Replacing LCI Motorized RV Awning
After 6 years, our RV awning had seen better days. From beating it up at the beach along with a constant battle with at the tree limbs at rural campgrounds, the RV awning stitching busted pulling a 10 foot section away from the side of the 5th wheel. We could have taken down, had it stitched and replace, but the fabric was getting fatigued and we didn’t think much life was remaining. We checked with several RV repair facilities and received quotes from $1,000 to $1,600 for a new awning and the labor to install. This seemed quite steep and we felt the install would not be that difficult and found a good quality awning for $145.
The Awning Material
After a search through many of the RV product resellers, we settled on a SunWave awning purchased through Amazon. We found popular sizes to fit most motorized and manual awnings and the ratings were very good. The material has a very slick finish with hopes this will minimize staining and mildew. The materials consist of a 15oz vinyl with a 16oz vinyl weather shield. If you have a manual awning, it also comes will a new pull strap. After reading the specs and ratings, we thought we’d give the SunWave RV awning a try.
RV Awning Replacement Preparation
Before you start the project, make sure you have two quality ladders capable of reaching the top of the camper. There will be steps in the RV awning removal and installation where each person will be on a ladder at each end of the awning roller. A wobbly ladder is unsafe and can cause injury and/or damage to the awning if dropped.
Our awing is a motorized LCI until. There’s little preparation with a motorized until. There’s no capture spring to content with which make removal much simpler.
CAUTION! If you have a manual awning, locate the instructions for your model and find out how to secure the roller before cutting the awning fabric away from the side of the camper. Failure to do so can cause serious injury.
For the LCI RV awning, I first extended the awning approximately 12 inches from the side of the camper. Next I secured the arm mechanisms with tie wraps to hold in place once the fabric was cut. This is an important step to prevent the awning from failing forward.
Removing the Old RV Awning
With the RV awning arm mechanisms secured, I cut the RV awning from the side of the camper using a sharp razor knife. Next, I removed the set screw holding the poly cord and pulled the poly cord and remaining fabric from the track.
Next step was to remove the roller from the arm mechanisms. This is a two person job. Good communications is required throughout the removal and installation where each share where they are in completing their task. With a ladder and person on each side, we removed the bolts holding the roller to the arm mechanisms. Unplugging the RV awning motor wire, we carefully stepped down and placed the awning roller on the ground. Here we cut the remainder of the old awning fabric from the roller and pulled out the polly cord from the retaining track.
Replacing the RV Awning
The steps to replace the RV Awning are almost the opposite of the removal. We used the old awning as our work space to prevent scuffing or damage to the new awning. We carefully unfolded, located front and back and slid the new RV awning with the attached polly cord into the awning roller. We then secured the polly cord with screws to the roller.
Next is attaching the back of the awning to the camper. This requires sliding the RV awning polly cord into the mounted track. This is a 3 to 4 person job with one person at the top of the RV feeding the awning polly cord at one end and a second person at the other end pulling the fabric. This task should be performed in short 6 to 12 inch pulls with caution to prevent snags and tears in the fabric. You’ll also need 1 to 2 people on the ground holding the awning roller and following the progress of the sliding fabric.
Once the fabric is installed and aligned, we rolled the remaining fabric on the roller, connected the power cable to the motor, replaced the two blots holding the roller to the arm mechanisms and used a set screw to hold the polly code the RV awning track.
Installation Time and Difficulty
It took us 2 hours to remove and install the new RV awning. Difficulty is moderate requiring basic hand tools. The RV awning roller and fabric is not very heavy, but can be cumbersome at 10 foot plus working heights. See the video below for the step by step efforts replacing an RV awning.
Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel? Check out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.
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