How to Replace an RV Awning – Read This Guide First

Your RV awning fabric provides shade during hot summer days, a place to park your bikes, or a great spot to put a table for eating your meals.

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Wear and tear happens with age, and eventually you will need to replace an RV awning. While this should be easy enough, with a few helping hands, if you or the others helping,  have no knowledge of tension-loaded springs, let a professional replace your RV awning for you. Otherwise, here are the steps you should take:

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  • Get a properly-sized replacement RV awning. (Obviously you will want to measure carefully, because if the awning doesn’t fit your RV, then you will end up with a useless awning!)
  • Release the existing awning.
  • Roll the awning down and lock it into place.
  • Rotate the inner shaft until the holes are lined up, and then bend the end of the cotter pins.
  • Disconnect the lag bolts using a wrench. These are what hold the awning rafters to the RV.
  • Lift the awning out of its place and walk away as you unwind the fabric.
  • Note the number of times you turn each spring to relieve tension. (This number is exact and you will need to re-install it exactly as you found it.)
  • Lift, out of place, the tube that holds the awning fabric, as it should be free at this point.

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  • Install the new fabric carefully to avoid tearing it.
  • Reconnect the torsion assembly and rivet it back into place.
  • Reconnect everything as you found it before.
  • Then test your handy work to ensure the awning moves easily.

Replacing your RV awning can be a simple process, if you know your way around tension-loaded springs, but when in doubt, always consult a professional.

Follow your owner’s manual for tips on how to extend the life of your awning. Awnings can shield you from the sun, but when the wind pick ups up can act as a “sail,” and if it rains, can “pool” water. Make sure to secure it properly, if it is windy, and retract it during bad storms so that strong wind does not damage it, and rain does not collect in it. If it is raining, but the weather is not too severe, you can also set it up so that one end is lower than the other, so the rainwater can escape down one side. In this way, you can still have the protection of the awning without compromising it.

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