Awning Lock – How to Prevent Unfurling While Driving


Based upon an article, written by Jim Ware, N6XZL, published in the April 2002 Ham-O-Gram

In high winds encountered while underway, RV awnings can unfurl with possible heavy damage to the awning and its hardware.   This may occur even if the awning arms are tightly in place against the side of the RV.  Jim Ware, N6XZL, has designed an awning lock to prevent this problem.  Jim’s lock is mounted on a Carefree brand awning. The system should be applicable to other brands.  Jim shares his design with us.

Awning Lock Parts:

  • One 6 inch barrel bolt from ACE Hardware.
  • One 3/16″ diameter 6 inch long eye bolt.
  • Four 1/4″ 20 threads/inch, 1 inch long.  Four 20 threads/inch elastic stop nuts.
  • Two 1/8″ X 3/4″ aluminum shims. Cut these from stock aluminum 1/8″ X  3/4″ bar stock.
  • One 1/2″  X  1 3/4 ” piece of springy steel (Stainless prefered) for retainer spring. 



Remove the knob handle on the barrel bolt and cut off the base just beyond the lock position.

Cut the thread off the end of the eye bolt.  File or grind down the shaft until you can press fit the end  into the barrel bolt (where the original knob handle was situated).

Position the assembly on the upper arm cap so that the barrel bolt lines up with the end of the awning’s roller assembly in an area that is empty behind the roller cap.  Note: the black area running from the awning cap and under the metal awning cover on photo B is just foam rubber.  Mark and drill the cap to mount the base of the barrel bolt.

Open the awning.  You may need to do a little filing inside the end cap to make room for the nuts. There are some ribs inside the end cap that may interfere with the nuts.  Jim used a rotating burr in his drill.  The aluminum extrusions and the end cap cut easily.  The spacers go under each end of the bolt base as the end cap is not flat.  Discard the end cap mounting screw that would be under the bolt frame.

Mount assembly, and close the awning. Mark and drill the end of the roller.  The spring provides friction on the eyebolt to prevent wind or vibration from opening it.  The bolt is easy to operate with your awning rod.

Close awning.

You are finished – Happy Camping from N6XZL

Photo A



Photo B

is a chapter of the Good Sam Club that is affiliated with the ARRL. Our Amateur Radio Club Call Sign is K6SRH.