Window awnings keep your RV cooler and they’re easy to install, too! Here we’ll show you every step needed to perform this simple DIY task with confidence.

But first, a word about our new website: We’ve just launched the brand new site at a brand new location, replacing HowToRVgeeks, which has now been retired. We’ve worked to make the presentation of our videos more pleasing and easier to access, with a cleaner layout and infinite scrolling. We hope you like it. :) We have lots more videos in the works and our subscribers are the first to hear about them. If you haven’t already subscribed, please do it today!

We’d be remiss if we didn’t give a special thanks here to our dear friend, Nikki Wynn of GoneWithTheWynns. Without Nikki’s insistence that our videos deserved their own platform apart from YouTube, this site would not exist. Since our first good “talking to” about it, we’ve affectionally called her “Mama” as an homage to her nurturing of our video blog. We suppose that Nikki is now the Step Mama of TheRVgeeks… even though she’s a lot younger than we are. Hmmmm. Love you Nikki. Hope you and Jason have a blast at the Burn this week!

Now about those window awnings…

Like many RVs, ours came from the factory with some awnings already installed. There’s one over the bedroom window on the curb side and a long one covering both living room windows on the driver’s side. Of course there’s a large main patio awning and one over the door as well.

The only large window without a dedicated awning is in the living room on the curb side. Obviously, the manufacturer assumed that the patio awning would do the job of blocking the sun from that window.

But there are times when it’s imprudent to have our main awning out, like on really windy days, or when we’re away from the RV and don’t want to risk damage in the event of a sudden weather change (considering the consequences, we’d rather not rely on our awning’s wind sensor).

The worst scenario is a hot, windy day while we’re dry camping, as we generally try to avoid running the generator for A/C unless it’s absolutely needed. Blocking direct sun by using windshield screens and awnings makes a major difference in the comfort level inside the RV. As we always want the option of blocking the sun from the right-side living room window (especially since we often face that side of the rig to the south when we’re boondocking), we need an awning specifically for that window.

Before placing our order for a matching A&E / Dometic awning, we noted the color code of the fabric and hardware from our original awnings and measured the window to determine what size we’d need. We’re taking advantage of the extra space on each side to order one that’s wider than usual, extending 9 inches out on each side of the window. That will keep more sun off the side of the RV and prevent it from raining in if we leave the window open on wet days.

We’ve had our rig for over 9 years, and we’re finally installing that awning that we’ve always talked about. It’s the perfect DIY project and we’ll show you exactly how it’s done. It’s such an easy job that we’re not sure what took us so long to finally get around to it!

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  1. I also have a Mountain Aire – although a bit older than yours – with identical awnings. Last hurricane managed to “deploy” the long window awning over our driver side slide windows. Looks like the only damage is to the plastic end caps of the roller tube and the strap which is gone. Unfortunately, the tube end caps appear to be impossible to purchase. Any ideas?

    1. Hey Michael! Wow! Must’ve been some winds in that hurricane! Sorry to hear you sustained damage! If you have A&E/Dometic window awnings and you’re talking about the caps on the roller tubes through which the axle/rotation point for the awning comes through, we think you may end up having to replace the whole “torsion” assembly in order to get new ones. We’d recommend that you look at the labels on your roller tube (it’s visible when the awning is completely extended) and arms (again, when extended you should be able to see the label inside the arm) to get the models & serial numbers off of them. With that information, you should be able to speak to a dealer and make sure that you get the correct part numbers for both end assemblies. Once you have those, you’ll basically need to disassemble most of the awning in order to install the new parts (including being sure to pin the springs so you don’t get hurt in the process). Hope this helps… and best of luck!! Let us know how you make out!

      1. Thanks for the reply.
        I used a 2.5 inch adjustable hose clamp to reattach the end caps to the tube. Part of the caps are missing and they were torn loose from the pop rivets. Cranking down on the hose clamp after carefully aligning the remaining portion of the end cap allowed the slightly bent tube to rotate. I had to drill out the riveted pins attaching the arms to the wall brackets so I could use the arms to re-tension the awning (I’ve only done the left end cause it’s cold in FL this evening). I couldn’t find 1/4 inch x 3 inch clevis pins which would be the correct pin replacement so had to use 1/4 x 3 inch stainless steel bolts and double nuts to replace the drilled out pins. With only the left end tensioned (17 turns per my 1996 documentation) the awning retracts tightly. Tomorrow I’ll get a replacement pull down strap and re-tension the right end. Hopefully that will return the awning to operation until I can get replacement caps or machine some out of AL. I’m going to add 2 arm lock brackets so this doesn’t happen again!

        The large patio awning is Velcro strapped and bungee cord wrapped. I didn’t open in the wind. Of course it has a rotation lock and latches.

  2. This was great! I installed two awnings…Carefree of Colorado so a bit different…but pretty much the same, right down to the socks! The video made everything go so much smoother than just following the rather confusing printed instructions. Thank you.

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We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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