Carefree Blog

RV Awning Fabric - Which is the Best for You?

Team Carefree

Carefree of Colorado helps distinguish between the two most purchased RV awning fabrics – vinyl and acrylic – and which is best to fit your needs.


Whether you are buying a new RV and customizing it to your needs, or simply looking to replace your RV awnings, most customers are faced with two awning fabric options: vinyl or acrylic. While all of our Carefree RV awnings offer ease of operation, dependability, great service and value, not all RV awnings are built the same.


Your RV Awning Fabric Choice: The Case for Acrylic Fabrics


Acrylic fabric is a woven cloth that allows air to circulate through the fabric. They can handle burning sun, drenching rain, freezing ice and snow, wicked winds,irritating dust and dirt, pesky bugs-you name it. The woven acrylic cloth can quickly dry and although not encouraged, it is able to be rolled up when wet. Since woven acrylic is very breathable, the air constantly moving through the fabric means that the temperature under the canopy will stay cooler than under vinyl awning fabric. Since the patterns and colors are woven in – not painted - on acrylic fabrics, you can trust that your canopy will stay full and bright over the years.


Carefree of Colorado acrylic awnings are also protected with our exclusive, patented Alumaguard, Uniguard or FLXguard.  Alumaguard is made up of several aluminum slats that hinge and wrap around your retracted awning canopy, providing unsurpassed protection for your awning fabric when not in use and making your awning virtually leak resistant. Uniguard is a single piece of aluminum in the shape of your roller-tube, and wraps around your retracted canopy.  FLXguard is made from a Carefree proprietary polymer-based material which has the look and protection properties of expensive metal wraps at an economical price.  You must have Alumaguard, Uniguard or FLXguard in order to install acrylic fabric.


It’s also important to remember that acrylic fabrics are water repellent, but they're not waterproof. What this means is that you should never touch the underside of your awning if it’s wet or else water will seep through the fabric.


Your RV Awning Fabric Choice: Is a vinyl awning right for me?


At Carefree of Colorado, we are recognized for our high quality vinyl RV awnings.  Carefree vinyl RV awnings have a 4-ply fabric, rugged vinyl Weatherguard, and are scratch resistant. Our 4-ply vinyl canopies have four important features:


    1. Clear vinyl top-layer that protects against scratches and fading.

    2. Second vinyl layer with painted pattern.

    3. Polyester scrim for strength and stability.

    4. Bottom vinyl layer in white or with a painted pattern.


Vinyl fabrics come standard with standard vinyl Weatherguard, or you can choose from optional Alumaguard, Uniguard or FLXguard fabric protection for when you awning is closed. Vinyl Weatherguard is a heavy-duty section of vinyl that wraps around your vinyl when your RV awning is retracted. Road grime, UV rays and pollution won't penetrate to the actual awning canvas, extending the lifetime of the fabric. Since vinyl fabrics are a laminated fabric, water will not soak through making them water-proof. Vinyl Weatherguard comes standard with most Carefree of Colorado vinyl RV awnings.


Vinyl RV awning fabric is mildew resistant, but not necessarily mildew-proof. Mildew, which forms on the dirt and dust that collects on a vinyl fabric, can be particularly troublesome in warm humid climates or if the fabric is stored when it is wet.


So whether you are just starting out and buying a new RV or simply upgrading and replacing parts of your RV, it’s best to know the benefits and features of the these two most common awning fabrics. The more informed you are, the better you are equipped to make the best decision for your RV. In the end, you can’t go wrong with any type of RV awning from Carefree of Colorado.