bing tracking image

Tips on RV Awning Care: Opening, Cleaning, and Replacing Your Awning

content loading

Products Featured in this Video

Tips on RV Awning Care: Opening, Cleaning, and Replacing Your Awning

Randy: Hey, guys. Randy here at we're going over the different types of RV awnings. We get a lot of questions about these, people are sometimes worried that if they use them the wrong way they're going to break them or something like that. Basically, we're going to go over how to deploy them, we're going to go over how to store them. We're going to go over care and maintenance, we're going to go over the different types, and we're going to go over how to choose the right one for your application.So really the most popular question that we get is, "How do I get my RV awning deployed" So we're going to go through the three styles. We've got the older style manual deployment awning.

You'll probably see this is going to be the most difficult to get out. There's a lot steps that we have to do. On our fifth wheel trailer we're going to be using the newer style manual deployment, much easier system. Then finally on our camper trailer we've got a powered system. So you'll see how easy that one is to use as well.All right.

Generally with an older style manual deployment awning we're going to have some keepers right up here. These happen to be just kind of a push button, and they swing out. You might also have a snapper pin that would slide through and snap it. Basically it's keeping two components of the arms together so it doesn't come out. So we want to release those on both sides regardless of what type of fastener you have.

Once we have those out we're going to have knobs generally on the back side. We want to loosen these knobs up. We're going to do that on both sides as well.Now, in your final step you're going to need to use a rod, or in this case a broom handle is what the customer has picked, to release your lever. It's generally going to be located on that front side. Ours has kind of a slider here.

