Not only are RVs (recreational vehicles) helpful for carrying all your picnic essentials with you, but these travel trailers also ensure that your group of friends can enjoy the journey together. 

What makes an RV drive perfect is the flexibility of making a pit-stop at any sunny, rainy, or windy spot. While your RV awning fabric certainly lasts you through many years, it does wear out with time. Eventually, you will have to consider options to replace camper awnings on your recreational vehicle. 

If you’re new to the idea of replacing an RV awning and are wondering how you will possibly be able to replace the RV awning fabric, don’t fret. If you have a few hands to help you install it, you will do just fine.

In this blog, I will help RV owners understand how to replace RV awning and the entire replacement process for their worn-out RV awning fabric. With step-by-step instructions, you will no longer be a novice in the process of 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 down to work, let’s list all the tools and materials you will need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Screw and bolt openers of varying sizes
  • A temporary marker
  • A few helping hands
  • A new awning fabric

Step 1 — Choose a New RV Awning

Measure Your Existing Awning

To install an awning on RV, you will first have to choose and buy a new awning for your RV. However, before we get to choosing a new fabric, we need to get the measurement requirements right. Hold the measuring tape from the center of one arm of your RV awning roller to the other, horizontally and vertically. Do not measure just the fabric itself, as you will need a little extra. 

Select & Buy A New Awning

Choose colors and fabrics that suit your taste as well as your RVs. There’re lots of exciting models and fabrics including vinyl and acrylic RV awnings in a wide range of options on the web. You can scan through the models from different manufacturers and even read reviews on this website to make an informed decision. 

replace awning fabric

Step 2 — Remove an Old RV Awning

Removing Arms From the RV

Roll the awning down about a foot to get started. 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 that hold the awning in place inside this channel. Unscrew these screws so that 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

Now you will have to 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 that is holding the RV arm to the bracket and remove the arm. Take care to have a tight grip on the bracket as it is still under torsion.

Release Torsion

Now, you will have to release the torsion on the awning by rolling the bracket. If the bracket remains when you remove the arm, consider the job done. Otherwise, you will need to temporarily replace its job by inserting a bolt through the bracket and roller bar. 

Now gently rotate the bracket and release the tension on the roller bar. Note how many rolls you’ve made as 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 and finally the cap and the spring assembly. Now you can gently roll out the old awning. Each RV awning or toy hauler has a main section and decorative valance. Make sure to mark which channels each has rolled out from. 

Step 3 — Install a New RV Awning

Insert The New Awning Fabric

Slide the valance section of your new awning into the valance channel as identified earlier and do the same for the main section of the awning. This should be done with the front pattern of your new awning facing the ground. 

You can use a silicone lubricant to minimize the chances of damage to the awning before sliding it in.

remove awning fabric

Roll The Awning Fabric & Attach RV Arms

Roll the fabric as you rolled it down earlier. Reinstall the spring assembly, 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. That’s it. 

Here is a summary of the process as reference the next time you need to install RV awning fabric again. Some steps may vary depending on the type of travel trailer awning, size of RV, whether it is a fifth wheel or any other variations.

StepWhat To Do
Choose a New RV AwningMeasure from the center of one arm to another; read reviews and check designs to choose new awning fabric
Remove Old RV AwningUnscrew bolts on RV arms; identify fabric channel and detach arms from RV; activate spring torsion lock; release torsion and remove spring assembly
Install New RV AwningSlide valance and main awning in place; roll the fabric up and reinstall spring assembly, rivets & springs; rotate bracket back in place; reconnect arms on both sides

Conclusion

By following these steps, you will be able to change your RV awning comfortably. Do ensure that you have a couple of people to help you to support the arms of the awning. If you’re looking for stunning and durable awning fabrics that tempt you into giving your pop-up RV a revamp, check the reviews on my website first to get an idea of what to look for.