How to Use Awning Rail Spreader

How to Use Awning Rail Spreader : Complete 5 Steps DIY Guide

Last Updated on April 9, 2023

Awning rail obstructions can make extending or retracting your shade a struggle, as well as making your RV an eyesore. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also be unsafe if they’re not dealt with properly. Awning rail spreaders really help in this scenario.

Spreaders are commonly made from aluminum or another lightweight material, and they come in a variety of sizes to fit different RV awning rails. These spreaders distribute fabric load evenly across the rails, preventing the fabric from sagging or stretching in awkward corners.

But how to use an awning rail spreader with your RV slide-out? The purpose of this article is to discuss the guidelines for using RV awning spreaders and when they should be used. Let’s begin.

How to Use Awning Rail Spreader : Easy Steps

Motorhome awning accessories

One of the most important uses for an RV awning is to help prevent soil erosion. By using RV awning rail spreaders, you’ll help keep your campsite clean and free of debris while also preventing damage to the ground beneath your RV. Here are the simple steps on what to do with an RV awning rail spreader:

Step 01: Find the Right Size

There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on the size of the Awning Rail Spreader. First, consider the size of the area that you need to cover.

The spreader should be large enough to reach the edges of the area, but not so large that it is unwieldy or difficult to maneuver.

Second, think about how much coverage you need. If you only need a light layer of protection, a smaller spreader will suffice. If you need heavy-duty coverage, a larger spreader will be necessary.

Finally, take into account any obstacles in the area that might impede the spreader’s movement. Once you have considered all of these factors, you will be able to choose the perfect size for your needs.

Step 02: Place the Spreader Into the Rail

You will want to make sure that the spreader is positioned in such a way that the leg is touching the obstruction. Once you have done this, you can begin to apply pressure to the spreader.

The amount of pressure will vary depending on the material of the obstruction. If it is made of something soft, like dirt, you will not need to apply much pressure. Conversely, if the obstruction is harder, like a rock, you may need to use more force.

Step 03: Tap the Spreader Gently

Once the spreader is in place, you can begin to remove the obstruction by tapping it gently with your hand or a small tool. Be sure to tap evenly so that you don’t ruin the RV awning rail. Tap away at the obstruction until it starts to loosen and eventually falls out.

When the obstruction passes through the spreader, it can be removed. If you want to avoid leaving a mark on your hand, wrap the spreading tool in a soft cloth on the handle side before tapping.

Large objects may still be present after the initial use of the spreader. In order to remove these larger objects, it is necessary to repeat the process. This will ensure that the awning rail is clear and free of obstruction.

Step 04: Remove the Spreader and Clean Rail

After using the RV awning channel rail spreader to remove bumps and blockages, follow these steps to remove the spreader from the rail and clean the rail. First, use the tab on the spreader to release it from the rail.

Next, hold the spreader in one hand and the rail in the other, and slide the spreader off of the rail. Finally, use a cloth or brush to remove any extra tiny debris from the rail. If necessary, you can also use mild detergent and water to clean the rail.

Step 05: Extend Awning

Once the rails are clear, extend the RV awning fully and then apply a liberal amount of lubricant to the rails. Take a cloth or brush and work the lubricant into the rails, moving from one end to the other.

Then retract the awning and make sure that it is functioning properly before using it again. At the end of that period, the lubricant will have had a chance to penetrate the rails and prevent any further obstructions.

When to Use an RV Awning Rail Spreader?

Rail spreader compact head

There are a few different instances when you might need an RV pull-out rail spreader. The most common reason is if there is something preventing the awning from moving freely and for easy use. This could be due to a build-up of dust particles, or it could be because the awning fabric is starting to fray.

Another reason to use the spreader is if the awning rails are bent or otherwise damaged. In this case, the spreader can help to straighten out the rails, allowing the awning to function properly again.

Finally, the spreader can be used in an emergency situation to retract the awning in case of severe weather. While it’s not an essential piece of equipment, it’s good to have on hand just in case.

How to Store an RV Awning Rail Spreader?

When not in use this compact size tool, the RV awning rail track spreader should be stored in a dry and safe place. A good option is to keep it in the same storage area as the awning itself. That way, it will be readily available the next time you need it.

Another thing to consider is how to protect the spreader from rust. If it is made of metal, you may want to apply clear varnish or paint to the surface. This will create a barrier between the metal and the elements, preventing rust from forming.

You should also ensure the spreader is clean before storing it. This will help to keep it in good condition and prevent any particles from accumulating on it.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a few questions that are commonly asked about RV awning rail spreaders. Here are some of the most faq, along with their answers.

1. Are RV Awning Rail Spreaders Better Than Awning Brushes?

RV rail spreading tools are definitely better than RV awning brushes for removing bumps and obstructions. Rail spreaders are designed to quickly and easily remove any debris that may be blocking the awning. And since they are designed specifically for use on motorhome awnings, they are more likely to fit your awning rails perfectly. On the other hand, RV awning brushes may not be as effective at removing larger objects.

2. Why is My Awning Channel Rail Stuck?

There might be something blocking the path of the rail in your awning channel. You might find leaves or sticks, or something more substantial like a rock or piece of metal. See if you can remove the blockage with a rail spreader if you can see what is blocking the rail.

Another possibility is that the brackets that hold the rail in place have come loose. Check the brackets to see if they need to be tightened or replaced. Lastly, the rail itself may be bent or cracked. This will require a new rail to be installed.

3. How Do You Attach an Awning Rail to a Caravan?

There are several ways to attach a caravan awning rail to an RV, but the most common method is to use metal brackets. First, mark the desired location of the caravan porch awnings rail on the caravan wall. Next, use a drill to make pilot holes for the brackets.

Once the holes are drilled, insert the brackets and secure them in place with screws. Finally, slide the awning rail into the brackets and tightened the screws to secure it in place. With proper installation and the use of a rail spreader regularly, it will always be free from blocks.


Now that you know how to use an RV awning rail spreader, you can keep your RV awning in top condition. This simple tool is essential for removing debris and other obstructions from the awning rail track. It’s also great for straightening out bent or twisted rails. And in an emergency, it can be used to quickly release the awning.

Make sure to store the RV awning rail spreader dry and away from water carriers after use. And don’t forget to protect it from rust by applying a coat of clear paint or varnish. With proper care, your spreader will last for a long.

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