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RV Awning Roller

With some awning damages, everything is OK with the rest of the awning, it's just the roller tube that is bent or broken.  The short answer is yes, you can purchase just the aluminum roller tube without the RV awning arms, awning spring assemblies or fabric  Most RV awning manufacturers have tubes available in standard lengths.

However, you may want to consider replacing the entire roller and fabric section instead for the following reasons:

  1. Most roller tube orders will be a special order, which will take 3-4 weeks or longer.  RV Part Shop carries a good inventory of standard lengths of roller fabrics that can be shipped within 1-2 business days.
  2. A roller tube is usually priced only about $200-300 less than a complete roller and fabric because of the extra costs involved with a special order (inbound shipping, special order fees, etc.)  By contrast, the additional pieces you receive by buying the entire roller/fabric are far greater.  At the time of writing, two spring assemblies and a replacement fabric would run in the neighborhood of $700-900 to purchase.  So it is more economical in the long run to purchase the whole thing and retain some of the existing parts for spares.
  3. If you purchase only the roller tube, you have the extra labor involved in removing and re-installing the spring assemblies (or motors on an RV electric awning) and fabric.  This labor is not required if you replace the entire roller and fabric.

Helpful Tip

Your roller may have bent or snapped in the first place because of excess rainwater accumulation in it.  This occurs most frequently on very long awnings (18' to 21'.)  You can prevent this from happening in a few different ways.

  • Make sure your awning is slightly lower on one side so the water drains more easily.  This doesn't help if you have a sudden, heavy downpour, though.
  • If you have a manual awning, consider using a rafter system. There are bars that install between the awning roller and awning rail to keep the fabric up in the middle of the awning so it will drain better.
  • If you have an electric awning, you can most likely purchase an auto-retract kit for it.  This will sense when there is heavy winds or rain, and will automatically bring the awning in to prevent damage.
Nick is the author of this solution article.

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