Replace Your Bag Awning on Your Pop Up Camper

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Replace Your Bag Awning on Your Pop Up Camper

Monday, April 1, 2019

Our new awning is a Shade Maker awning.  It is similar in color to the original one but is a marked improvement in the overall quality.
Replacing your bag awning for a pop-up camper may be more cost-effective than you think.  If you have an older pop-up camper with failing parts, consider that the cost to replace a basic bag awning could be only slightly more than the cost of purchasing parts to repair an older awning.  We repaired our original awning for half of what it cost for us to replace our awning.


If you are considering repairing your existing awning, are going to need to purchase replacement parts.  I had to purchase a replacement pole, rivets, and a rivet gun.  The only problem is that a few months later a storm damaged our brand new pole.

The likelihood of that happening to most campers might be slim, but consider the cost of a repair versus a total replacement.  My repair was about $140 for the pole, rivets and rivet gun.  For about $100 more, I could have replaced my whole awning since my camper is so small.  It's these little things that can really add up and be costly to someone that is both new to camping and renovating a camper.

This is our original set up and awning.  I loved the retro vibe of the stripes on our camper and the awning, but it had all gotten worn and needed updating.
The original awning was damaged.  It was difficult to set up, and one of the poles would never fully extend.  My husband I were both tired of trying to make it work.  We finally decided that we didn't want to repair the awning a second time.  It was time to just replace.

Finding a bag awning that is small enough for a small pop up camper is a special job.  However, Shade Maker bag awnings do have awnings that will do the job.  So, if you have a smaller pop-up camper, these bag awnings are just what you need.  We only needed an awning that would be 6 feet in width.  We decided to purchase from JC Whitney specifically because they had the best price, and because I could use an E-Bates rebate and get the best price.  Since I first wrote this article, this company seems to have changed.  Canvas Replacements also sells Shade Maker Awnings.  We purchased our canvas replacement from our RV from them and had a great experience.  So, I encourage you to check them out!

The scalloped detailing on the front edge of the awning also adds a nice touch.


Some of the things that we have liked about our new Shade Maker Bag Awning:
  1. It extends further in the front giving us a lot more shade and room for cooking and space to shield us from the weather.  This came in handy on a recent trip.
  2. The twisting tension rods are much easier to set up than our previous ones.  
  3. I like how the side rods have this plastic knob at the end that snaps into place for a much more secure extension.  Much better construction.
  4. It is taller and the door does not scrape against the top.
  5. Velcro pieces make it easier to put away when packing up to store.
The construction is much sturdier so it is easier to set up and take down.  My husband and I both have been happy.

The plastic piece underneath is where the awning poles fit to hold it into place along the sides.   This is a big improvement from the levered rods on a previous awning.
If you have an existing awning, you will need to measure your awning track.  Make sure that your new awning is not longer than the track that you already have.  When your new awning arrives, you will slide the old awning out of the track and the new awning slides into the track.  Secure the new awning according to the directions.  And you are done.

Everything arrives in one neat package to install.


The old bag awning already had an existing track for the new awning.  All I had to do was slide it out of place.

I used a pair of needle nose pliers to pry open the end of the awning track so that I could slide out the old bag awning.  It had been clamped shut to hold the previous awning in place.

Once it was open, I could slide the old awning out and side the new awning into place.  I clamped the awning track closed again when I was finished.


The new bag awning is a marked improvement even with it closed!

We put together our new awning in about 30 minutes start to finish.  I'm so glad that we did this.  If you are on the fence, then you probably already know that you should replace your awning.  It will make a big difference.

I loved the retro look and feel of the original awning on our camper.  I was sad to see it go.  But, I'm not sad that we have an easier set up with our new awning.  It's nice and new and works perfectly without us having to prop up one leg with a bunch of leveling blocks.


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25 comments:

  1. Thanks for this! Our awning is so old and impossible to set up! This seems super easy! Gonna try it this summer.

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    1. It really was easy, and set up so much better with an awning that works! I also love how much farther this awning extends as opposed to our old one! You can't go wrong.

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  2. Hello, thanks for the info. I couldn't tell what style of awning your ordered. Classic or Supreme?

    Thanks,
    Mary

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    1. Hi Mary! It is the classic awning that has the twisting tension poles. We loved this model, and it was a breeze to install and set up. Happy Camping, and I hope that you love your new awning once you complete this project!

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  3. Did your pop up come with its step? We have a Jayco Eagle 10 and it did not come with the step. Any idea where to find one?

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    1. Hi Kasey! This is a great question. Yes. Our pop up did come with steps. However, I would recommend taking a look at e-trailer. They do have steps, and they also have a knowledgeable staff that answers online questions that would help you to select the right size. I hope that this helps!

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  4. Does anyone know where to buy just the awning (BAG)? Mine ripped and I need a new bag. I have a popup Dutchman (duck). The track is 90-1/2 inches. Bag is 87 inches and 8 inches wide. Thank you and Be safe..

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    1. Hi Jeanie! Great question! I don't know. However, RVawningsRus might have them. I would contact them or another retailer that sells these bags. Also, Canvas replacements might be willing to help you out. It would be worth it to ask!

      https://rvawningsrus.3dcartstores.com/crm.asp?action=contactus

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    2. Jeanie. Call around to camper stores in your area and talk to someone in the part department to see if there is an RV salvage yard in your area. I went to one the other day for a bracket for the canvas shepard's hook for my pop up. They basically take apart campers they buy at auction and sell them off for usable parts. There were lots of awning in bags there. May be worth buying it all from them versus just a new bag.

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    3. That is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!!!

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    4. I was wondering the same thing? Have you found any info on this yet?

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    5. I don't know where to find just the bag. I agree with the other reader that recommended calling camper stores, but you may end up having to buy the whole thing. I'm sorry, but this isn't something that I'm familiar with.

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    6. You cannot buy the bag without the awning, as they are sewn together to become one unit.

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  5. Can you secure the legs to the ground with tent stakes? My current awning needs replacing and i like this idea but I like to be able to secure the legs to the ground and wondering if you can do that with this setup?

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    1. These shade maker awnings don't have a place to secure tent stakes. However, Camco makes several awning stabalizer kits. I think that one of these would work depending on the awning that you have. I would check those out. They are readily available on Amazon. Thanks for asking a great question!

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    2. I made stabilizers. got a few small buckets, wrapped the poles in foil and poured in cement. When it set took out poles and pulled out foil ( some was stuck in there forever) but worked great and keeps the poles in place and no tripping over ropes. Put a few led lights on the edges too. Husband is not one to look where he walks

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    3. Wow! I'm impressed! That is a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I cannot find the cover, do you have a link to the product? I need top purchase to replace ours

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    1. You can find covers at Walmart and Amazon.

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  7. Can you provide a link to product? I cannot find it anywhere. I need to purchase :)

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    1. Try Canvas Replacements. This is where we purchased our pop up canvas replacements, and they are a great company! http://www.canvasreplacements.com/index.php/cPath/70_702

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  8. I went on JCWhitney and could not get anything like that to come up. Can you sen a link? Thank you

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    1. Try one of these retailers. http://www.shademakerproducts.com/where-to-buy

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  9. Looking for an awning for my 1994 Starcraft pop up camper

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    1. I would take a look at Shade Maker Awnings. They have a list of retailers on their site. http://www.shademakerproducts.com/where-to-buy

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Thank you for your feedback and comments. I always review before sharing with other readers. Have a great day!

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