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Can I Leave My RV Awning Out In The Rain?

    Updated December 11, 2022

    An awning is among the most well-liked extras for any RV. Campers imagine a covered patio area where they may escape the sun’s heat and get some shelter from the rain. But whether or not these fabric shade coverings withstand harsh weather is debatable. It might be challenging to know whether to use an awning and when to reel them in.

    You may have considered whether or not to leave your camper’s awning out when it rains if you own an RV or fifth wheel. You would be right if you assumed that your RV’s awning would be damaged by the severe downpour. A heavy downpour of rain can put a lot of strain on your awning, causing the roller to buckle. Although you might be able to get your insurance carrier to pay for this costly repair or replacement. In response, you can leave your awning out as long as it is not a torrential downpour.

    Can You Leave Your RV Awning Out in the Rain?

    RVers are typically shielded from the weather by an awning. So it seems obvious to leave it open for shelter while taking a shower, right? Two characteristics of a downpour could persuade you to roll that material up at the first sign of a drizzle.

    As water builds up in your awning, the cloth will get heavier and heavier until it eventually rips. Additionally, the majority of thunderstorms are accompanied by strong winds that can completely destroy an open shelter. So you might get used to closing your awning to prevent similar mishaps.

    You might occasionally have a camper awning with a self-dumping system. This eliminates the need for you to manually lay down your run-off. Instead, it will stretch back up on its own and lower itself until it reaches a particular level of water. Additionally, these awnings contain a measurement system that allows you to choose the height at which your awning should retract. You can typically adjust in 1 inch steps. The majority of RV owners advise adjusting this setting by 2 inches.

    According to RV owners’ experiences, the awning has seldom ever been harmed by rain on its own. But a combination of strong winds, rain, and other thunderstorm-like events can seriously harm your awning. Ultimately, you shouldn’t extend your awning if you anticipate a strong thunderstorm or other hazardous weather. However, if all that is happening is rain, you should be fine. Even if it’s occasionally unavoidable to have your awning damaged, if you have good insurance, any damage should be repaired right away.

    Rain by itself won’t do much damage to your awning; instead, you should be more concerned about strong gusts. Many RV owners advise getting awning clamps. Even in the strongest winds, these clamps will help keep your awning in place. Clamps can be quite useful to protect your awning from the typical thunderstorm, even though the force won’t be much in comparison to a tornado or hurricane. Simply roll up the awning until the storm has passed if you anticipate strong gusts that your clamps won’t be able to withstand.

    You may need to decide for yourself if it is preferable to keep your awning out while it is raining depending on the type of awning you have. It would be simple to extend or retract your awning immediately before a storm if you have an electric awning. To the point where you are rushing the clock, it could be more of a nuisance if you have to complete everything manually. The finest thing you can do while traveling is to be conscious of your surroundings and the weather. Always keep a few clamps and an extension handy for releasing accumulated water (if this is something your awning does when it rains).

    Tips for Leaving Your Awning Out in the Rain

    Let’s examine a few strategies for preventing awning damage during a thunderstorm or monsoon shower.

    Angle It at a Slope

    Rain frequently collects in pockets on top of the awning, stretching the fabric. Tilt the canopy so that one side is lower than the other to prevent this during a storm. Because of the angle, water will be able to run off and remain outstretched, providing you with some rain protection.

    Never Leave It Unattended

    Whenever you leave for the day, shut up your awning. Never go unattended with it. The cloth on the roller bar or arms could be destroyed if the wind and rain pick up. Or during a storm, standing water on the awning can become so heavy that it collapses. Your RV may also sustain damage from the bent or broken awning’s metal arms or other attachments. Before you leave your campground for any amount of time, put it in to save yourself some frustration.

    Close it when there is Winds

    Pull your awning in promptly if there are any wind warnings in the forecast. Destructive winds frequently blow up quickly. Be sure to act swiftly because a single strong gust could cause serious harm.

    How Much Wind Will An RV Awning Take?

    While rain is one of the more dangerous weather events that could affect your RV’s awning, high winds have the potential to do equally as much damage. If you have a manual or electric awning, you will ultimately need to roll it in when a storm approaches. Knowing how much wind your awning can withstand can help you decide when to roll it in. The answer to this issue will depend on the type of awning you own, but generally speaking, it is recommended that you start thinking about pulling your RV’s awning inside at 25 mph.

    Everyone will choose a different wind speed at which to retract their awning, but it is recommended to do so as soon as you begin to feel uneasy. Your awning will lose durability over time as it experiences wear and strain. In other words, ultimately your awning won’t be able to withstand the same wind speeds that it could when you originally bought it.

    The wind catching your awning and slightly shaking your bus back and forth are two signs that the wind is getting too strong. Another sign would be if your awning is making a loud noise while it is flapping vigorously. You can usually hear this more clearly at night.

    Are RV Awnings Waterproof?

    It’s crucial to have a waterproof awning for your camper, fifth wheel, or RV. Making ensuring the cloth is waterproof would be particularly crucial because some camper owners buy awnings specifically for weather protection. The awning you buy will typically be weatherproof (sometimes the packaging will say water-resistant, this is essentially the same thing, but different wording). However, after a few years, typically two or more, your waterproofing may start to wear out.

    You could be asking how to waterproof the awning on your own if it isn’t waterproofed, has lost its waterproofing, or you are making your own. You can carry out this using a wide range of products that you can buy at a nearby shop or on Amazon. There are numerous sealant sprays available on the market, as well as totally waterproof goods like Flex Seal. Flex Seal is a fantastic choice because it is made of rubber and won’t readily wear or rip holes in the seal.

    Your RV awning may have a waterproofing sealant that is created specifically for it, depending on the brand. If there isn’t a sealant created specifically for your kind, most sealants that are certified for synthetic surfaces will work on your awning. There are a few things you should think about if you’ve noticed that the waterproofing on your RV’s awning has been evaporating quite quickly. Your awning may become damaged by acid rain and bad weather in general. Additionally, if you have been cleaning your awning with chemicals like bleach, this could be removing the waterproofing sealant from the cloth.