Dave Solberg

The Ins and Outs of RV Awnings

Dave Solberg
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  • In-depth Instruction; over 65 mins
  • On-demand video access anytime
  • Bonus downloadable PDF resources
  • Access to class Q&A
  • Available for purchase: $39.99
For years, A&E has been the mainstay for RV awnings. But today, we see several choices – from Carefree of Colorado to Lippert Components (LCI). Awnings today help shade a wide variety of areas such as the patio, windows, doors, and even slide rooms. You can even upgrade the old manual version to an electric model with a remote!
Manual awnings are fairly easy to operate, even with one person. Knowing the proper procedure is important to reduce binding and fighting a locked arm knob or locked fabric roller tube assembly (FRTA). Awnings require very little maintenance, however it’s a good idea to lubricate the locking mechanisms and any moving arms with silicone spray lubricant. Allow the awning to dry before rolling it up, otherwise mold and mildew will form. Clean the awning periodically and condition the fabric with an approved conditioner once a year to keep it moisture resistant.
An electric awning needs 12-volt power supplied typically by the house batteries. These open/close with the touch of a button. Just as with a manual awning, there is very little maintenance other than lubricating the moving parts and keeping the fabric clean and dry before storing it. It’s also a good idea to condition the fabric once a year.
A slide room awning is designed to keep sticks, branches, and other debris from falling on top of the slide room. If the room is retracted with this debris, it will tear the seal and allow moisture to penetrate. Periodically checking the condition of the fabric, lubricating the moving parts, and checking the sag is important.
Once a slide room awning gets torn or severely weathered, it’s a good idea to replace it. Fabric material is available from most dealers and can be installed easily with two people, ladders, and a good understanding of how the fabric attaches to the awning rail and the FRTA.
Awnings have relatively few moving parts – the Fabric Roll Tube Assembly (FRTA), the torsion springs inside the FRTA, and the main arms. Troubleshooting a stuck or hard-to-extend/retract awning is typically done by locating the component that is bent or broken in the case of a torsion spring. Another issue that can occur is misaligned fabric. If you pull the FRTA from the side rather than the middle this will create a “stair stepping” pattern of the fabric during retraction.
The awnings of yesterday had very few options for accessories other than hanging mini-lights or drying clothes. Today, there are several accessories that can be added including LED lights, sun screens, and even entire sun rooms! Even the basic manual awnings have a slot on the FRTA to slide in a banner, flag, or other fun accessories.
Learn more about your instructor, Dave Solberg.
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9 Lessons
1  hrs 5  mins

RV awnings serve many purposes, and are a great feature to have on any RV to maximize your camping and traveling experience.

Awnings can provide shade and protection from rain, protect from debris, and even extend the amount of living area you can use.

Awnings come in many styles, colors and lengths, and serve different functions. The basic awning is used on the passenger side of the RV to provide shade and protection for the patio area.

Other awnings include window awnings that will provide shade and a cooler interior, and slide room awnings that will help keep acorns, sticks, leaves, and other debris from dropping on the top of the room. If the room is retracted with this debris, it will tear up the seal and cause moisture issues.

There are also awnings for front entry doors on the diesel pushers, as well as a whole host of accessories.

Most awnings require little maintenance. However, it’s a good idea to clean and dry the awning fabric before putting it away, and condition the fabric once a year to help keep it resistant from moisture.

This class will help identify the type of fabric your awning has, acrylic or vinyl, and what conditioner is best. You’ll also learn some tips on troubleshooting a broken or non-operating awning, as well as a bent slider arm.

In addition to the detailed video instruction you’ll receive, this class provides you with some downloadable information including a detailed Class Guide you can follow and use as a reminder for the key points of the class instruction and resource documents that will help you with maintenance and troubleshooting on some of the most popular types of awnings.

Dave Solberg

Dave Solberg is the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. For over 25 years, Dave has conducted a wide range of RV maintenance and safety seminars, developed dealer and owner training programs, written RV safety and handyman articles, authored an RV handbook reference guide and logged over 100,000 miles on the road in an RV.

Dave Solberg

Bonus materials available after purchase

The Ins and Outs of RV Awnings Purchase this class for $39.99.