Steve Savage submitted this article to RVtravel.com when he was a Master Certified RV Technician with Mobility RV Service.
Let’s talk a little about how RV awnings are sized.
One day I had a new awning in stock and a potential buyer called me early in the morning and said he was very interested in buying it. I had posted an ad on Craigslist stating I had the canopy for a 15-foot awning. When the interested party called, I advised him to be sure he measured from center-to-center of the awning arms so he could be assured I had what he wanted. He told me he had measured everything and had a 16-footer, but was okay with one for a 15 footer.
He showed up after work that evening, took out his tape measure and told me the canopy was only 14 feet in length. Of course, that is exactly what the canopy length is for a 15-foot awning. The roller tube itself is only about 14 feet 6 inches in length and the only thing that makes an awning 15 feet is the measurement from arm-to-arm.
My buyer, unfortunately, had measured his canopy, which was exactly 16 feet in length. He did not have a 16-foot awning – he had a 17-foot awning, meaning the canopy I had was too narrow for his roller tube. We parted on good terms as he acknowledged I had explained to him how to measure for the canopy, but he assumed he knew what he was doing.
Don’t make the same mistake when measuring your awning. All awnings come in whole measurements such as 14 feet, 15 feet, and so on. Neither Carefree nor A&E give measurements in inches, although you can find sources online that custom-cut whatever you need. I’ve also received calls from folks who’ve asked if they could cut down the canopy I had to a smaller size. I advise against this, as I am not sure how the edging will stand up to the wind once it is cut.