How to care for and maintain your campervan awning
Author: Your RV Good Guide Date Posted: 11 January 2023
Your caravan or campervan awning is a big investment. With the right care and maintenance, it will provide many years of shade, shelter, and relaxed outdoor living. In this blog, we’ll share some helpful tips on how to ensure your RV shade awning remains in tip-top condition for years to come, including:
- What is the best way to clean a campervan awning
- How to reproof your caravan awning
- Tips for storing your awning after cleaning
- How often should you clean a campervan awning
- How to care for your campervan or caravan awning
- How often should you inspect your campervan awning
- Tips for setting up your awning safely
- The range of campervan awnings and caravan awnings available at RV Super Centre
What is the best way to clean a campervan awning
It’s a good idea to give your campervan or caravan awning a thorough clean before it’s stored away for the end of the season or any lengthy period of time. This way, you can be sure that it’s in good shape for the next time you use it. It also means you’ll avoid any damage caused by dirt and debris build-up or mould growth. Here’s a basic guide on how to do this:
- The first step is to brush off any dirt, dust, and debris with a soft brush.
- Next, use a soft towel and warm water to start cleaning off any obvious marks or mould build-up.
- If water isn’t doing the trick, opt for an awning-specific cleaner that won’t damage your awning fabric. Some good recommendations include Camco Pro Strength Awning Cleaner and Star Brite RV Awning Cleaner.
- If some stains remain stubborn, try a small amount of highly diluted bleach.
- Stay away from harsh chemicals or water blasters, as this could cause damage to the fabric.
- Be sure to allow the fabric to dry fully before storing. Otherwise, this can cause mould.
How to reproof your caravan awning
Over time, you may notice that the waterproofing on your awning loses its effectiveness. It is recommended to reproof your awning once a year using a reproofing liquid. It’s best to do this process once the awning is completely clean and dry. This will allow your awning to become waterproof once more, as well as reducing the chance of mould and mildew growing. We recommend using a good quality waterproofing spray such as Camco RV Water Proofer. This product is designed for awnings but can also be used on pop-up campers, covers, and outdoor furniture.
Tips for storing your awning after cleaning
Once your awning is clean, completely dry, and waterproofed, you’ll want to store it away until the next use. It’s preferable to avoid leaving your awning installed on your RV over winter, as it may become damp. This can result in a build-up of mould and mildew.
If your awning has steel or aluminium poles, give them a wipe with wax polish or silicone to prevent rust from forming. Store your campervan awning in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. A good place for storage is in your garage or another protected area.
How often should you clean a campervan awning
How often you should clean your campervan awning will really depend on how much you use it. However, as a general rule, it is a good idea to give it a thorough clean (as outlined above) at least once every six months. However, if you use it often, consider cleaning it a little more frequently.
How to care for your campervan or caravan awning
A campervan awning is likely to be one of your more costly must-have motorhome accessories. With a good maintenance schedule, you can be sure your investment will last for many years. Here are a few extra tips to help keep your campervan awning in the best possible condition:
- Always brush off leaves and dust before retracting your awning. If you have a roll-out awning, make sure you have retracted it and locked it in place before hitting the road. You’d be surprised how many campervan and caravan awnings are damaged by forgetting this simple step!
- Do not leave your awning up if the weather looks uncertain. High winds and heavy rain can tear fabric and damage the awning structure in a matter of seconds.
- To help keep your awning secure, consider using some of RV Super Centre’s quality awning accessories, such as anti-flap kits, roof rafters, and hold-down kits.
- Don’t leave your awning out at night unattended. Many motorhomers have woken up to discover their expensive awning is badly damaged after an unexpected turn in the weather.
- Prevent mould and mildew by making sure your awning is completely dry before packing it away. If you are caught in a tricky situation where you cannot physically do this, make sure to dry it off at the next possible opportunity.
- Each time to retract your awning, take a moment to check the fabric for rips or other damage. Even minor tears should be repaired immediately.
How often should you inspect your campervan awning
It’s a good idea to give your campervan awning a thorough inspection at least twice a year. It makes sense to do this during your cleaning process. Here are a few things to pay particular attention to:
- Check for any mechanical problems like odd noises, squeaking or resistance when rolling your awning in or out.
- Inspect the awning arms, brackets, and stands for warping, rust, missing screws or other damage.
- Look over the awning end caps. Check for any damage, such as broken or missing rivets.
- Carefully check over the awning fabric for mould, tears, loose seams or stitching, or other damage.
- Retract your campervan awning and test the locking mechanism.
If you notice any of these issues, it’s important to act quickly. Any damage is likely to get worse quickly. This can be dangerous to both you and your motorhome.
Whether you need to organise repairs or consider a new awning, your local RV Super Centre can help. Our team of experienced experts can advise on any repair work needed. And if you decide it’s time for a new awning, they can help you find the best one for your needs.
Tips for setting up your awning safely
The way you set up your awning will vary depending on which type it is. However, there are a few common pointers to take note of:
- Many awnings require two people to set up. Don’t try and do this by yourself. This could result in damage to you or the awning!
- If you are using an awning that requires pegs or tie-downs, be sure not to tighten it too much. This could cause stress on the awning fabric, which can lead to tears and rips.
- You should also make sure that the fabric isn’t flapping around too much in the breeze, as this could increase the risk of damage. If this is the case, consider using an anti-flap kit.
Frequently check the tension of the guy lines, as the weather can cause the level of tightness to change over a period of time.
Here are a few extra safety tips:
- Avoid using heat and flames near your awning (including barbecues and heaters).
- Don’t hang anything heavy from your campervan awning.
- Set your awning with a tilt so that water can’t pool on the surface. Even light drizzle can cause water to pool on your awning, which can cause damage.
The range of campervan awnings and caravan awnings available at RV Super Centre
You’ll also find a wide range of different-sized awnings to suit your particular model of caravan or campervan. We can help you choose an awning that is the perfect size for your intended purpose. You can even narrow it down to the case colour and fabric colour you prefer. Choose from bag awnings, inflatable awnings, wall-mounted awnings or roof-mounted awnings. And if you’re not sure which awning is best for you, the experienced staff at your local RV Super Centre are happy to help.
Keen to keep your campervan awning in great condition?
We hope you’ve found our tips on keeping your campervan awning in great condition useful!
And if it’s time for a new awning, be sure to check out RV Super Centre’s great range in-store or online. We’ve also got all the RV awning parts you need – from rain blockers and sunscreens to roof mounts and wall brackets. If you need any help finding the right awning or awning parts, don’t hesitate to ask one of the experts at your local RV Super Centre. We know our tension rafters from our sail tracks and can help you find exactly what you need!