Category Archives for "RV Maintenance"

A Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing Your RV Awning Roller Tube

A step by Step Guide to Replacing Your RV Awning Roller Tube

Part of the convenience of having an RV is the ability to enjoy the outdoors anytime you wish. Adding an awning to your RV will allow you to relax outdoors without worrying about the harmful effects of being exposed to direct sunlight.

However, constant use can lead to its wear and tear and one of the parts that experience this the most is your awning’s roller tube due to the constant movement it goes through. The good news is that replacing your RV awning roller tube can be done as long as you know what you’re doing.

With that said, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to replace the RV awning roller tube. Check out the steps below.

What You Will Need for This Tutorial


Before we start with the process, here’s a list of all the tools you will need to replace your RV awning roller tube. Prepare the following before we proceed with the actual tutorial.

  • Rivet gun
  • Vice grips
  • Drill
  • Drill extensions
  • Razor knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Socket wrench
  • Marker
  • Open-end wrench
  • Allen wrenches
  • Masking tape
  • Silicone spray lubricant
  • A waterproof sealant
  • Replacement awning fabric

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Replace Your RV Awning Roller Tube


Once you have gathered all your tools and supplies, you can now begin the process of replacing your RV awning roller tube. However, remember that each awning roller tube has its differences, depending on the brand and other factors. Nevertheless, here are some of the most basic steps you can follow to replace your RV awning roller tube.


  • Locate and remove all the bolts and screws that keep the awning in place.

Don’t forget to use the legs to support and keep the awning in place. That way you don’t have to worry about it falling during the process.

  • Pull and/or undo the clips keeping the awning attached.

Pull the awning rod as well to slightly move the awning itself forward. It’s advisable to use masking tape to avoid damaging the sides of your RV. Moreover, older awnings may require cutting away the sealants keeping everything in place.

  • Detach the awning fabric.

To do this, loosen the track slightly with a screwdriver then pull the fabric. After removing it, place it somewhere stable and secure to avoid damage to the roller tube. Locate the spring mechanism as well at the side of the awning and lock in place with a metal rod or screwdriver. After which release the tension on the other spring by locating and removing the bolt holding both the roller and arm together. This entails removing the bolts and arms on both sides.

  • Clamp the bracket with your vice grip and remove the tension on the lever by lifting the vice grip.

You can do this by turning the lever up to roll-up and gently unrolling the spring. You may use some masking tape to avoid damages and use a marker to mark the control level for easier reassembly.

  • Remove the roller tube.

To remove the roller tube, you need to remove one rivet from the tube. For the rest of the rivets, you may use a hammer. Repeat this on the other side as well and this will make detaching the spring assembly from the roller tube easier.

  • Remove the fabric.

This should now be easy to remove. You can slice it with a cutter for easier removal.

Installation of a New Rolling Tube


  • Clean and lubricate the new rolling tube.

This will make the reassembly easier and less of a hassle.

  • Attach the fabric properly.

Remember to align it properly and carefully roll it up the roller tube to avoid potential issues.


  • Place the spring mechanism back in place.

Using the marker used during the disassembly, line up the control level and line up the rivet holes. Replace the rivets using a pop riveter. Repeat this on the other side.

  • Tighten the spring mechanism.

You can do this by placing vice grips on the tube and brackets and moving the control level to “roll down.” After this, turn the spring counter-clockwise to tighten it.

  • Attach the awning arm on both ends.

Remove the metal rod or screwdriver you used as a makeshift lock on one side of the awning and reattach all parts properly.

  • Reattach the fabric to the RV.

To ensure smoother operation, you may use lubricants. You can also use the legs as additional support. Just make sure to line up the edge of the rolling tube’s fabric with the RV track and reattach the fabric properly.

  • Reattach all screws, brackets, and bolts.

To prevent rusting, you can use waterproof sealants after carefully and properly replacing all the bolts and screws. Remember to attach the brackets and legs as well.

  • Check the awning alignment.

Lastly, check your awning if it rolls up and down properly. If it requires adjustments, make sure to be careful when making modifications. Once everything is working properly, you can now lock the fabric in place with screws on either side of the track.


