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Old 10-26-2011, 09:39 AM   #1
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Awning Material

I need to replace the awning material over 3 slideouts on my 2005 Winnebago Voyage. I have heard carefree makes a better product than A&E . Does anyone have any good suggestions, before I order material?
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:49 PM   #2
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We have the A&E slide topper awnings that we replaced with A&E material. After getting them and seeing how simple they're made, the next time I'm going to find a local canvas shop and have them made using the hold ones as patterns.

In my opinion, A&E replacements are overpriced for what you get. I can't help you with the question about Carefree vs. A&E quality.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:46 PM   #3
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We have the Carefree toppers and in my opinion, they aren't any better than the A&E toppers that a friend has. The problems I have seen with Carefree are with sagging (hardware related) and stitching coming loose (quality control problem). If you are referring to the fabric only, I would suggest having an awning shop replace it. Another friend did that and they look great and cost much less than getting the fabric replacement from Carefree.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:03 PM   #4
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Go to Ebay under replacement fabrics. You will find the material at a lower price than anywhere in the system. Many colors to choose from and sizes to fit all needs. I am replacing my 16' fabric through them, about 1/2 price. Can't wait for it to arrive.

Good Luck
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogride View Post
I need to replace the awning material over 3 slideouts on my 2005 Winnebago Voyage. I have heard carefree makes a better product than A&E . Does anyone have any good suggestions, before I order material?
I don't have any direct experience with the company, but Tough Tops has a reputation for having a good product. Their fabric is heavier than the standard material. I plan on ordering from them when we get to our winter stop in Florida.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:29 PM   #6
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Why would you want to replace the whole topper if you just need fabric? Switching to Carefree is a total topper replacement, and you can get fabric only for much less than hardware + fabric. Shop for a better grade than the standard A&E stuff - I've heard some good reports on the Tough Tops product.

That said, my three Carefree Slideout Kover II's are alive and well after 7 years of heavy use. The 16 foot long one sags in the middle when full of water, but that's the lack of any center support rather than a fabric issue.
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:20 PM   #7
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Most of the fabric that I have seen on toppers and awnings is Sunbrella, an acrylic fabric made by Glen Raven Mills out of North Carolina.

That is the fabric used on our 14 year old American Eagle and it is still in great shape.

Sunbrella "breathes" and is mildew resistent.

Any marine "canvas" shop will have it in stock in a variety of colors.

Dave
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:47 PM   #8
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If you're handy and can sew (an old sail maker here) you can make your own with this fabric. Did two motorhomes for about $200 worth:

Boat Topping White on White 62"
part number 100997.
Got a spool of polyester thread and re-used the rubber bolt insert.
I used a one-sided foot to get the stitching right next to the bolt (insert thingy that holds it into the roller). Wifey's bernina sews this stuff like butter.

They've been on there now for 3 years and still look like new. Keep 303 on them and washed down a couple of times a year.

EDIT: BTW, the stuff that comes with the motorhome (A&E?) is junk. Plan to replace ever 3-4 years. (That must be what they're figuring.)
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:30 PM   #9
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:29 PM   #10
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My A&E slide tops are delaminating. The delamination started on year three. Now my tops are held together by calk and tape. I thought about buying new A&E fabric but if it only lasts 3 to 4 years why change.

I contacted Tough Tops and they sent me a sample of their fabric. Their fabric appears to be thicker than my A&E tops. And the plastic material appears to be bonded to the fabric better than the A&E tops. Only time will tell which will last longer.

I have ordered two new slide topers from Tough Tops. They told me that it would take about a week for them to make my order. If that is so then my order should ship next week.

Safe travels and good luck.

JD
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellowboat View Post
My A&E slide tops are delaminating. The delamination started on year three. Now my tops are held together by calk and tape. I thought about buying new A&E fabric but if it only lasts 3 to 4 years why change.

I contacted Tough Tops and they sent me a sample of their fabric. Their fabric appears to be thicker than my A&E tops. And the plastic material appears to be bonded to the fabric better than the A&E tops. Only time will tell which will last longer.

I have ordered two new slide topers from Tough Tops. They told me that it would take about a week for them to make my order. If that is so then my order should ship next week.

Safe travels and good luck.

JD
Keep us updated on your slide topper replacement project. Maybe you can post some pics of before and after. I'm anticipating replacing ours, and I would be interested to hear if the instructions are adequate and how hard it is to do the install.
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:01 PM   #12
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Paz, will do.
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:07 PM   #13
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We got fabric from Tough Tops. Got exactly what we ordered at a fair price and a quality fabric. www.rv-motorhome-answers.com/rv-slide-out-topper.html
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:51 PM   #14
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My Tough Top order was placed on 10/24/11. Ray Oberreuter sent an e-mail saying my order would be completed in about a week but if I needed it sooner to let them know. My answer to Ray was a week is OK. My order arrived today, 11/4/11.

As instructed I removed the two toppers from the box and laid them out flat. Installation instructions were packed with my toppers.

I have taken pictures and will continue to do so. When I complete the installation I will post the pictures.

I live near Seattle, WA and I hope to have nice enough weather next week to do the installation.

JD
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