I've been waiting for an opportunity to either repair or replace my slide topper material on all three slides. The toppers are tearing, at both edges, where they come out from under the cover when the slides are in.
I priced them in Quartzsite and the cost for three fabric toppers was $780.00 plus $300.00 for installation. I thought this was a little steep. Since the only portion that was going bad was the part exposed to the sun, I thought I could remove the material, cut off 6" and restitch the bead back in.
I decided to take off the material on the left rear slide because it was the smallest. Here's what I did......I removed the aluminum cover, 2 phillips head screws on the underside at both ends. It won't fall off when the screws are removed. Just lift it up and off. The two end caps are both held on with phillips head screws. Remove them and set them aside.
I extended the slide which left 2-3 turns of material still on the roller tube. I turned the roller tube by hand until the end of the material was visible. I continued to unroll the tube until the slot with the end of the material was at the top of the roller. Once you have it in that position, you can stick a medium size phillips screwdriver (fits the hole well) into the hole I'm pointing at in the picture. This will lock the roller in position. There are two screws in the motor home awning rail, at both ends, that need to be removed to allow the removal of the material.
The roller tube is bolted to an arm at both ends with a 7/16" bolt. As you face the awning, the left side is always the side that has the tensioner in it. As I did the left rear first, the tensioner was at the front of the awning and the opening in the motor home awning rail was at the rear. This allowed me to remove the rear bolt (no impact on the spring or tensioner) lowered the arm an inch and pulled the material straight out. The problem with doing it this way is that when you do the left front or right side of the coach the tensioner is at the end where you need to slide the material off. This means you have to remove the entire roller tube to get the material out, which was still easy.
I removed the material from both rear slides, ran it over to an upholstery shop and for $60.00 (which I thought was a little high) they cut off 6" and restitched the end. I brought them home and reinstalled both.
Now here's a simpler method that dawned on me when I thought about having to remove the largest roller on my main slide. The tenisoner is at the front and the material has to come forward which would require removing the roller. Instead, I'm going to take a dremel and cut a slice between the top of the arm (in photo above) and the hole at the 12 o'clock postion. All I'll have to do is turn the arm until the material end is at the top of the roller and slide it straight out. This can be done on any of the awnings with no detrimental affect to the arm.
This is a job I've been putting off because I didn't know how hard it would be. Using the dremel will allow me to take the material off on any of the slides in a matter of minutes.
I expect this entire repair will cost me about $120.00. My awning toppers lasted about 45 months. I figure I'll get another 3-4 years out of this repair.
Hope this helps someone who wants to save a little money.