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The One RV Rookie Mistake You’ll Probably Make

We all make mistakes, and no one is perfect. However, there’s one rookie mistake we see even veteran RVers make, and it can be costly. Knowing when you should and shouldn’t be using the awning on your RV is essential. High winds or an unexpected gust ripping through your campsite can destroy it in no time.

Today, we’re looking at why you want to avoid leaving your awning out, especially during heavy winds. Let’s dive in!

What Is an RV Awning?

Many RVs come with manual or electric awnings. These are great for creating shade and protecting campers from rain and other weather conditions. Because they’re retractable and on an RV, they must be lightweight. 

Unfortunately, this makes them susceptible to damage due to weaknesses or instabilities. However, many RVers love RV awnings despite their weaknesses because they enhance their camping experience.

Should I Take My Awning Down in High Winds?

Yes, you should always take your awning down during high winds. Much like a kite, high winds blowing through your campsite will create a tremendous force on the canvas material on your RV awning. High winds can cause the frame structure of your awning to bend and twist. 

Your RV awning will be no match for a few strong gusts of wind. All it takes is one strong wind gust, and various parts in your awning could start snapping off. This will likely result in an expensive repair and will leave your awning out of commission until you can repair it.

How Windy Is Too Windy for an RV Awning?

You want to avoid having your RV awning retracted when it is too windy. While wind gusts can be unpredictable, you want to avoid extending it when winds or gusts exceed 20 miles per hour. However, there are no hard and fast rules about when it’s time to retract your awning.

Be mindful of the wind and how it affects your awning. If you notice that it’s moving quite a bit due to the angle that the wind is hitting it, retract it as quickly as possible. You don’t want the arms or any items to bend or break. This could knock the system out of alignment and make it difficult to retract your awning later.

How Do You Protect Your RV Awning from the Wind?

The best way to protect your RV awning is to retract it when you’re not using it or if it’s windy. Wind gusts can come out of nowhere, and it only takes a few seconds of intense winds to destroy your RV awning.

Some RVers who want to continue using their RV awnings during windy conditions will employ tie-down kits. These kits provide added support for an awning and help minimize the chances of damage. However, they’re not perfect, and you can still experience damage to your awning from the wind.

Can I Add a Wind Sensor to My RV Awning?

It’s possible to add a winder sensor to your RV awning. The three big manufacturers of these sensors are Dometic, Solera, and Carefree. These are great options as they typically auto-retract when they detect unsafe conditions. Many of these sensors enable a host of features besides simply serving as wind sensors.

Depending on the wind sensor you choose, you could gain remote functions to extend and retract your awning with ease. Some will even allow you to control the LED lights under the awning and adjust the sensitivity. To avoid any potential issues, just make sure you purchase a compatible wind sensor for your RV awning.

Tips for Protecting Your RV Awning from Wind

Let’s take a look at how you can keep your RV awning safe. Here are a few things you can do to protect your RV awning from the wind while camping. 

Keep an Eye on the Weather

When you’re RVing, you must keep an eye on the weather. Serious weather conditions can sprout out of nowhere, especially during the summer. If extreme winds are in the forecast, you’ll want to retract your awning and pick up any loose items outside of your RV. 

We strongly recommend using apps and a weather radio to stay on top of any potential weather conditions that could be dangerous for you or your RV. Many weather apps will allow you to set the type of alerts you want to receive, including increased winds.

Use a Tie-Down Kit

A tie-down kit can help increase the stability of your RV awning and help avoid damage from winds. However, these can only be so effective, and you’ll want to take extra precautions regarding excessive winds. These can be helpful against minor wind gusts, but they’re not going to do much during a severe storm. You should still retract your RV awning during excessive or high winds.

Install a Wind Sensor Kit

Winds can be unpredictable and come out of nowhere. Having a wind sensor kit can help save the day when these dangerous winds appear unexpectedly. These are easy to install, and most are compatible with the awning that comes with your RV. They’ll retract your awning the second they detect any unsafe winds that could cause damage to your RV awning.

Consider RV Awning De-Flapper

If your RV awning is loose, it will flap in the wind and increase its wear and tear. Luckily, the RV Awning De-Flapper can help keep your RV awning in place. It will minimize any potential issues from the wind. 

You want to reduce the leverage the wind can get under it to give your awning the best chance in the fight against excessive and damaging winds.

Don’t Let Heavy Winds Destroy Your RV’s Awning

If you enjoy using your RV awning, you want to take care of it. This means ensuring you avoid leaving it out overnight, when you’re away from your RV, or during windy conditions. RV awning damage isn’t cheap to repair and can cause severe damage to your RV. 

So do yourself a favor and pull in your awning anytime you notice the winds picking up outside.

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