Caring For Your RV Awning

Caring for your RV is very important. I always stress how a small amount of preventative maintenance goes a long way.  However keep in mind that your RV awning fabric is equally important. Here are some tips to keep your RV’s awning looking new for a long time.

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  1. One of the best ways to keep the fabric looking good and to delay the need for deep or vigorous cleaning is to hose fabrics off on a monthly basis with clear water. This practice will help prevent dirt from becoming deeply imbedded in the fabric. In most environments, a thorough cleaning will be needed every two to three years.
  2. When it’s time for a thorough cleaning, the fabric can be cleaned while still on an awning frame. For vinyl fabric – Use a soft brush and warm water with soap. For acrylic fabric, use a stiff brush and warm water with soap.
  3. When cleaning the fabric, it is important to observe the following:
  • Caution:  Do not use oil based cleaners or any caustic, granulated, or abrasive type cleaners on your RV awning.
  • Always use a natural soap, never detergent.
  • Water should be cold to lukewarm, never more than 100°F.
  • Air-dry only.
  • Never apply heat to the fabric.

Always allow the fabric to dry thoroughly before rolling up the awning to avoid mildew. Vinyl-coated polyester fabrics are mildew resistant because of a chemical biocide in their coating. Under ordinary conditions, mildew will not appear. However, in areas where high temperature and humidity are common, mildew can be a problem and may require the material to be washed more frequently than in cooler, drier climates. To clean mildew from a unit’s awning, thoroughly rinse the fabric with clean water and allow to air dry completely before rolling it up.

An additional way to helping to protect and pro-long the life of your RV awning fabric, is to have the Trident Awning Protection System applied to your awning.  This protection treatment helps prevent mildew stains, mold growth, UV fading, chipping, and cracking of your RV awning.  For more information on the Trident Protection System or care of your RV awning, please contact Pennsylvania’s largest travel trailer RV dealership.

Trailer Tire Safety: Check your Tires Before Hitting the Road

The wheels on your RV go round and round, round and round…until…boom!

Ask yourself these questions:

When was the last time I checked the air pressure?

How old are your tires on your trailer?

When was the last time they were replaced?

RV Tires

You can’t judge your tires by how they look. Kicking them is not going to tell you anything either. Trailer tires are only meant to last three to six years on average. Just because they look good and the tread looks brand new does not mean that the tires are not rotting away on the inside.


Tires deteriorate over time whether you drive on them daily or just once a year.

Tire deterioration can happen from the UV rays from the sun, going over the allotted speed the tires can handle, going over the weight amount allotted for the trailer capacity and its tires, exceeding the maximum or falling under the minimum tire pressure of the tires, and finally, using products with petroleum distillates on your tires. All of these actions can cause your tires to deteriorate at a faster rate. Proper use and care of your tires will allow you to get the longest, safest use out of them.

Here are some tips to keeping your RV’s tires in good shape:

  1. Use covers to protect your tires from the sun. The UV rays from the sun can crack and damage your tires. If your trailer is parked longer than a weekend, make sure to cover your tires with tire covers.
  2. Make sure you know the MPH your tires are designed for. Trailers come with special trailer tires and the majority have a maximum speed rating of 65 MPH. By accelerating past that speed could cause serious damage to your tires, especially if your trailer is loaded down with weight.
  3. Make sure not to overload your trailer to over its capacity because your tires are affected too. The more pressure on your tires, the more stress you put on your tires. Especially if you are going over the maximum speed the tires can handle.
  4. Keeping your tires at the correct tire pressure is essential to not only the health of your tires but to your load weight and speed. Improper tire inflation is the number one factor in tire failure. Most RV and camper service personnel  recommend to inflate your tires to the maximum PSI stamped on the sidewall of the tire. Be aware of how the weather elements affect tire pressure. Higher elevations increase tire pressure as does warmer temperatures. Make sure to check your tires before hitting the road every time! Do a visual inspection for tire inflation, wear, bulging, cracking and anything that looks unusual.
  5. Only use soap and water to clean your tires. Using protective chemicals that have petroleum distillates will weaken your tires strength.
  6. Think about using Nitrogen to inflate your tires instead of compressed air.  Nitrogen has been found to pro-long the life of the tire. Nitrogen allows the tire to run cooler while in use.
  7. Replace your tires every three to six years, regardless of the miles you’ve put on them or the tread depth. When we’re talking three to six years, we mean from the time when the tire was manufactured. Each tire has a date stamped on the sidewall stating the manufactured date. There is how to read one.

The date code looks something like this: DOT PDHH MLOR 3403.

The date code always starts with a DOT and ends with a 3 or 4 digit number. Those last numbers are the date code. The first two numbers indicate the week (out of 52) and the last one or two digits indicate the year it was manufactured in. So, from the date code above, 3403 means the 34th week of 2003, or the fourth week of August 2003. So, from that date, your tires would need to be replaced between August 2006 and August of 2009.

Another thought to keep in mind, blow outs and flat tires happen. So always carry a spare tire, jack and the proper tools to fix your flat tire while you are traveling.

**The information from this post was taken from RV Chat With Ron Fleming “How Old Are the Tires on Your RV?”

For more information, please consult your tire’s manufacturer or the RV’s manufacturer.

Tire identification diagram

Image via Wikipedia