Prevent Billowing Awning

One of the recurring nightmares for many RVers is the thought that, while driving down the road to the next camp site, a gust of wind will suddenly cause their awning to billow out from the RV, usually tearing it to shreds, and, at worst, causing an accident as other drivers try to avoid the awning.

   Don't Be Fooled...

Caution Sign

Bungie cords on awning arms will not prevent your awning from billowing!

Caution Sign

A major misconception of many RVers is that simply putting bungie cords around the awning arms will prevent billowing. Many folks do not know that the large patio awning can billow (come unrolled) even when the awning arm parts are held together! Yup, very true.

It is sudden gusts of wind, usually from the side (from a strong cross wind, for instance) that gets under the bottom of the awning and air pressure pushes the awning out from underneath its cover.

The small internal parts of most awnings are not strong enough to withstand the very stressful forces of a strong cross wind. What usually happens is that an internal part inside the awning roller tube breaks, and the wind can then cause the awning to billow out—even if the awning arms are pinned together with bungie cords, clamps, or other devices.

Commercial awning locks are available from several sources—that physically prevent the roller tube from rotating, until the lock is released. These locks work well, but can be a bit pricey for those who enjoy RVing on a somewhat limited budget.

Many RVers have developed ways to do the same thing without the expense. At its simplest, this technique involves using the regular awning hook, placing the short bent end into the rear awning slide hole, and then using a bungie to secure the awning hook to the side of the awning arm.

Many versions of such an awning lock have been put together by RVers, some more fancy and less of an eye irritant (i.e,. better looking), but all do the same job.

pic of awning lock

pic of awning lock

Thanks to Dave Peters, RV America

Thanks to Bill Trout, RV America

Please—don't be deluded into thinking that your awning is safe because you tied the awning arms together before you went out on the road!

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