Why Do I Need To Replace My RV Awning Fabric?
People don’t always take care of the awnings on their campers. If you buy a used RV or travel trailer the awning is usually moldy and in bad shape.
When we bought our travel trailer we had to spend hours scrubbing it down to get rid of all the mold that had grown on it.
Luckily for us, the fabric was still in good shape, so we didn’t need to buy a replacement. A lot of people aren’t so lucky.
If left moldy for too long RV awning fabric will get weakened and eventually start getting small holes in it which will lead to large tears and unfixable damage.
Before you know it just a quick scrub won’t be enough. The camper awning fabric will have to be replaced.
Another reason you may find yourself needing a new awning is maybe it’s just old and so well used that the sun and being retracted over and over again has damaged it.
Maybe you got a little too close to some low hanging branches and the awning was torn.
Replacement RV awning fabric isn’t hard to find and you can even buy different colors and patterns. Chances are the replacement fabric you buy for your awning will look nicer than the original.
How To Measure For Replacement RV Awning Fabric
Before you buy a replacement RV awning fabric measure from end cap to end cap on your awning.
The actual size of the replacement awning fabric should be shorter than the distance between the end caps.
The measurements companies give for their replacement fabrics can be misleading.
For instance, they will say the fabric is for a 12-foot awning. This is for the total length of the entire awning, including the arms.
Normally in the description, they will tell you what the actual length of the camper awning fabric is, which is normally around 10 inches shorter.
Make sure it’s not longer than what your end cap to end cap measurement is and you should be good to go.
The standard projection (how far the awning goes out or the width of the fabric) is 8 feet, and that’s what most RV awning fabric replacement companies sell. So that part is an easy choice.
Some fabrics are for manual camper awnings, but they will also work for automatic or electric ones. The only difference is the manual kits come with a replacement pull-down strap.
How To Replace RV Awning Fabric
Whether you have an automatic awning or a manual one the replacement process will be almost the same.
Replacing an RV awning is time-consuming but is something you can do yourself so long as you have a few people to help, some ladders, and a couple of necessary tools.
RVGeeks has made one of the most informative easy to follow videos on replacing a manual RV awning fabric.
I suggest watching the entire video before you start replacing your RV awning fabric and then follow along with their steps.
Frequently Asked Questions About RV Awning Fabric
What is the best RV awning replacement fabric?
The best kind of fabric for RV awnings is going to be thick and have a weather and sun resistance layer on it.
Thinner single-ply fabrics are often not even waterproof and they tear easier from regular use.
I recommend checking out this article here (click to view) to read more about the best RV awning replacement fabric.
How much does it cost to replace RV awning fabric?
The cost greatly depends on the quality of the replacement fabric you want to use and if you are going to replace it yourself or have a dealer or repair shop do it.
RV awning replacement fabric can run anywhere from around $100 to $500 depending on the size. An extra-large camper awning will cost more.
The cost to have someone else replace it is probably going to run you anywhere from $400 to $1000 depending on where you get it fixed. That cost will be for labor alone and if you get the replacement fabric with them the price of the material will be added to the labor price.
I recommend watching the video on how to replace RV awning fabric above to see how easily it can be done with just a few tools and 3 people. You may end up deciding to do it yourself.
Can you replace just the fabric on an RV awning?
Yes, you can! If you do it yourself the cost is going to be much less than replacing the entire thing.
The fabric is what normally goes out first on a camper awning. Luckily there are lots of companies that make just the replacement fabric.
You can get new camper awning fabric in lots of different colors and patterns to fit your specific camper and style.
How to align RV awning fabric or arm
A very common problem with lots of RV awnings is the fabric will stretch unevenly over time and pull the retractable awning arms out of alignment.
The problem can normally be seen when the camper awning is fully retracted. If it’s out of alignment the arms will be off center and not sitting in the tracks the correct way.
To fix it, look at the direction the arms are tilting. If they are tilting to the right you will need to adjust the RV awning fabric to the left.
Once you know what direction the fabric needs to be pulled, fully extend the awning.
The RV awning fabric needs to be adjusted at the base. Where it’s connected to the RV. Get a ladder and climb up to the base of the awning on the side you are going to be pulling it (left side if the arms are too far to the right, right side if the arms are too far to the left).
Once you are up there you should see a single screw going through the awning fabric and into the camper.
There is a screw on each side, they are what is holding the fabric in place.
Remove the screw and pull the fabric towards yourself. It should move easily. If it won’t move you may need to remove the screw on the other side as well.
I recommend only moving the fabric a little bit at a time. A 1/2 an inch will move the arm more than you think and you don’t want to go too far over.
Once you’ve moved the fabric a little you can retract the awning before replacing the screw to see if it worked. If the arms are still a little off you can extend the awning back out and move the fabric a little more.
Once the fabric has been adjusted enough and the arms have been realigned you can replace the screw and you are good to go.
How to repair RV awning fabric?
Sometimes a small tear or hole in camper awning fabric can be repaired using super sticky repair tape that is waterproof, UV-resistant, and flexible.
A good option is Camco RV Awning Repair Tape (click to view on Amazon) or if you don’t mind the tape color not matching you can also get this 360Tronics Waterproof Aluminum Repair Tape (click to view on Amazon).
Make sure you allow time for the tape adhesive to dry thoroughly before retracting the camper awning so it doesn’t cause the fabric to stick together when it’s rolled up.
How to clean RV awning fabric?
If there are no holes and tears in your camper awning fabric you can clean it to remove any mold or dirt. You want to get all the mold off as soon as possible to prevent it from eating the fabric and causing permanent damage.
The best way to clean moldy awnings is to use strong chemicals like these (click to view an article on the best RV awning fabric cleaners), brushes, and water.
You can read more about methods for cleaning in the article linked to above.
Have any more questions about replacing and measuring RV awning fabric? Leave a comment below.