RV Awning Repair
This step by step guide contains instructions for the A&E awning. Other brands are similar and all
There is considerable stored energy in the springs that can cause serious
injury - if you are not completely sure of your abilities DO NOT attempt to repair
the awning. Most RVawning repairs are best left to a competent RV technician!
The content of this webpage is for informational purposes only. I wish to stress again that when attempting RV
awning repair the spring pressure must be controlled at all times. Also keep in mind that, if you check an
income tax calculator, many automotive repairs can be counted as a tax deduction for your income tax forms.
Release the travel locks on the awning arms and position the cam lock to the roll down setting. Roll the
awning out about a foot or so. If the cam lock mechanism is not working, you will have to prop the awning in
this position with a short board.
At both end caps, there is a hole through which a cotter pin is inserted to
lock the spring tension. The inner shaft must be rotated until the holes line up, insert the cotter pin and bend
the ends to prevent it from slipping out.
Remove the two lag bolts that hold each of the rafters to the top of the
Remove the screw at each side of the awning fabric that holds the fabric in
position on the awning rail. The complete awning is now ready to remove from the coach. Have two sawhorses setup at
the proper distance apart to place the awning on. The awning rail must not be crimped or flattened out or the
awning cord will not slide out. There is a special tool to straighten the awning rail if this is the case.
With a helper, grasp the awning arms, release the arms from the foot that is
attached at the bottom of the arm and walk the whole assembly off the end of the trailer until the fabric is
completely out of the awning rail. Lay the awning tube on the sawhorses and rest the bottom of the awning arms on
Releasing the spring tension
Caution: care must be taken to control the spring tension at all times. Considerable force is
stored in the spring and this force is easily able to break a wrist or inflict a severe cut.
A pair of adequately sized vice grips are clamped onto the removable top
part of the awning arm. To prevent scratching the finish, insert cut pieces of rubber inner tube or other similar
material, between the jaws of the vice grips before clamping. Be sure to have a firm hold with the vice grips and
be sure to have a firm hold on the tool itself. It is best to straddle the awning tube and use both hands to
control the vice grips. Have your helper remove the 7/16" bolt holding this part to the awning arm and to then move
the awning arm away. Next remove the cotter pin that was previously placed and unwind the spring until all tension
If the awning fabric is to be removed, repeat this procedure on the other
end of the awning to remove that torsion assembly.
Removing the torsion assembly
The torsion assembly consists of the spring, end cap and cam lock mechanism.
It is held on to the awning tube by two rivets that must be drilled out. First mark the position of the cam handle
on the awning tube so that you can replace it in the same position. Using a 1/8" drill bit, drill out the rivets
and remove the end cap/torsion assembly.
Replacing the cam lock/end cap
The end cap (with the cam lock mechanism) is attached to the torsion shaft
with pins that must be driven out to replace the cap. Drive out the pin with a hammer and punch and replace the cap
with the new one. Reinsert the pins.
Removing the awning fabric
Both torsion assemblies must be removed to be able to slide the fabric off
the awning tube. See Removing the torsion assembly section for instructions. Lift the awning tube at both ends and
manually unroll the fabric by turning the awning tube by hand until the fabric is fully rolled off. Be sure to mark
the awning tube so that the replacement fabric can be inserted into the same position. Slide the fabric off the
tube. It is often easier to hold the fabric itself and have a helper or two to slip the awning tube off and
Replacing the awning fabric
If you are replacing the awning fabric with a new one, it helps to lay out
the old fabric in such a way as to protect the new one from damage as you "thread" it on to the awning tube. A few
helping hands are required and some patience is involved. Take care not to rip the fabric as you are sliding it
into the awning tube. If you carefully file down the sharp edges on the tube this will help considerably. Once the
fabric is in place make sure it is centered on the tube and tuck the cord ends into the tube.
Re-installing the torsion assembly
Install the torsion assembly and line it up with the marks that you made
when disassembling it. Rivet the assembly in place.
Re-tensioning the spring
Grasp the end piece with vice grips and have your helper be ready to
re-insert the cotter pin. Wind the spring by the number of turns indicated for your model, in the direction
indicated on the end cap. Insert the cotter pin to hold the spring tension. Replace the awning arm on the end piece
and replace the bolt.
Re-installing the awning
Sometimes it helps to have three people when replacing the awning on the
coach - two to handle the awning arms while one to feed the awning cord into the awning rail. While the awning
fabric is fairly robust, care must be taken not to snag it on the awning rail. The end of the awning rail can be
spread out slightly with a screwdriver and the sharp ends filed down to prevent tearing of the fabric.