How To Replace RV Patio Awning Fabric

TheRVgeeks Awnings & Slide Toppers, Repair, Replacement 18 Comments


We've learned a new and improved (EASIER!) way to do this job!

Watch The New Video!

UPDATE: Tough Top Awnings now offers a special discount for RVgeeks viewers. Enter the discount code “RVGEEKSROCK” at checkout and get 5% off your entire order!

Our favorite type of DIY RV project is one that’s both surprisingly manageable and also saves a lot of money. Replacing your RV’s patio awning fabric fits that description really well. A confident DIY RVer with a couple of friends can handle this job just fine, saving well over half the cost of having it done at an RV shop. If you thought that replacing your old vinyl main awning was out of your league as a Do-it-Yourselfer, watch this first and you just might change your mind!

We know that a lot of people are afraid of “The Spring!” on an awning, but under the personal guidance of Tough Top Awnings owner Ray Oberreuter, we saw how the whole process was really manageable.

We purchased slide topper replacement fabric a few years ago from Tough Top Awnings. When we opened the box, it was immediately obvious that it was superior to the original fabric (double-stitched, very tight weave and noticeably thicker) and also less expensive than OEM replacement material. Their main patio awnings are no different. Excellent quality at a great price.

Ray was very responsive when we had questions during the ordering process and obviously takes pride in making a superior product at a lower price. When we decided to replace our bedroom slide toppers last year, it was a no-brainer to order from Tough Top Awnings again. You can get more details by visiting their website:

FULL DISCLOSURE: After seeing our original video, Ray was so pleased with it that he asked to sponsor all of our videos (if you are a regular RVgeeks viewer, you’ve probably seen Tough Top Awnings mentioned in our video descriptions). We were only willing to allow that because we truly believe in Ray’s products and think they’re a great value compared with the (thinner and more-expensive) OEM replacement fabric. We will NEVER recommend ANY product that we feel is anything less than a great find for other RVers. Period.

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We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, and The RVgeeks are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. But our opinions are our own, you won’t pay an extra penny, and we only link to products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence.

Comments 18

  1. Really old video – but still accurate! Tough Top Awning is great, thick material, and the installation is easy if you have the basic tools and some help. I also didn’t have hole to lock rear spring, but 1 person was able to hold tension on it until we got front spring back on.

    1. Post

      Thanks, J! The video may be a bit old now, but lucky for all of us, Dometic/A&E hasn’t really changed the design of their awnings over the years… so these instructions still apply (for the most part, since you’ve already found one design change with not having a hole to use to lock the spring… glad you were able to work around that and still get the job done)! Hope you love your Tough Top awning fabric as much as we do! Safe travels!

    2. i stuck a screwdriver in my strap slot and let it res agasinst the arm to hold the tension on the back side…

  2. This video really helped us out! A storm destroyed our awning and with the help of your video I was able to fix it myself. I mean DESTROYED our awning, it broke the lower support arm, snapped our awning tube in half. Luckily the campground we were working at had a bone yard of spare used parts.
    The Talburts

  3. Pingback: How To Replace an RV Window & How It's Made! RVgeeks How-To Video.

  4. I am planning to replace the fabric on my A&E Domentic 8500 porch awning very soon. I watched you video how to replace awning, etc and have a question. The video advises to remove the plastic or rubber cap on the left side of the roller and then place a screwdriver to hold in place. After looking at mine, there is no cap nor a place to put a screwdriver, etc to hold the left side. Am I to assume that there is not a spring on my left side of the roller? Any help would be appreciated. My roller was mauufactured on June 2012.

    1. Post

      Hi Henry! Sorry to pass the buck, but for this one, we’re going to refer you to the guru of awning fabric replacement, Tyler at Tough Top Awnings. If you give him a call, he’ll be happy to help you figure out the best way to proceed. His number is 360.980.0537 and he’s on West Coast time. Be sure to tell him the RVgeeks sent you… and that we said hello! Please let us know how you make out.

    2. I had same issue, I stuck a screwdriver in rear pull strap hole and let it rest against arm…worked fine for me…

  5. Just changed out a 16 foot A&E awning fabric, following your vidio. It was spot on! Thanks for the great tutorial, worked like a charm!

    1. Post
  6. Found you through YouTube searching on how to remove an awning , my wife and I inherited a 25ft bumper pull that has been setting on stands for 10 years plus. the bracket that mounts to the camper has come off due to rotten wood in that area, we thought it would be easier to remove the entire awning than fix the rotted wood, we have resealed the roof and that has stopped the leak, new to camping and eager to get on the road and enjoy the camping life. Thanks

    1. Post

      Congratulations on your new-to-you-RV, Kerry! We hope you and your wife have a successful experience getting it ready for the road, and then have a wonderful time out here. :)

  7. Outstanding video!
    I had trouble restraining the left side spring assembly as shown. I’m sure it is completely relaxed now. How should I deal with that during reinstallation?

  8. Excellent write up. I have done one of these with a buddy in the driveway before on a 12 foot awning on a Southwind Storm, and you are spot on step by step. The whole job took us about an hour to an hour and a half taking our time — and we had never done one before.

    1. Great to hear Steve! This one took a lot longer, but that was only because videoing it takes about 5 times as long as doing the job itself! lol Seriously though, this is a great job for a confident do-it-yourselfer, since it will save a bundle over paying a shop to do it.

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