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Having an RV awning is a fantastic thing. It can give you some shade even in the sunniest campsites, and there’s nothing like hanging out under the awning with family and friends. 

That said, these awnings don’t last forever. Sudden wind and rain can damage them really quickly, but even age alone will eventually create a need for an RV awning replacement. Fortunately, many damaged RV awnings can be fixed by owners, and if yours simply cannot be repaired, a replacement RV awning can be ordered. 

Not sure where to begin researching how to repair an RV awning, or where to buy and how to install a replacement RV awning? This is the article for you! Read on to learn our top tips for those with damaged RV awnings. 

How to Clean RV Awning Fabric

Sometimes the problem with an RV awning is just that it is incredibly dirty and smelly. Mildew and even mold can grow on awnings that are rolled up wet, and the dirt and debris that these things gather over time is incredible. If you can’t stand the smell when you pull your awning out, you might be able to solve your problems with something as simple as a good cleaning. 

Of course, you will need to know how to clean RV awning fabric. Here’s how we go about it:

  • Unroll your awning and spray the underside with soap and water, or a cleaner such as Camco Pro Strength Awning Cleaner.
  • Roll the awning back up and let it sit for an hour or so.
  • Unroll the awning, rinse it off, and let it dry. 

If there are some stubborn spots of mildew, try rubbing them gently with a long-handled brush and a mixture of one part bleach to ten parts water. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after and avoid using bleach with every wash. 

This video has some great suggestions for cleaning RV awning fabric:

Repairing RV Awning Fabric

If your awning fabric is not just dirty but also has holes or tears, you might be able to get away with making a simple repair to the fabric rather than replacing the entire thing. This is much easier and costs a lot less. An RV awning fabric repair likely won’t last forever, but it will definitely buy you some time before you have to look into replacement RV awning fabric.

To repair your RV awning fabric, follow the steps below:

  • Unroll and clean your RV awning.
  • If you’re dealing with a big hole, try to acquire a piece of fabric to fill the void.
  • Use Camco Awning Repair Tape or clear Gorilla Tape to cover both sides of the tear or hole and hold the extra fabric in place (if applicable).

This video might help you better understand how to go about this:

How to Replace RV Awning Fabric

Sometimes a simple patch just won’t cut it. If your RV awning fabric is ruined beyond repair, it’s time to look into replacement RV awning fabric. This is possible to purchase and isn’t too terribly expensive. It is also possible to install your RV awning replacement fabric yourself, making this an even more affordable job to get done. 

If you want to tackle this job yourself, we recommend ordering from a company such as ShadePro. This company creates RV awning replacement fabrics that perfectly fit into the most common awning hardware types out there, making them super easy to install. 

To make your RV awning fabric installation go as smoothly as possible, you will want to…

  1. Determine what awning fabric type you need. We recommend sticking with the type of fabric your RV is currently using. 
  2. Measure your current awning fabric. Be sure to carefully follow the measuring instructions on the site you’re ordering from (measure from center of arm to center of arm) in order to get the correct size. 
  3. When your fabric arrives, follow the included instructions carefully, calling in a friend for help if possible. 

This video might help you get a better idea of what to do with your RV awning replacement fabric:

Replacing the fabric on an electric awning? This is a different process. Check out the video below for some tips on doing this:

Replacing Broken Awning Hardware

Have an awning with a broken arm? Dealing with broken hardware in another area? In this case, you might be able to replace just the broken part, or you might have to splurge on a full RV awning replacement. 

Replacing RV awning arms and other pieces of hardware can be a little bit more difficult than a fabric replacement, so if you aren’t 100% confident, you might want to consider calling in a tech. 

Check stores like Camping World to find the replacement parts you need, making sure they match your current setup. From there, follow the instructions included in the packaging or look for YouTube videos such as the one below to help you along:

RV Awning Alternatives

Don’t have the skills to fix your own RV awning? In this case, you might want to look for an RV awning alternative. This will ensure you can continue to enjoy the shade offered by an awning without investing in an RV awning replacement (and the cost of a mobile tech to install said awning). 

Some of our favorite RV awning alternatives are listed below.

Clam shelter as Rv awning replacement

Image source: The Possibilitarians

Clam Shelter

We’ve mentioned before how much we love Clam Shelters. These things come in a variety of sizes, are quick and easy to set up, and can be used as outdoor offices, play spaces, and more. We love that the sides can be rolled up to let the breeze in or put them back down when the weather is cold or rainy, making it a super versatile option. 

MoonShade Portable Awning

MoonShade Portable Awnings are another great option. These can’t be used with bigger RVs, but are perfect for smaller trailers, camper vans, Jeeps, and trucks. They attach to the top of the vehicle and provide shade on the side of the vehicle just like a traditional RV awning. Best of all, they pack up super small!

Sun Ninja Pop-Up Beach Tent

A perfect option for those who want an awning that can stand on its own, a Sun Ninja Pop-Up Beach Tent is lightweight, easy to pack, and pops up super easily. We love that it can be set up even when no RV or vehicle is nearby, and we’ve found it’s great for those who prefer the shade offered by a Clam but don’t want side walls. 

There you have it, a variety of options for fixing or replacing your RV awning. Hopefully these ideas help you continue to enjoy shade in your campsite for years to come!

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