Awning Rail Types and UsesBy: Carports, Tents and Sheds Staff Writers
If you cringe at the high prices of some awnings, whether you are looking for a porch awning for your home or a campervan or caravan awning for your recreational vehicle, there is a solution that can save you loads of money. You can buy an awning rail, which is relatively inexpensive, and use it to make your own awning. Awning rails are the long narrow pieces of aluminum, metal or plastic that run along the edge of the awning fabric to keep it secure and hold your awning in place.
So, once you buy a relatively cheap awning rail, what do you need to do to make your own awning? To start, there are two different types of awning rails. One type of awning rail is made to be secured to the side of your house or vehicle to keep the awning securely fastened to the structure. The awning rail is nailed or screwed into the structure, or it is secured by brackets, and then the awning fabric is attached to the inside of the rail.
Another type of awning rail is attached to the other side of the awning fabric – the side that is pulled out to provide covering. These awning rails are smaller and are used as a way to finish off the fabric and pull the awning in and out. Not all types of awnings will have this second rail at the end of the awning. You will typically see awning rails on the ends of the awning, however, on marine awnings, RV awnings, and other small awnings that are pulled opened and closed often, rather than those that remain mostly stationary.
Awning rails have a groove, or channel, in which the awning fabric is placed. The fabric is secured to the rail within the channel and then there is a flat smooth area that can be used for pulling the awning opened or closed, or securing the awning to the side of a structure. This type of awning will not be retractable, however, unless you attach the awning to a roller mechanism that will allow it to retract and unfurl with ease.
You can buy awnings rails in plastic, aluminum or metal. Aluminum awning rails are probably the most popular because they provide the support you need with less chance of breaking than plastic awning rails, and they are also are not as heavy or as prone to rusting as metal awning rails.
If you are looking to make your own awning, you should consider buying an awning rail or two and some heavy-duty awning fabric. This will provide the overhead covering you need at a price you can live with.