The awning is one of those have-to-have accessories that at 3 am, with a howling wind, you wish you didn't have. Who can remember the half-dozen or so steps required to close the thing under these conditions?
The recreational vehicle awning is designed as a sunshade, period. If,perhaps, it starts to sprinkle a bit and also kicks up a mild breeze - don't worry, your RV awning can handle that. But if those dark clouds are building on the horizon and the birds are seeking shelter, then you really should consider rolling up. And you really should consider rolling up, NOW.
Practice rolling up your awning on a calm day until you have the procedure memorized. Then do the same thing while blindfolded, with someone spraying a hose in your face. This will simulate a typical emergency storm take-down.Except for the wind, of course. For this simulation you will need three fairly burly guys, all yanking the awning in a different direction at once. Once you have gone through the preceding exercise, you will understand why the experienced camper will take down the awning at the first sign of trouble.
After being rolled up and possibly damp for several months your awning will appreciate a good airing out and a bath with warm water and a mild detergent. Use a car wash type brush to scrub the surface of both the top and the underside. A little WD-40 on the moving parts helps to free up and protect these components. Dry it thoroughly before re-rolling it.
Lower one end of your open awning to allow rain water to drain off. Peg down the awning feet when the awning is free standing so that a gust of wind will not flip over the awning. Also, the awning may be strapped down with special awning straps. If you suspect a strong wind or storm is coming the safest thing to do is roll up the awning.
Check your hardware for operation at the beginning of each season, lubricating buttons, handles and threaded knobs. Be careful not to get petroleum based lubricants on your awning fabrics. Remember to lower on end of your awning if you are going to leave it extended during rain storms and roll up when leaving unattended or during periods of high winds. Most awning damage we see is related to water pooling on the fabric or awnings torn loose in high winds. Generally speaking, neither of these conditions are covered by manufacturers warranty.
Vinyl awning fabrics are mildew resistant. Mildew will form on the tree sap, dirt and dust that accumulate on an awning in normal use. Periodic cleaning can prevent this. Clean with a commercial awning cleaner. Extend your awning and swab the fabric using a soft brush, mop or sponge. Rinse well with fresh water. Repeat if necessary. Let dry before rolling up for storage.
Stoney's RV is not responsible for any damages or losses.