When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors in your RV, having a reliable and durable awning is essential. Awnings provide shade and shelter from the sun, wind, and rain, making them a valuable addition to any RV. However, like all outdoor equipment, RV awnings are exposed to the elements and can wear down over time. To ensure that your RV awning lasts as long as possible, it’s important to take steps to increase its durability. This guide will provide tips and tricks for making your RV awning last longer, including understanding the best fabrics for RV awnings.
Understanding the Best Fabrics for RV Awnings
Before we dive into the tips for increasing the lifespan of your RV awning, it’s essential to understand the different types of fabrics available for RV awnings. The right fabric can make a big difference in how long your awning lasts and how well it performs.
Some of the most common fabrics used for RV awnings include vinyl, acrylic, and polyester. It’s critical to select the material that best meets your demands because each of these materials has advantages and disadvantages of its own.
- Vinyl is a popular choice for RV awnings because it is durable and easy to clean. It is also resistant to UV rays and mildew, making it an ideal option for outdoor use. However, vinyl is not as breathable as other fabrics, which can lead to moisture buildup and mold growth if not properly ventilated.
- Acrylic is another popular choice for RV awnings because it is lightweight, breathable, and easy to clean. It is also resistant to fading and mildew, making it a good option for long-term use. However, acrylic is not as durable as vinyl and can be more expensive.
- Polyester is a more affordable option for RV awnings and is known for its durability and resistance to UV rays. It is also lightweight and easy to clean, making it a good choice for outdoor use. However, polyester is not as breathable as acrylic, which can lead to moisture buildup and mold growth if not properly ventilated.
No matter which fabric you choose for your RV awning, it’s important to take care of it properly to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Here are some tips for increasing the durability of your RV awning.
- Keep it Clean
One of the easiest ways to extend the life of your RV awning is to keep it clean. Dirt, debris, and other contaminants can build up on the fabric over time, leading to stains and damage. To clean your awning, use a mild detergent and a soft-bristled brush to scrub away any dirt or grime. Rinse the fabric thoroughly with a hose and allow it to air dry completely before retracting it.
- Protect it from the Elements
Another way to increase the lifespan of your RV awning is to protect it from the elements. UV rays can cause fading and deterioration over time, so it’s essential to provide shade when possible. You can also use a UV-resistant spray or treatment to help protect the fabric from sun damage.
Rain and moisture can also cause damage to your RV awning, especially if it is left wet for an extended period. If you know you will be experiencing heavy rain or snow, it’s a good idea to retract your awning to prevent water buildup.
- Properly Store it
When you’re not using your RV awning, it’s important to store it properly to prevent damage. Make sure the fabric is completely dry before retracting it to prevent moisture buildup and mold growth. You can also use a protective cover to keep the fabric clean and dry when not in use.
- Use it Correctly
Using your RV awning correctly can also help increase its lifespan. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for extending and retracting the awning to prevent damage to the mechanism. Avoid using the awning in windy conditions, as strong winds can cause the fabric to flap and tear. It’s also important to make sure the awning is properly secured to prevent it from collapsing or being damaged by sudden gusts of wind.
- Inspect it Regularly
Regular inspections can help you catch any problems with your RV awning before they become major issues. Check the fabric for signs of wear and tear, such as holes, tears, or frayed edges. Look for any signs of mold or mildew, especially if the awning has been exposed to moisture for an extended period. Inspect the hardware and mechanism for any signs of rust, corrosion, or damage.
- Make Repairs Quickly
If you do notice any damage to your RV awning, it’s important to make repairs quickly to prevent further damage. Small tears or holes can be patched with a repair kit, which can be found at most RV supply stores. Larger tears or damage to the mechanism may require professional repairs. Ignoring damage can cause the problem to worsen over time and may even lead to the need for a full replacement.
- Consider Upgrades
If you’re looking to increase the durability of your RV awning even further, there are a few upgrades you can consider. Adding a wind sensor can help prevent damage from sudden gusts of wind by automatically retracting the awning when wind speeds reach a certain level. Installing a support system can also help distribute the weight of the awning more evenly and reduce stress on the fabric and mechanism.