Do you hear loud squeaking noise every time you extend your RV’s awning? How about the speed of movement? Maybe your awning’s roller tube already requires a replacement. You can address this if you know how to replace RV awning roller tube.
The roller tube is one of the most crucial components of the RV awning. Unfortunately, it’s also the most susceptible to wear and tear because of constant movement. The good news is that you can replace this part in less than an hour. I’ll show you how.
Things You’ll Need for This Guide
Although it’s possible to perform an RV awning roller tube repair, a more sensible option is to replace it. It would be best to prepare the following tools and materials before proceeding with this project.
1. Materials (Canopy rolling tube and canopy fabric)
You’ll need a brand new RV awning roller tube, preferably similar to the one you’re replacing. I suggest checking your RV manufacturer if they have a canopy rolling tube for your vehicle.
Another material you’ll need is a canopy fabric. However, you can reuse the existing one if it’s still in good condition, and you can remove it safely from the tube.
You’ll need a rivet gun, screwdriver, non-permanent marker, vise grips, and a razor knife for this activity. Masking tape, silicone lubricant spray, and waterproof sealant can also be handy.
You might also require a hammer, socket wrench, Allen wrenches, and other hand tools. The devices you’ll need depend on your RV awning’s fasteners.
Steps to Replacing an RV Awning Roller Tube
Step 1. Remove the fasteners securing the RV awning.
The first step for RV awning roller tube replacement is removing all fasteners securing the awning to the vehicle. Examine your RV for the precise location of these bolts and screws, and use the appropriate hand tools to loosen them.
If your RV canopy folds into the vehicle’s side, it would be best to have someone hold the left roller tube bracket. This action prevents the awning spring from unwinding. Don’t forget to remove the screws preventing the awning fabric from sliding.
Step 2. Spread the canopy track’s end.
- Carefully pull the awning arms from their brackets, and place them on the ground.
- Look for the control lever on the roller tube’s right side and flip it.
- Roll the RV awning out by about 12 inches from the vehicle’s side.
- Protect the canopy brackets with masking or electrical tape to protect the RV’s sides against scratches. It would be wise to scrape the sealant connecting the awning fabric to the canopy track.
- Place a screwdriver between two tracks holding the awning fabric. Apply firm, downward pressure to the screwdriver to pull the components apart with two to three inches of space between them.
Step 3. Remove the RV awning roller tube.
- Ask two assistants to stabilize the RV awning about four inches from the ground surface.
- Gently pull the used RV awning roller tube out of its track.
- Then, carefully walk the roller tube along the channel until it’s completely free.
I suggest looking at the RV’s front or rear, ensuring you have adequate space to walk the roller tube out from the track. If the fabric doesn’t slide or is stuck, you can ask another person to climb a step ladder and pull the fabric.
- Set the RV awning roller tube on the ground.
Step 4. Remove the RV awning fabric.
It is often wise to replace the canopy fabric when installing an RV awning tube replacement. That’s why I recommend removing this component.
- Check the roller tube’s ends, and remove the plastic caps covering the springs. And lock the springs by inserting a screwdriver.
- Head to the awning’s right arm and loosen the bolt securing the canopy arm to the RV roller tube. You should remove the bolt and arm before reinserting the bolt and securing the bracket by applying adhesive tape.
- Then, place the vise grip on the right canopy leg’s bracket to release control lever pressure. I suggest marking the control lever’s position with a non-permanent marker.
- Flip the lever to unroll the RV awning. I recommend counting the rotations needed to completely unwind the canopy because you will observe these turns during reassembly. Loosen and remove the vise grip.
- You should check the end caps and remove the rivets. And, gently slide the RV awning’s right spring assembly, and unwind the canopy fabric.
Step 5. Prepare the new RV awning roller tube.
Remove the Dometic awning roller tube replacement from the box and ensure completeness of installation materials. It is wise to inspect the roller tube for signs of damage or defects. It’s not uncommon to get a defective product even though it’s brand new.
You might want to clean the rolling tube before reassembly. Most RV owners also recommend lubricating the tube to facilitate hassle-free setups.
Step 6. Roll the awning fabric into the roller tube.
Before you insert the canopy fabric into the channels, I recommend spraying the tracks with silicone lubricant to facilitate sliding.
Slide the fabric into their respective channels, ensuring perfect alignment. Always center the awning fabric between the roller tube’s end caps.
Roll the awning fabric counterclockwise as carefully as possible to ensure a smooth and uniform fit. I suggest asking someone to help you insert the fabric into its place.
Step 7. Reassemble the RV awning.
You’re almost through installing a new Dometic awning tube.
- You can reinsert the roller tube’s spring assembly with the fabric in place. Ensure the awning control lever is in its correct position.
- Replace the end cap rivets and secure them into the RV awning roller tube. Turn the spring assembly counterclockwise to tighten it using a vise grip. Ensure the correct number of rotations.
- Reattach the RV awning’s right arm to the rolling tube and remove the adhesive tape from the bracket. Reposition the support arm and remove the screwdriver from the roller tube’s left side. Secure the track.
- Finish the reassembly by sliding the roller tube into the channel and securing all fasteners.
Here’s a video from RVgeeks describing replacing an RV awning fabric. The process might not be about roller tubes, but the steps are similar.
You now know how to replace RV awning roller tube. The process is not as complicated as some people believe. One can break down the procedure into two fundamental steps: disassembly and reassembly. You can observe this guide to help you fix different problems in your RV’s awning.
Kindly share this tutorial with your acquaintances if you find it advantageous in helping you replace an RV awning roller tube. You can also send me any comments, concerns, or questions, and I will be more than delighted to answer them.