How to Choose the Right Awning for Your Recreational Vehicle
Choosing the right RV awning for your rig can greatly enhance your outdoor experience while on the road. Whether you're driving a Class A or C Motorhome, Class B Camper Van, or hauling a Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer, here we will cover everything you need to know about RV Awnings - from choosing the right one for your Recreational Vehicle to making a decision to either install it yourself or hire a professional. Let's get started...
What are the Benefits of RV Awnings?
Here's a list of amazing benefits that come with having an RV awning, making it a must-have for experienced campers:
Outdoor Comfort: An RV awning provides a cozy and shaded outdoor space, allowing you to relax and enjoy the fresh air while being protected from the sun's rays. It creates a comfortable oasis where you can lounge, dine, or simply unwind with family and friends.
Extended Living Space: With an awning, you effectively expand the usable living area of your RV. It's like adding an extra room to your mobile home, giving you more space to move around, entertain guests, or indulge in your favorite outdoor activities.
Weather Protection: Whether it's a sudden rain shower or intense sunlight, an awning acts as a shield, keeping you dry and providing shade. It allows you to enjoy the outdoors regardless of the weather conditions, enhancing your camping experience.
Versatility: RV awnings are versatile companions. They can be used not only for shading and rain protection but also as a cover for outdoor furniture, grilling areas, or even as a makeshift storage space. Their flexibility adds functionality to your outdoor setup.
Energy Efficiency: Awnings can help regulate the temperature inside your RV by blocking direct sunlight from entering through windows. By reducing the amount of heat absorbed, they contribute to energy efficiency and help keep your RV cool, ultimately saving on air conditioning costs.
Privacy and Security: By extending the covered area around your RV, an awning offers additional privacy from neighboring campers. It creates a sense of personal space, allowing you to enjoy your surroundings without feeling exposed. It can also serve as an extra barrier against potential intruders.
Aesthetics and Personalization: RV awnings come in various colors, patterns, and designs, allowing you to add a touch of personal style to your outdoor space. They can complement the overall look of your RV and create a visually appealing campsite that reflects your taste.
Easy Setup and Convenience: While it may take some practice to master, setting up an RV awning becomes a breeze once you get the hang of it. Many awnings are designed for easy deployment, and some even feature electric mechanisms for effortless operation, ensuring a hassle-free camping experience.
Campsite Enjoyment: Awnings facilitate an enhanced camping lifestyle by providing a designated outdoor area for gathering, relaxing, and making cherished memories. Whether it's enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or hosting a cozy evening get-together, your awning creates the perfect ambiance for joyful campsite enjoyment.
Increased Resale Value: Investing in an RV awning can enhance the overall value of your recreational vehicle. Potential buyers often see the added benefit of an awning, making it an appealing feature that can positively impact the resale value of your RV.
Embrace the delightful advantages of having an RV awning and unlock a world of outdoor comfort, versatility, and relaxation during your camping adventures.
RVPandA Pro Tip: If you have visitors and need more indoor space than your rig allows - consider want to expand your outdoor living space with an additional indoor living-room, consider adding the Carefree of Colorado Vacation’R Room. This room fits all traditional and 12Volt Patio Awnings with an 8-foot extension.
What to Look for When Buying an Awning
Here are some important factors to consider when selecting an RV awning:
- Size and Type: The first thing to consider is the size and type of awning that will fit your RV. Measure the length of your RV's awning rail and choose an awning that matches that length. There are two main types of awnings: manual, electric or power awnings. Manual Awnings are affordable and easy to operate but take more manpower to set up, while Electric or Automatic Power Awnings offer added convenience and ease of use.
- Locate the spot where the awning attaches to your RV. This is typically above a door or window and will be where the awning rail is located.
- Look for a long metal channel that runs parallel to the side of your RV. This channel is the awning rail.
- If you're having trouble finding the awning rail, try feeling along the top of the RV's sidewall for a long, narrow groove.
- Use a tape measure to measure the length of the awning rail from end to end. Make sure to measure the actual length of the rail, and not the length of your RV.
- Record the length of the awning rail in inches or feet and inches. This measurement will help you to choose the correct size awning for your RV.
It's important to measure the awning rail accurately, as this will ensure that your new RV awning fits properly and operates smoothly. If you're still having trouble finding the awning rail, consult your RV owner's manual or reach out to the experts here at RVPandA.com via email Traveling@RVPandA.com or by phone and we will be glad to assist. Or, if you prefer face-to-face assistance, bring you RV to one of our Kunes RVPandA locations and we can help you to get an accurate measurement and make awning recommendations.
- Material: RV awnings are made from a variety of materials - including vinyl, woven acrylic fabric, and polyester. Vinyl is durable and easy to clean, while woven acrylic fabric offers better resistance to fading and mildew. Polyester is lightweight and easy to handle, making it a popular choice for RVers who frequently set up and take down their awning.
- Color and Design: Choose an awning color and design that complements the exterior of your RV and reflects your personal style. There are a variety of colors and patterns available to choose from, so take your time to find the one that best fits your aesthetic preferences.
