RV Education 101 RV Quick Tip – Maintaining Your Awning Fabric
Awnings are a great feature to have on your RV. There are several different types of RV awnings and they serve different purposes. Window and door awnings provide shade and keep rain away from your RV windows or entry door, while slide-out awnings protect the slide-out roof from debris and water. And there are patio awnings that provide us with shade and extend our living area to the outdoors.
The awnings on your RV will provide years of reliable, trouble-free operation, if you take the time to do a little preventive maintenance and cleaning.
When you open the awning for the first time each year, or if it has been stored for a while, you will need to inspect the awning fabric for any signs of mildew or stains. Awnings are made from vinyl or acrylic fabric, and some have an aluminum or vinyl wrap-around weather guard to protect the fabric when it’s in the travel position.
If the awning fabric is fairly clean, cleaning can be accomplished with a soft brush, mild soap and water. Clean and thoroughly rinse both sides of the awning fabric. Do not use oil-based or abrasive cleaners.
For more difficult stains or mildew, there are aftermarket commercial cleaners made just for awning fabrics. One method that seems to work well is to spray the inside and outside of the awning fabric with the appropriate cleaner, then roll it up and let it sit for several minutes to distributes the cleaner over the entire surface and allow it time to work. Open the awning and thoroughly rinse both sides of the fabric. It may be necessary to scrub stubborn stains with a brush before rinsing.
If your awning fabric is acrylic, avoid scrubbing the fabric as it can remove the water retardant finish. For stubborn stains on acrylic fabric blot the cleaner on the fabric. Carefully follow all awning and cleaner manufacturer directions when cleaning your awning fabric.
Happy RV Learning!
For more RV tips and great information, check out Mark’s site, rvconsumer.com.