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RV Awning Rolls Up Crooked | My Fixing Guide

Awnings are a popular feature on recreational vehicles (RVs) that provide shade, shelter, and expanded living space. The most common types are slide-out, patio, window, and door awnings made of materials like vinyl and acrylic fabric. They can be operated manually with a crank or electrically with a switch.

When working properly, awnings greatly enhance the RV experience. However, they can develop issues over time. One frustrating problem is when the awning roll becomes uneven, causing the fabric to track crookedly along its arms.

RV Awning Rolls Up Crooked

How to Diagnose RV Awning Misalignment Issues

If you notice your awning fabric getting bunched up along one side when retracting or the roller tube seeming off-center, there likely is a misalignment. Visually inspect the awning components like the arms, roller tube, and fabric for any damage. 

Diagnose RV Awning Misalignment Issues

Operate the awning and watch how it extends and retracts, looking for wobbling, uneven rolling of the fabric, or poor alignment with the RV body. Make sure the awning is square along the side and the outer arm fits snugly when closed. Any of these issues point to a crooked awning.

How to Fix RV Awning Misalignment

To realign an off-track awning, first, fully extend it to access the fabric and start the adjustment process. Locate the various small screws or rivets along the outer edges that hold the fabric in place. Carefully remove them to release the tension. Slowly shift the material right or left as needed so the arms line up evenly with the tracks. 

RV Awning Misalignment

Make adjustments gradually, re-securing with screws along the way until satisfied with the alignment. Ensure the outer arm still fits flush with the RV side before attempting to retract the awning. You may need to repeat this process a few times to get it rolling straight.

How to Correct RV Awning Uneven Rolling Issues 

If the awning roll still seems off-center when retracted, examine the alignment of the fabric along the roller tube. Following similar steps by releasing the screws and tension, carefully center the fabric so it wraps evenly around the roller tube without bunching up. Secure the fabric before testing the retraction. 

Correct RV Awning Uneven Rolling

You may also need to adjust the torsion or tension settings so the awning wraps tighter. Repeat adjustments until the awning operates smoothly without deviation or leaning. Always secure screws before retracting to prevent further damage.

How to Address Other Common RV Awning Problems

In addition to alignment issues, look for loose screw fittings allowing the awning components to wobble, bent arms forcing the fabric out of line, worn-out fabrics causing uneven wrapping around the roller, or motor faults leading to slippage and uneven retraction. Tightening fittings, replacing damaged parts, adjusting tension, and motor repair can help resolve these issues before they worsen. Routine inspection and maintenance is key.

How to Retract Your RV Awning Properly

Retracting your RV awning properly is important to prevent damage and ensure it rolls up evenly. Start by ensuring the awning arm is extended all the way out so the fabric is taut. Stand to the side and begin retracting slowly and steadily by turning the retraction knob or using the automatic retractor if your awning has one. Watch the lead rail as the awning rolls back, ensuring it moves straight and even without skewing to one side. Roll the awning all the way back until it clicks to signal it is fully retracted. 

Doing this smoothly and methodically each time will keep your awning working properly for seasons of camping to come. Following basic precautions like avoiding retracting in high winds, not forcing the mechanism if resistance occurs, and maintaining hardware will also go a long way toward awning longevity.

How to Maintain And Store Your RV Awning?

Proper maintenance and storage between uses are crucial to keeping your RV awning in good condition. Periodically inspect the fabric for signs of wear, cracks, or holes and ensure the hardware is tight and functioning properly. Use RV awning cleaner periodically per the manufacturer’s recommendations to remove dirt and stains from the canvas to prevent premature rotting or mold. When ready to store the awning, allow the fabric to dry completely before rolling up to avoid trapping moisture. Retract the awning fully, ensuring it rolls back evenly without distortion. 

Cover the rolled-up awning with a fitted awning protector cover to shield it from elements like rain, snow, dirt, and UV rays while being stored or transported. Choosing a shaded, clean storage spot like an RV port or storage facility will also safeguard it from unnecessary environmental exposure during periods of non-use. Proper retraction, cleaning, drying, and covering between camping trips should keep your RV awning looking and working like new for many seasons.

Summing Up

RV awnings enhance outdoor enjoyment tremendously when operating properly. However, wear and tear over time can lead to frustrating issues like uneven rolling and misalignment. By understanding common problems, inspecting awning components routinely, and making minor tension adjustments as needed, many alignment problems can be corrected by the owner. But be sure to seek professional support for complex repairs to keep your awning functional for the long run. Applying preventative care and maintenance is the best way to avoid crooked awning headaches.

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