So you have a camper or RV and need to measure your rv awning. Maybe the awning’s fabric is worn or damaged and you need to replace rv awning fabric. Or perhaps you just bought a used rv and want to double check the awning size before ordering a replacement awning.
Whatever the reason, learning how to properly measure your awning is an important skill for any RV owner. In this guide, we’ll walk through the entire process step-by-step.
You’ll learn the right way to measure for rv awnings, including handy tips for getting accurate numbers. We’ll also cover how to measure rv slide-out awnings and awning arms.
Let’s get started!
Materials Needed to Measure a Camper Awning
Taking the measurements is a pretty straightforward process. All you need is:
- Tape measure
- Pen and paper for writing down measurements
That’s it! Now let’s go over the step-by-step process.
Step by Step: How to Measure a Camper Awning
Follow these steps to accurately measure your camper or RV awning:
1. Extend the Awning
The first step is to fully extend the awning. Retractable awnings need to be unrolled, while manual awnings require extending the arms out.
You want the awning set up just like it would be when in use. Make sure the support arms are extended on both sides and locked in place.
This gives you the maximum length of the awning to measure. Trying to measure it while rolled up won’t work.
2. Measure the Full Width
With the awning extended, you can now measure the total width. This is the distance from one side of the awning to the other.
Simply place the tape measure at one outer edge and stretch it across to the opposite outer edge. This will give you the overall coverage width.
Write down this measurement. You’ll need it when ordering replacement rv awning fabric.
3. Measure the Projection
Next, you need to know the depth or projection. This is how far the awning sticks out from the side of the RV.
Electric awnings usually have a projection between 8-11 feet. For manual awnings, it varies based on the arm length.
To get the projection measurement, place one end of the tape measure at the wall of the camper. Stretch it straight out to the outer bar of the awning.
The number on the tape is the awning projection, so be sure to write it down.
4. Measure the Drop
The drop measurement refers to the height of the awning.
Simply place the tape at the bottom of the awning rail and measure up vertically to the center of the roller tube. This will give you the drop height.
Jot down this number too. Some people also call this the “head height”.
5. Measure the Roller Tube
Lastly, bust out the tape measure once more to measure the roller tube or barrel.
This is the bar that the awning fabric rolls up on. You’ll need its length when ordering replacement fabric.
The easiest way is to measure from one end cap to the other end cap across the bar. Write down the length of the roller tube.
And that’s it! With these five measurements, you’ll have all the numbers needed to order new awning fabric or a replacement awning.
5 Tips When You’re Looking for a Camper Awning
Finding the perfect new awning for your camper or RV doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are 5 handy tips to make it easier:
1. Match the Awning Size
This may seem obvious, but make sure to get an awning that matches the size of your existing one.
The new awning’s dimensions – width, projection, drop, etc. – should equal your measurements.
Getting one that’s too small won’t provide full coverage. And going too big can lead to issues retracting the fabric.
2. Compare Awning Fabric Types
There are a few options when it comes to awning fabric:
- Acrylic – Affordable option that is lightweight and water resistant. Prone to shrinking when wet.
- Vinyl – More durable and flexible than acrylic. Withstands weather better but is heavier.
- Mesh – Allows airflow while providing shade. Needs solid fabric pan for rainy weather.
Consider your climate and usage to pick the right type of fabric.
3. Measure the Awning Arms
Awning arms come in different lengths. Make sure the new awning has arms long enough to match your existing projection.
Use the projection measurement from earlier to find arms that are the same length.
4. Get the Correct Mounting Hardware
Even if the sizing is right, the awning still needs to physically mount to your RV.
Pay attention to the mounting brackets, rails, and hardware. Measure the rail-to-rail length on your RV if needed.
5. Calculate the Price
Awnings can get expensive. Make sure to get an accurate total price:
- Factor in the cost of awning fabric, hardware, shipping
- Electric awnings cost more than manual ones
- Custom sizes can increase the price
Doing some quick calculations will avoid surprise charges after ordering.
Following these tips will help you select the perfect new awning!
How to Measure for RV Slide-Out Awnings?
Do you need to replace the fabric on your slide-out awning? Knowing the process for measuring them is key.
Slide-out awnings are found over slide-out room extensions. They roll out when the room extends to provide coverage.
Here’s how to measure them for new fabric:
Extend the Slide-Out Room
First, fully extend the slide-out room, just like you would when using it. This exposes the entire slide-out awning.
Make sure it’s extended a few feet to give you room to measure.
Measure the Width
Measure across the full width of the fabric, from edge to edge. This number equals the minimum fabric width you’ll need.
