How to Roll Up RV Awning

How to Roll Up RV Awning : Complete in DIY 7 Simple Steps

Last Updated on August 1, 2022

Unevenly rolling up your RV awning & RV window awning can put unnecessary strain on the fabric and result in permanent damage. If the fabric is uneven, it will bunch up, making closing the shade quite troublesome.

Also, uneven rolling can cause abrasions to the hardware, making it more complicated to open and close the shelter in the future. To avoid issues like these, roll up your retractable awning evenly.

The shade can be hard to roll up, particularly if you don’t know how to roll up RV awnings properly or don’t have any experience.

Rolling up your camper awning is a relatively simple process, but it’s crucial to do it carefully to avoid harm to the retractable awning. For those uncertain about rolling your tent up, we will discuss this in more detail below.

How to Roll Up RV Awning in Easy Steps?

fabric awnings

When your RV awning is rolled up, it is necessary for it to be stored or transported. The most important thing to remember is to take your time and be careful not to damage the structure. When you are trying to roll up a manual awning, follow these steps:

Step 01. Attach Awning Arms to RV:

The first thing you need to do when rolling your RV patio awning up is to attach it to the RV. Awning arms will hold the retractable awning steady as you roll it up.

To attach the arms, you will need to find holes in the sidewall of the RV. Once you have found the holes, insert the rods into them.

Make sure that the arms are securely in place before you begin to roll up the awning. If the arms are not correctly attached, the shade could lose and cause damage to your RV.

Step 02. Lower Both Awning Arms:

It is necessary to do this before rolling up your retractable awning. Ensure the arms are in the correct position before you start lowering them. If they are not, you may damage the tent or the RV.

Once the patio awning arms are in the right place, slowly lower them, taking care not to let them drop too quickly, as this could tear the awning fabric.

Lower the arms until they are at a 45-degree angle from the RV body. Once the arms are down, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 03. Lower the Rafter Arms:

Lowering the rafter arms helps prevent the awning from getting caught on objects and tearing. It also helps keep the roof tight against the RV when rolled up.

To lower the rafter arms, simply depress the spring-loaded pin or turn the rafter knob counterclockwise at the base of each arm.

Doing so will allow you to reduce the arm and then rotate it into position. Once the rafter arms are lowered, you can begin rolling up the patio awning.

Step 04. Remove All Debris:

To avoid damaging the retractable awning, taking care of it while rolling it up is vital. One of the critical steps in this process is removing any debris that may be caught in the awning.

This can be anything from leaves and twigs to more substantial items like rocks or pieces of broken glass. Not only can debris cause mold and mildew to the material, but it can also make the rolling process more difficult.

Taking a few minutes to remove all debris before rolling in the awning can save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.

Step 05. Slide Your Awning Strap to the Middle:

Once you’ve removed all the debris, you’ll want to slide the strap through the center of the roller awning tube. This will keep it tight & even while you’re rolling it up.

Hold onto the strap while doing this, so it doesn’t slip off. This strap will help keep the canopy from catching on objects and torn. Once you’ve got the belt in the middle, start rolling up the retractable awning from one end.

Step 06. Roll In The RV Awning:

When rolled up correctly, the tent should be tight and secure against your RV’s side. If you have any loose fabric, you should tuck it into the shelter before rolling it up.

This will help to keep everything in place and avoid any potential damage. When you reach the end of the tent, pull the strap tight and secure it with the awning clip. This will ensure that your canopy stays upright when you are traveling.

Step 07. Secure the Locking Lever:

One thing you don’t want to forget before taking off down the road in your RV is locking the crank for the awning. As a result, your sunshade stays tight and doesn’t come loose while driving.

To do this, simply pull the locking lever down until it locks into place. You’ll know it’s secure when you hear it click. Then, give the awning a little tug to ensure it’s locked in tight.

Securing the locking lever on your camper canopy is quick and easy, and it will give you peace of mind knowing that your retractable awning is locked in place while you’re driving.

If you follow these steps correctly, you will have no problem rolling up your recreational vehicle awning. By taking the time to do it correctly, you can reduce the risk of damage and keep your coverage in good condition for a long time.

Learn: How to properly maintain awning lubrication

Consequences of Uneven Rolled Up RV Awning

rv window awnings

One of the most important things to remember when retracting your RV tent is to ensure that the tent is rolled up evenly. Unfortunately, if manual awnings are improperly rolled up, it can create several problems as like:

Fabric Tearing:

If the awning is rolled up unevenly, it can put pressure on the awning fabric and cause it to tear. The forces tearing at the fabric are immense, and if not careful, the entire awning can be torn from the side of the RV.

