Do you not wish there was a way you could protect your motorhome’s slide out room from the sun, rain, dust, dirt, and other elements? Learning how to install RV slide out awning addresses this concern.
Although some motorhome owners think you do not need a slide out awning, most RVers believe you should. It is one of the simplest ways you can safeguard the slide out room’s integrity and functionality, enabling your family to have a splendid time outdoors.
I will show you the process of installing awnings to get your family started.
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Things You Need for This Tutorial
Installing slide out awnings might sound complicated at first. However, the process could not be more straightforward than buying and installing a kit on your motorhome. Here are the materials and tools you need for this project.
RV Slide Out Awning Kit
Some people do not install an awning into their RV slide out rooms because they believe they must create the awning themselves. While you can make your awning, a more straightforward approach is to buy an RV slide out awning kit.
These products already come complete with everything you need to finish the project, except for the hand tools, of course. RV awning kits include the awning, awning rails, mounting brackets, end cap extensions, and installation hardware.
However, I advise you to double-check the accompanying hardware because some manufacturers provide insufficient quantities to complete the installation.
Some RV slide out awning kit manufacturers provide ready-made products specific to an RV brand and model. They offer these products in various styles and designs. You can pick one you like from their selection.
Alternatively, you can send the manufacturer your slide out room’s actual dimensions. The company can use the information to customize the awning for your motorhome’s slide out room. Most RV owners pick this route because it ensures a perfect fit for their vehicles.
While RV awning kits should be complete, there are instances when you have fewer fasteners than what the awning requires. For example, you might only get 50 screws when the system requires 60 fasteners. In that case, you must purchase ten additional screws.
One reason for installing an RV awning is to protect the slide out room from moisture and particle ingress. Unfortunately, the RV’s surface is not continuous with the awning structure. That is why it is advisable to get a rubber adhesive, such as butyl tape.
You can apply the rubber adhesive on the rail and bracket’s backside to form a waterproof barrier for the RV. You will also need a sealant for the screws, preventing water ingress through these fasteners.
You will need a tape measure and a carpenter’s level to ensure a straight and even line for the awning rail. A step ladder will be convenient to access the RV slide out room’s upper section. A drill and the correct bits are also necessary. You will also find a pencil necessary for this project.
Steps for Installing an RV Slide Out Awning
Step 1. Measure the motorhome’s slide out room.
Motorhomes have different slide out room dimensions. That is why it would be best to start the RV slide out awning installation by measuring the depth and width of a fully extended slide out room.
With the slide out room extended, measure the width from the left flange to the right flange. Next, measure the slide out room’s depth by anchoring the tape measure on the flange and extending it to the area where the slideout room meets the RV body.
Note the measurements because you will need them in ordering the correct size of slide toppers for RVs.
Step 2. Purchase the correct size of slide out awning kit.
Use the measurements in Step 1 to order an RV slide awning kit. Some manufacturers have ready-to-use RV slide out covers for certain motorhome brands and models. All you need is to choose the design best suited for your RV.
Other manufacturers offer customized slide toppers, allowing RV owners to install an awning more specific to their vehicles.
Step 3. Check the RV slide awning kit.
Always inspect the product you ordered before starting with the RV slide topper installation. Check the number of holes in the awning kit and count the quantity of the accompanying hardware.
In some instances, the screws do not match the number of holes for securing the awning. In such cases, you might want to buy additional hardware before proceeding to the next step.
Step 4. Mark the location for the RV slide out awning rail.
Ask an assistant to hold the slide out awning rail on the RV and inspect its placement. Once satisfied, you can place a mark on the slideout with a pencil to serve as a guide during installation.
I recommend creating a centerline on the rail and the RV slide out section.
Step 5. Install the RV slide out awning rail.
Apply a rubber adhesive on the rail’s backside to aid in installation and add a water-resistant layer.
Align the awning rail with the marks and centerline you created in Step 4. Drill a hole in the rail’s center position and apply a sealant before inserting and securing the first screw.
You can add holes to the left or right of the center fastener, applying sealant before securing the screws.
I recommend checking the rail’s level after each screw application.
Be patient during this step because most awning rails have many holes for securing the structure.
Step 6. Install the mounting brackets.
Read the instructions on how to install the mounting brackets for the travel trailer slide out awning. Position the brackets on the slide out room and mark the area for drilling pilot holes.
Align the mounting bracket’s backside to the pilot holes. Add rubber sealant to the holes before securing them with screws.
Step 7. Install the awning tube.
Get the end cap extensions and connect them to the brackets without securing them with screws.
Carefully slide the awning tube into the awning rail. Push the tube through the rail, and insert both ends through the end cap extensions. It will be wise to unroll the awning a little bit to ensure a secure fit.
Secure the awning tube by fastening the shoulder screws on the end cap extensions. I recommend centering the awning first before tightening the screws.
Step 8. Finish the installation.
This last step involves removing the awning’s spring locking pin (some people call it the cotter pin). You will also need to remove the orange float lock pin from the awning’s opposite ends.
Test your RV slide out room for functionality before wrapping everything up.
I found an excellent video by The Southern Glamper detailing the whole process. I suggest checking it out for a clearer idea of what you must accomplish.
This simplified guide on how to install RV slide out awning should help you feel more confident in protecting your motorhome’s innovative feature. When done right, a slide out awning can extend your slide out room’s functionality by many years.
What do you think? Send me your views, questions, or comments about this tutorial, including tips on Carefree slide out awning installation or whichever brand you use. Would you share this guide with your contacts as well?
I am Stephen Ryan, content director for RV Web. After seven years of working as an interior decorator, I am confident in turning my clients’ dream houses into reality. I find it rewarding to help others make the best of their space and resources.