What is the labor cost to replace RV awning fabric?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: What is the labor cost to replace RV awning fabric? We will also guide you in replacing the RV awning fabric by yourself. If you feel brave enough, this DIY is a great place to start. 

What is the labor cost to replace RV awning fabric?

The labor cost to replace RV awning fabric can be as low as $300 or as high as $4000, dependent on the type of awning and its size. In the table below you will find the price for the most popular types of awnings and the estimated labour cost.

Type of awningSize – SmallSize – MediumSize – Large
Fixed Awning$250$500$1000
Manual Slideout$500$1000$1500
Mechanized Awning$1500$2000$3500
Patio-style Awning$1500$2500$4000

How to replace RV awning fabric by yourself (step-by-step)

Replacing the fabric on your awning depends on the type of awning you are looking at. If it’s a stationary awning like on the side of a building, it can be pretty straightforward.

If you are using a roll-up type awning, it can be a complex and dangerous process because the assembly uses springs that are under a lot of tension.  You will need at least one additional person to replace this type of awning.

  • How to replace RV awning fabric – Fixed Awning
  1. Check the type of fabric that the awning is made of – such as canvas or vinyl – as well as the size and dimensions of the fabric. This will make sure you get the correct size and type of replacement fabric.
  1. Remove the old fabric from the awning frame. If you can cut it from the frame, it will be easier. Do not cut it on the mounting channel; Pull and slide it out of the channel. Untie and remove the ropes and any remaining fabric; Take note of how the rope is tied and routed through the frame.
  1. Slide the new fabric into the mounting channel, which should be at the top of the awning. Drape the fabric across the frame, and tie it in place the same way the old awning was attached; Use a new rope if the old rope is dirty and worn. Review the instructions that came with the new shade fabric and the old shade frame if you have them.
  • How to replace RV awning fabric – Roll-up Awning
  1. Unroll the shade fabric from the shade rail. Release the travel locks and take the get down about a foot. Lock the spring tension of the tube with a cotter pin inserted into the holes in the end caps. Disconnect the arms from the side of the vehicle and use them to pull the fabric out of the rail.
  1. Disconnect the arms from the awning; you usually have to insert a vise handle through each arm and tighten on the mounting plate on the inside of each arm; then remove the bolts that hold the arms to these plates.
  1. Remove the cotter pin from the awning tube and unwind the tension on the spring by counting the number of times you unwind until all of the tension is released. There can be a lot of tension in the spring, so be extra careful. 
  1. Remove the torsion assembly by drilling the rivets that hold it in place, marking the position of the cam handle so you know where to replace it.
  1. Unroll the old fabric from the tube and slide it from the tube. It may take two people to remove the old fabric and slide the new fabric onto the tube. With the fabric centered over the tube, fold over the cords at each end of the fabric.
  1. Secure the torsion assembly to the tube with new rivets. Place the vise handles on the same end pieces. Gently return the spring to the correct tension and have your assistant reinsert the cotter pin. Attach the arms to the awning.
  1. Connect the entire assembly to the rail along the wall by inserting the awning cord into the rail; this may require three people while the other two are holding the arms. Remove the cotter pin, roll up the blind fabric and connect the arms to the wall.

How to correctly measure RV awning fabric

What would an RV be without an awning, this accessory that allows you to enjoy the outdoors while staying out of the sun, heat and rain. However, the lifespan of a canvas depends on several factors: maintenance, exposure to the elements, accidents. 

Your awning is generally a vinyl or acrylic canvas of varying sizes and colors depending on the manufacturer. Awning measurement information is often taken in the wrong place, which can lead to unpleasant surprises and additional delays when it comes time to replace the canvas.

When it comes time to replace your awning fabric, get a price, and place an order, you will likely be asked for the awning brand, model, color and size. 

What can help is the presence of a label on the awning tube or on the canvas itself, it usually has 2 to 3 sets of numbers and letters which determines the model, size, color and production number. If sometimes you could not find this label, you will have to measure the awning along its length (its projection being universal = 8 ′).

There are several ways to measure an awning, but the most common is taken from the center of one arm to the center of the other arm. You will get a measurement to the nearest foot (ex: 16 ′). 

For example: By ordering a replacement canvas for a 16 ′ awning, you will receive a 15’4 ″ canvas because the canvas is always shorter than the tube on which it is installed.

Small reminders for using an RV awning

  • Winds over 30 km / h can damage your awning and RV. Since you never know when a strong wind might pick up, you can limit the risk by never leaving your awning open if you are not using it.
  • You can also use guy lines to stabilize the awning and prevent damage from sudden gusts or storms. For slightly windy days, the retaining clips work well.
  • If your awning is long and slams when it’s windy, you could add a centre stand. The tension this applies to the centre of the furling tube keeps the awning taut and limits movement.
  • The weight of the rain that collects on your awning can cause costly damage. Lower the awning a bit on one side to allow water to drain out.
  • If you have an acrylic awning, use clear silicone sealant instead to plug the small holes. For larger holes and tears, get the same fabric from the RV manufacturer to make pieces that you will glue with the same sealant, on one or both sides of the awning.
  • Clean the arms and other rigid parts of the awning with the same product you use to wash the RV. When the awning is deployed, inspect these parts. The lower awning bracket carries most of the weight, so it is important to check that the lag screws are tight.
  • You will notice if your roller tube is bent when you deploy or close your awning. Inspect all mechanics for proper operation and look for broken rivets.
  • The spring tension is very strong in the winding tube and could cause serious injury if you attempt to remove the end caps. Unless you know how – let an RV technician take care of it.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content. 

FAQ on What is the labor cost to replace RV awning fabric?

Can you replace just the fabric on an RV awning?

Yes, you can replace just the fabric on an RV awning. You just have to take the necessary measurements, find good quality replacement fabric and carefully replace the whole RV awning fabric. 

What is the best RV awning replacement fabric?

The best RV awning replacement fabric is the sunbrella (made from acrylic and protecting you from UV rays). 

How do you measure RV awning fabric?

There are several ways to measure an awning, but the most common is taken from the centre of one arm to the centre of the other arm. You will get a measurement to the nearest foot (ex: 16 ′).