- Features: Consider what additional features you may want in an awning. For example, some awnings come with built-in LED lights, which can provide added visibility and ambiance during nighttime activities, but many campers prefer to buy their own LED Lights or Rope Lights separately and install on their own. Others may come with adjustable legs or tie-downs to provide added stability and support during windy conditions.
- Price: Finally, determine how much you are willing to spend on an awning. Setting a budget will help you narrow down your options and find awnings within your preferred price range.
What is the Best Replacement RV Awning?
The best replacement RV awning will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Here are a few popular options to consider:
- Dometic RV Manual Awnings: These manual awnings is made with heavy-duty vinyl and features a sturdy aluminum roller tube. It's available in a range of sizes and colors to fit any RV.
- Dometic RV Power Awnings: These awnings offer double sided vinyl fabric with weather shield. Convenient, wall mounted, one touch operation.
- Carefree of Colorado Manual RV Awning: This manual awning is made with durable vinyl and features a robust spring assembly for easy operation. It comes with a wide range of customization options, including different colors, sizes, and fabric types. Check out all of the Carefree Awning and Awning Accessories that RVPandA carries HERE.
- Solera by LIPPERT - Universal Power Awning: his electric awning features a one-touch operation and an adjustable pitch for added shade. It's made with durable fabric and comes in a range of sizes and colors.
- Solera by LIPPERT - Slide Topper: This awning is designed specifically for slide-out RVs and helps to protect the slide-out from debris and water. It's available in a range of sizes and colors.
- Awning Fabric: If you're looking for a more affordable replacement option, you can consider replacing just the awning fabric. Both Dometic RV and Carefree of Colorado offer a range of durable, high-quality fabric options in a variety of colors and sizes.
When choosing a replacement RV awning, consider factors like material quality, ease of installation, and customization options. Also, make sure to measure your existing awning rail accurately to ensure that you choose the right size awning for your RV, (follow the instructions above under "Size and Type" to accurately measure the awning for your RV).
Can I Replace My RV Awning Myself, or Should I Take it to an RV Dealer for Installation?
Replacing an RV awning is indeed a doable DIY (Do It Yourself) project for those who possess a certain level of comfort and experience with hands-on tasks. However, before embarking on this journey, there are a few factors to consider:
Skill and Confidence: Assess your DIY skills and comfort level with tools and manual work. Replacing an RV awning requires some mechanical know-how and attention to detail. If you're an experienced DIY enthusiast and feel confident in your abilities, you might be ready to take on the challenge.
Safety Precautions: Keep in mind that working with an RV awning involves heights and potential hazards. Ensure you have the necessary safety equipment, such as a stable ladder, protective gear, and a buddy to assist you if needed. Safety should always be a top priority.
Time and Patience: Replacing an RV awning can be a time-consuming process, especially if you're doing it for the first time. Allow ample time for research, preparation, and the actual installation. Patience is key to ensure a proper and successful replacement.
If you're uncertain about any of the above factors or simply prefer professional assistance, taking your RV to an authorized RV dealer or a specialized service center is a smart choice. Here's why:
Expertise and Experience: RV dealers and service centers have trained technicians with extensive knowledge and experience in handling RV awnings. They possess the expertise to ensure the installation is done correctly and efficiently.
Warranty Considerations: If your RV or awning is still under warranty, having the replacement performed by an authorized dealer or service center can help safeguard your warranty coverage. They are well-versed in adhering to manufacturer guidelines, and protecting your investment.
Convenience and Support: Taking your RV to a dealer or service center saves you the time and effort of researching, gathering tools, and going through the installation process yourself. It provides peace of mind knowing that professionals are taking care of the task, and they can offer support and advice if any issues arise.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to your comfort level, skills, and preferences. If you're confident in your abilities and have the necessary tools and safety measures in place, DIY replacement can be a rewarding experience. However, if you prefer professional expertise, convenience, and warranty protection, seeking assistance from an RV dealer or service center is the way to go.
If you're in the Midwestern Region of the US - consider taking your rig to one of Kunes RV's locations. Make sure to reach out to the Service Department in advance to schedule an appointment!
What is the Most Important Factor When it Comes to Choosing an RV Awning
When it comes to selecting the ideal RV awning, many campers believe the most significant factor to consider is how easily it can be deployed. This aspect can make all the difference in your outdoor experience. While electric or power awnings may have a higher price tag, they offer unparalleled convenience. With just the simple press of a button, the awning can be fully deployed in a matter of 30-60 seconds.
Are Retractable Awnings OK in the Wind?
While it's important to exercise caution and retract your awnings on windy days, fear not, for your awning is usually built to withstand the wind levels commonly encountered during mild thunderstorms. However, it's crucial to note that retractable awnings should not be subjected to sustained wind speeds exceeding 25 miles per hour. By adhering to this guideline, you can safeguard your awning from irreversible harm.
What is the Life Expectancy of RV Awnings?
