Awning cover

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HRDWRK

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Dec 27, 2015
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155
Hi:
Our 3 years old RV's awning is falling apart! it is kind of disappointing and I was wondering if this is the normal life expectancy of it. We live in western WA so there is really no extended excessive cold or heat, besides, we don't use our awning that often when we camp.
Anyways, it is time for replacement and I was wondering if there is a good (better) brand or material than the others. I am thinking to tackle the job myself but it is hard to beat the camping world $59 installation fee these days.
Thanks
 
Mine is now 23 years old,,used often, and in great shape.. Mine has the metal cover that wraps the fabric when rolled up,, I think it makes a huge difference.>>>Dan ( About every three years I coat the top with Scotch Guard.>>)
 
"Falling apart" is kind of vague as to what is actually going wrong, but the short answer is No, not normal.  15-20 years is more typical. However, acid rain, lots of mold, and that sort of thing can seriously shorten the life of any fabric.  The thread used to stitch the awning together is particularly vulnerable to rot.
 
In our part of California, there are countless awnings, boat covers, dock covers, etc that are exposed to the gruelling sun for many months of the year. Lifetimes vary significantly, depedning on fabric and care. One of the better fabrics for new or replacement is Sunbrella. All too often, the thread rots, wind gets underneath, and the otherwise 'good' fabric is torn; Use or insist on Gortex thread for longevity.
 
Our awning cover is more plastic looking than fabric. When I say falling apart, you know when shopping bags  or plastic ages and then they break apart, there are few wholes are forming alongside each other at different locations.
This is our first RV and except for being careful for junk doesn't get trapped when we roll the awning back, I didn't know I have to do anything else.
 
Many awnings are made out of vinyl that can be sewn just like fabric and stretched taught. Our neighbor's experience with his vinyl dock cover made us choose that material when it was time to replace ours. It appears that this might outlast any of the heavy duty fabrics we've used in this application.

Sounds like your awning might be some kind of lightweight plastic; It's essentially "shredded" and in need of replacement. Care to post a picture?

You won't go wrong with Sunbrella fabric and Gortex thread for your replacement.
 
I replaced my awning fabric several yeas ago. It does take a minimum of 2 people.  It's not that difficult if you're mechanically inclined.  My fabric came with complete instructions plus I watched a couple of YouTube videos. 

One extra thing I did was pull both ends of the tube and cleaned and lubed the springs and the support rods.
 
Good advice wackymac. The spring(s) on that awning roller does (do) have some tension and need a little care/attention. It's been a few years since I removed/replaced a spring on our prior coach, but the manufacturer's instructions were good.
 
Most recent year awnings are acrylic fabric rather than vinyl, but maybe there are some newer materials in use now - the manufacturers are ever-inventive when searching for low priced materials.

The awning brand & model would be helpful to know.  I've not ever heard of the material just disintegrating as you describe and have to wonder if it was exposed to an acid rain (industrial or volcanic gases mixed with rain or dew). Once in awhile the chemicals in acid rain can be strong enough to cause quick and severe damage.
This is our first RV and except for being careful for junk doesn't get trapped when we roll the awning back, I didn't know I have to do anything else.
That's pretty much all that needs to be done, though washing it periodically helps keep it looking nicer.  I don't think the problem is anything you failed to do.
 
Most recent year awnings are acrylic fabric rather than vinyl.

Might be true of OEM-installed RV awnings, but there are countless awnings in other applications that use vinyl, and it's use would be an option for replacement. OTOH, my recommendation for Sunbrella/Gortex would be more than adequate and provide longevity.
 
Tom said:
Good advice wackymac. The spring(s) on that awning roller does (do) have some tension and need a little care/attention. It's been a few years since I removed/replaced a spring on our prior coach, but the manufacturer's instructions were good.
I would bet that if you had the fabric replaced at an RV shop they wouldn't do that.  My springs were rusty and dry so I cleaned them and smeared some grease on them and the rods.
 
Sorry about the delay. Here are some pictures. I have circled some of them in one of the pictures. I have also noticed some bubbling in some areas that you can see in one of the pictures. Are these awnings multilayers?
 

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I am not sure about the price to install an awning but I can recommend some kinds of good Rv awning for you. Dometic Camping Trailer Awning is one of the best awnings that I know. One thing I like about this Dometic trailer awning is that it is very easy to install. Due to its compact design, I didn?t have to rely on someone else?s help to attach it to my RV trailer. Also, since it comes with all the hardware I need, the installation was a breeze. Besides, it also comes with a compact yet lightweight build and can be stored quickly and easily. I think you can try it.
 
Samantha Nichols said:
I am not sure about the price to install an awning but I can recommend some kinds of good Rv awning for you. Dometic Camping Trailer Awning is one of the best awnings that I know. One thing I like about this Dometic trailer awning is that it is very easy to install. Due to its compact design, I didn?t have to rely on someone else?s help to attach it to my RV trailer. Also, since it comes with all the hardware I need, the installation was a breeze. Besides, it also comes with a compact yet lightweight build and can be stored quickly and easily. If you care more about this product, you can read more here:


(Moderator edit: affiliate supported web site link removed)
 
Someone mentioned putting the awning and letting it dry before you roll it back up. IMHO, that's not critical. The awning I have now is 9 years old and every time I open it, I always get a shower from water inside the awning. When it rains, it usually finds a way to get into the awning layers through the ends.
 
Vinyl is not as durable as canvas, but then again, it is better at protecting you against the rain. The best awning material is the one that suits your needs the best. But if you usually find yourself camping in dry, desert landscapes, or near the coast, you might like the performance of the canvas. However, if it often rains where you want to camp or fish, you need something that is waterproof, like vinyl.


(Moderator edit: promotional link removed)
 
I did something really stupid a couple years ago. Hit a tree branch which tore my awning.

Used the product below and it has been on for two years. It's amazing but Amazon says no longer available.

Don't know if they are just of stock or they changed the name. I can tell you this, it's clear and the stickiest tape I've ever used. It's actually hard to apply because it sticks to your scissors and your fingers but once you get it on it doesn't come off.

If anyone has information on this product I think it would help people.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HL246YG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


 
 
Real canvas hasn't been used on RV awnings in ages - the fabric type is woven acrylic fibers, completely synthetic and highly resistant to rot. Like any woven material, dirt and mold will get into the weave and water can seep through it if the tiny spaces aren't filled with some sort of waterproofing.
 

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