Originally Posted by vcu70
Can anyone tell me how to replace fabric on the awning in this PDF?
Fabric replacement is not too difficult as long as you have a good understanding of the hazards associated with working with torsion springs. If you're at all hesitant I would recommend seeking the help someone with experience or take it to a dealer. On the scale of "Rivet" difficulty I'd rate this as a rating of "3 Rivets" on the scale of 5.
Just remember that stored energy in torsion spring can be very very dangerous if not handled properly. Please be careful.
Here's my way of tackling this.
If your fabric is still installed and the awning is functional you'll need to release the energy from both torsion springs. This can be done two ways, both of which require the assistance of a couple of friends.. Come to think of it you'll need the help of friends for most of this project.
Step A. Release Torsion Spring Energy
Method 1. You can lower the awning and cut the fabric. This will allow the roll tube to unwind and relieve the spring tension. You will need to control the spinning of the roll tube when the fabric is cut. I do this by tying a 1/4" rope on the cap nubs and letting the tube gradually unwind. The benefits of this method are:
a. The work can be done from the ground instead of off a ladder.
b, You're away from the trailer so there is less chance of skin damage.
c. The energy release is easier to control.
d. You can count the number of rope wraps around the awning tube so you'll have an idea of how many spring turns will be required when you reinstall the awning.
Method 2. You can reverse the steps shown in figure 4 of the pdf file. The key is to control the top plug when it is pulled from the arm. If you look at the spring rod extending from the top plug you should see two flats that can be gripped with a wrench and held when the plug is removed from the arm. You can also use vise grips grip part of the plug as comes out of the arm.
My issue with this method is that sometimes the top plugs need some persuasion to release from the arms and it is easy to loose your grip on the wrench. This can result in trailer damage or personal injury and you're working from a ladder.
I've always used method 1.
Step B. Remove Old Fabric
Once the spring tension is released unscrew the plastic end caps and remove the spring assemblies. Take to note where they came from as the front and rears differ. If you can't get the screws out then use a hacksaw to cut the heads off then you can grip the screw shaft with a pair of vise grips after the springs are removed. After the springs are out you simply slide the fabric and spline out of the roll tube end.
Next you'll need to remove the fabric from the awning rail (on the trailer). It is important to leave a 6 to 8 inch flap of awning material in place so you'll have something to grab while you're pulling the material from the rail. There should be 2 or 3 screws in the top of the rail that prevent the awning fabric from sliding in the groove. They need to be removed as do the awning stowage clips located on each end of the awning rail. Now look at the end of the awning rail to see if the groove ends are crimped, or flared. If they are crimped you may need to flare them slightly to make removal and re-installation easier. They can be flared with a flat tipped screwdriver. Flaring will really help out when the new fabric is being installed.
There's usually a buildup of crud in the rail groove. A couple of silicon spray squirts will go a long way to making the task easier. Next comes the tugging. It will help to have one person on each end tugging in unison to get the material and spline removed.
Step C. Maintenance
Now is a great time to check the rail rivets to make sure things are tight and sealed. I'd also clean the springs, replace the old plastic end caps, and replace rusty bolts and such with stainless steel. Clean the awning rail and roller tube grooves.
Step D. Re-Installation
Slide the new fabric into the awning rail first. I usually file the leading edges of the rail groove to prevent the fabric from tearing on any sharp edge as its being pulled in. A little lubrication will also help.
Slide the fabric into the roller tube groove.
Install the top plugs into the arms (no tension on the springs yet). Now with the fabric unrolled and the awning extended try to align things up so the fabric will roll up straight on to the roll tube. Just eyeball things at this point.
If you're satisfied with the alignment you can begin tightening the springs. I do this with the arms extended so I can stand on the ground. This requires some additional turns of the springs but its much more stable and safer for me. I use two wrenches to tighten the torsion springs to the desired number of rotations. One wrench goes on the flat and the other grips the end plug. It is very important to go slow and maintain control of the wrenches. Don't let anyone stand in the spin plane just in case a wrench slips and things go flying. Once the rotations are complete slide the plug into the arm and secure it. Move to the opposite and repeat.
Now try rolling up the awning and see if the spring tension is correct and adjust accordingly. Also check the fabric for alignment. You may need to slide the fabric in the rail to align things. Once this is complete, replace the rail screws to lock the fabric in to the rail and re-install the stowage clips on each rail end. Use sealant where penetrations are made.
Now pull up the lawn chairs, break out a few cold ones and admire your handy work.
I know this is a long post so feel free to PM me if I can be of assistance. I attached some photos of the flats, nubs and the awning stowage brackets.
Best of luck,