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How To Clean An RV Awning: Tips for Upkeep and Maintenance
Introduction to How To Clean an RV Awning
Keeping your RV awning clean is an important part of maintaining its longevity. How often you should wash it depends on how dusty, smoggy, muddy or snowy the area where you park is. In general, washing every few months will be enough to keep it looking good and doing its job well. The following post contains tips for cleaning and maintaining your RVs awning.
Why Is It Important to Maintain Your RV’s Awning?
Awnings are made of fabric, which is subject to dirt and stains. How quickly your awning gets dirty depends on how often it’s used and where you park your RV when not using it.
If the area surrounding your RV park has lots of dust or is very dusty, then regular cleaning will be required for your awnings. How often you wash it will be determined by how dirty and dusty the area around your RV is.
Awnings are not cheap and easily replaced. Just ask your neighbor who forgot to roll his up during that last storm (oops). You will want to maintain the integrity of the materials to ensure a longer awning life.
What Types of Materials Are RV Awnings Made Of (Awning Fabric)?
Most RV awnings are made of acrylic or vinyl. An acrylic awning is a good choice because it doesn’t shrink in the sun and heat as vinyl does. It also has a higher resistance to fading and staining than vinyl does.
It is important to know what materials your RV awning is made of to clean it properly. How you clean it will depend on the type of material your awning is made of. You will want to avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the fabric.
Can I Roll Up My Awning When It is Wet?
Some people think that because an awning is made of fabric, it can be rolled up when it’s wet. This is not the case. Rolling up an awning when it’s wet will damage the fabric and shorten its life span. Be sure to allow your awning to dry completely before folding it up for storage.
There are exceptions to this rule. You will want to make sure to put away your awning in any weather conditions that produce high winds or gusts. These types of situations can rip or tear an awning right off of your vehicle.
If you have to put away your awning when it is wet, be sure to unroll it as soon as possible to allow it to dry. You may also want to take some extra steps to reduce the possibility of mold or mildew.
How To Store Your Awning To Prevent Mold and Mildew
If you are not going to be using your RV for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to store your awning. You will want to make sure that you keep your awning as dry and free of debris as possible. Wiping it clean will ensure that it is free of dirt, dust, or residual moisture.
How Do I Remove Mildew From RV Awnings
If you find mildew or mold on your RV awning, it is important to tackle the problem right away. The best way to do this is to use a mixture of water, vinegar, and baking soda. Be sure to test this mixture in an inconspicuous area before using it on the entire awning.
Make sure to rinse the awning thoroughly after using the mixture. You will also want to allow the fabric to dry completely before folding it up for storage.
How Often Should It Be Cleaned?
Your RV awning should be cleaned regularly, depending on the environment where you park your RV. In general, washing every few months will be enough to keep it looking good and doing its job well.
The Best Way to Clean RV Awnings
There are a few ways to clean an RV awning. You can use a garden hose, a pressure washer, or a cleaning solution.
If you choose to use a garden hose, be sure to adjust the water pressure so that it is not too forceful. This could damage the fabric of your RV awning. This is especially true if you plan to use a pressure washer. The force of the water may tear or damage your property if not used carefully.
- Wet your awning using one of the methods above (sponge, soft brush, garden hose, pressure washer*)
- Use a soap and water mixture and scrub the awning using a non-abrasive rag or sponge. Be sure to clean both the underneath and top.
- Let dry completely before rolling up.
- You can use protectants and other products at this point if you choose (suggested products listed below).
*not recommended by Tin Can Living
Tips and Tricks From the Pros
Here are some tips and tricks from the professionals at How to Clean an RV Awning.
– If you are using a sponge, make sure that it is clean and free of any dirt or debris before cleaning your awning with it. This will prevent scratching or damaging your fabric during this process.
– Be careful about how much water pressure you use when cleaning your RV awning with a garden hose. You don’t want to damage the fabric by using too much force.
– If you find that your RV awning is stained, consider using a cleaning solution specifically designed for this purpose. Many products on the market can help remove tough stains from an awning.
– Always allow your RV awning to dry completely before folding it up for storage. This will help reduce the likelihood of mold or mildew forming on the fabric.
-Common stains on awnings include tree sap, bugs, plant life, bird droppings, and more. A little elbow grease and regular cleanings will help to keep these nuisances from making permanent marks.
Best Products For Cleaning an RV Awning
Here are some of the best products and awning cleaners for use on your RV
Can I Use Bleach To Clean My Awning?
Using bleach on your awning is not recommended. Bleach breaks down the plastic and can cause discoloration or weakening of the fabric. That being said, if you are in an absolute pinch, it may be okay to use some diluted bleach water (about ½ cup for every one gallon). Just make sure that you get all of the solutions off the awning as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may end up with streaks or spots on your fabric. Test the bleach solution in a tiny spot before using it on larger areas.
If you are not comfortable using bleach or any other harsh chemicals, there are plenty of safe and effective homemade solutions that you can use to clean your awning. Vinegar and water is popular and effective choice using dish soap and warm water.
You can also buy commercial awning cleaning solutions from most RV stores or online retailers. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the safe use of these products.
Can My Awning Be Pressure Washed?
This was briefly discussed above.
In general, awnings are not pressure-washed. You can clean them manually or with a garden hose and soap solution. However, it is important to use the gentlest method you have available to avoid damaging your fabric or metal frame.
Can I Use My RV Awning In The Rain? How About Snow Or High Winds?
It is best not to use your RV awning in the rain, snow, or high winds. Doing so can cause water to seep underneath the fabric and into the frame, damaging both the awning and your RV. Awnings are made to withstand light rain and wind, but they should not be used in extreme conditions.
What If I Have To Replace My Awning?
If your awning has seen better days and you need to replace it, expect the cost for this repair to range from $200 – $500+, depending on its size (most run between 12’-14’) and fabric type. Most RV stores offer replacement options in stock; however, if you need a custom-sized awning, you will likely have to order it from an online retailer.
Where To Buy
The best place to buy an awning for your RV is online. Not only are you able to find the perfect fit based on size, color, and fabric type, but if you order from Amazon or another reputable retailer that offers free shipping (like Camco), then there will be no additional costs in getting your awning installed.
Installing an RV awning is not difficult, but it will require two people and some basic tools. You can either do it yourself or have a professional install it for you. If you choose to install it yourself, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely; and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call the retailer or the awning manufacturer for help.
Awnings are a great addition to any RV, and by following these tips for upkeep and maintenance, you can ensure that your awning will last for years to come.
Conclusion: How To Clean an RV Awning
With these tips, you’ll be able to keep your RV awning clean and looking like new. For more tips about maintaining the upkeep of your RV, check out our other articles or contact us today!
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