement?