By Mark Polk, RV Education 101®
A patio awning extends the living area of our outdoor world. Similar to the front porch of your home, the patio awning provides us with shade and cover from a light rain when we want to be outdoors without getting drenched.
Here are five quick tips to help protect and extend the life of your RV awning:
1. Never leave the awning out when you’re away from the campsite for any extended time. A quick wind or thunderstorm can result in expensive repair costs to the awning and the RV. If the wind begins to pick up at the campground, retract your awning to its stored position. Better safe than sorry.
2. If it begins to rain on an extended awning, lower one end to allow the water to run off. If not, it can quickly pool in the center of the awning fabric and the weight can damage the awning itself and/or the awning fabric.
3. Use a commercial RV awning cleaner to clean it. Spray the cleaner thoroughly on the awning fabric, roll it up and let it sit for several minutes. This helps to distribute the cleaner over the entire surface of the awning fabric and allows the cleaner time to work. Open the awning and thoroughly rinse both sides of the fabric.
4. For the most part, there are two types of awning fabric, acrylic or vinyl. Acrylic fabric is a woven cloth. Avoid scrubbing acrylic awning fabric. Scrubbing can remove the water-retardant finish. For stubborn stains blot the cleaner on the fabric with a sponge or soft cloth.
5. Use awning tie-downs to help protect your patio awning from wind gust damage.