One of the best parts of RV living is being able to enjoy all the wonders of nature while also having a comfortable and cozy place to retire when the day is done.
An awning is an essential attachment for any RV that lets you fully appreciate the outdoors while staying shaded and protected from the weather, but they do require cleaning from time to time.
How do you clean an RV awning? To clean an RV awning, you’ll need to apply a cleaning solution to the material and then scrub it off before rinsing it away.
The exact product you use will depend on the material the awning is made of, but most of them work in the same fashion.
Being exposed like this means your awning is open to all kinds of potential stains, wear, and damage, not to mention the moisture that creates mold.
With a regular cleaning schedule, you’ll keep your awning in great shape, prevent further damage, and ensure it’s always at its most pristine when you want to get outside and enjoy your surroundings.
- 1 Why Should You Clean Your RV’s Awning?
- 2 How Often to Do the Job
- 3 Matching the Cleaning Product to the Awning Material
- 4 Step by Step Guide to Cleaning an RV Awning
- 5 A Clean Awning for a Beautiful View
- 6 Related Questions
Why Should You Clean Your RV’s Awning?
As with any part of your RV, the awning requires regular cleaning and maintenance.
These attachments act as shade from the sun and rain, so they’ll likely bear the brunt of things like sap stains and bird droppings on an average day.
However, the biggest issue that awnings encounter is mold, and this is caused by a build-up of moisture that’s not allowed to dry or breathe.
When the awning is folded away in readiness to hit the road, it’s common for this mold to develop in these conditions, either because it’s been exposed to rain or there’s just a lot of moisture in the air.
Unfortunately, you don’t notice these unsightly marks until you’ve pulled up somewhere and unfolded it, and the mere sight alone can ruin the scenery for you.
Therefore, some forward planning and a regular cleaning schedule will ensure your views are never disrupted, and keep your awning in good shape.
Without regular cleaning, it’s likely the awning will start to develop holes, tears, and marks from the degradation of these things, which will eventually lead to it needing to be replaced.
Cleaning isn’t just about keeping it looking good but functional as well, and it’s a crucial job to have on your RV must-do list.
How Often to Do the Job
The frequency that you’ll need to clean your RV will depend on how often it’s used, and how dirty it gets in the process.
For those who like to take their RV on short trips or only travel for a few months a year, they only need to perform a deep cleaning once yearly.
This is best done before storing it away and winterizing it in preparation for the colder months.
For everyone else, like the RV owners who use theirs frequently, the best time to clean it is whenever it looks dirty or seems to be in need.
Make a note to inspect it every few months and you’ll usually be able to tell if it needs to be washed down, so you can go right ahead.
Matching the Cleaning Product to the Awning Material
Before you can dive into the job, you’ll need to assess what material your awning is made of and then choose a cleaning product to suit.
If the awning came with the RV, you should be able to find information about it in the owner’s manual, and this can indicate the safest cleaning method as well.
If you’ve purchased the awning as a separate attachment, you should be able to find out what material it’s made of.
The most common materials are acrylic or vinyl, each of which has pros and cons that should be weighed up for your RV’s specific use.
Choose a cleaning product that’s made specifically for this type of material, and there are plenty out there made just for RV awnings to pick from.
These products can be applied as sprays or as a liquid chemical that’s mixed with water and made into a cleaning solution as per the label.
If you’d prefer to make a DIY cleaning solution, only use gentle products that are suitable to the material of the awning.
Before applying the product to the entire awning, spot test in one inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t do any damage or stain it and let it sit there for a few hours before going ahead.
Along with your cleaning product, you’ll also need a hose, scrubbing brush, and a spray bottle to make up the solution.
A vinyl awning should be cleaned with a softer brush but an acrylic awning can be cleaned with a harder one so choose accordingly so you don’t damage the material.
If you think you might not be able to reach it all, a ladder or smaller step can help you to get to the higher spots.
Always be careful when getting up high like this, wear shoes with traction, and have someone with you to keep a lookout for any safety hazards.
Step by Step Guide to Cleaning an RV Awning
Cleaning your RV’s awning isn’t always an enjoyable job, but it’ll keep it in good condition for longer, reduce the risk of degradation, and enhance the beautiful view that you have when you’re outdoors.
Follow these steps to get the job done and clean the awning the easy way.
Use the hose to give the awning a thorough rinse off so you remove any debris and dirt before cleaning. Don’t let it dry as you’ll want it still wet when you apply the cleaning solution.
Start by mixing up the cleaning product as recommended on the label. Pour it into a spray bottle that has a long nozzle or a good reach so you’re able to spray the solution all over the RV’s awning.
Make sure the awning is stabilized and locked in so you can clean it with some force. During the scrubbing stages, you’ll want to go quite hard so it should be securely in place.
Start with the underside of the awning and spray the cleaning solution all over this side of its surface. You want the fabric to be saturated with the cleaning product.
Use your brush to scrub in circular motions across the awning and target any obvious stains as well.
Roll the awning back up into its home so that the solution can get to work and soak through to the other side, leave it there for an hour.
If you’d rather not wait, you can use a long-handled brush or a ladder to apply it topside as well, but it can only sit on there for five minutes maximum or it will dry out and damage the fabric.
Roll the awning back down, stabilize it, and then wash it off with your hose on a high-pressure setting. If needed, scrub some more to remove stubborn stains.
Consider applying a shielding coating when you’re done that prevents UV damage and protects against moisture and mold build-up.
The awning should be completely dry before rolling it back up and storing it away.
A Clean Awning for a Beautiful View
There are many parts and processes in an RV that require your ongoing attention, and keeping the awning clean is just one of them.
A little bit of preparation goes a long way with this job, and ensuring that your awning is in good shape means you’ll be able to enjoy the scenery of the great outdoors and make the most of your RV.
Keeping your RV in good shape is essential for holding its value and making sure you get to enjoy it to its fullest extent.
There’s a lot more to keeping your RV in good condition though, so we’ve answered some commonly asked questions about these campers to give you a push in the right direction.
Can You Pressure Wash RV Awning?
Yes, it is possible to pressure wash an RV awning, provided it’s made of a suitable material that can withstand the force of this type of cleaning.
Pressure washing can potentially harm a thinner fabric or one that already has damaged or holes in it, so it’s not always the best idea.
How Much Wind Can An RV Awning Withstand?
Most awnings can withstand forces around 20mph maximum, but if the wind feels strong and you’re concerned about it, pack it up.
If your RV awning is out when the wind has been forecast, you’ll want to fold it back up and store it away even if you’re not sure what speeds the wind will get up to.