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What to Do When Your RV Awning Won’t Retract

What To Do When Your Rv Awning Won't Retract

Awnings are a wonderful addition to any RV, providing shade and protection from the elements. However, like any mechanical component, they can sometimes encounter issues. One common problem that RV owners face is when their awning won’t retract. This can be frustrating, especially when you’re ready to hit the road or if bad weather is approaching. In this guide, we’ll discuss what you can do when faced with this situation.

Diagnose the Issue:

The first step when your RV awning won’t retract is to diagnose the issue. Start by inspecting the awning fabric for any tears, rips, or obstructions. Sometimes, debris such as leaves or branches can get lodged in the awning mechanism, preventing it from retracting properly. Clear any obstructions you find and ensure that the fabric is not caught on anything.

Check the Power Supply:

If your RV has a motorized awning, the next step is to check the power supply. Make sure that your RV is properly connected to shore power or that the battery is fully charged. A weak or dead battery can cause the awning motor to malfunction, preventing it from retracting. If the power supply is not the issue, move on to the next steps.

Inspect the Awning Arms and Hardware:

Next, inspect the awning arms and hardware for any damage or misalignment. Check for bent or broken components that may be preventing the awning from retracting smoothly. Lubricate any moving parts with silicone spray to ensure they operate smoothly. If you notice any significant damage to the awning arms or hardware, it may be necessary to replace these components.

Manually Retract the Awning:

If you’re unable to retract the awning using the motorized controls, you may need to retract it manually. Most RV awnings come with a manual override option for situations like this. Refer to your RV owner’s manual for instructions on how to manually retract your awning. Typically, this involves using a crank or lever to roll up the awning manually. Be careful when manually retracting the awning to avoid injury and damage to the awning fabric.

Inspect the Awning Motor and Wiring:

If you’ve tried the above steps and your awning still won’t retract, the issue may lie with the awning motor or wiring. Carefully inspect the motor and wiring for any signs of damage or corrosion. Check for loose connections or frayed wires that may be causing the motor to malfunction. If you’re not comfortable working with electrical components, it’s best to consult a professional RV technician for assistance.

Consider Temporary Fixes:

If you’re unable to resolve the issue with your awning right away, consider implementing temporary fixes to protect it from further damage. This could involve securing the awning in place using straps or bungee cords to prevent it from unfurling while driving. Alternatively, you may need to remove the awning fabric altogether until you can properly diagnose and repair the issue.

Seek Professional Assistance:

If you’ve exhausted all troubleshooting steps and are still unable to retract your RV awning, it’s time to seek professional assistance. Contact your RV dealer or a certified RV technician for help diagnosing and repairing the problem. They will have the knowledge and expertise to identify the root cause of the issue and perform any necessary repairs or replacements.


In conclusion, dealing with a malfunctioning RV awning can be frustrating, but it’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage and ensure your safety on the road. By following the steps outlined in this guide, including diagnosing the problem, checking the power supply, inspecting the awning arms and hardware, and attempting to manually retract the awning if necessary, you can take the necessary actions to resolve the issue. However, if you’re unable to fix the problem on your own, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance.

Certified RV technicians have the expertise and knowledge to identify the root cause of the issue and perform any necessary repairs or replacements. If you’re in Michigan and facing issues with your RV awning, consider reaching out to reputable RV awning repair services in Michigan for expert help. With their assistance, you can get your RV awning back in working order and enjoy your outdoor adventures with peace of mind. Remember, proactive maintenance and regular inspections can help prevent future awning issues, so be sure to keep up with your RV’s maintenance schedule to avoid similar problems in the future.

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