The life expectancy of an RV Awning is an important consideration indeed! While it's not uncommon to have an awning that lasts a lifetime, such instances are rather rare. As a general guideline, you can typically anticipate your RV awning to endure anywhere from 5 to 15 years of faithful service before it may require replacement. It's always wise to keep this rule of thumb in mind when assessing the longevity of your beloved awning.
What is the Downside of Retractable Awnings?
While retractable RV Awnings offer various benefits, they do come with a few downsides. One of the main downsides is the need for maintenance and cleaning. Here are some specific considerations regarding maintenance and cleaning:
Regular cleaning: Awnings can accumulate dirt, dust, and debris over time, especially if they are exposed to the outdoor elements. Regular cleaning is necessary to maintain their appearance and functionality. This can involve washing the fabric, removing any stains, and cleaning the metal parts. RVPandA Pro Tip: Try using a Professional Awning Cleaner to clean your Awning.
Fabric care: The fabric of the awning requires proper care to ensure its longevity. Different types of fabrics may have specific cleaning instructions, and using the wrong cleaning methods or harsh chemicals could damage the fabric. Additionally, exposure to sunlight and weather conditions can cause the fabric to fade or deteriorate over time.
Metal Parts Maintenance: Retractable patio awnings have various metal components, such as the frame, hinges, and arms. These parts may require occasional lubrication or adjustment to ensure smooth operation. If the metal parts are not properly maintained, they can rust, corrode, or become stuck, affecting the functionality of the awning. RVPandA Pro Tip: Use a Dry Lubricant. Be careful NOT to lubricate the canvas, because it can stain the material. Try the Thetford Slide-Out Dry Lube which can double for lubricating your slide outs too!
Potential for Mold or Mildew: If the awning remains wet for extended periods or is not adequately dried after rain or cleaning, it can create a favorable environment for the growth of mold or mildew. This can be a health concern and may require additional cleaning and treatment. RV PandA Pro Tip: Try either BEST Awning Cleaning Spray or Thetford Foaming Awning Cleaner.
Time and Effort: Maintaining and cleaning an awning can be time-consuming and require some effort. Depending on the size of the awning and the extent of dirt or damage, cleaning and maintenance tasks may need to be performed periodically, adding to the owner's responsibilities.
Overall, while the maintenance and cleaning requirements of retractable patio awnings are not necessarily a significant downside, they do require some effort and attention to ensure the awning remains in good condition and functions properly.
Elevate Your Outdoor Living Space with RV Awning Accessories
RV awning accessories are additional products or attachments that enhance the functionality, convenience, and comfort of your recreational vehicle (RV) awning. These accessories are designed to provide shade, protection, and added features to make your outdoor experience more even enjoyable while camping or traveling in your RV. Here are some popular RV awning accessories:
Awning Sunscreens: Sunscreens are mesh panels or screens that attach to your RV awning, providing shade and privacy. They block the sun's glare and UV rays while allowing air circulation and visibility.
Awning Lights: LED awning lights are a popular accessory that can be attached to the awning roller tube or arms. These lights provide illumination during nighttime, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere outside your RV.
Awning Mats: Also known as patio mats or outdoor rugs, awning mats are large, durable, and weather-resistant mats designed to be placed under your awning. They provide a clean and comfortable space to relax, preventing dirt, mud, or grass from getting inside your RV.
Awning De-Flapper: De-flapper kits consist of clamps or straps that attach to the RV awning and secure it against wind movement. They help prevent the awning fabric from flapping, reducing noise and potential damage during windy conditions.
Awning Tie-Downs: Tie-downs are straps or ropes used to secure the awning firmly to the ground, providing stability during windy weather. They help prevent the awning from being lifted or damaged by strong gusts of wind.
Awning Room Enclosures: These accessories transform the space under your RV awning into a screened-in room, extending your living area and keeping bugs and insects out. They typically include zippered panels, mesh windows, and privacy curtains.
Awning Hangers: Hangers are attachments that can be clamped onto the RV awning arms, allowing you to hang items such as lights, decorations, plants, or clotheslines.
Awning Repair Kits: Repair kits are handy accessories that include patches, adhesive, and other tools to fix minor tears or damages to your RV awning fabric. They can help you make temporary or permanent repairs on the go.
Picture yourself relaxing under the shade of your perfectly tailored awning, enjoying the ultimate protection from the elements while adding exciting features to your outdoor haven. From stylish sunscreens that block harmful UV rays to enchanting awning lights that create a magical atmosphere after sunset, RVPandA has you covered. With top-notch awning accessories from the best brands, you can transform your camping adventures into unforgettable experiences. Get ready to embrace the joy of outdoor living and be the happiest camper around!
Take note that specific awning accessories and their compatibility may vary depending on the type and model of your RV awning. It's important to check the manufacturer's recommendations and guidelines when choosing and installing your awning accessories.
From all of us here at Kunes RVPandA, we wish you happy travels and smooth awning replacements, whether you choose to embark on the DIY adventure or seek professional help!
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