Awnings are a great way to expand the space of your RV outdoors, while still minimising the number of bugs and the amount of heat created by the sun. However, they can be difficult, and without proper care and maintenance both before, during and after trips they will become damaged.
You don’t have to tie down your RV awning however, it can help to keep the awning in place in light winds. Some RV awnings have flex built into the arms to help them withstand wind action. If there are high winds during a storm you’ll be better rolling your awning up rather than tying it down.
We did a lot of research prior to purchasing our first awning and was incredibly unsure as to whether we’d use it or if it would be beneficial for us. Luckily, we purchased one (and have gone onto purchase three more since) and I’m so glad we did. It’s one of those things you look at after and wonder how you ever went without.
Should You Tie Down Electric Awnings?
Electric awnings have become mainstream in recent times and the RVs produced nowadays are expected to come with electric awnings. They are more convenient to use than the conventional types because they can quickly be retracted in unfavourable conditions by the push of a button.
Some RV owners still want the ability to tie down their awnings regardless of whether it is electrical or not. It would help if you learn how your electric awning works since some of them have wind sensors that make them retract automatically whenever there is a strong wind blowing. If you tie down an electric awning that retracts automatically, it could tear and render it useless, so it would help if you learn how to override this setting and prevent extensive damage. Information on how to override the automatic retraction should be in the RV manual. Also, you can ask your RV dealer how to do it, they should explain it to you.
When you learn how to stop electric awnings from retracting by themselves, you can tie it down but be careful not to do this when the wind is heavy. Only tie it down when the weather is clear or in light windy conditions. Additionally, if you plan to take a long stroll from your RV, detach and retract your awning because it is better to be safe than sorry. That should not be too much of a hassle since if you refuse to do that, you might end up without an awning to retract next time.
Electric awnings are great for a lot of reasons, like the fact that they are more durable since the retraction and opening of the awnings are automatic, which leaves little room for human error. When these types of awnings are open, they have a tidier appearance because they opened with the right tension, and the fabric is stretched out just the way it is supposed to. Also, an electric awning allows one to adjust its height so they can control the amount of sunshine that comes through.
How To Tie Down An Awning
Tying down your RV awning is not a must; you can use your awning normally and still have a great time. People do it for additional protection against winds and learning how to do it properly, as well as knowing about the right tools would make sure you do not damage your RV awning.
Firstly, you should get an awning anchor kit that can be screwed into the ground at each end of the awning. Then run a strong cord from each end of the RV awning through the anchor, so it attaches firmly to the ground. This will prevent little gusts of wind from blowing the awning away. These anchor kits are affordable and reliable, so every RV user than needs one can get one.
Ratchet straps can also be used to tie down an RV awning. These straps are firmer and offer more protection than the anchor kits provide. Make sure the straps are not fastened too tightly or overly stretched out because if they are, they could make the awning bend over a little too much and lead to its destruction.
A dog tie out stake can serve as a reliable anchor, and you should use it if you have one lying around instead of going to buy a new anchor kit from the store. Use it, or a heavy-duty tent stake with a tough rope and your awning would be secured tightly. Again, do not fasten it too tightly because it would be destroyed if the wind blows against it.
The act of tying down awnings are to make them more secure, not to stop them from moving at all. If you can avoid it, do not use a bungee cord because the tension cannot be adjusted, and the RV awning should not be put under tension.
Benefits Of Tying Down An RV Awning
Tying down your RV awnings helps prevent it from being damaged by high winds. Although, it is being held steady by just being attached to the RV but fastening them to the ground at two different edges adds more security and gives the owner more peace of mind. When not tied down, there is the possibility that a sudden gust of wind will blow under the awning, ripping it apart or damaging it significantly.
It is easy to think you might be able to roll up your awning quickly when you feel wind approaching, but sometimes, strong winds can creep up on you and wreak havoc to both the awning and your RV. It can happen suddenly when you go for a bathroom break or go into your RV to grab a drink or a plate of food. Tying down your awning secure it from these sudden winds and potential disaster.
Drawbacks Of Tying Down An RV Awning
Although tying down awnings helps to stop them from easily being destroyed by wind, it does not help against strong winds, storms, etc. If the wind happens to rip the RV awning when tied down, the damage might require you to repair the RV not just replace the awning. Also, in the case of an electric awning, you might forget to detach the ends of the awning from the spots where you tied them, and when it is retracted automatically, the awning would be destroyed. The retraction would have happened peacefully if the awning was not tied down.
If care is not taken, the RV user can tie down the awning too tight, which would cause tension and make it easy to rupture when under little pressure. Additionally, if the soil in your campsite is not firm – as is the case with sandy soil – the wind can rip out the anchor tying down the awning, and that force can affect the awning where it is attached to the RV, damaging it.
You have to untie the awning every time you want to leave your RV because it can be destroyed beyond repair by the wind before you come back. Imagine the amount of stress you would undergo by tying and untying your electric awning every couple of hours when you can just let it retract and open by the push of a button.