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Old 06-05-2017, 01:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2016
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Awning Repair

Hey y'all!
So I took the baby up the mountain for Memorial Day weekend and got into a tangle with a tree backing into my site Caught the tree with my awning, which tore the vinyl on one end where it attaches to the camper. Had a couple of broken pieces on the uprights as well, but have already found replacement parts for that. It's a bummer, but could have been worse.

The damage is: The tear (and it's more than just a tear, it's like the vinyl shredded part) is about a 6" x 8" area at the top where the vinyl connects into the runner on the camper. At the other end, the 'cord' that is the part that goes into the runner has broke free of the 'hem.' Sorry, I'm not sure how else to describe and haven't taken pictures yet.

The question: Has anyone ever actually cut the vinyl lengthwise and 're-hemmed' the cord? I know, I know, pictures will make it easier. I'm extremely handy with a sewing machine and the vinyl really isn't that thick. I kind of feel that if I can square it up, run a chalk line, cut it clean and 're-hem' that plastic cord into it - bam, I will be all set.

Thoughts? Anyone ever do this?
Thanks in advance for your input!


P.S. I didn't let the mishap bring me down and had a great time hiking and kayaking at North/South Lake in Tannersville, NY

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Old 06-05-2017, 09:19 PM   #2
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Hi kerin_o,

What you are describing about the damage and the fix came through clear. Understand the problem and your proposed fix. Sorry this happened. And glad you did not let it bum you out for the weekend campout.

Your proposed fix of resewing a new hem on, I would say may work with a few things to work through. I have never done it on an RV awning, but I have on a Catamaran sail boat mat. The mat that you sit on when sailing. It worked out good and never let go and it lived in wet conditions.

You need to find the right thread that is extremely strong and can handle water and not rot out quick. Next is the sewing machine. I had access to my wife's old Singer 100 machine what would pound through most anything. That and a heavy needle. I was sewing over 1/8" of heavy nylon netting but it did work. Your awning will be easier but still make sure your machine is heavy enough so it does not knock it out of time. My wife tried another heavy material for an awing sun shade on the camper and it goofed her Bernina out of time.

Here is one technical issue to work through. The new cord needs to be sewn on as dead parallel to the awning tube cord as possible. If your new cord heads off on an angle and the 2 ends of the awning are different lengths from awning tube cord to gutter rail cord by very much, the awing will not roll up straight. It will be tight on the shorter end and all bunched up on the longer end.

Some times the awnings shrink and they do not shrink even and this issue happens but it may not be as bad as yours is it is off a lot. I really have no great feel for how much it can be off and not have the issue. I would "guess" that is you are off a heavy 1/8" it may start to affect the roll up. If you are 1/4" off, I feel it would give you issues. Again, I really do not know, those are guesses based on the shrink roll up issues I had on my old Dometic before I replaced it.

If you can get past this roll up issue, then it should work OK with the right thread. The worst case, it will not work and you have to buy a replacement awning anyway. You really have not much too loose at this point other then a good deal of time spent that may not exactly work out. But it just might too.

This thread may help some on taking the awning apart. I'm assuming you have to remove the entire awning material from the tube to get the entire material in the sewing machine.

If your sewing machine cannot handle this, maybe find someone who makes/repairs truck canvas or house awnings. Their machines can handle heavy canvas and lots of running feet. I have no idea what they charge. May want to compare a new awning cost to the charged labor if you hire it out.

Hope this helps

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