The RV awning is one of those have-to-have accessories that at 3 am, with a howling wind, you may wish you did not have!
Who can remember the half-dozen or so steps required to lower the thing under these conditions? Have you ever awakened after that midsummer overnight thunderstorm and your awning is sagging alarmingly? Have you ever tried to empty the hundred or so gallons of water that has collected in that sagging awning? Trust me when I say that you do not need to go through that "joy" of camping.
The recreational vehicle awning is designed as a sunshade, period. If, perhaps, it starts to sprinkle a bit and also kicks up a mild breeze – do not worry – your RV awning can handle that. But if those dark clouds are building on the horizon and the birds are seeking shelter, then you really should consider rolling up. And you really should consider rolling up, NOW.
Practice rolling up your awning on a calm day until you have the procedure memorized. Then do the same thing while blindfolded, with someone spraying a hose in your face. This will simulate a typical emergency storm take-down. Except for the wind, of course. For this simulation you will need three fairly burly guys, all yanking the awning in a different direction at once. Once you have gone through the preceding exercise, you will understand why the experienced camper will take down the awning at the first sign of trouble.
After being rolled up and possibly damp for several months your awning will appreciate a good airing out and a bath with warm water and a mild detergent. Use a car wash type brush to scrub the surface of both the top and the underside. A little WD-40 on the moving parts helps to free up and protect these components. Dry it thoroughly before re-rolling it.
Lower one end of your open awning to allow rainwater to drain off. Peg down the awning feet when the awning is free standing so that a gust of wind will not flip over the awning. Also, the awning may be strapped down with the special awning straps available at your local RV store. If you suspect a strong wind or storm is coming the safest thing to do is roll up the awning.