Having an awning on an RV is a fantastic thing, especially when you are traveling in an area that has much sun or possibly inclement weather. But what happens when you go to unroll or roll up your awning, and it's stuck?
Should your RV awning become stuck, do try to move the awning forcibly. If you can successfully get it to move approximately 5 to 6in, you should look it over and find out if there is anything that it may be hanging on. Here are some things to look for:
- Are there any screws sticking out?
- Are there any locks that you need to loosen for it to move freely?
- Is there anything visible that indicates that the fabric may be sticking?
- Are the posts that support the awning sticking?
- Has the frame for the awning become warped to due to wind or excess weight from rain or snow?
- Is there a tension mount that is binding?
- Is anything visibly broken that may be causing the awning to stick?
Once you have gone through this checklist, you may find that you need to dig a little bit deeper. If you are unable to get the awning to move, you may need to take the system apart to find the cause. If you are not familiar with how to do that, don't worry, we put this article together so that we can help you. Read on to find out the best ways of dealing with a stuck RV awning.
How Does An RV Awning Work?
A typical awning will have a metal framework that can support the weight of the fabric that provides the coverage. This frame should extend and retract freely without needing to be forced.
There will be a spindle located in a housing that rolls and unrolls, keeping the fabric uniformly stored and neat. There will be a tension spring that keeps the material taut when the awning is extended. This spring should also keep enough force on the fabric to help roll it back up when retracting the awning.
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If you have a manual RV awning, then you may find yourself in luck as there are fewer possible causes for the awning to be sticking.
If an awning is stuck in the upright position, you will want to start by making sure that the mechanisms that hold it in place are unlocked. Here are some steps that can you can follow when working with awnings.
- Release the awning and attempted to pull the strap
- Infiniti awning disengages then pay attention to things that are maybe hooking up on the fabric
- Check to the frame to make sure that it is not bent or warped
- Lubricate the hinges on the frame
- There should be a tension lock on both ends of the awning make sure that those are released
- Unroll the awning as far as you can
- Remove the caps
- Pay very close attention as there will be a tension spring under one of the cats so you may need to use a screwdriver and a second person
- Remove the tension from the awning
- If you discover a point at which the fabric is hung then rectify whatever situation is causing
- Replace the caps
- When rolling the awning up make sure it runs evenly
For an electric awning system, you will follow the same steps as mentioned above; however, you will have to pay attention to the motors that control the raising and lowering of the awning. If either of these motors turns out to be the issue, you will have to disengage it and lower the awning manually.
How Do You Adjust The Fabric On An RV Awning?
Adjusting the fabric on an RV awning is a challenging proposition. If you are just looking to change the area of shade that is provided by the awning, then you can do so by rolling and unrolling it to a reasonable length.
If you have damaged fabric, you may need to take a bus system apart to remove the damaged portion; as mentioned above, what you can follow those steps to get to the point where you can remove the fabric.
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How Many Turns On An Awning Spring?
There is no specified amount of turns on an awning spring that will provide the amount of tension that is required for the awning to function correctly. Check your RV owner manual as it may offer a solution, but if you can't find anything, that's because typically, this is going to be done by a professional.
If you have general mechanical knowledge, you can attempt to find the number of turns necessary to provide the correct amount of force. This may require a decent amount of trial and error to find the proper tension.
Have a second person assist you as you will not be able to accomplish this task on your own.
- Correctly assemble the awning housing.
- Insert a screwdriver to disengage the tension lock
- Have one person hold your screwdriver in place allowing the spring to turn
- Use a wrench or a socket to spin the other end.
- Once you can start to feel tension building on the spring, have the other person engage the tension lock and remove the screwdriver
- It is important to note that you will want somebody holding on to the strap that controls the awning when you do this or too much tension on this can cause the awning to snap back.
While problems with your RV awning can look daunting at first, the system itself is relatively simple and easy to work with, provided you can do so safely. Never attempt to make any changes to the tension or the fabric on an RV awning by yourself.
This may also come in handy later on should you choose to replace the fabric on the awning as the steps are very similar. The previously mentioned article will also explain to you how to attach new material to your awning or to cut portions of the awning that is currently in existence off to remove the damaged fabric provided it is safe to do so.