Ever wonder what that long channel is running the length of your trailer on the curb above the door? That's an awning rail. Back in the good old days of travel trailers, an awning wouldn't be a permanent attachment to the side of your trailer. You'd put it on when you were parked for a while and wanted the benefit of an awning and you'd take it off and store it away when you didn't. Simple.
These days, it's hard to find a good awning that fits those old railings and looks like it belongs on a vintage trailer. We've got just the solution...
What is a Pole & Rope Awning? And Would it be Original for My Trailer? Vintage pole & rope awnings were used almost universally from the 1940s into the 1970s. They are installed only when in use and are taken down and stored when traveling.
The trailer-side edge of the awning is mounted by sliding one edge of the awning through the existing awning rail on your trailer. An awning rail is a C-shaped aluminum extrusion running the length of the trailer on the curb side above the door. If you do not currently have an awning rail attached, you can buy a "standard awning rail" at almost any RV dealer. We sell 8' long rails.
In the old days, the awning edge had a rope sewn into its hem to give it the profile that would hold in the C-shaped rail. With ours, a plastic bead is sewn on the edge of the awning in lieu of the rope. The bead is a big improvement because the fabric doesn't touch the aluminum rail.
A SECTION OF AWNING RAIL WITH AND WITHOUT AWNING INSTALLED
The opposite outside edge of the awning is supported by telescoping aluminum poles, which are tethered to stakes.
A sure sign of whether your trailer should have a pole & rope awning is to see if it has an awning rail installed.