While traveling in an RV offers you a comfortable indoor space to rest and relax, the RV lifestyle is still about being outdoors as much as possible. RV campsites are often located in beautiful places, so you will want to be spending plenty of time outside of your RV during any trip that you take. Therefore, having a properly functioning awning is a vital part of an RV vacation. The awning serves to provide you with protection from the sun while you relax outside reading a book, chat with friends and family, or even take a nap.
So what do you do if your awning needs to be replaced? It might sound like an overwhelming job to take on, but replacing an awning is actually a reasonable undertaking for the average RV owner. Use the advice contained below to get started on the right foot.
Get the Right Size
This first point should be painfully obvious, but it still needs to be stated. When you are getting ready to replace the awning on your RV, be sure to get the perfect size for your rig so that the installation will go as smoothly as possible. When you are taking measurements to order a replacement awning, you typically want to measure from the middle of each awning arm. If you are unsure of your measurements, contact the company that you are going to order the replacement from and have them walk you through the process.
Check Your Owner’s Manual
Prior to completing any work on your RV, be sure to consult your owner’s manual for any relevant instructions or details. The manual may include valuable information on how to safely and properly replace your awning fabric. Always default to using the instructions that come with your RV because they have been specifically written with your equipment in mind.
Get Some Help
Considering your awning may be as wide as 18’ or more, this is not a job that you should work on alone. Schedule a time to work on this project when you will be able to have a capable helper with you to deal with the process of removing the old awning and installing the new one. Not only will it help to have an extra set of hands on the job, but you will also benefit from having another pair of eyes to spot any problems that you may have missed during the process.
Wait for Good Weather
This is certainly not a project that you want to take on when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Wait for dry and reasonable warm weather before you work on your awning replacement. Trying to complete this work while the rain comes down is just asking for trouble.
Follow Provided Directions Carefully
Once you have ordered and received your replacement awning, be careful to follow the included instructions as closely as possible. While most awning replacements are relatively similar, you want to be sure that you do yours in accordance with directions that have been provided with the new awning to ensure that it works properly. Since you are dealing with a spring-loaded system, there is always the potential for creating a dangerous situation if you don’t properly follow directions.
Don’t Be Afraid to See a Pro
If you feel like you are in over your head trying to complete this project, there is nothing wrong with taking it to a professional for assistance. Your local RV dealer likely has a shop where they complete this kind of work. It will cost you some money to retain their services, but that small investment is going to be worth getting the job done correctly – and safely – the first time.
A functioning awning is a big part of the RV experience. Whether your awning is malfunctioning or just has worn to the point of needing to be replaced, you will find that this job is within the capabilities of most RV owners. Use the tips above to get started properly, and remember to ask for help from a professional if the job becomes too much to handle. Once your new awning is in place, you can start looking forward to spending plenty of time outside during your next vacation.