Hands On: Awning Armor
October 12, 2011
Filed under Gear Reviews
One of the most commonly sought after and used RV accessories is the patio awning. Like many other motorhome appendages, required service and regular maintenance procedures keep these accessories working without failure. In the case of awnings, this usually means fully opening it, followed by a thorough cleaning — and drying — and treating the entire length of fabric.
In an effort to reduce cleansing intervals and to further enhance fabric protection, Awning Pro-Tech, a company out of Phoenix, Ariz. — a place where intense sunshine is common — has developed a simple yet effective cover specifically designed to protect the awning when rolled up between uses.
The Awning Pro-Tech system is basically a series of covers which snap into position directly onto the rolled-up awning.
Each Awning Pro-Tech kit is comprised of five equal-length pieces measuring 51.33 inches, allowing total coverage for awnings up to 20 feet long with diameters ranging from 3.65 inches to 4.25 inches, which covers most late-model awnings. Aside from simplicity, Awning Pro-Tech has also taken longevity into consideration by using UV-resistant polymers as opposed to plain old PVC plastic. Using this type of material affords a possible life span of up to 60 years without cracking, breaking or discoloring, as well as maintaining its original physical properties, according to the company.
The installation procedure for the Awning Pro-Tech is as easy as it looks. To begin, go to one end of the desired awning and start snapping the pieces onto the awning by spreading the slit side open to help with positioning. Make sure that one piece is overlapping the next by at least 2 inches. This will help to cover any butt joints where sun might get through and ensure the fit can be configured for any awning shorter than 20 feet without cutting. For those of you who have a motorhome equipped with enormous awnings spanning beyond 20 feet, don’t worry; individual pieces are available, too.
Although the Awning Pro-Tech is an excellent product due to its sheer simplistic design, some owners may find it a little difficult to get the material to spread over the awning. Because of the very same UV-resistant polymers that promote long life, there is also a small amount of tension created when assembling the pieces. This sort of plastic makes the Awning Pro-Tech stiff and a little tough to get started. The only other hindrance is that each time you plan on taking a trip the Awning Pro-Tech must be removed and stored, but that’s a minor inconvenience for fabric longevity. The product carries a 15-year warranty and is manufactured in the USA.
All in all, this is a great inexpensive device for awning preservation. The five-piece kit retails for $119.99 and can be ordered from the company online. Shipping is free. Single sections are available for $23.99, also with no shipping charges.
Awning Pro-Tech, 602-418-7186, www.awningpro-tech.com.