RV awnings provide travelers with a multitude of benefits. They help provide shade during those moments where the sun rays and heat are strong-arming your ability to tolerate them, they extend your RV living space by providing a cozy outdoor area to lounge under while enjoying the majestic outdoors, and they can help keep your energy consumption down by keeping you cool without needing to blast your AC.
While most quality awnings will enhance your RV treks with these treasured perks for years, there will be times when repairs and replacements are necessary. After years of use, thousands of miles on the road, and countless days spent exposed to the natural elements, it’s not unusual to see your canopy fabric looking a bit torn and tattered. If your RV awning fabric appears to be on its end of days, the bright side is that as long as your RV awning hardware is functioning smoothly, you can replace the canopy fabric rather than having to invest in a new awning.
Upgrading your canopy can extend the length of your awning’s life as well as add modern style to your RV’s aesthetic. In order to get it right the first time, here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for RV awning replacement fabric.
Measure for Your RV Awning Replacement Fabric the Right Way
If you scour the internet, you’ll find frustrating tales of disheartened RVers who incorrectly measured for the size of RV awning fabric they needed and were delivered a product that was ultimately useless to them. Custom made products are generally not able to be returned, which means this step is incredibly important.
While it may seem intuitive to measure the length of the fabric, you actually get the proper measurement by measuring from the distance (in feet) from the center of one of the awning arms to the center of the other arm. This is because the fabric size you need is determined by the distance between the arms; the actual fabric will be a bit shorter but it will correspond with the distance between arms. If you measure the fabric, you will end up with a replacement canopy that doesn’t fit your awning’s hardware.
Do Your Research
Even if you are naturally mechanically inclined, it’s still important to do your research and learn the steps of how to safely and efficiently replace your RV awning fabric. Taking certain steps, such as securing the awning (often done with zip ties) before you begin removing the old canopy and taking apart the roller tube, will help prevent potential injuries from occurring.
There are countless step-by-step directions online as well as video tutorials that can lay out some helpful tips, and you can always consult your manufacturer if something is unclear to you. Instead of rushing the process, take your time to map out what you need to accomplish. It will keep both you and your investment safe.
Gather a Team or Consult a Professional
Generally speaking, it’s best to gather a team of 2-3 people to replace your RV awning fabric. Awnings are quite large, and you will be much safer and more efficient if you don’t attempt to undertake this large task by yourself. Between securing the awning, threading the awning fabric, and disassembling and reassembling the right pieces, there is far less room for accidents and procedural errors if you have another person or two to help. If you don’t have someone who can lend a hand, you don’t have the right tools, or you’re simply uncomfortable attempting this yourself, it’s always best to put safety first and hire an RV professional to do the task for you.
Learn and Commit to RV Awning Fabric Care
The good thing about replacing your canopy is that high quality fabric has a long shelf life and should provide you with years of shaded comfort. That being said, there are a few important maintenance steps you can take to ensure it stays in top condition.
- Keep your awning clean.
While deep cleaning is only necessary every year or so, hosing your awning down with water on a routine basis will help prevent dirt and grime buildup. Also, clean your awning in the manner that is best suited for the type of fabric the canopy is made from (generally either acrylic or vinyl), as the general care requirements may vary slightly. For a more in-depth look at how to clean your fabric, click here.
- Protect your fabric from harsh elements.
Between sun, wind, rain, etc., your awning is exposed to a multitude of natural forces. For protection from UV rays, you can find fabric protectors to help prevent the sun from causing your fabric to fade. While awnings can handle some rain and light wind, avoid leaving yours open during intense gusts or heavy rainstorms. Strong bouts of wind can tear the fabric off of the track, and the rain can collect in the canopy, leading it to stretch and sag. If you can, angle your canopy so that any water can run off instead of pooling in the fabric (some models will do this automatically).
- Don’t roll up your awning when it is wet.
This can cause mold or mildew to form. If a situation requires you to roll up your awning when it is still damp, unroll it as soon as possible so that it can dry fully.
- Don’t apply heat.
Instead, allow your awning to air dry.
Consider Upgrading With RV Awning Accessories
Now that you’ve upgraded your RV awning with a new and improved fabric style, you may want to consider other fun and practical accessories for your awning as well. For example, awning hangers will allow you to decorate your outdoor living area by hanging up tranquil plants or seasonal decorations, LED lights help you extend the fun times into the night by providing outdoor lighting, RV awning rooms allow you to create an enclosable extra room if you’re seeking privacy or hoping to get away from pesky insects, and tie downs can help keep your awning steady when vacationing in a breezy paradise.
As you can see, replacing your weathered old RV awning fabric is just one of the ways you can make your travels more stylish, comfortable, and sensible.
Carefree of Colorado Has the RV Awning Fabric Choices and Accessories Your Travels Need
Carefree of Colorado has been a premier provider of RV awnings, replacement parts, and accessories for over 40 years. Our experience has allowed us to find the perfect balance between offering the highest quality products at the most affordable prices, all while providing exceptional support to our esteemed customers.
Browse our extensive product line, or get in touch with any questions. We are here to help you live your best RV lifestyle!