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Old 05-04-2012, 12:29 PM   #1
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Replacing Awning

We have a 2000 Fleetwood Discovery and had the paint changed. One thing we never did was change the awning and it simply does not match anymore. Well, we ordered a new custom awning and want to put it on. The question is, should we have someone do it for us, or is it a simple job? We are about as mechanically inclined as a tree, so we are leaning towards have somebody install, but the price we got was several hundred dollars and that seemed kind of high considering it was just an awning. Any help?
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:46 PM   #2
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Are you replacing the whole thing (hardware included) or just the fabric?

Actually either way it is a job, we replaced just our fabric last year and took three of us a few hours. Two guys, and me keeping the new fabric from being drug all over the ground.

It isn't hard, but you will need tools (particularly a good pair of channel lock pliers), ladders, and multiple bodies. The hardest part, with the most potential for injury (outside of falling of the ladder removing the old or putting the new into the awning rail) is releasing and/or recoiling the torsion spring mechanism.

If you are not mechanically inclined the few hundred bucks are probably less expensive than broken fingers.

But if you want to give it a try, here are the A&E instructions.

RV Awning Repair

Good Luck!
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:54 PM   #3
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It is just the fabric, and based on the fact that I have no idea what type of pliers those are or what the thingamajobby a torsion spring is, you might be right.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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Its not worth the risk if you are not comfortable working on mechanical things. Call a mobile RV repair and have them come to your place to replace the fabric. In less then an hour they will be done and on there way..............KJD
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:04 PM   #5
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I live in Florida, and worked for a RV dealership, and after the hurricanes in 2005, I probably replaced 50 awnings, some just the fabric and some needed new hardware too. It takes 2 people and if you've never done it, I would let someone do it, you need new rivets, a certain amount of turns on the spring after installing the fabric. And vise grip to slowly release the spring tension. It's not hard, but not something to try the first time. That's all not to mention, you might rip the new fabric, sliding it in, if you don't open the end of where it slides in.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:07 PM   #6
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You anywhere near Tampa ws? Im not that familiar with Sebring.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
The hardest part, with the most potential for injury (outside of falling of the ladder removing the old or putting the new into the awning rail) is releasing and/or recoiling the torsion spring mechanism.
If you decide to do this, please be careful. We hired a very experienced mobile rv service person to reset our awning torsion spring a couple years ago. His phone rang and distracted him for just a moment and when the spring uncoiled he ended up with a severe broken hand. When I saw him the next summer he said he could not work for almost a whole season because of the injury. JMHO, but hire it done.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:16 PM   #8
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I wrote something on the RV Forum about my experience with replacing our awning fabric here: Awning Replacement - Is this for the average do-it-yourselfer?

It's got some pictures that might help. If you've ever replaced or helped replace the springs in a garage door, you can do this with a helper. The tension in an awning is a fraction of the tension in a garage door. We used a vicegrips to hold and release the tension on the torsion spring assembly. You'll need a drill and a rivet gun to remove old rivets and install new ones (which come with the new fabric, BTW) when removing and re-installing the torsion spring assembly which attaches to the end of the roller tube.
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