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Old 01-25-2016, 04:23 PM   #1
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Awning Need replacing ?

I have a 99 Dutch Star and the awnings appear to be original.
The main large awning keeps the rain off for a while but will eventually become saturated and let the water through.
Do I just need to replace the cloth or is there a sealant to rectify this?
What cost is involved in replacing ?
Thanks For any info
Gord
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:24 PM   #2
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There are awning sealants available through many different sources. Try Amazon or just do a search for RV Awning sealants.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:59 PM   #3
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West Marine has water proofing that you spray on canvas and similar material. You put it on with a cheap garden sprayer. I use it on my slide toppers to keep water from seeping through.
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:01 PM   #4
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The fabric you have on your Dutch Star is an acrylic and is called Sunbrella. Over a period of time the fibers begin to stretch creating separation among the fibers which cannot be seen with the naked eye but is enough to create seepage.

We tell all of our customers to never use treatments except 303 Fabric Guard. The vast majority of fabric treatments for waterproofing contains silicones or PD's ( petroleum distillates ). Both of these will actually attack and degrade acrylic fabric and over time cut the life of the fabric itself.

303 fabric guard is the only treatment that is approved by Sunbrella and other acrylic fabric manufacturers. It contains none of the above chemicals and also has an SPF rating of 40 which will help protect the fabric from UV rays. I cannot tell if your fabric is beyond help without seeing it. But due to the expense of new patio awning fabric I would suggest you try and do what you can to preserve it as long as possible.
We just recently made a fabric replacement for a 1992 Monaco coach which had the original fabric. So you can extend the life of your awning by treatment.

Concentrate your spray not only on the fabric but the stitching as well as the thread is nearing the end of its life. Chances are your thread will go before your fabric and at that point it is not worth re-stitching. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

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Old 02-08-2016, 11:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for your input Chris. Will do that.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:27 PM   #6
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I don't think Newmar had Sunbrella brand fabric on the DSDP. They were acrylic though, just not Sunbrella brand, or at least that's what was on our 2000 and 2002 DSDP's. We had the Dometic 9000 units with the metal shield all the way around.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:39 AM   #7
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Dometic, Carefree and A & E all used Sunbrella fabric since the early 90's. It was manufactured by Glenn Raven and in some cases rebranded under a different name. European acrylic fabric did not come into the USA until around 2004 when Sunbrella changed their formula and cheapened their fabric. Up until 2004 Sunbrella was heavy and had great quality. Not so much anymore.

In 2009, Carefree switched from Sunbrella to Recacril because of bad stretch characteristics. Recacril is manufactured in Barcelona, Spain. We use Recacril for certain colors but stick to Sattler as it is the # 1 acrylic in the world. It is manufactured in Austria. Both of these fabrics will not stretch as the weave process is totally different.

Most awning/topper OEM manufacturers have special mill runs done for them ( read cheap here ) which is why their fabric is lighter and not as heavy as regular mill run acrylic.

Girard and many aftermarket topper makers still use Sunbrella. Unfortunately the Sunbrella of today is not what it used to be. Fiber mixing is done in China and the finish formulas have changed. It is why we wont use it.

I believe at one time Sunbrella had 98 % of the acrylic market in the USA. It only has about 5 % in Europe. While they still hold the largest share of the market in the USA, european fabric, which is considered the very best has started to take market share from Sunbrella.

There is one other acrylic fabric made in Italy but their USA presence is probably about 1 % or less and is at the bottom of the European pile in regards to quality.

Then of course you have all the Chinese counterfeit Sunbrella. This is why we buy Sattler and Recacril directly from the manufacturer and then import it straight from the factory in Austria to our shop. There is way to much counterfeit fabric in acrylic and vinyl on the market and it is getting switched out by brokers and suppliers.

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Old 02-09-2016, 07:52 AM   #8
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Chris T, thanks for the tip on 303 Fabric Guard. I will use that next time.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:22 AM   #9
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Chris T, I have some questions for you.


1) Where do you purchase 303 Fabric guard? Is it like Scotchgaurd?
2) Do you recommend treating a new awning? We just had our original awning replaced on our 2000 Fleetwood Storm.


Thanks in advance for your response.
Alan & Terry
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:22 AM   #10
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Alan:

Typically you do not have to start treating an acrylic topper for two years after it is installed. The factory finish which has the UV Ray inhibitors and waterproofing holds up well for the first two years. After that it will steadily degrade.

In regards to thread, you should start treating it 6 months after installing it. The polyester thread now days is junk. If your in a high UV ray area then the life will be shorter, sometimes only 2 years on slide toppers. We use Solarfix thread which is a PTFE thread. This thread is a lifetime thread and does not have to be treated as it is impervious to UV rays and chemicals.

303 Fabric Guard is similar to Scotchguard. The problem with Scotchguard is that it is formulated for synthetic fibers such as those found in carpeting. It also contains PD's and silicones which is why it is not good to use on acrylic fabrics.

You can find 303 fabric guard on Amazon or sometimes at a camping world store or rv dealer. It can be hard to find as many dealers and camping worlds will not stock it in large bottles. You mainly find it in 16 oz bottles. You would need 32 ozs to do toppers and a patio awning plus window awnings. Some RV'ers just buy a gallon of it and refill a spray bottle.

I might add that 303 fabric guard can be used on carpet or any type upholstery items found inside the RV such as cloth seats, carpet, etc.

For vinyl seats or toppers use the 303 protectant and not the fabric guard.
Hope this information helps.

Chris T
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:41 AM   #11
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Thanks Chris T for your information.


Alan
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