How To Replace Awning Fabric On Electric Awning – 10 Steps

How To Replace Awning Fabric On Electric Awning

Last Updated on January 27, 2024 by Wahid

Summer is a great time to enjoy an outdoor living environment with an awning. In recent years, retractable awnings have grown in popularity as a shade and protection for a patio or deck area. 

RV awning fabric replacement can be intimidating, however, it is fairly simple if you know how to do it perfectly. To accomplish the task, you’ll need at least 2 people to help you. Thus, the task will become easier, more efficient, and safer.

Retractable awning fabrics may wear out or look shabby over time. Luckily, DIYers can do it with the necessary tools & instructions. Happily, you can replace awning fabric yourself fairly easily. Become an expert DIYer and learn how to replace awning fabric on electric awning.

Table of Contents

Reasons To Replace RV Awning Fabric & Parts

Reasons To Replace RV Awning Fabric & Parts

Have you ever replaced the awning fabric on an electric awning? Your awning could undergo numerous problems that might require an awning RV repair or replacement. A few of the most common issues are listed below.

Awning Fabric Tears & Holes

Usually, the biggest problem with awnings is their fabric, which tends to develop tears, holes, or faded spots after a few years. With tent patch tape, you can fix small tears and holes. However, large holes or multiple rips in an RV awning will require replacement. 

Sagging Canopy

Sagging canopies are another issue to be aware of. Generally, damaged rivets can be repaired by replacing them. Therefore, if rivet replacement doesn’t help, you should probably replace the RV awning textile.

Broken Arms & Mechanisms

Occasionally, your awning’s arms or small mechanisms, which allow your awning to move appropriately and hold its position—can be damaged. For these situations, you may want to consider replacing the awning arm or an entire awning.

Awning Electric Failure

Lastly, it may happen that you are no longer able to move your electric awning in and out by pressing a button. Occasionally, the cause can be as simple like dead battery. Then again, if your battery is charging but your awning still does not work properly, you might need to replace the motor or its switch.

How To Replace Awning Fabric On Electric Awning: Step-By-Step Tutorial

Replace Awning Fabric On Electric Awning

Eventually, if you owned an RV, the awning fabric would need to be replaced due to storm damage, campfire embers, falling objects, sun exposure, temperature, or age. To help you replace the awning material safely & correctly on the recreational vehicle, below I have outlined all the necessary steps.

Essential Materials You’ll Need:

Here are the tools we’ll need to replace damaged or old awning material:

Optional Items:

  • Rivet gun
  • Screwdriver
  • Grips
  • Replacement rivets
  • Self-tapping screw

Power Awning Fabric: How To Change It?

With an electric canopy, you can open the shading & retract it easily. The process doesn’t require manual intervention. The problem is, when you try to update its fabric, it feels like breaking hard rock without any creative ideas.

If you want to solve your discomforts, you should follow these steps:

Step 1: Measure The Fabric Size For Awning

First, a precise measurement must be taken. Want to see what the size looks like with your old fabric? There is a risk of delusion with such a decision. That’s what you should do,

  • Assume the canopy is centered on one arm.
  • The scaling tape should be held between the two units.
  • Distance is calculated based on canopy fabric size.

It’s done! You’ve taken the first step.

Step 2: Fabric Material Selection

In terms of canopy fabric material, you have 2 options: acrylic or vinyl. Here are a few details about the two types of fabric:

  1. Acrylic Fabrics:
  • The material is breathable.
  • Maintains a calm & relaxed atmosphere for the awning.
  • A water-repellent coating covers its surface.
  • Dries faster.
  • Colors remain vibrant.
  1. Vinyl Fabrics:
  • The materials are waterproof.
  • Cleaning is easy.
  • When necessary, repair without hassle.
  • Avoid getting stung by tree sap.
  • It delivers a lighter effect.

Are you unsure of what to pick? Well, if you plan to wear your sun shades for a long period of time, acrylic is the better choice obviously. 

Step 3: Expanding The Awning

After that, the electric canopy must be allowed to extend. Please wait a moment. What type of fabric is your awning made of? Is it plain or is there any decoration?

