Traveling is an exciting way of leaving the city with all of its busyness and responsibilities behind. I mean literally leaving them behind. What better way there is than go camping at the place you like the most?
An RV is a sweet option and having an awning is the cherry on top. But we all know awnings go dirty in no time. So how do you clean the camper awning?
Anyone owning an RV with an awning knows that they simply love to become dirty, regardless of where you are and how careful you are.
And if they are not cleaned frequently and properly, they will spoil very fast, forcing you to replace them much faster than expected. Thus, cleaning the awning is important. Actually, it is more than important. It is necessary.
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How To Clean The Underside Of The Camper Awning?
The actual method of cleaning as well as the preparation, the time budget, and the material budget, highly depends on the environment your RV is in and the frequency you do the cleaning. It is obvious, isn’t it?
I mean, you are not going to need the same cleaning after a week of camping under a leafy canopy in the rainy season, compared to a week in the middle of a desert in summer.
Why would you go camping in the middle of a desert in summer? I don’t know to make meth? Just kidding. Anyway, you get the idea. Different levels of dust require a different level of cleaning. Here, I will discuss three different levels of cleaning, when and why you should use them.
The One-Minute Cleaning
This is the simplest and most followed level of cleaning. All you need is a long stick with a brush attached to one end.
Basically, what you will be doing is smack the awning from the top and then from below. What it does is remove the loose dirt, leaf, or other light materials that tend to collect on the surface all the time.
This is useful for times when your awning is open for like a day or two, and you know that there hasn’t been any funny business-like rain, lots of bird poop, or so. It is a fast and short method that actually helps to keep the awning clean and in good condition for a long time.
The Five-Minute Cleaning
When you know that there has been some funny business happening, the one-minute cleaning is not going to cut it. For example, if it rained for a while, your awning must’ve got wet, and the collected dust, at least a big chunk of it, sat on the cloth pretty strongly.
Or probably birds found the awning a lovely place to… poop; then the simple smacking is not enough. To get rid of the tougher dirt, you are going to need to be tougher as well. Take a hose with a water supply and splash the whole awning, both the top side and the bottom.
If you have good water pressure, it should get rid of most of the things. But if not, then you are going to need the brush from earlier and gently rub the surfaces while applying water.
After spending about five minutes at it, your awning should be pretty clean. Simply leave it open for a while and let it air dry. Just like that, you are ready for your next adventure, which is fun and exciting. Or maybe the journey back home, which is less exciting and no fun, but you have to. What can you do?
The One-Hour Cleaning
Every once in a while, you will notice some spots on the awning. Probably some mold or mildew started growing, or some bird poop found the awning comfy and decided to stay permanently.
These issues are not going to be solved with simple splashes of water. If you ignore them, they are going to chew through the awning, and in no time, even the best quality thing will be spoiled.
Thus, every once in a while, you will need to attend the awning for real. To clean the camper awning properly, you will need some equipment. Things like-
- A spray bottle,
- Plenty of freshwaters,
- Cleaning agents,
- A brush on a stick, and
- A copy of Forbes or National Geographic
In order to get the most efficient cleaning, you can replace the agent “Forbes” or “National Geographic” with the magazine of your choice. Trust me, this way, you will never get bored with cleaning.
So, to begin with –
- Take the brush with a long handle and smack the underside of the awning. This will get rid of the loose dirt and prevent them from absorbing cleaner agents unnecessarily later on.
- Take the spray bottle and make a cleaning mixture. Eighty percent water with twenty percent soap, or detergent, or some other cleaning agent works well.
- Spray the mixture on the underside of the awning equally. Make sure you cover every inch properly. Start spraying from the lower end and make your way to the higher end.
- When the whole surface is covered, roll up the awning and leave it like that for about an hour.
- Meanwhile, take your magazine and make yourself at home with it. Forget that you are in the middle of something and enjoy the whole thing. In case if you do remember about the awning after an hour,
- Unroll the awning and spray fresh water on both the top and the bottom surface. Take your sweet time at it and do use plenty of water.
- Use the brush once more to wipe any stubborn junks off. Even if there is none, it is still a good idea to rub the surface gently while applying water.
- Leave the awning open and let it air dry for a sufficient amount of time. You do not want to rush and roll it up when it is not dried properly. That’d allow mold to grow super-fast and kill the awning.
- Once the awning is properly dried, roll it back up, and you are set.
I know that the whole process takes much more than an hour. But the majority of the time is to let the awning dry properly. You are actually not working on cleaning it. The method consists of about an hour’s worth of work.
Some would argue saying that the magazine is a total waste of time. You could clean the whole exterior of the RV instead of reading the magazine. But in my opinion, that is a really inefficient way of doing it.
I mean, you could do the exterior cleaning at a separate time and read the magazine some more while you are at it. That’s the way to go, isn’t it?
How Often Should You Clean Your Awning?
This question is quite subjective. It depends heavily on the situation your RV/awning is facing. And also, it is a subject of your personal opinion. For me, I do like to do the one-minute cleaning every time I am about to roll the awning. It is a good idea to rinse the awning with just water every once in a while—at most every couple of days and at least once every week or two.
For the real cleaning, you should use detergents to properly clean the awning Once every couple of months if the camper is used frequently. Even if it is hardly used and the awning barely opened, still cleaning every year will help preserve the quality of the awning. And that concludes our article on how to clean underside of camper awning.
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