You out at the campground and you pull out your awning and you see there is a tear in it or the motor does not want to disingage the awning…What do you do?
I will show you step by stem to fix your RV Awning. Here we go
Step-By-Step How to repair RV awning
What awning is it
You will need to know the specific awning type before purchasing replacement parts. Manufacturer specifications for the awning. For example, you will need to know the size and material of the fabric if it is a vinyl awning.
You will also need to know if it is an aluminum or fabric awning and how many panels you have.
What material is your RV Awning
So you need to know whether your awnings are canvas or aluminum, the material they are made from and how many panels they have.
Awning fabric is either vinyl that comes in various colors (including clear), aluminum with an enamel finish, polyester, or cotton duck.
Aluminum awnings generally come in 10-foot sections while fabric ones can be ordered by the foot. Manufacturers also sell replacement brackets for awnings.
The metal arm-and-track assemblies that hold awnings on the side of RVs have pretty limited lives, as most RV owners learn soon after buying their RVs.
There are two types of arm-and-track systems: those designed for use with one long block above each window and ones designed for multiple blocks. The latter system is much more expensive, as at least one bracket must be mounted above each window.
Awnings originally priced in the thousands of dollars are now available new for $300 or less.
If you opt for a repair kit, it will cost about half as much again as an original part but can save you around 50% on parts alone if your fabric is still good.
But whatever route you decide to take, here’s how to replace that awning:
1. Disconnect All Electrical Wires
Disconnect all electrical wires connected to the motor and close all windows and vents leading out from the area where you are working. Remove any obstructions such as ladders or chairs that might interfere with the movement of the awning.
2. Remove Brackets
Remove the brackets first, using an adjustable wrench or socket wrench (or locking pliers if you don’t have either) to remove nuts, bolts and screws that secure the brackets to the side panels of your RV.
You may need to use a step ladder or stepladder if more than one set of brackets is located on the same side panel. Remove any hardware left in place by previous repairs that won’t be used again.
3. Remove Rollers
Remove existing roller tube(s), attaching bracket(s) and mounting sleeves from each track section with wrenches or pliers whichever type was previously used for installation.
If you are replacing broken sections, make sure that you have enough new tube material to equal at least two full turns around the awning’s perimeter. This method will help prevent stretching and sagging over time.
4. Install new Tubes
The new tube material should be at least 1/4 inch smaller in diameter than the size of the sleeve it replaces to allow for any possible stretch during use.
You may have to cut the old tube off if it has become too brittle from age or sun exposure, or if it is bent so badly that you can’t remove it with wrenches or pliers (but first turn off your power).
If there are several sections needing replacement, mark them so they go back in the same place; otherwise you may have to take everything apart again.
5. Install new Tracks
Install all new track sleeves according to manufacturer recommendations (generally this involves placing a large nut on each end of the tube and tightening it with pliers).
If, however, your existing brackets have sleeve retainers similar to those on wooden window blinds or vertical slides for glass doors, you will need to replace both brackets and sleeves.
6. Install Roller Tubes
Roller tubes should be installed in a straight line around the perimeter of your awning with no twists to avoid sags later on.
Each roller tube also has its own small retaining nut that must be tightened as well. Unless you are handy at soldering, use plastic ties to hold all electrical wiring in place; if necessary splice new wire onto old using connectors available at electronics stores and Radio Shack stores.
You can often reuse existing nuts and bolts when reassembling an awning but make sure that what you use will support the weight of the awning and won’t pull through your RV’s sheet metal.
7. Re-Install Fabric
Place the old fabric over the new bracket assembly, centering it as well as possible to minimize any seams that might give you trouble in future years. Apply glue or silicone lubricant according to manufacturer instructions and pull excess away from tube joints before attaching fabric on top.
Use pliers, sheet metal screws with washers or custom brackets (check your local hardware store) for this step instead of velcro straps so there is no chance that untightened straps will let loose later on and damage your roof or walls when traveling.
Once everything is set in place, connect all electrical wires and tighten all nuts and bolts securely with adjustable wrenches or socket wrenches (or locking pliers used on retaining nuts if no other tools are available).
8. Roll the Awning Down
Roll the awning completely down, reattach any vent or window screens and electrical wires to the motor before testing it.
Lift up sections of fabric at various points in all directions to make sure there are no wrinkles that may cause problems later on — check thoroughly since it’s far easier to fix these now then after you’ve reinstalled everything.
If your awning has multiple motors and they operate separately (for example, one for each section), be sure to test them individually as well as together.
9. Check For Any Loose Objects
Check carefully for loose objects such as nuts, bolts, screws etc; and remove any that have become lodged in the fabric. Hang on to these for a future date when you may need to remove and reinstall the fabric again.
Examine your roller tubes carefully; any crookedness or kinks will cause problems when rolling up or down.
10. Roll the Awning Up
Roll up the awning completely, including all sections if possible, and make sure that everything fits snugly before tightening brackets.
Pay particular attention to the area where the fabric attaches to each roller tube — wrinkles can form here over time causing trouble later on (check this at least once every couple of months).
If weather permits, leave rolled up overnight so you can check for problems in the morning; if not then drive around for an hour or so since vibrations are likely to settle things in place even more than just waiting.
11. Check All Clips
Glue, silicone lubricant and even clips can fail over time due to weather damage or sabotage so try not to panic when you notice a problem. It may be as simple as tightening the fabric with adjustable wrenches or safety pliers; but if it isn’t then call your local dealer first since he will only sell the part needed.
12. Secure Everything
The final step after making everything secure is to check all gasoline connections and vent hoses that run from roof vents down to ground level; these connections can wear out over time especially when exposed to weather and vibration.
Any of these that are loose, regardless of whether they are on the roof or part of ground-supporting apparatus (or even both), should be tightened right away; and this doesn’t mean just making them snug but almost tight enough to break off.
In fact, if you can’t find a wrench large enough you might have better luck getting someone to hold the gas pump handle while you crank down on it with pliers in order to avoid damaging anything else.
Once everything is secure again then check your connections for any signs of leaks; if you detect any then use a specialized tool designed for such repairs.
If other sections of your awning seem to sag at times, check thoroughly for problems with roller tubes (including sidewinders), brackets and any support ropes that may be connected to your RV.
Sometimes just tightening supporting bolts can solve the problem while at other times you will need a more experienced hand to help correct things.
Don’t forget to check underneath as well — there’s nothing worse than turning up at a campground late at night only to discover that an animal has been chewing on or otherwise damaging your awning.
If it’s not badly damaged then it might be worth driving over to the nearest hotel and checking in for the night (if possible) or setting up extra barriers of some kind since there is no safe alternative under such conditions, particularly for larger RVs with high sidewalls.
If your RV Awning is damaged in an accident then chances are it will be torn or otherwise rendered unusable — so if this happens then you’ll need to repair or replace it as soon as possible but keep in mind that replacement can be severely expensive (and since many people use custom made units which only come from their dealer, you might not have much choice about who does the work).
However if you do decide to try and repair everything yourself, it’s imperative that you know how things work before getting started — otherwise you could end up making things worse instead of better.
And remember: if anything goes wrong then the only person to blame will be yourself; also consider that any warranty coverage you might have will most likely disappear forever since nobody (no matter how careful or experienced) can make repairs without some unexpected event happening at least once during the process.
One last thing: just because something isn’t repairable doesn’t mean you need to replace it with something even more expensive; there are lots of ways to save money on replacing camping equipment like awnings which should help as long as you’re willing to learn more than you think you need to…