  • In the case of lighting setups or other supplies attached: If you intend to replace the fabric, it should have poly cords that hold lighting fixtures or additional supplies. Then, if yes, a full extension will be your most reliable option.
  • If you’re using a plain fabric: The fabric doesn’t have to be pulled out completely unless there are lights or any accessories on your awning. It will work if you extend 12 inches.

Step 4: Working With Awning Bolts

Have you got your screwdriver & wrench ready? That’s great. It’s because we are about to remove the bolts that hold the canopy in place.

  • Top bolts on canopy arms: Electric awnings are equipped with 4 top bolts, 2 on each side. As the model changes, the bolt size will change as well. Now that the awning has been extended slightly, remove each bolt.
  • Bottom bolts: To remove the canopy arms’ fabric, unscrew the bolts on the bottom of the canopy arms.
  • In the fabric sliding route, bolts are installed: The awning has a channel in which the textile slides. By paying close attention, you’ll be able to see 2 screws there. Unbolt them.

However, as light as the awning fabric appears, it is not. Therefore, we would like you to request at least 2 hands to assist.

Step 5: Lift & Remove The Awning

Electric canopy no longer has bolts or screws attaching it. What are you waiting for? It can be lifted, moved down a sliding route, and removed easily.

If you’re still unable to carry out your removal moves, try the following:

  • Awnings should be elevated on blocks with a high rise.
  • Identify the old sealant holding your canopy fabric together.
  • Ensure that it is cut and made onto the track.
  • You should roll your cover down on the ground.

Finally, don’t let your awning be damaged by hitting or scratching it.

Step 6: Pull Your Arms Out

Check out the awning side without a retract lever. On the end cap, there is a tiny hole concealed by a plug. Then,

  • Screw the arm sides together with a mini screwdriver.
  • Using the tool, secure the spring tension.
  • Did you activate the spring’s locking mechanism? Make sure that.
  • Next, turn to the canopy’s front section.
  • Remove the brackets from the arms and unclasp the bolts.

Prepare yourself to remove the arms off of the rollers. You should only follow it when yours has a lock set. Otherwise, move on to step 7.

Step 7: Release The Tension

Did the brackets remain in the arms when you pulled them? There, your job is done. But if not, you may want to release the tension in the fabric of your motor awning.

Surely you are wondering how to proceed. 

Well, stay calm and follow my instructions below:

  • Make the roller bracket-ready.
  • The bracket should be screwed into the roller bar, as well as the screw.
  • Hold the bracket tightly while rotating it slightly forward.
  • As the springs unroll, continue rotating with your hands or grips.
  • Are you able to hold on firmly? That’s better!
  • Make sure the rollers are free of spring tension.

One Crucial Tip: Do not miss any rotations when you are unscrewing. As you replace the awning, you will have an easier time applying the appropriate level of tension.

Step 8: Remove The Spring Assembly

You’ll need to use the extending lever to reach the canopy’s front & start working on it as follows:

  • Use a marker to mark the retract lever’s position.
  • Identify the roller tube and spring cap with an identifiable spot.
  • With a rivet gun or screwdriver, remove the rivets, screws, & bolts.
  • Maintain the exact position of the back cap.
  • Take the lid off and unhook the spring assembly.

Marking will simplify the process of replacing & reassembling. The assembly and cap should be set aside.

One Crucial Tip: Did you work from the left or the back? If that’s the case, you won’t find any levers. Hence, you won’t be required to take the step.

Step 9: Unroll The Fabric

Right now, it is time to pull out the awning cloth. Then, after you’ve strategically locked the mechanism for opening, mark and locate the fabric section at:

  • Main fabric section: Clearly mark it as “M.”
  • Valance section: Clearly mark it as “V.”

However, it would be great if you could remove the old fabric so the new fabric can be installed.

Step 10: Altering The Electric Awning Fabric

At last, you reached the end of the process. It’s time to replace the fabric. 

We’ll start with the nuts & bolts:

Layout Preparation:

  • Using the rolling bar, remove the canopy fabric
  • Then, cut apart the primary & valence material by using razor knives, carefully cutting through the polycords.
  • You should prepare a ground-facing design for the altered fabric.

Separate Sections:

  • Remove the pieces of fabric that have been separated.
  • Locate the assembly points.
  • Two cords can be identified at the ends.

