Seasonal Awning Maintenance Plan
12 January 2023 | Admin
So, you're ready for the new camping season. But wait; how has your awning faired in storage during the winter months?
It's not uncommon for some form of awning maintenance to be required before pitching for the new camping season. Obviously, there are different types of caravan awnings which require different approaches. Let’s look at steel framed awnings to start with. There are a couple of jobs which you could undertake at home or in the garage before your camping trips begin. Any form of metal can succumb to moisture or damp damage over the long winter months, so it is important to check your awning framework and give it a little TLC.
Most frames use either button press or spring type connections, so let’s start by checking those to make sure they’re sound and work as intended. Button springs will help to hold two poles together and should be replaced if broken. Its not difficult as they are readily available in different sizes for your needs. Spring connectors work in a similar way by holding poles together in sets. These can become stretched over time which will reduce their effectiveness. Again, these can be replaced relatively cheaply. (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/203115969964)
To prevent any corrosion and to keep your framework in tip top condition, Remove any debris and dirt from the poles with a damp cloth and mild soapy water. Dry off the poles using a dry cloth or kitchen paper towels. Once dry spray a small quantity of WD40 onto a soft cloth and wipe each pole ensuring an even coverage. This will help to prevent moisture attacking the metal surface and keeps the framework looking like new.
Check each fitting – corner pieces and central pole – to make sure they are sound and have no damage or twisting. Inspect each of the grip locking pole adjusters and replace any broken ones. Replacement Camptech pole sections, adjusters, pads, and fittings are available from our online shop www.awningace.com
Depending on your awning size, you will have a number of roof support bracket pads. These attach to the caravan side of your awning and accept the roof support poles. Check that these are all accounted for (you normally have either 3, 5, or 7 of these bracket pads) and replace any missing or damaged pads. https://www.awningace.com/camptech-unilok-caravan-awning-pole-universal-bracket-pads-steppedflush-fit.html
You can obtain a replacement frame diagram for your awning directly from the Camptech website or just drop us an email and we’ll send on out to you. Don’t forget to let us know the details of your Camptech awning.
Check you pegs and ladder bands. Give these a clean and dry them off. Consider replacing any damaged, worn or bent pegs with new. Pack these away with a suitable mallet ready for the big day!
If you’re feeling adventurous, consider removing your awning curtains and giving them a wash. These can be machine washed on a cool setting (no bleach) and air dried. Iron on a cool setting if required and pack them away dry. These can be rehung once the awning is pitched – its much easier and it will keep them clean.
Cleaning your awning canvas:
Full awnings can be difficult to clean at home, so its probably better to do this when your finally back on site. We always wipe off our awning roof and give it a spray/wipe over with Fabsil (or any proprietary awning water proofer), as we are pitching it.
The easiest way of doing this is to slide the awning roof onto your caravan rail with all the panels removed. This not only keeps the weight down making it easier to handle, but also make it easy to clean. Once the roof is attached and before you start building the framework, get a bucket of clean water and a soft sponge and gently wipe over the awning roof – never scrub or rub the surface and never use any form of detergents or soap – you’re looking for a gentle clean to freshen up the roof. Only dampen the roof, this is not a deep clean! Allow to dry off, on a clear spring day this should only take 30-40 minutes if you’ve not soaked the fabrics.
Once dry, spray (from the top) your re-proofer and gently wipe the awning roof over, evenly spreading the proofer over the materials surface. Again, don’t scrub or overly rub the surface. A small amount goes a long way and should be applied evenly without running or streaking. Don’t over do it. Allow to dry slightly for 10 minutes (have a cuppa and a biscuit, you’ve earned it!) then spray a little more proofer over any roof seams. Be a little more generous here, but don’t forget to dab it in to avoid excessive run off.
Now your ready for the frame and to finish your pitching. As always, take your time – it’s not a race. Make sure your awning is pitched and tensioned correctly and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are usually others on site only to happy to pass on their experience!
Awning window panels are best cleaned with a mild soapy water solution. This will help remove any stubborn debris on the plastic surface. Never use a scourer or scrubbing action as window foils can be easily scratched. Care should be taken to prevent any detergent water from coming into contact with the main awning fabric, so wring out any access soapy water before you start. Wipe over the surface gently from side to side. Using a dry, lint free cloth, dry the window off to prevent water marks. Do one window at a time and choose a cool dry day. Warm sunny days are not the best time to clean your windows as they dry far too quickly causing streaks and smears.
So, what about inflatable awnings I hear you ask. Well, you can forget the frame maintenance but it’s worth checking that you have spare valves in your camping kit, just in case. Check you pegs and ladder bands. Give these a clean and dry them off. Consider replacing any damaged, worn or bent pegs.
You can also remove the awning curtains and give them a wash too. A cool machine wash, without bleach, and air dried before ironing on a cool setting if required.
Cleaning the awning fabric can be done using the same method above, before inflating your awning. Remember to remove the front and side panels to make it easier to pitch and clean your awning roof.
Once pitched clean the awning windows as described above and close all internal air valves checking for any damage or wear and consider replacing if necessary.
Awning Ace Limited
Unilock roof support pole bracket pads:
Replacement awning pole griplock clamps:
Camptech roof rafter pole (roof support):
Camptech Front Upright support pole (Storm Pole):
Internal inflatable awning inline air valves:
Inflatable awning air valves: