Did you know that if your RV awning is looking like it’s seen better days, then you can easily replace the fabric? Well, now you do! But before we get to how to do this replacement, let me tell you that most people who own an RV don’t realize how much work goes into maintaining the vehicle.
One of those maintenance tasks includes replacing your awning fabric every now and then. When we first bought our camper, we were told by friends and family members that this would be an easy task. All we had to do was unroll the old fabric, roll out the new material in its place, staple it down with a staple gun, and voila!
But when we tried doing it ourselves…it wasn’t so easy after all! Here’s what to do:
- Layout all the replacement fabric pieces on the ground
- Start installing by folding the corner of the fabric over
- Fold back excess fabric and install staples along this edge
- Install top rail coverings, next to come down from rail section
- Remove lower rail and install similar to above one
- Install side rails and secure every inch by driving in a staple
- Double-check the entire installation
- Finish it off with a clean, professional look
- Reattach tension knobs with a wrench
- Awning replacement complete!
So, without further ado, let’s dive straight in!
Step #1: Layout all the replacement fabric pieces on the ground
On the ground, layout all of the replacement fabric pieces and verify that they are in the correct order and form. Once you have done this, start attaching one side of the replacement fabric at a time, starting from one end of each piece.
This is important because it makes positioning the new fabric easier. If you have a patterned fabric, it helps to lay out all of that particular type before any other classes to be appropriately positioned to match the old material. Thread all the rods through the pole sleeves, but don’t attach them to each other yet.
Step #2: Start installing by folding the corner of the fabric over
I recommend you start by folding the corner of the fabric over and then securing it with a staple gun or wind it tightly around the frame until it is snug against the frame to ensure that there are no gaps around its edges. You will also want to be sure that there are no air leaks.
Step #3: Fold back excess fabric and install staples along this edge
One thing you need to do is to fold back excess fabric and install staples along this edge at about a quarter-inch apart, making sure that there is at least 1 inch between each subsequent row of staples. You want to ensure that the staples are snugged tight to the frame, with no air escaping between them.
This ensures that you have enough stability for the fabric so it won’t wear off quickly. This will also allow the outdoor structure to remain stable and prevent any future problems from arising due to excessive wear and tear.
Step #4: Install top rail coverings, next to come down from rail section
Coverings for the top rail should be installed next to come down from the rail section, overlapping where you previously inserted at least 1 inch of mesh material for weather protection. Then connect the top rail coverings to the rails with a tie cord. When pulling the cord, make sure to pull it tightly, and this will help hold up the coverings. Step back and follow the next step!
Step #5: Remove lower rail and install similar to above one
Remove the lower rail and install the replacement awning fabric in the same way as before. Once you have removed the lower rail, measure 1 inch of mesh under the installation point and a quarter-inch between staples. Staple one side of the fabric to the rail, then gradually roll it back until it is taut against the other side of the lower rail.
Step #6: Install side rails and secure every inch by driving in a staple
Install the side rails with about half overlap on the previous row and drive-in staples every inch or so to secure them. Try not to drive the staples into the existing vertical fabric, as this will create additional work when trying to stretch out that area later.
Make use of a prop stick to hold up the fabric as you staple. Place it between the existing material and the new side rail about an inch from the edge. Use a prop stick to keep one end of your awning fabric taut as you staple, inserting it about an inch away from where you are securing it. This will make stapling easier as well as allow for those small wrinkles that sometimes occur when stretching tight fabrics.
Step #7: Double-check the entire installation
Once you are done installing the RV Awning Fabric, you need to make sure there are no openings for water or bugs. This can be done by checking the entire installation, ensuring there are no openings for either water or bugs. To check the whole installation, you need to go all around its circumference.
Step #8: Finish it off with a clean, professional look
To finish it off with a clean, professional look, use a small blow dryer set on hot and a scrap piece of fabric to get the wrinkles out from underneath the rail covers. This will help you end up with that nice, crisp appearance.
Everyone needs to replace the fabric on their RV Awning at some point. Whether it has begun to fade over time or is starting to fray, it will need to be replaced before long. It’s really not as expensive as you might expect, and with these tips, your new awning fabric can look fantastic in no time!
Step #9: Reattach tension knobs with a wrench
To replace the tension knobs with a wrench, you must first remove the knob. You may need to remove the old fabric from the tension knobs by hand. If you still have difficulty working with the tension knobs, try using WD-40 spray to ease removal or installation after replacing the RV awning fabric.
Step #10: Awning replacement complete!
Even though this project is likely to take a lot of effort, it will also be fun and rewarding. It took me a good part of the day, but I finally got it done! I’m pretty beat. It was a lot of work, but it’s done! Congratulations!
You can replace awning fabric with everyday household items. Replace the awning fabric on your RV in no time! This is one of those repairs you will be glad to know how to do when it happens. Revisit this blog post for instructions, and then get started replacing that old, worn-out awning fabric today. If you have any questions about the process, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.