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How to Replace RV Awning Fabric

RVs (recreational vehicles) help carry your picnic essentials. But these travel trailers also ensure that your family and friends can enjoy every journey together. What makes an RV so perfect is its flexibility to make a pit stop at any sunny, rainy, or windy spot. While your RV awning fabric lasts many years, it does, like all fabrics, wear out with time. Eventually, you must consider the best replacement RV awning fabric options for your recreational vehicle. If you’re new to replacing an RV awning and wondering how to replace RV awning fabric, don’t fret. If you have one other person to help install it, you will do just fine. In this blog, I will help RV owners understand how to replace RV awning fabric. You’ll also learn about the entire replacement process for worn-out RV awning fabric. With step-by-step instructions, you will no longer be a novice in changing RV awning fabrics. You will also get to know the components and mechanisms of your motorhome better than ever before.

Table Of Contents

What You Will Need

Before we get to how to replace an RV awning’s fabric, let’s list all the tools and materials you will need:
  • Measuring tape
  • Screw and bolt openers of varying sizes
  • A temporary marker
  • A helper
  • New awning fabric

Step 1 — Choose a New RV Awning

Measure Your Existing Awning

To install an awning on an RV, you’ll need to choose and buy a new awning. However, you must get the awning’s measurement requirements before choosing a new fabric. To do this, hold your measuring tape from the center of one arm of your RV awning roller to the other arm, horizontally and vertically. Don’t measure just the fabric — you’ll need a little extra room in your measurements.

Select & Buy A New Awning

Choose colors and the best replacement RV awning fabrics that suit your tastes. There are many exciting RV fabrics, options, and models, including vinyl and acrylic on the web. You can scan through RV awning models from different manufacturers. It’s also wise to read awning reviews to make an informed decision before installing replacement RV fabric.

Step 2 — Remove an Old RV Awning

A person working with the best replacement RV fabric

Removing Arms From the RV

Roll your current awning down about a foot to get started. Then, unscrew the four bolts (two on either side) that hold your RV arms to the side of your RV. Identify the fabric channel and the two screws holding the awning inside this channel. Next, unscrew these screws so the old awning can slide in and out freely. Loosen out the bottom of the arms and detach them from the RV. Next up, walk the entire awning out of its fabric channel, and once it’s out, lay it on a platform so it’s easier to work on.

Activate Spring Torsion Lock

Lock the spring tension on the side of the awning without the retract lever (i.e. the side without the extending feature). Look for a small hole on the end cap and insert a screwdriver or pick to activate the spring torsion lock. Remove the bolt holding the RV arm to the bracket and remove the arm. Take care to grip the bracket tightly, as it is still under torsion.

Release Torsion

Now, you must release the torsion on the awning by rolling the bracket. If the bracket remains when you remove the arm, consider the job done. If not, you will need to temporarily replace its job by inserting a bolt through the bracket and roller bar. Next, gently rotate the bracket and release the tension on the roller bar. Note how many rolls you made – you’ll have to make that many to secure the tension later.

Remove The Spring Assembly

Lastly, remove the spring assembly by removing the bolts, springs, rivets, caps, and spring assemblies. Now, you can gently roll out the old awning. Each RV awning or toy hauler has a main section and decorative valance. Ensure you mark which channels each rolled out from.

Step 3 — Install a New RV Awning

An image showing how to replace RV awning fabric

How to Insert Your Replacement RV Awning Fabric

Slide the valance section of your new awning into the valance channel as identified earlier. Do the same for the main section of the awning. While sliding the valance channel, make sure the front pattern of your new awning faces the ground. You can use a silicone lubricant to minimize the chances of damage to the awning before sliding it in.

Roll The Awning Fabric & Attach RV Arms

Roll the fabric as you rolled it down earlier. Reinstall the spring assembly. Then, replace the bolts, rivets, and springs. Rotate the bracket the same number of times you did earlier, only in the opposite direction. Reconnect the arm and the screws. Next, lift the arms of the awning and replace the brackets and screws you removed earlier on both sides. Here is a summary of this process for reference the next time you need to reteach yourself how to replace RV awning fabric. Some steps may vary depending on the type of travel trailer awning, the size of the RV, whether it is a fifth wheel or any other variation.
Step What To Do
Choose a New RV Awning Measure from the center of one arm to another, read reviews and check designs to choose a new awning fabric.
Remove the Old RV Awning Unscrew the bolts on the RV arms, identify fabric channels, detach arms from the RV, activate the spring torsion lock, release torsion, and remove the spring assembly.
Install New RV Awning Slide valance and main awning in place; roll the fabric up and reinstall spring assembly, rivets, and springs; rotate the bracket back in place, and reconnect the arms on both sides.


I hope this guide helped you learn how to replace RV awning fabric comfortably. Ensure you have a helper to provide temporary support for the arms of the awning. If you’re looking for the best replacement RV awning fabrics that tempt you into revamping your pop-up RV, check the reviews on my website to get an idea of what to look for.