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Awning Care and Maintenance


Check your hardware for operation at the beginning of each season, lubricating buttons, handles, and threaded knobs. Be careful not to get petroleum based lubricants on your awning fabric. Remember to lower one end of your awning if you are going to leave it extended during rain storms and roll up when leaving unattended or during periods of high winds. Most awning damage is related to water pooling on the fabric or awnings torn loose in high winds. Generally speaking neither of these conditions are covered by manufacturer’s warranty.

Vinyl awning fabrics are mildew resistant, mildew will however, form on the tree sap, dirt, and dust that accumulate on an awning in normal use. Periodic cleaning can prevent this.

Clean with a commercial awning cleaner or with a solution of 1/4 cup liquid dish detergent, 1/4 cup household bleach mixed with 5 gallons of water. Extend your awning and swab the fabric using a soft brush, mop, or sponge. This should be applied to the top and bottom. To do the bottom, do the top first then roll up the awning for a few minutes. Extend the awning and rinse well with fresh water. Repeat if necessary. Let dry before rolling up for storage.

Acrylic Awning Care - Our Tiffin Bus came equipped with a 21' 9" A&E 9000 acrylic fabric awning. The awning fabric is supplied by Glen Raven Mills and is designed for easy care and cleaning. With proper care and cleaning, this awning will remain water-resistant and like-new for many years.

Routine maintenance involves nothing more than hosing it off monthly. It is also recommended that you try to NOT roll up the awning while it is wet, since storing the awning wet may foster mildew growth. Also, even if the awning is rolled up, it is a good idea to roll out the awning and let it dry as it will get wet even while closed. This is especially true if it is raining while you are travelling. The fabric dries quickly, so this won't take long.

If more thorough cleaning is necessary, just use a mixture of water and natural soap. Note that "natural soap" is something like Ivory Flakes - do not use a detergent-based soap. If you have mildew present, make up a mixture of four ounces Chlorine bleach, two ounces natural soap and a gallon of water. The procedure for cleaning the awning is as follows:

  1. Start with the awning rolled up and roll out about 3' of awning
  2. Wash the exposed 3' (top side only) and use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the awning to loosen soil and grime
  3. Roll out another 3' and repeat this process until the entire awning is washed.
  4. After you have finished washing the awning, roll the awning back up and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
  5. Unroll the awning all the way and rinse the top and then the bottom thoroughly. It is very important that all the soap be rinsed from the fabric to restore its water repellant capabilities.
  6. Allow the fabric to air-dry.
  7. Apply a thin, even coat of 303 High Tech Fabric Guard. After it has dried, apply a second thin coat.

Note that the awning fabric must NOT be placed in hot water, run through the hot cycle of an automatic dryer nor taken to a dry cleaner to be steam pressed. The fabric should be air-dryed only.

NOTE: If your rig came with this awning and it did NOT come with a center (third) awning post OR a center support cradle, I strongly recommend that you have installed an awning cradle to support the rolled-up awning. This will help prevent your main awning tube from bowing and eventually breaking.


Submitted by Mike Sundberg - 3/14/06

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