CAUTION: We recommend all awning work be done by a
Awning disassembly is dangerous and can cause serious injury.
If you need a professional contact Wilson RV (located in Ohio)
First and foremost you need to know that there are safety issues involved with working on an awning.
The torsion spring inside the tube must be unwrapped and it can be quite dangerous.
If you are not mechanically inclined with “good” hands please take it to a professional.
You will need at least 2 people and it will be easier with 3.
The fabric must slide out the end of the awning rail that is attached to the RV after the torsion springs are unwrapped. This can be accomplished with the hardware attached.
You will need to remove a self tapping screw from the awning rail at each end used to keep the fabric aligned.
To unwrap the torsion spring tension, unroll the awning. If the awning cannot be opened due to a fabric problem, the fabric can be cut with a utility knife.
It is easier to unwrap the torsion springs with the fabric intact and attached (Once cut, the fabric cannot be reused).
Start at the rear of the awning.
Have 1 person hold the tube on one end.
A second person will release the upright from the RV at the bottom. With the upright in the shortest position, carefully swing the entire upright in a circle in the direction opposite of the arrow on top of the upright. (Opposite of the direction the tube rolls in) The upright will need to go all the way in a circle thus the need for one person to hold the tube so the other can reach all the way around.
Be careful not to hit the RV with the upright. You will need to go enough complete rotations to unwrap the spring tension. Typically it will be wrapped approximately 1 turn per foot of awning. (A 15′ awning will have 15 wraps). Count as you go so you can wrap it the same during reinstallation. After unwrapping the rear spring, reattach the upright to the RV.
Next follow the same procedure unwrapping the front torsion spring. Be certain to release the latch at the top so the spring will unwrap without damaging the mechanism.
Once the springs are unwrapped, the hardware disassembly can continue. If replacing the fabric only, skip down to the fabric replacement. It is not necessary to remove the entire assembly to replace the fabric.
The entire awning can now be removed from the RV with the proper amount of help. Check the rear end of the awning rail and straighten to be certain the awning can slide out easily. With one person holding each upright, release them from RV and then “walk” the awning out of the RV.
A third person can be helpful with stabilizing the awning as it comes out. Lay the awning out on the ground.
As a safety precaution, attach a set of needle nose vice grips on the main awning tube shaft where it comes out of the aluminum tube on one side. Holding these vice grips will help insure that the shaft will not turn in case you did not get the torsion spring unwrapped completely. Absolutely do not remove the upright unless you have unwrapped the torsion springs as described earlier. Next using a 7/16″ wrench, remove the bolt attaching the upright to the awning tube. While holding the needle nose vice grips, remove the upright from the awning tube. Carefully unwrap any spring tension with the vice grips after the upright is removed. Follow the same procedure on the other upright.
Next drill out 3 rivets on each end cap using a 3/16″ drill bit. Mark a reference line on each end cap and the awning tube so it can be reassembled in exactly the same position. Now pull out the torsion spring assemblies. You can now replace any awning hardware as needed. If replacing torsion springs, be certain to mark the new assemblies the same as the old ones so they will be in the correct positions.
Replacing the fabric requires only the rear end cap removal. Mark a reference for the fabric to tube. The fabric uses two slots to slide in the tube. Be certain to mark each so you don’t get mixed up. Pull the fabric out of the slots. Replacing the fabric only with the awning still attached to the RV can be done with 2 people pulling the fabric out of the tube and rail at the same time while a 3rd person holds the tube. After the fabric is removed, clean all debris from the drilled rivets out as they can interfere with the latching mechanism.
All RV education articles are provided for information only. Articles are based on the best professional judgment and experienced opinion of the writer.
Wilson RV nor the author accept any liability as a result of the provided information.