(DIY Pictures) How to replace Torn RV awning

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A ripped or torn awning is an embarrassing thing for any RV. Fortunately, it’s not hard to repair if you know the process and have the right materials.

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How to replace Torn RV awning

1. What Is The Damage

First Assess whether the awning is repairable or not.If it is a small hole its as simple as sticking waterproof tape on the hole. For bigger holes and tears you will have to know how to move forward with the repair.

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2. Remove old Awning

Remove old cover from RV. There are a few different ways you can remove an RV Awning. You need to decide which way is best for your situation. There are instances where it is easier to get to the points on a ladder behind the RV than there is to get onto the roof. In this scenario, it might be better to use a ladder.

You can also get on the roof through the entry door. This is often a safer way to do this, but it requires you be in good enough shape to physically access the roof and remove it from there. There are a few more ways I will discuss, but by far these two are the most common methods you run into.

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3. New On Old

Remove new awning from packaging so that all parts are easily at hand for re-installation during step 3.

Leaving the plastic on your new RV Awning when you install it, will likely result in you getting something caught up in the stitching or seams of the device resulting not only in damage to your new purchase but possibly requiring you to have someone come out and repair/replace it as well due to improper installation.

It is best to remove the plastic from your new RV Awning.

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4. Measure RV Awing

Position the new RV awning over the existing one. You need to make sure that you have enough material to wrap around the whole unit easily but not so much as there are gaps between the two sides of cloth.

Measurements need to be taken from end to end on each side so that your new canopy will fit properly with its edges along the existing installed mounting rails.  This way you don’t have extra tucked in flaps and a wrinkled black mess where rain water can get underneath and cause damage to the rubber window seals on your RV’s sidewall windows.

So here are some tips about taking accurate measurements:

1.Take your measurements at against the side of your RV.  Do not measure yourself in the middle of an open area like a park or parking lot, where you are being distorted by perspective and wind currents.     

2. Take more than one measurement if you can.

3. Measure from end to end on each side to determine width for rails, length for replacement length fabric, height, etc..  Be sure to use a physical tape measure (not phone app) and be sure that it is fully extended with no slack in it when taking your measurements because often times there are 4 inch differences between what you read when stretching a tape measure out straight versus what it reads when just lightly hanging over a rail or other object.

4. 4 feet of width is required to cover an awning so be sure you have at least that much space available on the sidewalls before purchasing fabric by keeping in mind your RV’s overall length, and also if it has a swing out or slide-out.

5.To know how long of a replacement fabric to purchase, you will need to measure the existing one for height and seam lengths (if not factory made for your unit).  If you are making one yourself be sure to consider whether there will be zippers or velcro along the top edge as this might create more waste than what you can use.  

You don’t want some short skinny leftover pieces when all is said and done because then they just becomes trash pile items that will eventually get picked up by a waste management crew.  

So measure carefully and make sure you have enough fabric cut to cover it all the way around your unit.

6.If you want to be especially careful, take pictures of both sides and even in fron t and behind so that you can compare those with new measurements when needed.  

This also allows you to have documentation for insurance claims should something get damaged during future service calls or other events which may necessitate replacement of your Awning fabric.

Now let’s say you want a color other than black:     

1. Fabric stores don’t sell 7′ wide, only 5′ or 6′. So buy the 6′ width if you are using their roofing material for the bottom of your Awning fabric.     

2. You can always get the two short pieces and use velcro fold back tabs to hold off the edge from dirt, mud and UV damage while you are walking to the front or rear areas of your unit when setting up camp at a site.  

You can buy black 5′ wide fabric as well which is more economical but if you want a contrasting color for accent then go ahead and spend just a few pennies more on getting something extra like royal blue or yellow instead.

5. Remove Stitches

Next, lay out the old fabric on a flat surface with one of its edges facing up. The goal here is to completely fold over the old fabric, which will give you access to both sides of it so that you can remove any stitches.

If there are no stitches, then you should be able to easily pull off the old fabric and set it aside. Once you’ve folded over the old fabric, take a look at the inside of it to find any stitches that are holding it in place.

Use your seam ripper or knife to remove these stitches so that you can completely remove the old fabric from the awning.

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6. Reinstall new Awning

The first thing you want to do is to make sure that the black backing on your new cover is facing outwards and attached, then fold it over itself in such a way so that there are no gaps anywhere at all when you are finished with the installation.

Use the seams on your new cover to pull it over the original unit.

The sewing of your new product will allow you access to fitting it into place. Your installed fabric should appear seamless from any direction and be able to hold it’s own against even significant winds.

The Awning should also be able to maintain temperature control within your camper/motor home through keeping heat inside when needed and preventing cold air from getting inside by sealing off gaps that could occur with the different materials used in it’s construction.

Fold down the material to get an idea of where you want it positioned and how much of a gap is acceptable.

If unsure, place your hand inside of the gap to feel if there is any draft when the wind blows against it. You should be able to feel a difference between fingers placed on either side of the device.

The last thing that you need to make sure before installing your new RV awning cover is that you are leaving enough space around all sides so that water does not collect underneath it and cause damage such as rusting or leakage etc. When in use, this will protect your investment significantly from leaking due to rain or high winds.

If you want, you can use a 100lb test fishing line to act as your guide for positioning the cover. Simply run it down both sides and around the front and back so that if there is no wind then water should not be able to get underneath it either way.

Simply tie off at each corner. Reinstall new RV Awning using ladder or roof hook attachment when you are finished checking over everything.

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