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If your RV comes equipped with slide-out room extensions, you're fortunate enough to enjoy extra space for comfortable living conditions. On the other hand, you run the risk of pulling dirt and debris into your RV's living space whenever you retract the slide-out. That's where an awning comes in handy.
Slide-out awnings help keep the debris out, and they're easily installed in a couple of hours.
Parts You'll Need
The components required to install your awning will vary slightly depending on the brand you choose. The following parts and instructions are specific to the slide-out cover manufactured by Carefree of Colorado, but most awnings should follow a similar outline.
To install your awning, you'll need:
- Awning rail
- Roller tube assembly with fabric
- Left and right end-cap assembly
- 2 each, tall and short mounting brackets
- Striker plate
- Pin tab
- 12 self-drilling screws
- 2 pan-head square drive screws for the striker attachment
- 2 pan-head square drive screws for the roller tube attachment
- 2 flat-head screws for the pin tab attachment
- 4 pan-head square drive screws for the extension attachment
- 2 HWH screws for the fabric attachment
- Plunger kit
Mount the Brackets
Make sure the mounting surface has sufficient framing or backing to support the brackets and screws. Aluminum or fiberglass skins usually aren't sufficient.
- Align the mounting brackets with the inner edges of the top and side room flanges.
- Use a silicone sealant to coat the mounting surface of the bracket. Pay particular attention to the mounting holes.
- Use the self-drilling screws to attach the brackets.
Install the Awning Rail
Start out by measuring the rail to find its center line, then:
- Use silicone sealant or putty tape to seal the back of the awning rail.
- Align the center line of the awning rail.
- Use the flat-head screws for the pin tab attachment to attach the center line. Position it so the slot is pointing down.
Mount the Roller Tube
To make it easier to slide the awning into position, use a screwdriver to slightly spread open one end of the awning rail. Then clean the end of the rail and spray inside it with a silicone lubricant.
- Slide the end-cap extensions onto either side of the mounting bracket.
- Unroll some fabric from the roller tube and slide the polyrod and fabric onto the awning rail, with the fabric centered over the room.
- Roll up the slack material onto the roller tube.
- Slide the end-cap onto the right-hand side of the roller tube spindle. Align the flats of the spindle with the flats in the end-cap, and orient the tube so the spring lock pin is facing out.
- Use a pan-head cap screw for the roller tube attachment to secure the end-cap to the roller tube.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the right-hand end-cap.
- Center the roller tube and fabric over the room.
- Secure the end-cap arms to the mounting bracket using two screws for each end, working from the bottom.
- Remove the spring locking pin from the end of the roller tube assembly.
- To make sure the fabric is rolling straight up onto the roller tube, open and close the room.
- Use the two screws for fabric attachment to secure the fabric to the awning rail.
Check for Additional Steps
Your awning might have other features that require additional installation steps. Such features might include an anti-billow lock or a second anti-lock plunger for the anti-lock assembly.
Check your awning's manual for specific instructions on how to approach further installation requirements.
- To avoid having to replace your awning often, consider paying a bit more for a slide-out cover with tighter webbing and thicker material.
Brenna Swanston is a freelance writer, editor and journalist. She covers topics including environment, agriculture and travel. She previously reported for the Sun newspaper in Santa Maria, Calif., and holds a bachelor's in journalism from California Polytechnic State University. Swanston is an avid traveler and loves jazz, yoga and craft beer.