An extra 6-12 inches is helpful for slight overhang.
Measure the Projection
Next, measure from the camper wall out to the bar that the fabric rolls up on. This is the projection or depth.
Measure the Drop
The drop is the height from the slide-out awning rail up to the roller bar.
Use a tape measure to get the vertical distance.
Measure the Roller Tube
Finally, run the measuring tape across the roller tube itself from end to end.
This gives you the length.
Once you have all the measurements, finding a replacement slide-out awning fabric is much easier.
Provide the numbers to the manufacturer or dealer to get an accurately sized fabric.
How to Measure RV Awning Arms?
The two awning arms that extend out from the RV to support the fabric are another important component.
If one arm gets damaged, you may need to replace just that arm rather than the whole awning. But how do you measure them to get the right size?
Here are a few steps:
1. Extend the Awning
As always, the first step is to fully extend and open the awning. This exposes the support arms.
2. Measure Top to Bottom
With the arms locked in place, measure vertically from the top of the arm down to the center pivot joint.
Jot down this top-to-bottom length.
3. Measure Inner Arm Sections
Some awning arms telescope outward in sections.
If so, measure the inner arm sections separately when fully extended.
4. Account for Drop
Remember to factor in the drop measurement from earlier.
The support arm needs to extend far enough down to account for the awning’s drop height.
5. Note Brand and Model
Don’t forget to write down the awning brand name and model number.
This helps ensure the replacement arm will fit the existing hardware.
Following these tips will allow you to order the correct replacement rv awning arm. And your RV will be ready to hit the road again!
How Do You Measure a Roll-Out Awning?
Manual awnings that roll out are the most common type of RV awning. Using the steps below, you can easily get the key measurements.
1. Fully Extend the Fabric
Unlock the arms and roll the fabric completely out, just as if you were going to use it. This exposes the full size.
2. Measure the Width
Stretch a tape measure across the awning from edge to edge to get the maximum width. Write this number down.
3. Measure the Projection
Determine the depth by measuring from the RV wall to the roller bar. This is called the projection or drop.
4. Measure the Height
Using the measuring tape, note the distance from the mounted awning rail up to the roller bar. This is the height.
5. Measure Roller Tube
The size of the roller tube matters for fabric replacement. Run the tape along the length of the tube itself.
6. Measure Arm Lengths
For manual awnings, the arm length affects the projection. Measure each arm section fully extended.
Those are the key measurements for a roll-out awning. Having the numbers allows you to find replacement parts or fabrics.
How do I know what awning my Camper has?
For camper trailers and pop-ups, identifying the awning model takes some sleuthing. Try these tips:
- Look for a manufacturer label on the awning hardware or fabric. This often indicates brand and details.
- Check paperwork from when you bought the camper. It may list awning specifics.
- Compare photos of different style awnings online to match the design.
- Note key details like manual vs. automatic arms, steel vs. aluminum hardware.
- Measure the opened dimensions – width, height, projection length.
- Contact the camper manufacturer with the VIN to check original parts.
- Check the roller bar and fabric for tags with sizing or codes.
- Take photos from multiple angles to clearly show unique details.
- Search by the serial number stamped on awning parts to find info.
With some careful inspection and research, you can figure out the make and model. This ensures you can get compatible replacement parts and accessories down the road. Identifying your camper’s awning takes a bit of work but pays off.
People Also Read:
Measuring your RV or camper awning is a useful skill all travelers should know. By following the steps here, you can get all the key measurements needed.
Whether you need to replace fabric, find new arms, or install a whole new awning, accurate numbers are crucial. Take the time to carefully measure your existing awning before ordering any replacement parts.
Equipped with the dimensions and details, you can find the perfect awning solution to provide shade and shelter for years to come. Hitting the road is even better knowing you have the correct awning set-up on your home away from home.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I measure my awning if it won’t fully extend?
If the awning is damaged and can’t be opened fully, measure as much as possible then compare to standard sizes to estimate the full dimensions. Or have a second person hold the fabric open so you can measure the width and height.
Should I round up or down when measuring?
It’s best to round up to the nearest quarter inch or half foot. This ensures the replacement awning fabric has enough material for an ideal fit. Too little is worse than too much.
Do I need to take down the awning before measuring it?
Usually you can take all the measurements with the awning still mounted on the RV. Just be sure it’s extended fully first.
What do I do if my measurements are between sizes?
When in between standard sizes, it’s generally best to size up to the larger size rather than down. This prevents the fabric from being too tight or short.
How do I find the awning measurements online?
Most brand websites provide detailed size charts showing dimensions for all their awning models. You can compare your numbers against these charts to identify the specific model.