We just need to push that up until that catch, see this little arm right here, until that releases.The next thing we'll need to do is find the strap located here in the middle. Most of these you'll be able to reach up and grab. In some cases you'll need a hook that's on a rod. That hook will go right through the opening here. In our case it's low enough we can get ahold of it. You just want to bring it all the way out till it stops. All right, that looks good there.Next we're going to have our side supports. We loosen that knob on the back here to allow these to expand as we move them forward. You'll see this joint, see I can come together, then it starts to expand out. That's going to come all the way up. Generally these are going to clip into position. You can see that little catch right there, comes out and that's going to hold that in place. Head to the other side, we'll do that there as well.Next thing we're going to do is release our main side arms here. So we'll pull that lever up, that'll allow us to start extending it. Now, as we do do that you'll see the side of our awning starts to come up. Then we'll have to get it in a locked position there. So that's got that side taken care of, let's head over to the other side. We'll come back to our arms on each side and we'll want to tighten down those side supports.Now we've got our pull strap here. This will generally slide over and out of the way. Now, our strap, we'll just tuck it up and out of the way. I really don't like it if it's just hanging down flapping around while you're trying to move around your campsite. So, that's a good area to store it.Now, on the newer style manual they've kind of turned it into a hybrid almost. This uses all of the functions that we generally get out of a powered awning, you're just the motor basically. So we're going to take the provided hook and rod. It's going to go right in here to this catch and then it's just a matter of rotating it. Once we have it deployed the really all there is to it. The only thing we've got to do now is put our rod back away.Now onto our powered awning. Of course, this is going to be the easiest in the bunch. Open your door, hit a button and it starts coming out. Now, of course retracting our power awning is just as simple as deploying it. Just need to hit the retract button. Now for our manual hybrid type just a matter of reversing the process as well.Now for retracting our manual we need to loosen our side supports. Then we'll lift our lever and allow it to tilt down. Then we'll release our side supports here and take them down to their original position. Now we'll take our strap, we need to get this back to the middle. Our next steps going to get our release into the closed position. Just going to pull down on that till we hear it click. You can see that start to go back up. Now, I like to hold this until I get ahold of my handle and then let it go on in. Now, remember you either have snapper pins or these levers that are going to go in. Be sure those click closed on both sides.Now that should take care about how to use the awning properly. As you saw, the older style definitely the toughest. The hybrid and powered, they're about the same as far as getting them out and getting them back in. The next thing we'll move onto is cleaning and care. How to properly clean it, how to properly care for it.Now there are two materials that you need to look out for. The first is going to be a vinyl material like what we have here. You can see no pores in that at all. The other type we're going to have is going to be an acrylic type. Now, that's going to be more of a woven fabric, like what you'd see on a cars top. For either of them, then, you can use the same solution. Either Valterra Awning cleaner, which is commercially available. Or you can use dish soap and water, of course diluted down pretty well.The biggest difference in cleaning them is going to be the brush that you use. On the acrylic type, which is woven, you need to use a little bit stiffer brush because it's porous. You just don't want to get into it too heavy. You don't want to brush too hard because it will have a water resistant coating on top of it. For our vinyl type, like this, we can use a softer brush because it doesn't sink in, it won't get as far down in. Same solution, soap water, awning cleaner, whatever you decide. Then we're going to use that little bit softer brush, brush it on there. Again, this does have a coating on it, the mildew resistant coating. So we don't want to brush too hard. But, either way using one of the solutions or the soap water you should be able to get it nice and clean.Now, once we've got them properly cleaned it's just going to be a matter of hosing them off at that point. The key being that you want to let these dry out thoroughly. If you roll these back up with moisture in them regardless of the mildew protective finish or not, it's probably going to develop some of that inside.Now as far as choosing the right awning for your application it's going to depend on how your situation starts. Since we already have an awning on this camper we're going to come over to our brackets, we're going to measure from the bottom to the top. That gives us our bracket length. Then we'll measure from the center of one to the center of the other, that's going to give us our length. That's really all there is to it.Now, if you're starting without an awning at all you've got some additional options. One requirement that you will have is that we need to have an extrusion. It's just going to be a circle with a slit in it so we can slide our awning in. You'll notice in this case our camper has it the entire length. So, if we chose to we could move our awning position from here. We could bring it back further this was. As long as you've got room for our bracket to fit, it's going to go right on there. On the other end it's kind of the same way. This bracket is set in a little bit from the end of the camper, so we can bring that out further. So just measure your furthest part.Remember if there's a slide out in there, we don't really want to deal with that unless our awning sits way up and over it. So keep that in mind. Then you measure from your extrusion down to see how much length you have. In this case we could have brought these down a little bit further, maybe got a little more length out of our awning. So those are just a couple things that you'll need to have, and if you know that information get the length that most closely matches. Let's say you measure it and it's 17-1/2 feet, you've got the choice between a 17 or an 18 foot awning, they'll want to go with the to 17 footer. If you don't have the extrusion we have it available on our website. You can put it on there, slide your awning in, put in your brackets. You'll be in good shape.Now, one of the benefits I see out of the older style is that we do have adjustability here for pitch. So we can move our bracket up, drop that side down a little bit. That's going to cause our rain water to come off this end. So we can choose which end we want it to come off.Kind of a con that I see to this style are these brackets that stick out. Generally on a hybrid style, or in a powered style, you're really not going to have to worry about it. Those are located up a little bit higher. But, if you do want to get these out of the way most of the time we're able to take these arms off of the camper, bring them out, try to straighten them out, and you'll definitely want to use some stakes down here to keep these from moving. But that'll kind of get that angled bar out of the way and give you a little bit more room to move around.Now, when it comes down to it all of these awnings are going to do a great job. They're going to be effective at keeping some of the water out, keeping everything nice and dry, or keeping us out of the sun. As far as ease of use, of course the powered is going to be the easiest. The hybrid's going to be the second, and the older manual style that's going to take a little bit of effort.Also, with that older manual style it's going to become harder, and harder to find parts. So if you're just trying to fix what you've got might be a good option to stay with that. But if you're looking for a replacement I would definitely upgrade to the manual hybrid. That's my favorite. That's what I would have, that way I just have that stick I know would work every time. With the powered awning as long as you've got a good working battery it's also a very good option. The thing I look about the manual style is that I don't have to run wires. There are powered options, however, that have rechargeable batteries you can plug in and just use them without having to hard-wire anything. So we've got a lot of good options. My favorite one would be manual hybrid.Well guys, I know it's a lot of information. But hopefully it was helpful. Hopefully it'll give you some idea how to use and care for RV awning and get the right one that you're looking for.

Cheryl E.


Is there an open or close lever or button on the hybrid like the release lever on the older type?

Info for these parts were:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K

At we provide the best information available about the products we sell. We take the quality of our information seriously so that you can get the right part the first time. Let us know if anything is missing or if you have any questions.