Did you find this tutorial useful? Hopefully, you managed to find everything you need to replace your RV awning roller tube yourself so you can once again enjoy relaxing outside your RV without worrying about the harmful UV rays.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, feel free to share it and let me know in the comments what you think.

How to Regularly Clean Fiberglass RV Siding and Deal with Oxidation

How to Regularly Clean Fiberglass RV Siding and Deal with Oxidation

If you’re a traveler like me who uses recreational vehicles, then it’s pretty normal for you to encounter various environmental conditions. These can be the sun’s heat, the polluted air, a splash of mud, or even waste from human activities. Fortunately, RV sidings are here to help protect you from such elements.

RV sidings are commonly made of fiberglass, and they’re said to be more durable than their aluminum counterpart, regardless if they’re either the smooth or corrugated type. However, even though they provide better insulation and more dent resistance, their surface is still prone to stains, fading, and oxidation. To help you practice regular maintenance, here are some essential steps you want to follow regarding how to clean fiberglass RV siding on your vehicle.

Things to Know and Prepare


Oxidation in the fiberglass siding of an RV appears as a cloud-like appearance on its surface, making it more translucent. This is due to the reaction of the gel raisin coating (which is responsible for the glistening finish) and the extreme changes in temperatures in the environment.

The more the fiberglass is oxidized, the less effective it will be. There are industrial restoration jobs that bring back its clearness for a while, but nothing beats a regular cleaning to keep it well-maintained. To do that, here are the things you will need:

Protective equipment:

  • Rubber gloves, or any gloves used for washing clothes

Cleaning aids:

  • Broom
  • Wiping cloth
  • Sponge
  • Ladder

Cleaning agents:

  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Bug and tar remover, or if an alternative is needed, WD-40 is a good example
  • Fiberglass wax
  • Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), which is used for coating solvents, or acetone as an alternative

Step-by-Step Cleaning Instructions


Step 1: Preparatory Cleaning

Given that you have worn the proper equipment, you will now have to sweep the surface for any debris including the roof. Although the RV siding is the target for maintenance, it will be efficient to include the roofing, especially if it is covered with fiberglass. Utilize the ladder to reach high areas.

Step 2: Stain Removal

When your RV has gone to trips closer to nature, chances are there will be areas that are affected by bugs or any secretions from the wild. To remove this, use a bug and tar remover that is safe to be used on fiberglass.

They can be easily purchased at any of the auto parts store or RV-dedicated supply stores. If removal is in need, a WD-40 can be an ample substitute.

Step 3: Washing

After the removal of stains and secretions, begin washing by soaking the sponge to a soapy solution of liquid laundry detergent and a gallon of water. Start applying from the topmost part all the way to the bottom of the siding.

As more dirt is collected, re-soak the sponge and resume applying. Don’t scrub if the sponge you are using has a scrubber. Rinse the detergent solution with another set of water or just use the garden hose for easy targeting.

Step 4: Waxing Preparation


When the surface has been washed up, it is time to use the solvent. If possible, use rubber gloves in handling to prevent unwanted irritation when exposed to the liquid.

The MEK is an efficient solvent on surface coatings. They can be purchased on any large stores for home improvement solutions or any RV-focused stores.

Soak the wiping cloth with the MEK and wipe all surfaces possible. For greases and oils where the detergent solution can’t be removed, apply as much amount of MEK as needed. You will see that the cloudy-like appearance is beginning to be more transparent.

Step 5: Waxing

As the oxidation removal process is finished, make sure to wipe the entire surface. This is to make sure that the wax to be applied will definitely be absorbed by the RV’s exterior.

After that, begin applying the fiberglass wax purchased in accordance with the manual’s instructions. The wax will restore the glistening finish your RV used to have. You will know when you are done if the expected results are met.


The said instructions can be very effective on sidings with mild oxidation. For larger damages, there is a process called “wet buffing” in which the surface is buffed to its former state. Also, make it a habit to do the maintenance regularly once a month at most.

The RV fiberglass siding is expensive compared to the aluminum one. It is only logical to maintain its appearance to continue having its effectiveness against the elements of nature. If you have enjoyed this tutorial, feel free to react and express your opinions in the comments section.