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Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Let's see... today we are still on the A's in my motorhome modification stuff...   

So here are three topics on awnings.   

The first is awning lights.  Yes, some folks think they are tacky, some folks think they are bright and gaudy, but some folks enjoy them and add to the festive look of a family camp-out.  I have some pale ones that give just enough of a glow without being intrusive.  We can be moving around the rig at night without having to turn on the bright spot lights when using awning lights instead.   We only use them if we are camping at a campground with electrical hookups.  To run them from our batteries and solar, we would have to set up the inverter.  Could be done I guess, but we just haven't. Yet. 

Our awning is a fabric type, not the regular vinyl types you see on most travel trailers and motorhomes.  Because of this, the edge of the awning valance does not have a thick "hem" to clip on lights with clothespins (the most accepted way to attach them)    I found these clips a few years ago at Camping World on sale.  They are very much like the old mitten clips we wore as kids to keep our mittens pinned to our cuffs so we wouldn't lose them.  They hang on nicely to our awning valance edge and I leave the bottom portion permanently clipped to the string of lights. 

We also have a few of those little tabs that slide into the awning track that you can attach lights to, but then the lights end up behind the valance. Our awning is so long we needed three sets of ten to go the entire length.  

Since I took these photos, a portion of these particular lights stopped working.  Even with changing the tiny fuses and all the bulbs, nothing helps, so something is shorted out in wiring or in the plug.  The little metal leaf units would not transfer over to a new set of xmas lights, nor could I find xmas lights in sets of 10's  (needed 30 total)  So last fall I found some cute soft pastel butterfly lights on sale at Steins Garden Center and bought them to use in the future.  

Next up is the awning cleaning.  If you camp regularly with a campfire burning , or roll up your awning when it is wet, you know it needs to be cleaned.  This is a project we tackle a couple times a summer.  

The vinyl type of awning material can best be scrubbed with Wesleys Bleche White tire cleaner, found in the automotive sections.  Works GREAT on the white vinyl and doesn't leave any damaging residue.  

But remember, I said our awning is a fabric type, not a vinyl.  It's a Fiesta awning by Carefree of Colorado.  We have found a dollop of laundry soap or Dawn dish soap works just fine when we scrub our awning.  But don't get that Dawn dish soap on your RV walls because it can remove any wax coating you might have on your rig.   It removes soot, grease and wax very well!  LOL 

We first scrub the underside of the awning, and I even fold a bathtowel over the end of a broom, secure with rubber bands and use that for a good scrubbing.  

Here is a good hint the works on most RVs... when your awning is fully extended, unhook the two side arms of your awning from the bottom brackets on the wall, and let the ends of the arms slide down underneath your rig. The angle is now much lower than the normal 45 degrees or so and it lets you reach the top surface of the awning much easier.  Less reaching and stretching, and also lets you rinse it off easier. 

It looks darker when it's wet, but dries back to a lighter silver when done.  we also pull out the three smaller awnings over the windows and give them a good scrubbing too.   At this time it's a good idea to lube up the ends of the rollers on all the awnings which allow them to roll up and down easier with less binding on the mechanical parts.  We find most awnings are made with the cheapest of white metals and aluminum fittings that can easily break or wear out.  The less strain and tension, the better, on all moving parts with proper lubing.  White lithium grease in a spray can with the little straw works very well, as well as LPS silicone spray.  WD40 seems to attract dirt so we avoid using that. 

Okay.. third A and then I am done with the Awning Topics... this is an awning sun screen that came with our rig.  We never realized how nice it was until we were camping in desert last winter.  When the sun comes down at such an angle in the winter months, this really helped keep the light off the sides of the rig.  Some days it was 95 degrees out there and this really made a difference during the days!   These shots were snapped after supper, so the sun is even lower in the sky and kinda on an angle now.  But it was great for mid-day use!

The screen slides in the extra unused awning track on the bottom surface of the roller.  It is thin enough we could possibly roll it up with the awning each time, but can also be removed and stowed it away in it's bag in a compartment. 

I had a cute fiber customer yesterday...  A high school friend of our youngest daughter emailed me.  She said that she needed some presents for a friend at a birthday a party that night and didn't have time to run to Green Bay for shopping.  She wanted to shop in my online Etsy store for something handmade and buying local!  haha   It turns out that she STILL has a pair of thick wool socks I gave her when she was back in high school, she is now 26 or 27.  She still wears them and thought of me!   She picked out 2 pairs of socks and a shawl from my shop.   I wrote back and said I had to drive within a block of her house on my way to the bank and post office, so i would drop them off!  FREE DELIVERY!  How neat is that?

Well, one more pair of socks to do this morning for a guy with size 14 feet, and then i am going to get some weaving done... for sure!   


  1. I really do like those leaf lights, I have never seen them before.
    From your blog, ya'll sure have been busy.

  2. Size 14 feet, egads! Boat shoes, boat sox! Thanks for all the great tips about cleaning awnings...a good job for sitting here for a month in Webster. I'll tell Eldy. He'll be thrilled! :-)

  3. Thanks for the tip on awning cleaning. We just spent last weekend washing ours, and could have used the tip on dropping the legs under the RV.


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