Posted by David Lee

Last Updated February 1, 2023

It’s no secret that even seasoned RV-ers often find themselves clueless about things that are quite simple. It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or an expert; buying a new awning for your RV can be a challenging task.

Moreover, installing it afterward might cost you quite a bit of money if you are planning to ask a professional to do it. So why not install it yourself?

Read on to find out how to install an RV awning rail-

1. Buy an RV Awning

Purchasing process might seem like an obvious thing, but it is one of the most critical steps of your rail installation. Here are some points to keep in mind when choosing an awning rail:

Make sure it is the right size for your motor-home. If it’s too big, it might interfere with other parts of the vehicle. To avoid such situations, be sure to measure everything beforehand.

Some types of awnings are preferable to others, such as vinyl or canvas ones. Don’t buy acrylic, because vinyl or canvas can be easily repaired if torn, while acrylic can’t.

You should carefully consider all the aspects before deciding. Think about whether you want a manual or an automatic one, supported or self-supported, as well as the type of awning (patio, cassette, window, door, slide topper).

Take into the account the accessories you are planning to purchase because some of them are only compatible with certain types of awnings. For example, veranda room can only be used with patio awnings, during camp room with supported cassettes.

Don’t forget to consider the weather conditions. Even though all the awnings are tested in various temperatures, their functionality is a different issue that should be found before also going on a trip.

2. Set Up the Supporting Hardware

Now that you have the rail, you can finally start installing it. As a responsible RV user, you probably took all the needed measurements so that the process will be swift. Just hold the railing in all the right places and use screws or bolts that came with it to attach it. Don’t use a power drill to do this, however. You might ‘over-torque’ them, which will make the whole system unstable and unsteady.

Once that’s done, unroll the awning by pulling on the awning tube until it’s fully unrolled — slide in the upper awning arms. Then hold the awning with one hand and adjust the tension knobs with the other. Don’t forget to do this for both tension arms.

Finally, unfold the support legs. You should make sure to place them against the floor line of your RV, and then mark their location.

You probably noticed that bottom brackets came along with your awning, but they are optional. Most people prefer sticking the legs into the ground, even though the brackets are highly recommended. They are there for a reason, which is providing more support.

You can attach them to the floor line of the RV at the points you just marked. You should connect each leg to the bottom bracket.

3. Protect It From Mother Nature

If you want your awning to last longer, you have to consider buying these things to take care of it:

  • Awning de-flapper: To avoid flapping.

  • Tie-downs and stakes: To secure everything.

  • Silicon spray: To use as a lubricant for arms and knobs.

  • Vinyl cleaner: To clean out the mildew.

  • Appropriate sealant: To avoid water leakage.

You can also adjust the awning so that one end is higher than the other to let the rain slide off.

Congratulations! Now you know how to install RV awning rail!

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