It will be very difficult to replace the fabric with out disassembly. You would need about six people to get it threaded on both ends at the same time. Even if you disamble it takes aboout three to get it back together.
93 Ford F350 Turbo Diesel, DRW, Crew Cab. PullRite Hitch. 35' King of the Road 5er, 192 Watts Solar, 2800 Watt Yamaha Generator, 1750 Watt Inverter, 2 Trogan T105 Batteries, Me, my wife and 2 maltize furkids.
Don't try it. Take the roller off of the arms and set it on a pair of saw horses. You will need about 3 or 4 people on a raised platform to walk it out of the RV rail. I watched my local RV shop do mine a few days ago. I would NEVER consider trying it myself and I am a pretty good mechanic and do 99% of my own work. Way too many things that could go wrong. Be sure and get the correct number of turns on the spring.
Go to the website of CAREFREE of Colorado and look for the free instructions for Fabric replacement. They say you can do it with two people.
I've never tried but I do have a new awning still in the shipping tube so may try it soon.
No shortcuts. Remove the arms and slide awning out of the channel in the RV...3 people. One on each arm and 1 on the ladder or roof, guiding the rib out.
Once on the ground, insert retaining clips in end caps, and drill out the rivets. Release the torsion spring tension gently. Don't just pull off the retaining pin and let them spin. Can cause all kinds of property and personal injury damage.
Once the caps are off, it is easy to slide in the new fabric on the roller. Pre-load the springs according to specification, slide a capture clip in and rivet the caps into position. Attach the arms. Slide upper rib back into RV channel. Requires 3 people. One on each arm, and one on roof or ladder to guide the retaining rib into the channel.
If you buy a new fabric, it should come with installation instructions. Follow them to the letter.
When I did my Dometic, instructions showed how to cross drill a 1/2 bolt to make the simple tool needed to control and re-wind the needed spring torsion. This trick makes it a breeze.
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The old fabric was the original - about 8 years old - and the vinyl was separating from the fiberglass fabric at the top where most exposed to the weather.
Our Minnie has the top support bracket for the awning hardware below the awning rail, so it wasn't necessary to remove this bracket in order to pull the awning out of the top rail. I did have to remove the two screws that hold the fabric from moving. One screw is visible at the top right of the picture, laying in the rain gutter.
The end cap in the roller bar only had a hole and slot at the groove for the awning strap. Following the instructions that came with the new fabric, I drilled a hole in the end cap, then used a hacksaw and file to cut a groove in the cap to allow the old fabric to be pulled out. I did the same thing for the valence fabric groove. I used the file to clean up any burrs and sharp edges that might damage the new fabric. When drilling, I started with a small drill and worked up in steps to the final hole size of 3/8".
Both holes and grooves completed. My awning had the valence connected around the roller bar to the main awning. No way would this have passed over the end cap.
The simple solution to this issue was to use a utility knife to cut the valence free from the main awning. After a tug to break it loose, the valence slid right out.
In order to make it easier to remove the main awning, I lifted the roller bar and tightened the rafter bar nut at each end to hold up the weight of the roller and thereby remove the tension from the fabric. A quick tug at top and bottom broke the fabric loose in the grooves. With DW at the bottom and me on a stepladder at the top, we pulled the fabric out of both grooves. The roller bar remained hanging from the rafter bars.
On our Minnie, it was easiest to pull the fabric out toward the rear of the MH.
The old fabric was really in bad shape.
The instructions said the install a cotter pin or nail through the end cap and the shaft as a precaution to keep the springs from unwinding if the normal ratchet mechanism should not hold. This turned out to be a mistake, as I couldn't get the nail back out. I wound up having to shear off the nail in order to free up the roller bar so it would wind up with the new fabric.
IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNING! With the high tension on the springs, due care must be exercised when doing this project to avoid injury if the ratchet mechanism is accidentally released.
Sliding the new fabric into the top awning rail and the groove in the roller bar was easy, with DW at the roller and me on the step ladder feeding the fabric into the grooves. We did have to replace the 1/4" rope in the valence and the lower end of the awning with the 3/16" rope supplied with the new fabric, as the larger rope was too large to fit into the grooves in the roller bar.
After centering the fabric and checking that it rolled up straight, I installed the two screws in the awning rail and called the job done. This job did not require removing any hardware or unwinding/winding any springs.
CloudDriver Looks good. I noticed that there was fabric originally over the roller bar, but when you were done there was no fabric covering the roller bar. It is so? What happened? Also the nail did you get it out or is it still stuck in there? and was the nail not required for the way you did the replacement?
I recently gave these directions to someone else on the RV Net, and he wrote me back and thanked me, as he said he was done in an hour. This is how I helped my neighbor replace two awnings. You will need two helpers. Flip "open catch" and pull awning about about 2 or 3 inches. Unhook bottom end of legs and drop leg to ground using extension legs to take weight of awning. Unbolt top bolts to trailer and take out screw that keeps awning in place from sliding back and forth. Get one person on each end of awning and slide it out of track. Lay awning on ground and place a block of wood or a pail under each end of near tube. DO NOT TRY TO TAKE AWNING ARMS OFF ENDS OF SHAFT.KEEPING IT ATTCHED KEEPS SPRINGS FROM UNWINDING. Unwrap fabric from tube. Drill out pop rivets at rear,non-catch end of tube. Slide end cap off tube 2 or 3 inches to allow clearance to slide fabric off.(DO NOT PULL ALL THE WAY OUT AS SPRING WILL UNWIND. SPRING IS ABOUT 18 INCHES LONG.) Slide new fabric on, and re wrap fabric. Slide end cap in place and pop rivet. Get one person at each end of awning support, and have third on ladder to guide awning into rail. Once awning is in place, bolt to trailer, center fabric between supports and install screw. Lift legs in to lower catches. Flip ratchet lock and awning will close. This way you do not have to deal with springs. If you want more information send me a PM.
"Drill out pop rivets at rear,non-catch end of tube" I am guessing this is not the end on the right side of the roller tube where the roll up or down selector is located, right? Do you put something back in the hole the rivet was in?