This is not only dangerous for the people and property around the RV, but it can also cause extensive damage to the awning itself.

Sometimes, the fabric can be completely ripped apart, leaving behind a tattered mess. Even if the fabric does not rip, the stress of the high winds can cause it to fade, discolor, or even break down over time.

Bend Awning Arms:

If the awning support arm on one side is rolled up tighter than the other, it will cause the frame to bend. This can damage the awning fabric and frame and may also lead it to break free from its mountings.

The uneven tension on the arms can put unnecessary stress on the motor, leading to premature wear or failure. In the event the arms are not properly aligned, it can result in the awning bending, damaging the fabric.

End Up with a Loose Awning:

If you don’t take the time to ensure your RV awning is rolled up evenly, you could loosen it. This can be a severe problem, leading to the canopy becoming unbalanced and possibly even falling off the RV.

A flexible shelter can also flap in the high wind speed, making noise and possibly damaging the RV. If you have a loose awning, it’s crucial to take action quickly. In any case, getting the problem fixed as soon as possible is essential to avoid further damage.

A rolled-up RV awning that is uneven can be catastrophic. As you can see, it is important to check that the shade is rolled properly before storing or traveling with your RV.

Failing to do so could jeopardize the structural integrity of your awning and lead to costly repairs down the road.

Rolling up RV Awning: Precautions to Take

RV awnings are great for providing shade and protection from the elements, but they can also be dangerous if they’re incorrectly rolled up. Every year, there are reports of people being injured by falling shades. It’s essential to take some simple precautions when rolling up your vehicle awning:

  • Ensure that the area around the awning is clear of people and objects.
  • Never try to roll up an enclosure in windy conditions; wait for a calm day instead.
  • Use caution when climbing on the RV to reach the shelter; it’s easy to lose your balance and fall.
  • Make sure that all of the support arms are fully folded and locked into place.
  • Take a moment to inspect your awning for tears or damage.
  • Remove any objects that might get tangled in the fabric, such as branches or leaves.
  • The RV awning fabric should not be obstructed by anything as it is rolled up around the structure.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for operating the sunshade.

With proper care and precaution, rolling an RV awning should be simple and hassle-free.


The following are a few frequently asked questions about awnings on RVs:

Q: How Do I Know If My Awning is Rolled Up Evenly?

There are a few easy ways to tell if you’re rolling your retractable evenly. One way is to look at the fabric itself. If the material is lying flat and smooth, then it’s likely that the awning has been rolled up evenly.

Another way to check this is by checking the seams of the fabric. If the seams are even straight, the shade has likely been rolled up evenly.

Q: Which Way Should the Rv Awning Roll Up?

All RV awnings should be rolled up in the counterclockwise direction. This helps ensure that the fabric is rolled evenly and prevents any folds or creases from forming.

Also, counter-clockwise rolling helps to reduce the load on the awning’s mechanisms, making it less likely that they will become damaged over time.

Q: How Do You Fix an Uneven Awning?

One common problem is that the structure may become uneven, causing it to sag or fold over in certain areas. There are several ways to fix this issue. First, check the hardware to ensure all the bolts are tight.

If the cover is sagging in the middle, you may need to adjust the tension by tightening or loosening the bolts on either side.

Another potential solution is to add support brackets in strategic locations. These brackets can help distribute the weight more evenly, preventing the awning from sagging.

Q: How to Raise And Lower an RV Awning?

The first step in raising an RV awning is pulling it out from its side. Next, raise the arms of the structure until they are perpendicular to the ground.

Once the arms have been placed, crank the handle to lift the awning fabric. To lower an RV awning, remove the pins holding it in place.

After removing the pins, you can retract the tent. After the fabric has been lowered completely, fold up the awning’s arms and tuck them into the RV’s side.


To sum it up, rolling your RV awning up is a great way to keep it in good shape. Additionally, it’s a good idea to roll up your awning to prevent weather damage when you’re not using it. It is a simple but essential task.

If wet, the fabric could mildew, or the mechanism could rust. Also, check the structure for any damage. By following the above steps, you can ensure that your awning is rolled up correctly and will be ready for use when you desire it.

Try to read the instructions provided by the manufacturer for rolling up an RV awning. We hope this article on how to roll up RV shades helped answer some of your questions about rolling up RV awnings.

With a little practice, you can become an expert at rolling the tent up in no time.


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