How To Clean RV Awning – 3 Fast and Effective Methods

RV awning fully drawn next to and attached to campervan rv featured

Spring has arrived, and this morning I decided to give the RV a spring clean, and that’s when it happened. I unrolled the Awning, and I saw it, “Grime and Mold!” What did I think when I packed it away last season? In hindsight, If I only spent a little bit more time and made sure the Vinyl awnings was awning dry completely before packing it away, it wouldn’t have come to this.

This was going to need more than just a warm water spray and a wipe down. However, all was not lost. In one of my previous careers, I spent 12 months as an automobile detailer and dabbled as a ride-share driver.

How To Clean RV Awning – 3 Fast and Effective Methods

Because of this, I am confident when I say that I have the secret sauce for car cleaning methods. Now I have to execute my knowledge on this dirty RV awning.

I’m going to share with you how I (and you) can effectively and efficiently do RV awning cleaning so you can get back on the road.

The problem.

Now manufacturers of Vinyl awnings will claim that awnings do not get mildew, yeah right. What they don’t mention is that the surface of dirt and grime that collects will attract mold.

So technically, the fungus is on the soil, not the Awning. But the dirt is on the Awning, so who cares!

All I know is my Awning looks disgusting, and it needs the cleaning job to end all cleaning jobs. Time for the fantastic “Mr. Sheen” to come to the rv owners rescue and explain how to clean rv awnings.

So, looking at my acrylic Awning, it seems to be covered in oily grime with bits of bird droppings, tree sap and assorted other stuff that has attached to this goo.

Then laying on the surface is the mildew stains. Up close, it doesn’t smell too pleasant. Anyway, all this has got to go. I want my nice and shiny clean RV back for a new season of adventures.

RV awning fully drawn next to and attached to campervan rv featured

How to clean your RV awning.

I hope these tips give you the power to become a master of clean rv awnings. Luckily I have gone to the vault and produce three strategies that will offer you a choice of;

Method 1 – a five minute quick clean
Method 2 – A thorough clean
Method 3 – An end of season major clean and protect.

If you plan on following this walkthrough. I can guarantee that you will be able to apply these skills to many other projects like marine and house window awnings clean.

Method 1 – Quick and effective clean rv awnings.

Hosing all over top to bottom of camper caravan awning

You are going to need the Suns UV Rays to air dry completely the acrylic Awning after you have cleaned it, or a hairdryer and a lot of care. I will come to that in a moment. Ideally, the sun is by far the best drying method.

So the first job is to get the materials together.

  1. An old spray bottle (old garden sprays are great) Star Brite Mildew Stain Remover, or dish soap cleaning solution or as we say in Australia, dishwashing liquid, or bleach
  2. Mix your chosen awning cleaners with the water – 2 parts cleaner and eight parts water.
  3. Note: if you do select bleach, you should understand that it will reduce the life of your acrylic fabric. I would save that for cases where you have a stain that nothing else will shift.
  4. Make sure to spray the bottom of the RV Awnings, and give it good coverage, do not be economical with it. You may need a small step to reach all of the Awning. I stress plaster the Awning in this mix. Once done, roll up your Awning and go and put your feet up (have a cup of coffee) for about an hour.
  5. When you return, make sure to unroll your vinyl Awnings and rinse off the Awning, top, and bottom. That is all that is needed for a quick clean.

Optional: Of course, you can choose to clean your RV awnings by scrubbing both the top and bottom of the Awning before you rinse it off. It depends on how dirty your Awning is.

Once you have rinsed off the spray bottle cleaning solution, you should leave the vinyl Awning unfurled and allow the sun to get the awning dry completely. Only then roll it up.

If it is an overcast day, you may need to run your hairdryer over the Awning. Do Not Get Too Close or allow the Awning to become very hot.

Sweeping motions are best. Just be careful that you keep an eye on the when cleaning vinyl awnings.

Pro-Strength Awning Cleaner 32 fl. oz. By Camco
The Camco Pro-Strength Awning Cleaner breathes life into your RV and safely removes mold stains, dirt, tree sap and road grime from your RV awning material. Formulated to clean vinyl, nylon, acrylic and fabrics awnings.

Method 2 – A more considered approach with the right cleaning solutions.

Cleaning and mop with solution setup

This method is my favorite. That’s not to say the other ways are not so good; I have more faith in this method. The method of cleaning is the same in process two as method 1; it is only the ingredients and tools used that varies (and a couple of details).

I think that I paid a lot of money for my RV and I want the vinyl Awnings to last, so I want to use the right tools and cleaning solutions. Looking carefully at the different products and checking what some professionals use.

I ended up choosing the Camco 41022 Awning Cleaners (32oz) solution. It’s quite affordable, it destroys tree sap and bird poo, and it is designed for the job.

Dish soap and washing liquid are designed for dishes, not awnings, so I figure it must be better. I was looking at the scrubbing brush as well. I find it hard reaching upwards and scrubbing, anyway I get wet doing that as the liquid falls downwards onto me.

Because of this, I favor using a Fochutech Car Wash Brush with an Extendable Scrub Brush.

This brush spins around and connects to a half-inch garden hose. It also has a spray gun feature included, which can be used for applying the cleaner.

Do you see what I mean? The right cleaner with the right tools. The whole lot does not cost much and can be used for cleaning the rest of the RV (and my car) as well. You use the same drying methods as method one as well.

Method 3 – Clean your awning at the end of the season.

Wide shot of full awning and extended mop brush
Depending on where and how high your awning sit you may need to find an appropriate length brush or pressure wash to reach a particular stain on the woven fabric or acrylic awnings.

Method three is the same as method 2, except we do a preservation process so that when you clean your RV it remains pristine until the following season.

I will recap the whole cleaning process here and then talk about the preservation afterward.

  1. Pour the Camco 41022 Awning Cleaner (32oz) solution into the spray attachment of the Fochutech Car Wash Brush and connect it to a hose. The power of the water pressure will spray the water and cleaner mixture liberally onto the Awning.
  2. Roll up the Awning and take an hour off, watch some sport on the TV, have a beer, whatever you want to do. This gives the mixture time to act and loosen all the gunk that is stuck to your Awning.
  3. Make sure to unroll the Awning and use the Fochutech Car Wash Brush with an Extendable Scrub Brush to scrub the underside and top of the Awning.
  4. Using the spray attachment of the Fochutech Car Wash Brush spray. Apply a covering of 303 Products 30674 Marine & Recreation Awning Fabric Guard on the underside of the Awning Fabric. This will restore water repellency and [rotect against water and oil-based stains.
  5. After you clean your RV Awning make sure to dry in the sun. What satisfied you can then roll up your Awning, safe in the knowledge that when you go to use it the following year, it will be in pristine condition
RV Flow-Through Wash Brush By Camco
Camco’s RV Flow-Through Wash medium / soft brush with Adjustable Handle is the perfect tool for washing your RV awning. It’s handle allows you to adjust its length from 43 inches up to 71 inches so that you can access hard to reach places.

Final thoughts.

Cleaning the inside of the awning

You can see that it is possible to find How To Clean an RV Awning easily using either material you find around your house of specialist gear.

It all depends on how thoroughly you want to clean it, and what state the Awning is in. If you do choose the professional equipment and cleaners. You will find many other uses for your purchase, which makes them even more affordable.