RV awning installed on a camper

RV Awning Parts Diagrams with Definitions

Whether your camper needs an awning installed or your RV needs a replacement awning, you’ll want to know exactly what you need to buy and how parts for camper awnings fit together. The following RV awning parts diagrams, terms and definitions will help guide you to make an educated decision when you’re in the process of buying a new shade solution for your rig.

What are the Parts of an RV Awning Called?

Your RV can have a few different configurations when it comes to awnings. The parts of an RV awning largely depend on the type of awning you currently have or aspire to have. You can buy manual style awnings, electronic awnings or a mix of both, which are called hybrid awnings. Not all shade solutions are alike; therefore, some awnings may not have all the parts listed in the definitions below.

Awning Rail

The awning rail is a continuous piece of metal that is mounted to an RV wall before the awning is installed. There is a polycord sewn into the awning fabric that fits a channel in the awning rail to retain and support the fabric connection to the coach.

Drive Arm Assembly

The drive arm assembly provides the wall-mount structure to hold the awning to a coach. It has an adjustable length to adapt the awning to different size RV models.

Drive Head Assembly

The drive head is the part on the end of the roll tube that helps you extend and retract your awning easily, either through a spring or a motor, depending on your awning model.

  • A manual awning contains a torsion spring that puts the whole roll tube under tension. This spring load effect must be overcome by force when opening the awning manually and creates the return force to retract the roll tube and arms to the wall when closing.
  • A powered awning contains a DC motor that rotates the roll tube to move the awning to an open or closed position. It has a manual override access port where you can insert a common drill with a bolt driver bit to open or close the awning in the event of motor failure.

End Cap

The end cap is the component that joins the roll tube to the motor within the drive head assembly.


The awning fabric is the material that makes up the awning and provides shade. If you use your RV often, you’ll need to buy RV awning replacement fabric every few years to keep your rig looking fresh and new.

Idler Arm Assembly

The idler arm is on the idler side of the awning and assists in guiding the awning in and out. It has the same function as the drive arm assembly.

Idler Head Assembly

The idler head provides support for the roller tube and holds it in place parallel to the drive head assembly. It guides the awning as it opens and closes. 

IR Sensor

The infrared security sensor detects body heat and motion to trigger your awning lights to illuminate.

Manual Crank Handle

The crank handle is the part on a hybrid awning drive arm that you turn to extend and retract your awning.

Pull Strap

The pull strap is a strip of material attached to the awning fabric that you pull on to extend and retract your manual awning.

Roll Tube

The roll tube provides a structure for the awning fabric to wrap around in the closed and closing positions.

Smart Arm Touchpad

The Smart Arm touchpad is the controller and electronic pad assembly that allows you to control the various functions of your awning, including extension and retraction, awning lights and wind sensitivity.

Support Arm Assembly

The support arm assembly is the metal structure that provides support to your awning roll and canopy throughout all open and close positions. The support arm assembly is the same on the drive side and idler side for a power awning. Within this assembly, you can have the following parts:

  • Gas Strut — A device that uses gas pressure to provide a push or pull force that easily allows you to control the weight and motion of the awning when you extend or retract it.
  • Inner Arm — The metal piece that extends from the wall mount to the outer arm.
  • Outer Arm — The outermost metal piece of the awning that connects to the drive arm.
  • Pitch Arm — The piece that helps you adjust the pitch, or angle, of the awning.
  • Wall Mount — The metal piece that attached to the side of an RV.

Travel Locks

A travel lock is a manually pivoted bracing device that secures the arms in a closed position, so the awning is secure at high travel speeds.

Wind Sensor

A wind sensor is a device that detects wind speeds and automatically retracts your awning to avoid damage.

Wire Connector

The wire connector is the part that creates an electrical connection to your awning.

Solera Cold-Crack-Tested Outdoor AwningsSolera Cold-Crack-Tested Outdoor Awnings

RV Awning Parts Diagrams

Now that you've brushed up on your awning terminology, we'll walk you through what different types of awnings look like. The awning diagrams below represent a few of the many options you have when purchasing a new RV awning. Each awning is built differently, depending on if it is a manual, electric or hybrid model.

Classic RV Awning with Travel Locks

Classic RV Awning with Travel Locks Parts DiagramClassic RV Awning with Travel Locks Parts Diagram

Pull-Strap-Style Manual RV Awning

Pull-Strap-Style Manual RV Awning Parts DiagramPull-Strap-Style Manual RV Awning Parts Diagram

Hybrid-Style RV Awning

Hybrid-Style RV Awning Parts DiagramHybrid-Style RV Awning Parts Diagram

Electric RV Awning with Solera Smart Arm

Electric RV Awning with Solera Smart Arm Parts DiagramElectric RV Awning with Solera Smart Arm Parts Diagram

How to Identify Your Current RV Awning

If you’re unsure what type of awning your RV currently has, and it’s equipped with a Solera® branded universal shade solution, watch the following video to easily identify your awning style.

Looking for RV Awning Replacement Parts and Fabric?

If you’re looking to upgrade your awning, we’ve got you covered! You can shop our large selection of RV awning replacement parts and awning replacement fabric to find the perfect upgrades for your RV aesthetic and style.