Having lived in an RV during the summer, one of the few things I’ve ever truly struggled with is a leaky awning. It can be a pain to fix, but thankfully, there are ways to make your awning stop leaking without professional assistance.
How do you fix a leaking awning? To fix a leaking awning, you will need to locate the hole where the awning is, and patch it up using extra fabric or tape. If the awning is too far gone, you will need to get it replaced.
If you just noticed your awning’s leak, you might not be very happy. Thankfully, the fixes associated with it are fairly easy to do and won’t take more than an hour. Want to learn more about the process? Here’s the scoop…
Why Is My Awning Leaking?
RV awnings might look sturdy, but the truth is that they are just as susceptible as any other fabric material you could get. These awnings can leak as a result of thinned out material, rips, and tears.
If the tears are left alone for too long, you might need to replace your awning. Thankfully, most RV awnings are easy to repair and you shouldn’t have to worry too much about that possibility.
Can Gorilla Tape Repair An RV Awning?
Though it’s not the most aesthetically-pleasing option, gorilla tape is a go-to tool for RV owners that want to have a quick fix to a leaky awning. Using it to repair an awning is fairly easy. Here’s how:
- Remove your awning and clean it. Use soap and water for the entire awning. In the leaky area, use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol as a tool to wipe things down. Wipe both the top and bottom sides of the awning.
- Apply gorilla tape to the top of the RV awning’s leak. Make sure it sticks well!
- Flip the awning over, then add more tape to the bottom of the awning’s leak. This helps seal out water and keep your awning sturdy.
- To ensure that you don’t have any more leaks, apply strips of tape where you notice wear and tear. Taping frayed edges, areas that look worse for the wear, or areas that cause you concern can help.
Gorilla tape isn’t a permanent fix, but it’s definitely a fix that can last for several months. If you don’t feel like replacing your awnings after the tape starts to peel, just re-tape your awning.
Can I Repair An RV Awning Using Extra Fabric?
Repairing a torn camper awning can be a pain, especially if the leak isn’t a minor one. If you find that your leaky awning is caused by a serious hole or a scratch, you will need to patch it up using tape. If you have bigger tears, you will need fabric and a repair kit to make it usable again.
Here’s how to do it:
- Remove the awning and clean it. Wipe down the awning’s top and bottom using soap and water. Wipe down affected areas with isopropyl alcohol.
- If you have any small tears, use gorilla glue to patch them up. The instructions above work well here. You will need to fix the small tears before any big gauges as rips are worked out.
- Measure the exact width and height of each hole. Measure twice.
- Take those measurements, then add two inches to each dimension. Cut a piece of fabric with the new sizes.
- Sew the material to the awning’s underside. Try to do what you can to make the patch as discreet as possible.
- Trim any loose strings from your thread. This just cleans things up and helps your awning look good as new.
Of course, if you’re not a natural craftsman or seamstress, you probably won’t be able to sew a patch onto your awning with ease. That’s alright. Awning repair kits come with glue that can help make repair a breeze in most cases.
When Is It Worth Calling A Repair Company?
Most awning tears and leaks can be fixed on your own if you give it enough effort. However, if you are not a fan of repairing your own RV parts, want to have it look good as new, or just feel dicey about bigger holes, it’s a wise choice to call a professional.
When Is An RV Awning Beyond Repair?
Awnings, though prone to leaks, are surprisingly sturdy. Most awnings can be repaired repeatedly before they become totally unusable. However, if you notice any of these issues, it’s time to replace your awning:
- Your awning is literally covered in patches. One or two patches won’t make a difference, but if your awning looks like it was designed to be a patchwork mess, it’s time to replace it. Eventually, even the sturdiest of patches will start to fail on you.
- The material your awning is made of is showing wear and tear everywhere. Even the most well-built awnings have an expiration date. If your awning looks like it’ll snap from brittleness or just collapse, replace it.
- You’re noticing cracks on the edges of your awning. By the time that cracks appear in awning material, you’ve passed the point of no return. No amount of sealant or treatment will reverse that damage.
- Your awning is turning into a ridiculously high-maintenance project. If you have to unfold it super carefully, constantly patch it up, and do similar work, it might be better to just get a replacement. Awnings shouldn’t be that much work
- The tear in your awning is larger than three feet in length. After this point, most awning tears are no longer salvageable.
- Your awning has mold and mildew. No amount of patching can help this, unfortunately. You will need to switch awnings.
- A storm damaged your awning as well as the surrounding parts of your RV. It’s a terrible thing, but it absolutely happens. If your awning and its arms were both damaged, a replacement is almost always necessary.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace An RV Awning?
If you’re in a situation where you’re looking at a potential awning replacement, it’s normal to feel a little apprehensive about potential costs. It’s understandable. Unlike fixing an RV awning, replacement can pack a serious punch to a typical family’s budget.
The amount of money you should expect to shell out varies based on the size of the awning, the labor involved, and more. Most of the estimates that are done on awning replacement are based on sizes.
If you’re replacing a smaller awning, you should expect to have a bill between $300 and $600. Medium-sized awnings, which are around 6 x 8 feet in length, will cost around $1000 to $1200. Larger awnings can cost over $2,700 to replace depending on their make.
It’s worth noting that mechanical awnings are more expensive to replace than manual awnings due to labor costs. If you choose a more expensive awning material, you should also expect the overall installation costs to be higher.
How Bad Is A Leaky Awning?
In terms of RV repairs, a leaky awning is nothing that should be seriously upsetting. Most RVs will show some signs of wear and tear by the time they reach five years of age, even if you regularly maintain them.
- How can I protect my awning fabric from deteriorating? Keeping your awning out of the sun, storing it properly when it’s not in use, and making sure not to store it while it’s wet can all extend an awning’s lifespan.
- Can I leave my awning up during a storm? No. Awnings that are used with RVs are meant to protect campers from the sun. Rain and high winds can damage your awnings, sometimes irreparably!
- How do you clean an awning? Hosing it down once a month is more than enough care in most cases.