A & E by Dometic, 20 foot awning. Ripstop, plasticized fabric.

During my travels over the years with my 18 foot Colorado awning, I quickly found out that there is one addition to an awning that owners should attach immediately on purchase. And that’s a pull cord. Here’s a picture of mine. The addition is that white nylon pull cord that attaches to the black strap provided by the awning manufacturer. (The wooden structure in the window is a reflection).


What I’ve had happen, during a windstorm when I need to quickly retract the awning, is sometimes the black nylon pull strap that comes with awnings is nearly impossible to grab with the hook as it’s wildly whipping around, or it’s wrapped itself around something up on the roof or an awning arm assembly. I’m generally too short to reach it and unwind it. Other times, I’ll arrive at a RV park and can’t find the strap because it’s up out of reach on top of the roof. And a couple times, it’s gotten wrapped up inside the awning as I retracted it in a windstorm and lost hold of it. And those cases it takes a ladder and two people to get it untrapped. So this is my solution.

What I do is double a length of the small diameter nylon cord found in packages at Home Depot and tie it to the pull strap that people often just use their awning hook for. This prevents the pull strap from getting lost inside the awning during retraction, or lost for the other reasons mentioned and not easily reached without a ladder…which I don’t carry. Who wants to climb a ladder in the wind anyway.

Than I use a small bungee cord to attach it to the conveniently located hole in the base of the awning arm.  Yes, while driving if the wind is from the right direction the strap and cord can slap the side of the RV, but it’s never harmed the paint, and it isn’t all that noisy. After hundreds of operations using the pull cord for both extending and retracting the awning, and remembering what troubles happened when I didn’t use one, I wouldn’t be without this little hack. The pull cord should come with new awnings.