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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An Awning Tip

Slide out awnings do a great job of keeping water, leaves and dirt off the top of the slide.  However, they do take a beating, first they're continually baked by the sun, exposed to UV rays, then when the slide is open, wind can make them flap.  Driving down the road, they are subjected to hurricane force winds.   Over a period of time, they start to fray and tear along the leading (front) edge.  Once that happens, it's only a matter of time before they rip and the awning needs to be replaced.  Another big bucks repair for the RV owner.

On our previous RV, a 2003 Winnebago Adventurer, the slide awning lasted about two years before it began to deteriorate.   On our Journey, it has been just a little over four years before I noticed a couple of threads beginning to come apart on one awning.  Probably because it has a better quality fabric in the awning.

I have come up with a quick fix that re-enforces the area on the awning where it is starting to tear and helps to give the awning an extension on it's useful life.

I open the slide a bit and cut a four by one inch piece of Eternabond tape.  I put the tape over the area on the awning that is starting to come apart, folding half on the top side of the awning, and half on the  underside.

This re-enforces the weak area and joins it to more solid fabric.  Most slide awnings are white, so white tape won't stand out.  My awnings are gray, but hey, if it gives me a few more years of service out of the awning, I wouldn't care if the tape was purple.  Plus, it's almost impossible to see from the ground.

I suppose in a pinch, duct tape or Gorilla tape would work, but I don't think that repair would last as long as the Eternabond tape.

That's my awning tip.  I'm always looking for good ideas to care for my RV, so if you have any neat tips you've come across, feel free to share.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. thanks for the tip! Great idea. An ounce of prevention............

  2. Haven't really looked at ours yet, but if they are in the same shape as the rest of the exterior they will tear off soon!

    The inside of our 2007 (new to us) Alfa is in wonderful condition. But the outside was never loved or cared for.

  3. Ever thought of becoming an RV tech for hire? You might be able to subsidize your pension. You come up with scads of nifty little tips.

  4. Great tip, I will have to have a look at mine next time they are out and see if I can implement your solution.

  5. I hope I remember this tip; it is a good one.

    My tip is: don't have brake problems! :)

  6. Excellent tip and one we will, no doubt, need in the near future. Thanks!

    PS-yes, there is wine left :) We are holding 3 bottles in reserve. One for when you and Marti sell your home, one for Bill and Nancy's sale and one for Gin and Syl's sale. I hope we can uncork all of them very soon!!!

  7. We did the costly awning and slide topper replacement this past spring and you definitely want to avoid that for as long as you can.

    Really sorry to hear from my resident expert that 2-4 years is all I can expect for my money. Maybe I should do the tape as reinforcement before it even starts to think about tearing.

    Thanks for the tip!

  8. Hmm, have to file that one away for the future. We got slide awnings too.

  9. Tried that with our prior topper which was actually too far gone when we bought the coach, but it did help keep everything from tearing apart before we were able to do the replacement.

    Couple of tips in return. One, check your antiflap arm and make sure it is pointing up when the slide is closed. If a wind gust gets under the topper, that arm will stop it from getting pulled out and getting torn off. Second tip - don't assume the shop will do this correctly. The people who replaced out slide toppers (in Richmond VA) left one of the arms pointing down. The Winnebago shop corrected that for me when we were in Forest City IA recently, however when another man told me they had just replaced one of his slide toppers in the Winnebago shop, I took a look to see where they had positioned his antiflap arm. It was pointing down, so clearly even the pros can miss this one. I was told if the arm is not where it should be, remove the two screws that secure it to the end of the canvas roller and reposition it to point up. If there are no preexisting holes, drill neew ones.

  10. On our 2003 Horizon that had been in the weather since December 2002, I used clear awning repair tape purchased at Camping World. Patched a few holes, reinforced the weak areas, and the fraying edges.

    The RV was over 4 years old when we got it, and made the repairs. Traded in the Horizon three years later on a new 2010 Journey. The awning repairs held and were as good as the day we put them on.

    A very good thing to do, to hold off the eventual, inevitable replacements.


  11. My awning tip...don't get caught in a nor'easter with the slides out. No amount of strong tape can hold that.
    Gail and Rick, I sure hope those three bottles don't age too much longer :-)

  12. great awning care tip!!!..hope the tape holds for a good long time!!!

  13. Good idea! We'll have to look at ours. I know one of our window awnings is pulling out of the slot. We need to do something about that.

  14. Awning Tip: Make sure the lag bolts holding your awning on your coach are tight. With the constant wind buffeting they can work themselves loose. We just had ours tightend yesterday....and we didn't even know they were loose. Could have lost the whole awning, arms and all at some point.

  15. Good idea, however we went with good ole Duct Tape. Found it in white at Wally World. Our awning actually had a couple of tears which were fix by the Duct. We have had some bad winds since the fix and it has held great!!!. Just a less expensive option for your readers.

  16. I made Phil go buy some - he really needs it. Thanks!

  17. hi my awning tore about 8 inches along the very top reinforced fabric edge where it goes into the tube that holds it to the attachment strip (ie it has a hard nylon core that it has torn free from.) I thought I could sandwhich it between new fabric and sew a patch on but now that I have unrolled the awning I realize that I cannot slide it out of the track in order to do that. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks a million! Lorraine