Sliding Section Cord:

  • Silicone spray can be used to lubricate the channels.
  • This smaller cord represents the valance cord, whereas the larger cord represents the main cord.
  • You should take the valance cord and place it at the point you marked with a “V.”
  • Make sure the main wire is still marked with an “M.”

Place The Fabric:

  • By centered the arms, you can find the distance measured between them.
  • Make it half as big.
  • The roller’s groove is measured from its cap end.
  • Finally, place your fabric exactly where you want it.

Assembly:

  • Make sure the fabric of your awning is rolled up.
  • Remove the disconnected spring assembly & reinstall it.
  • Bolts & rivets should be redone.
  • The bracket must be rotated as indicated by the lever.

Now, that’s it! You now have a power awning with a new fabric.

How To Repair RV Awning – “Small Spots”

How To Repair RV Awning Small Spots
  • If your hole or tear is less than 3 feet, RV awning repair tape might be able to patch it up easily. 
  • Awning repair tape is available in hardware stores, RV stores such as Camping World, or online at sites such as Amazon. 
  • It’s likely you’ll pay less than $20, but prices vary. Some tapes are wider than others, but most are 15ft long. 
  • Despite being more expensive, thicker tape may be more suitable for covering holes or larger tears. 
  • Another option is Eternabond tape – it costs more (roughly $60 on Amazon), but it is stronger and lasts longer. 
  • However, your repair will be visible since it is not transparent.
  • Tent repair kits are also good sources of RV awning repair parts, which cost between $5 and $20 at many camping & outdoor stores.

How To Repair An RV Awning – “Large Holes”

How To Repair An RV Awning Large Holes
  • If the repair exceeds 3 feet, purchase fabric with exactly the same hue and texture as the awning and stitch it up. 
  • A fabric store or retailer where you purchased the original awning may carry matching fabric. 
  • Your matching fabric should be cut into a rectangle or square that is the right size for the hole. 
  • Glue the spot with water-resistant RV glue, such as Amazing Goop, available for $9 on Amazon.
  • When your square has been properly applied, trim all loose edges with fabric scissors to make your repair as invisible as possible.

Repairing an RV awning: Tips & Tricks

Repairing an RV awning Tips & Tricks

You can simplify RV awning repair by doing a few things. 

  • To prepare the awning for repair, wash it to remove any dirt or particles. 
  • Be sure to completely dry the fabric before you begin repairing it.
  • For applying awning tape, flatten the fabric & press the tear together, and then apply. 
  • Position everything carefully so that it is in the right place. 
  • Make sure all air bubbles are removed. 
  • Instead of pulling up and trying again if the tape is placed incorrectly, try another piece. Ensure that both fabric sides are taped over the tear.

By being patient and repairing small items, your awning could be repaired for a fraction of the cost instead of replacing the whole thing.

Best RV Awning Replacement Fabric

Best RV Awning Replacement Fabric

Polyester Fabric

Polyester fabric makes an excellent replacement fabric for RV awnings. In addition to being lightweight, easily washable, and UV resistant, it is also mildew-resistant.

Vinyl Fabric

Vinyl fabric is commonly used to replace RV awning fabrics because of its durability. Vinyl fabric is resistant to mildew and ultraviolet rays as well. Additionally, it’s simple to clean & maintain. 

Acrylic Fabric

Acrylic fabric offers another popular option for RV awning replacement fabrics. As well as being lightweight and breathable, it also resists mildew and fading.

It is my hope that this guide will simplify the process for you. I assure you, it is possible for you to do it if we can. Wishing you happy travels!

Maintaining An RV awning: Tips and tricks

Maintaining An RV awning Tips and tricks

Every part of your RV, including your RV electric awning, requires ongoing maintenance to avoid costly repairs or replacements in the future. It’s nothing major issues, but you should consider caring for this tiny, but crucial part of your vehicle. 

Here are 7 tips for maintaining RV awnings:

1. Wash Your RV’s Awning, Turn It Off

Acrylic & vinyl awnings can both be treated with this method. After a thorough hose down, clean them spot by spot using soap and a softer brush. When cleaning, be gentle. If you scrub too hard, waterproof coatings will come off and the clothing underneath.

2. During Rain, Place A Lower Corner So Water Runs Off Than Collects

Having too much water collected on the awning can cause it to strain excessively. With so much water weighing down the awning tube may bend or worse: break apart entirely.

