The awning is one of those have-to-have accessories that at 3 am, with a howling wind , you wish
you didn't have. Who can remember the dozen or so steps required to lower the thing under these
conditions ? Have you ever awakened after that midsummer overnight thunderstorm and your awning is sagging
alarmingly? Have you ever tried to empty the hundred or so gallons of water that has collected in that sagging
awning ? Trust me when I say that you don't need to go through that "joy " of camping.
The awning is designed as a sunshade, period. If, perhaps, it starts to sprinkle a bit and also
kicks up a mild breeze - don't worry - your awning can handle that. But if those dark clouds are building on the
horizon and the birds are seeking shelter, then you really should consider rolling up. And you really should
consider rolling up, NOW.
Practice rolling up your awning on a calm day until you have the procedure memorized. Then do the
same thing while blindfolded, with someone spraying a hose in your face. This will simulate a typical emergency
storm take-down. Except for the wind, of course. For this simulation you will need three fairly burly guys, all
yanking the awning in a different direction at once. Once you have gone through the preceding exercise, you will
understand why the experienced camper will take down the awning at the first sign of trouble.
After being rolled up and possibly damp for several months your awning will appreciate a good
airing out and a bath with warm water and a mild detergent. Use a car wash type brush to scrub the surface of both
the top and the underside. A little WD-40 on the moving parts helps to free up and protect these components. Dry it
thoroughly before re-rolling it.
Lower one end of your open awning to allow rainwater to drain off. Peg down the awning feet when
the awning is free standing so that a gust of wind will not flip over the awning. Also, the awning may be strapped
down with the special awning straps available at your local RV store. If you suspect
a strong wind or storm is coming the safest thing to do is roll up the awning.