When you get your RV out this spring to prepare it for use, check its awning to make sure there are no holes or tears needing repair. If you do find damage to the awning fabric, you can make them yourself and avoid having to replace the entire awning. Here are some tips for making repairs to your awning.
Fabric Patch and Glue
If your awning has a tear or a hole that is less than three feet long and no more than 1/4 of the awning's length, you can patch the hole or tear with some new fabric. It is best to get extra matching awning fabric from a local RV retailer. If you are not able to locate the same fabric, and you don't want to replace your entire awning, you can get a similarly-colored piece of fabric to patch the hole. This will not look as nice, but will repair the hole or tear.
You will need a piece of awning fabric two inches larger than the hole or tear you are repairing. You will also need water resistant outdoor glue, which you can find at most outdoor equipment stores or in a tent repair kit. Wash both sides of the fabric around the tear or hole with a non-oil based fabric cleaner and allow it to air dry. Cleaning the fabric will remove any mold, mildew, dirt, grease, and anything else that will prevent the repair from adhering to the awning fabric. Cut off any hanging pieces of string or shredded strips of fabric.
Apply glue on the underside of the awning around the edges of the tear or hole. Place the fabric patch onto the glue on the underside of the awning. Make sure to place the fabric with its right side toward the back of the awning and into the glue. Follow the glue's package directions to allow time for it to dry before retracting your awning.
Awning Repair Tape
You can use awning repair tape to repair any tear in your fabric that is also less than three feet long and is not longer than 1/4 of the awning's length. Wash and allow the fabric around the tear to air dry. You will need some awning repair tape, which is sold in 15-foot length-rolls at most RV supply stores. You will also need a person to assist you in the repair.
The person helping you make the repair will need to hold a clean, flat surface against the underside of the torn awning fabric. This will help you place the tape onto the torn fabric. Make sure both sides of the tear are set together as you place the tape, because once you press the tape onto the fabric you won't be able to remove it.
Repeat this process by placing tape on the underside of the fabric while your assistant places the flat surface on the other side of the awning.
To repair awning tears that are longer than three feet or 1/4 of the length of your awning, you will need to sew the tear. You can sew the tear yourself with the use of a canvas sewing awl and some waxed thread or waxed lacing twine.
Cut any loose threads from the edge of the tear and thread your awl with the waxed thread. The wax in the thread helps to prevent the thread from deteriorating in the weather and is used by sailmakers to repair sails.
Thread your stitch through one side of the tear, then over to and through the fabric on the other side of the tear, repeating down the length of the tear. The closer you space the stitches, the stronger your repair will be, so try to space each stitch approximately 1/3 to 1/4-inch apart.
After you have repaired any tears and holes in your awning, you should take some extra time and look for any areas of your awning that are wearing thin, threadbare, or have begun to form a hole smaller than your fingertip. These areas can turn into a hole tear in the awning, and doing some maintenance on the fabric can prevent larger repairs later on.
Just as with the other types of repairs, you should always clean the front and back of the awning fabric where you have found the worn spot. Dry the area with a towel, then let the fabric air dry completely before making the repair.
You will need either white or clear silicone caulk, depending on the color of your awning; white for lighter colored awning fabric and clear for a darker colored awning fabric. Place a blob of the caulk on your finger and press it into the worn fabric, smearing it around and into the fabric threads. Smooth out the caulk with your finger, then repeat it with the other side of the fabric. Allow the caulk to dry before rolling up your awning.
Use these tips to help you repair your damaged awning fabric. For more information about awnings, contact a company like Hightech Signs.