How to Clean an RV Awning in Under 5 Minutes


As we all know, owning an RV that has an awning means that you’ll have to clean it. That can be a chore, but I have a safe and easy way to get your awning cleaned in under five minutes.

So, how do you clean your RV awning in less than 5 minutes? Spray the underside of your awning with a soap and water mixture, and then roll it up let it sit for an hour. Roll the awning back out, rinse it off, and let it dry. You spend about 5 minutes working on it, and it comes out like a brand new, dust-free awning.

I love sitting out under the awning in my camping chair during the day while watching the kids play. I can sit and talk with my friends and family. I love the shade my awning brings, but I don’t like the dirt that my awning collects. This technique for cleaning my awning in under five minutes has changed my life.

How to Clean an RV Awning in Under 5 Minutes

Although the total time for this method takes about an hour, the total time that you actually spend working on it takes about 5 minutes. So this is a great project to undertake as you are cleaning out your RV or just chilling outside with the kids.

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you pick a sunny day to clean your awning because it will need the sun to dry it after you clean it off. Feel free to rinse off your awning and let it mostly dry before you clean it, or you can just unroll your awning and get started.

Step One: Prepare the Cleaner

Find an old spray bottle or sprayer of some kind, whether that is a pump sprayer or a manual sprayer (insect sprayers and weed sprayers work great for this, just make sure they are cleaned out really well or new and never used). Make sure that it is cleaned out and then mix together two parts cleaner to 8 parts water. You can really use any cleaner that you like.

I know a lot of people like to use dish soap when they clean their awnings because it is a softer soap and they feel more comfortable using it around the paint that is on their RV. Dawn Ultra Dish soap is a popular option. However, there are many different types of soap you can use.

Some other really popular cleaners that people like to use are Simple Green, Car Soap, hydrogen peroxide, Star Brite Mildew Stain Remover, or even bleach. Fair warning with bleach: if you choose to use it, know that it can possibly lessen the life of your awning, especially if you use it all the time. I suggest bleach only when you have stains that you want to get removed.

Step Two: Spray the Bottom of Your Awning

The next thing you’ll want to do after you get your cleaning mixture is to spray the entire underside of your awning. Make sure that you get it covered pretty well. If you are using a spray bottle that you pump with your hand, it’s a good idea to get on a step stool so you can reach all of the awning’s underside without straining your back.

If you use a sprayer instead of a spray bottle, it can cut your spraying time in half which means that you will get done faster. Just remember to spray the entire underside of the awning.

Step 3: Roll Up Your Awning

The next thing you have to do is roll up your awning. Let the mixture sit there for about an hour. This works for both automated awnings and manual, retractable awnings.

I like to do this every fall when I am already cleaning out my RV. This way, I can just spray the awning and clean out the RV while the mixture is sitting. By the time I’m done cleaning it’s time for the awning to be rinsed off.

On the other hand, you can do this at the beginning of the season and then just sit back and enjoy the sun as you wait for the awning to clean itself. This is a great way to relax and get some work done at the same time.

Plus, if you get your kids to help you it goes way faster, and then you can all play around while you are waiting the hour for the awning to be cleaned. So basically, cleaning the awning can become a family activity.

Step 4: Unroll Your Awning and Rinse it Off

After you have waited an hour, unroll your awning and use your hose to rinse it off top and back. This shouldn’t take very long but you want to make sure that you get all of the soap off of the awning.

I will use a step stool sometimes to make sure that I am getting all of the top done, but I’m not very tall so I kind of need to. If you can reach it just standing there, you won’t need a step stool.

Step 5: Let the Awning Dry Out

This, along with Step 3, are my favorite steps because I don’t have to do anything. After you have rinsed off your awning, let i stay open so that the sun can dry it.

After you have waited a few hours and your awning is dry, roll it back up and your camper is ready to go. I love it when the sun does the work for me.

So although you need about an hour to get your awning cleaned, you will spend about five of the 60 minutes actually working. The rest of the time is letting the soap and the sun do the work for you. Not to mention, it’s a thorough way of getting it cleaned, and you’ll notice a big difference.

Recap

ust a quick recap. You are going to unroll your awning, spray it down with a 2 part soap 8 part water solution, roll it back up, let it sit for an hour, then unroll the awning and rinse it off, and then you are going to let your awning dry.

This technique works great and ensures that you have a clean awning. If you have just bought a used RV and the awning that it comes with hasn’t ever been cleaned or hasn’t been cleaned in a long time then you can add two steps into the process to help get out those stubborn stains and that stubborn dirt.

Extra Steps For Rarely-Cleaned Awnings

Extra Step 1

After you have let the soap mixture (I may use a bleach mixture the first time for really dirty awnings) sit for an hour then unroll the awning and using a brush that is connected to a long pole and scrub both the top and the bottom of the awning.

If you have a vinyl awning then you need to use a soft brush so that you don’t scrub off any of the vinyl coating. If you have an acrylic awning then you can use a stiffer brush for those tougher places.

After you have scrubbed your awning then rinse it off and move onto the next added step.

Extra Step 2

Reapply your cleaning solution and roll up your awning. Let your awning sit at least 30 minutes this time but if the awning is really bad you can wait an hour.

Then unroll the awning rinse it off and let it dry. These two steps will take extra time, but once you’ve done it once you shouldn’t have to do it again. So the next time that you clean your awning, you should just be able to do the 5-minute cleaning.

P.S. This longer process only needs to be used with an awning that has never been cleaned and is very dirty. If it’s not, the five-minute (of work) cleaning should work perfectly for you.

Related Questions

Can I power wash my RV awning? You have to be careful when you are using hard pressure on your awning, especially if it is vinyl. That being said you can use a power washer to clean your awning if you are careful and make sure that you don’t damage it.

How much does it cost to add an awning to my RV? Normally you can take your RV into a local dealer and they will add a manual retractable awning for anywhere around $40-$100. The price varies depending on the complexity of installation. If you want the awning to be electric then it will cost more.

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