Awning Care and Re-proofing
After a caravan or motorhome purchase, the next big expenditure will probably be an awning to complement your set up and for the practicality of that additional outdoor space.
When we purchased our Adria we had spent months deciding on the best awning for us. We chose the Vango Kalari 380 air awning, this was based on a number of things including its appearance, ease of use and recommendations.
In the past year our awning has had a lot of use, it spent most of the summer exposed to the intense sun and extreme heat we enjoyed. In the last few months it has withstood winter and was subject to Storm Freya and Storm Gareth. Our Vango awning has been completely reliable and has not leaked at any point. We want to make sure we look after our awning to extend its useable life and most importantly, get our monies worth.
This week we chose a dry and breezy day to wash the awning and re-proof it. The awning was already set up on site. We advise you clean and re-proof your awning whilst it is attached to your caravan or motorhome as it will make it easier to access the sides and roof. Jules emptied the awning of the table, chairs (these are the ones we have but “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”) and caravan step and we made sure no-one was in the awning. Jules filled a bucket with water and then poured Mellerud awning and canopy cleaner in to it. Make sure your bucket is clean and has no traces of detergent in it as some detergents can spoil the effectiveness of your awnings waterproofing.
Jules then armed himself with an extendable brush and set to washing the exterior of the awning. Once washed down the awning should be rinsed down with clean water to remove any cleaning solution. It’s important to let the awning dry before re-proofing it. Thankfully it was a nice breezy day and it dried in about an hour.
The re-proofing will require an awning re-proofing product, there are a number of re-proofing products on the market but we chose Fenwicks Awning Re-proofer as it is easily available online and in accessory shops. The next question you may be asking is how do you re-proof the awning roof without a ladder. Jules has a solution for this, take down the awning straps and then deflate the air awning beams. Due to the awning being held in the awning rail the awning will collapse slowly and allow easy and safe access to the roof panels.
Its important to follow the instructions on the product you have chosen to use, the Fenwicks instructs to spray each panel one at a time and make sure the seams are well covered by the product. The spray should cover each panel liberally and evenly. You can add two coats of the Fenwicks if needed and the first coat doesn’t to be dry before applying the second coat. To reach the deflated roof panels remove your shoes and walk slowly on the the awning to access the panels. Once the roof is done re-inflate the air beams and then start re-proofing the awning panel at a time. Do not spray the product on the windows as they don’t need to be re-proofed and may cause them to go opaque.
Once all the panels of the awning are covered then allow it to dry in the air. We used one full bottle to cover the entire awning.
How frequently you need to re-proof your awning entirely depends on how often you use it and the weather and elements it is exposed to. Once water stops beading on the exterior fabric of the awning it needs to be re-proofed as it is no longer waterproof and protecting you from rain getting in to the awning.