3. When Extreme Weather Occurs, Retract The Awning

If you leave your electric awning up when a storm hits, it could become a disaster. As an example, retracting your awning in heavy rain, wind, or snow is always a good idea in order to protect it from damage.

4. When Rolling Up The RV Awning, Wait For It To Dry

When an RV awning is rolled up wet, it can cause mold, which can lead to all sorts of problems (dry rot, bad odors, and possibly ruined fabric). Luckily, when the sun is out, drying-out should go fairly quickly.

5. Avoid Exposing Your RV Awning To UV Rays

Perhaps this seems counterintuitive – shouldn’t an awning provide protection from the sun’s rays? Sun exposure, however, weakens the electric awning fabric and reduces the lifespan of your awnings. Make sure your RV’s awning is rolled up when the awning is not in use. Additionally, an awning cover can be an excellent investment. It protects the awning when it’s folded up.

6. Buy A Stabilizer Kit For RV Awnings

This kit usually includes several tension ropes and spiral stakes, making them particularly useful in windy conditions when your awning is open. Adding these best parts will help your awning maintain its stability, especially when wind gusts are unexpected.

7. Make Sure Your Awning Is Locked After Rolling It Up

When you roll up your awning, it should lock into the exact place to avoid accidental unrolling on the highway. However, as an added precaution, installing a clamp or lock on your RV awning can effectively keep it secure.

Finally, if your RV electric awning is in excellent condition, it can really enhance your vacation experience. By taking care of your awning, you will benefit from an extended living space outdoors. In addition, awnings won’t cost you any extra money for your long road trip.

FAQs

01. Should I hire a professional to replace my RV’s awning fabric?

Answer: Although it is possible to replace RV awning fabric yourself, if you don’t know how to do DIY projects or don’t have the right tools, you may prefer hiring a professional. Moreover, you can select the fabric pattern & color of your choice.

1. When installing, make sure you have someone to assist you.

2. When buying replacement fabric, make sure it’s UV-resistant to increase the awning’s lifespan.

3. Ensure that you follow the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer.

An RV electric awning can be easily reupholstered using the right equipment and instructions. DIY fabric replacement can save you labor costs and boost your confidence.

02. Can I replace the electric awning fabric myself?

Answer: Obviously YES. Generally, with the right tools and instructions, RV awning fabric can be replaced on your own.

03. When should I replace the fabric on my RV awning?

Answer: It is determined by how often your RV is used and the extent to which the awning is exposed to weather conditions. However, you should replace the awning fabric every 5-7 years.

04. How much does it cost to replace RV electric awning fabric? 

Answer: RV awning fabric replacement costs depend on several factors, including the awning’s size, the fabric type, as well as the location of the installation. Generally, RV awnings can cost between $200 and $800 or more to replace.

05. Are all RV awning roller tubes weather-proof?

Answer: Some roller tubes are both weather-resistant and water-resistant. For your own protection, make sure your rollers & tubes are constructed of rust-resistant materials and finished with corrosion-resistant paint. Additionally, you should ensure the roller tube replacements are resistant to ultraviolet rays.

06. How can I make RV awning roller tube replacement easier?

Answer: When choosing your awning roller, you should select one that can be easily screwed or bolted in place. It does not require cutting, drilling, or any other heavy-duty modifications. You should receive instructions on how to install your brand-new awning roller.

07. What should I look for before purchasing a new roller tube?

Answer: First of all, make sure the specifications of the new awning parts match those of your current ones. Ultimately, nobody wants to spend time installing something that doesn’t fit. Secondly, ensure the awning rollers & roller tubes you buy are suitable for the awning you intend to use them with. In this case, the product may break or have trouble functioning.

Final Thoughts

A simple button can be pressed to control & retract an electric awning. However, what if the fabric of a canopy loses its sun-blocking function or tears? That’s quite ironic. Getting experts on board may not be within your budget.

Hopefully, my above steps helped you learn how to replace awning fabric on the electric awning. However, don’t attempt to do everything yourself. This situation is better handled with 2 hands. Hence, stop weeping. If you would like to alter your canopy, please bring a new cloth.

Do you have a question or did I miss something? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to share it on social media if it was helpful to you.

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