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Mod #20: Awning Lock

Posted By Mark Corgan On June 24, 2008 @ 5:56 am In exterior | 15 Comments

As an RVer, you’ve probably come across a fellow RVer whose had his awning become unwound and blown open while traveling down the highway. He might have been lucky enough to catch the situation before serious damage occurred. Or not so lucky, having the awning and support arms completely destroyed. Or worse yet, caused an accident from flying awning parts peppering the cars behind him. What causes this to happen and what mod can you do to prevent this from happening to you? Of course, the awning lock mod.

Mod Difficulty:

The awning can be exposed to as high as 65 MPH winds (or higher!) when your RV is moving down the road. If the awning roller is allowed to move even the slightest bit, air can get in between the layers of awning fabric, causing the fabric to begin flapping. Flapping leads to tearing, exposing even more fabric. Eventually, enough fabric is flapping in the breeze and the awning (along with the support arms) rips itself apart.

The awning lock device works by preventing the awning roller from turning, even if the factory awning lock (the little lever you pull down when deploying your awning) fails. It works by pinning the roller in place using, well, a pin. The spring-loaded pin is mounted to a bracket that is installed under the awning roller. A small hole is drilled in to the roller for the pin to go in. When you want to deploy the awning, simply use the awning pull rod to pull the pin out of the roller. Rotating the “D” ring on the pin lock 90 degrees prevents the pin from going back in to the roller. Then just setup the awning as usual.

There is another precaution you can take in addition to the pin lock, and that’s to use awning straps. These are really just fancy strips of Velcro that wrap around the awning support arms when the awning is closed. Even if you snap the awning arms in place as part of your awning closure routine, they may still be jarred loose on rough roads, which sets up the awning to start unraveling. Just add awning straps to to your mental checklist and this won’t happen.

With the pin lock and the straps, there’s not much else short of a bracket failure that can provide your RV with shade while rolling down the road.

ModMyRV recommends these parts for this mod:

Awning Locks
Keith Williams’ Ultimate RV Awning Travel Lock

Awning Straps
AP Products 006-6 10″ Awning Cinch Strap

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URL to article: http://www.modmyrv.com/2008/06/24/rv-awning-lock

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