Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Jessica Lauren Vine
Trying to figure out how to measure your RV awning doesn’t have to drive you crazy anymore. Keep reading.
Your RV awning is one of the best exterior features of your RV. It provides shade from the sun and protection from the rain and falling debris for both you and the gear you store under the awning. It provides all this protection while still being lightweight and easily rolled up for travel. Unfortunately, that portability, combined with the amount and type of abuse your awnings take means they will not last forever. Even with proper cleaning and protection, it’s rare for an awning to last more than 7 – 10 years on an RV that sees at least moderate use and is stored outside. This is the case for most RVs.
At some point, your awnings will begin to show their age with spots and small holes. These can often be patched, but those patches will merely prolong the inevitable. At some point, your awning will need to be replaced. It’s usually best to replace them when the normal wear (thin spots, small holes, failing stitching) starts to become obvious. Those are signs of a weakened awning which is far more likely to fail catastrophically in lighter winds and rains.
If it fails while at a campsite, getting it rolled back up for the trip home can be a tedious chore. They are much easier to replace while at home where you’ll have better tools to deal with it. The first step in replacing your awning is to measure it. This is a simple process and it will get you the numbers you need to order a replacement. Here’s how you measure your awning.
Measuring the Awning
To measure the width of your awning simply use a standard tape measure to measure between the centerlines of the vertical support rails which secure your awning to the RV. The number you get should come out to be in whole foot increments. If that measurement comes out to be 12’, then you’ll need to order replacement fabric for a 12’ awning.
If your awning does not have vertical support rails like the Carefree Lattitude, then consult your owner’s manual for proper measurement requirements. If you want to replace the fabric with a factory replacement from Carefree then you can obtain the model and serial number from the tag on the roller bar. Using that information, you can contact Carefree for a direct replacement.
If you wish to purchase replacement fabric from another source then you’ll need to measure the awning size and the method for doing that can vary by model. The Carefree Lattitude for example is measured across the roller bar from the outside edge of the motor cover to the outside edge of the other motor cover. This is essentially the full width of the roller bar, including the motor covers.
Most replacement fabric sources will publish the actual width of the fabric you are ordering. If you want to double-check you are getting the correct one, you can measure the full width of your roller bar. The replacement awning material should be narrower than the width of the roller bar.
Once you have the measurement, you can order your material. Replacement is pretty easy in most cases. One person can usually do the job, but it will definitely be easier and go faster if you have a helper, especially if you are working on a longer awning.