One of the main reasons we travel in RVs and campers is to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors. Unlike other methods of travel or camping, RVs allow you to experience nature from the comfort of your very own doorstep. With each and every stop you make, you can take in a stunning new view.
With this in mind, an RV awning is an essential part of your overall RV setup. An RV awning extends your living space into the great outdoors, allowing you to spend even more time (comfortably!) appreciating nature. Without an RV awning for protection from the elements, you could miss out on the very reason you hit the road in the first place.
In this article, we’ll go over different types of RV awnings and materials, popular awning upgrades, and maintenance tips to help you create the perfect setup. Once your new-and-improved RV awning is in place, come stay with us at Silver Spur RV Park and experience the beauty of Silverton, Oregon!
Different Types of RV Awnings
Slide-out or roll-out awnings are probably the most common type of RV awning. Most roll-out awnings are manual, but they’re pretty easy to operate. There are also mechanical, slide-out awnings that require less manual labor. Though manual awnings are more budget-friendly and easier to repair or replace if needed.
Automatic RV awnings are becoming more popular with each passing year as technology improves. They’re super convenient and can transform your outdoor living area with just a quick click of a button. On the downside, automatic awnings tend to be more expensive than manual RV awnings and can be more complex and costly to fix if something goes awry.
Some RVs or campers come with fixed awnings - AKA permanent awnings. However, these aren’t as popular because they don’t offer as much flexibility and can easily fall off while driving.
Most Popular RV Awning Materials
The two most durable and popular RV awning materials are heavy-duty vinyl and marine-grade acrylic. Because acrylic is a woven fabric, it provides more air circulation, resulting in a cooler type of shade - perfect for hot weather. On the downside, acrylic fabrics are less waterproof and durable than vinyl. As a less-permeable fabric, vinyl is more likely to hold up against harsh weather, grime, UV rays, and pollution over time. Canvas is the third type of material to consider. Though less common, it’s considered more environmentally friendly than acrylic or vinyl.
Factors like your climate, location, travel preferences and awning style (automated, fixed, etc.) will help you determine which awning material is best for your RV or camper. A snowbird constantly chasing the sun might be better off with an acrylic awning, whereas a PNW RVer might prefer vinyl.
How to Upgrade Your RV Awning
If you’re looking to improve your RV awning, there are many upgrades and accessories to help:
Fabric Replacements: One easy way to upgrade an old, damaged, or leaky RV awning is to replace the fabric. An 8-foot-by-14-foot fabric replacement for your RV might cost anywhere from $200-400 dollars, depending on the material you choose and other factors.
Awning Extensions: If your goal is to maximize your awning space, you may want to consider an awning extension. Extensions can provide around 8 feet of additional covered space, perfect for larger families or those who love to host.
Awning Room Attachments: An awning room attachment transforms your RV awning into an enclosed living space. There are many different sizes and styles available; some are more open-air with screened siding to keep out bugs, while others are more private, tent-like, and suitable for sleeping.
Awning Mats: RV awning mats are both practical and aesthetically pleasing. They help create a flat, level surface under your awning to keep your chairs, tables, etc. more securely in place. This will surely come in handy if you’ll be parking on different types of terrain. Mats also come in a wide range of colors and patterns to add a bit of flair to your patio space.
Stabilizer Kit: If you frequently camp in areas with high wind speeds, an RV awning stabilizer kit could be a valuable upgrade and help prevent damage.
Sunblockers: If your main concern is keeping out of the sun and protecting your family from harmful UV rays, sunscreen or sun blocker shades are also available.
LED Lighting: Adding a bit of lighting to your RV awning can help with safety and visibility at night and also make your outdoor space more beautiful and inviting.
When Not to Use an RV or Trailer Awning
If you have an extendable RV awning, it’s best to roll it up or slide it in when it’s not in use and never leave it out unattended. While RV awnings can provide protection from some light rain, they usually aren’t designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, especially if the pitch of the awning is less than 14° (to the horizontal). Excessive weight from heavy rain or snow is a safety hazard and can damage your RV.
RV Canopy & Awning Maintenance
To keep your RV awning in good condition and prolong its lifespan, it is recommended that you wash it at least once a year. It’s important to know what kind of material your awning is made of and wash it accordingly. Specific awning cleaners can be found at most RV supply stores. Additionally, to avoid mold and mildew, be sure to let your awning dry completely before storing it.
You should also inspect your awning at least twice a year to identify and address any issues before they can surprise you while you’re on the road. Depending on what type of RV awning you have, you may need to lubricate the moving parts.
Benefits of an RV or Camper Awning
RV or camper awnings allow you to enjoy your RV or camper to its full potential! Here are some of the key benefits of RV awnings:
They provide shade to help keep you cool in hot, sunny weather and can even protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
They provide shelter from the rain.
They help make your camper more versatile and comfortable in a range of different climates.
They help create an outdoor living area so you can maximize space. There’s no better place to drink your morning coffee, enjoy a meal, read, journal, play cards, or sip some wine!
They encourage you to spend more time outdoors and enjoy the natural scenery, which can work wonders for your mental health!
They can add to the overall ambiance and make your setup more inviting and enjoyable.
They can also encourage you to socialize with your neighbors and fellow RVers, helping you feel a stronger sense of community on the road.
Put Those RV Awnings to Use in Silverton, Oregon!
Here in Silverton, Oregon, you will get plenty of use out of your RV awning, whether you use it for shade during the warm summer months or for cover from light rain during the winter. Silver Spur RV Park & Resort is open year-round and there’s something magical and unique about each different season in Silverton. We can’t wait to host you and help you experience it all!