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Old 05-29-2009, 10:30 AM   #1
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Slide out Toppers

Has anyone replaced there slide out toppers. Last time we camped the wind blew pretty good and the top vinyl on 2 of the toppers started to separate from the topper. How hard is it to do yourself.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:08 AM   #2
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You can DIY easy enough. A lot better with a little help!
Here are the instruction I have

SLIDE TOPPER FABRIC REPLACEMENT INSTRUCTIONS


(One person can do this but is much easier with two)

    1. Unroll old awning fabric
  • With the slide room extended, unroll fabric by turning roller tube. This is easiest accomplished with one person at each end of roller tube as you are unrolling against the spring tension of the roller tube. You may also need a towel to keep your hands dry if there is moisture on the fabric as you, unroll it off the awning roller tube.
  • II. Pin the awning roller tube
  • The objective is to get the fabric totally unrolled and the bead attachment channel (where the fabric is attached to the roller tube) in a position that is easiest to work with. (approximately 12 to l o’clock) When it is in this position locate the hole in the main shaft of roller tube by looking through the slots in the end caps of the roller tube and “pin” or “lock” the roller tube by inserting something such as a cotter pin, long thin nail, small awl, etc. into the hole in the main shaft. If your awning is equipped with an anti-bellowing device(usually installed on end of awning facing to the front of the RV) it will probably have to be removed in order to remove the old fabric. Now you are ready to remove the old awning fabric.
    1. Removing the old fabric
Inspect the awning rail on the RV for a screw at both ends of the awning fabric. Remove any screws and pull the old fabric out of the awning rail and the channel on the roller tube. It may take some extra effort to initially “free” the old fabric but should pull off relatively easy.
    1. Install new fabric
Inspect opening end of awning rail on RV. If the opening is questionable open it further with a pair of needle nose pliers. Also, file top and bottom edges to remove any burrs and rough edges. This is critical, as it is an easy area to tear the new fabric as it is installed. Do the same with the the channel on the roller tube so the new fabric will install easier. Install new fabric from either end-insuring top is up. The installer will be under the fabric installing the new fabric both on the RV and on the roller tube. While installing the new fabric keep the awning fabric as “horizontal” as possible as it is fed onto the awning rail and roller tube as it will slide on easier in this position. This part of the installation should be done “slow and easy” to insure the new fabric does not get torn. (A second person can be on The slide room taking up the slack but should not put much force on the fabric or they may pull the fabric on the awning rail too quickly and tear it. Patience is the key here. Center the fabric on the roller tube or place it where the old fabric was.
    1. Test awning operation

Go back to roller tube; turn the roller tube to remove tension on the locking pin, remove the pin and allow roller tube to SLOWLY wind the new fabric onto the tube.


Run the slide room in and out and observe if fabric needs to be moved in order for fabric to wind and unwind evenly onto the roller tube. Once this is accomplished install a screw into the awning rail on the RV at both ends to secure the awning fabric.


VI. Anti Bellowing Device

Your awning may have an anti bellowing device which is a knob installed at one or the other end of the roller tube and is designed to engage a plate on the RV to keep the awning fabric from unraveling while going down the road. (These should be installed on end facing the “front” of the RV. This knob should be in the 12 to 1 o’clock position for slides on the drivers side and 11 to 12 o’clock for slides on the passenger side. These may change position because our fabric is heavier than the OEM’s


Got mine Here
RV Slide Out Awnings, Replacement Fabric

Worked great and good service.

Harold
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:27 PM   #3
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I made new ones with really nice material from sailrite.com, at a fraction of the cost of the crappy factory stuff. Let me know if you're interested. BTW, sunbrella fabric is common on the new big-rigs, they have that too. I used a matching white vinyl to the original.

Re-used the old bolt-ropes (rubber/plastic things for the groove) and sewed them on a heavy duty home machine with poly sail thread. Remounted them and we're good to go.

Made some for my nieghbor too, they come out fantastic and are WAY more heavy duty than A&E's.
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:32 AM   #4
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Not that hard to do, only took me a couple of hours. Need to have a helper and 2 ladders. Instructions above sound just right.
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Old 05-30-2009, 02:30 PM   #5
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I replaced mine a year ago (Carefree brand) ...with no helpful instructions like above, with a helper, we pinned the roller springs, then removed the rollers, then the fabric. I had a local awning shop in Dallas make new ones. Meanwhile, I had put the rollers back on the coach, thought the process through a few times, and found it much easier to install the new fabric with the rollers mounted on the coach ...imagine that!! In fact, I didn't have a helper available when I installed the new fabric, and managed to do it by myself (with several trips up and down the ladder to move the ladder from one end to the other).
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Old 05-30-2009, 04:32 PM   #6
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Harold, nice write-up.

I had mine replaced in Quartzsite Jan 08. The tech from Best RV used a deburring tool mounted in a cordless drill.

The only thing he did different was run the slides in before installing the covers.

He used his hand, holding the roller from the bottom, in the middle of the slide, as a brake when he removed roller tension.
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