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How to Adjust the Tension on an RV Slide-Out Awning

by Eric Cedric

Almost all classes of RVs are equipped with a minimum of one awning. And RVs with slide-outs, a compartment that extends out from the main cabin providing extra living quarters, are sometimes made with awnings over the slide-out. In order to get the awning up and stable, the tension needs to be adjusted to get the fabric taut. Different RV makers use different awning systems. The basic premise is the same for the awnings, but the levers and buttons may be in different locations.

1.

Park the RV and set the brake. Level the rig using its jacks and level system.

2.

Step up to the awning and clear out any leaves or twigs from the awning seam. Open the slide-out. Slide-out awnings extend automatically when the slide-out is deployed. Let both the slide-out and the slide-out awning open all the way.

3.

Place the step stool near the lip of the awning. Push the aluminum pole in its extended length up to the RV wall and down to the lip of the awning, under the awning itself. Position so the pole pushes the awning out, adding tension to the fabric. Special aluminum poles often accompany the RV awning for this use.

4.

Inflate the awning's air bladder to provide tension to the awning fabric. If your RV slide-out awning is equipped with an air bladder, use the internal air pump and flip the switch to "on" to inflate and add tension to the fabric.

5.

Push the foam pieces up and under the bottom lip of the awning to provide further support and tension to the fabric if needed. Stuff the foam under the awning roller near the end of the awning itself.

Items you will need

  • Step stool
  • Aluminum extending pole
  • Foam pieces
  • Inflatable awning tension device

About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.