RV Awnings are modern-day travel trailer versions of durable parasols. They provide a space to relax outside of the RV and enjoy nature to the fullest.
In other words, they provide shade from weather elements such as sunshine, rain, winds, and sleet. Moreover, having an awning is a massive advantage when hosting an outdoor barbecue or cook-out.
RV awnings are of many types and are constantly getting upgraded to keep in line with modern technology.
Most RVs now have power awnings- which are electronically extendable and retractable and are sure to save you many precious person-hours.
How much wind can an RV awning withstand?
The wind force that an RV awning can withstand is largely dependent on the type and quality of the awning, in conjunction with the travel trailer to which it belongs.
Larger, residential trailers tend to have bigger awnings. As a result, it is only natural that these awnings can withstand wind better.
A quality awning should have a Beaufort Wind Scale Rating of 5 or a Wind Class 2 rating.
These awnings fare well in the face of strong winds, as long as they do not stray far beyond 35 km/h.
There are, of course, other rubrics that help determine the durability and skill of an awning under pressure.
The material in use is of importance. Cheap fabric can often tear easily during rain or hail.
Other preventive technologies, such as automatically retractable awnings( the trigger is bad weather), go a long way in preventing accidental damage.
What can high winds do to your RV awning?
Winds and RV awnings are a long-standing match. The goal is to have them exist in harmony.
The first and obvious consequence of a strong wind is that it can damage the awning material. In the event of a very powerful wind, the awning can even be clear off of the underlying structure.
If it is a partially dislodged awning, it could damage the body of the RV, lead to broken windows and gouge paint off of the structure. Giant rips and tears are a common occurrence in the area.
Windows are a particularly vulnerable target if you have a damaged awning. Awnings are angled to cast a shade on RV awnings, preventing both an onslaught of water( when it is raining) and keeping the interiors cool by blocking out the sun.
If the awning is not in the position as it should be, there are possibilities of overheating, window leaks, and, of course, shattered windows.
Awning arms can also be affected by strong winds.
There have been instances of broken or bent awning arms in the face of consistent winds.
This situation is best to avoid as an askew awning arm threatens the vehicle’s structural integrity and the safety of those residing in the vehicle. It also destabilizes the vehicle in dormancy and makes the foundation unsteady.
How do I protect an RV awning from the wind?
My first piece of advice would be to invest in a power awning that responds to inclement weather as a trigger. It means that anytime the sensors sense buffeting winds or heavy rain, they will retract automatically.
If this is not an option, remember to always roll up the awning in good time before a storm.
It is a good idea to stay updated on weather forecasts and always remember to roll up the awning before you retire for the night.
A second way to prevent wind damage is to keep sheets of tarp handy.
Although not a permanent solution to avoid wind damage, a tarp sheet covering can help the awning escape the worst of a windy spell. Sometimes, a double layer might be necessary.
De-flapper clamps are another great way to avoid fabric damage. An awning is built and only fixed on two ends – the attachment to the RV and on the outer end where the tube is.
The sides are left to flap in the breeze. The clamps in question are excellent in preventing the sides from flapping constantly and help secure them against lasting damage.
Another viable option is to purchase a stabilizer kit. It is as it sounds- a kit of assortments that can help stabilize your awning. The items include a rope, two spiral stakes( the spiral makes for a better angle), and a connector.
The purpose of the stabilizer kit is similar to staking down a tent at its points of contact. The endeavor is best accomplished when the soil is compact but smooth.
What should you do if the wind damages your RV awning?
The next question is the steps you need to follow if the wind has already damaged the RV awning.
In the case of small to midsize tears, you can repair the torn fabric using a patch kit. It is unnecessary to purchase one; DIY-ing a patchwork awning can be a lot of fun.
Just remember to use a sufficiently durable material. In the case of a rip that is too large to be sewn back into shape, replace the material. You can do it on your own or with the help of a professional handyman.
The other possible consequence of a damaged awning is damaged awning hardware, for example, arms, legs, roller tubes, etc. It is wiser to employ a professional to take care of hardware to ensure a specific job.
Other methods of damage control involve:
- Better protective covers( plastic/tarp sheets are always a good idea).
- Installing a weather sensor for quicker responses.
- The ability to be hands-on when operating the awning.
RV awnings, when used properly and tended to well, are no less than a lifesaver.
They provide shade and assistance; they enable and aid outdoor parties and have both insulating and cooling properties.
As you might have gleaned from the article, wind damage poses a serious threat to the awning and, in turn, to the RV.
Fortunately, there are ways of prevention and a bevy of remedial actions to choose from here. Armed with adequate research and some basic skills, dealing with a damaged awning should be easy enough!