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Old 03-24-2019, 04:40 PM   #1
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Carefree Slide toppers failure

I have had 3 Carefree Slide toppers fail out of the 4 on my 2015 Entegra Anthem. The material has not failed, the thread that the material was sewn with has failed probably from UV sun exposure. Shouldn't the thread be UV protected?
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:26 PM   #2
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Well, there's UV protection and there's more UV protection. Here's a link that is informative. Manufacturer's decisions are always driven by cost. A top of the line UV thread is ten times the cost of other nylon threads. so which do you think they use? If your fabric is still good then you can get some of the good thread and have the covers re-sewn. It'll be way cheaper than replacement OEM fabric that will fail again in as many years.
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:36 PM   #3
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no upkeep isn't the threads fault....
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:57 PM   #4
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Yes it should but that doesn't mean it is.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:10 PM   #5
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Welcome to the club. The thread at 10 years on both of my MHs slide toppers failed. There was enough unused fabric on 3 of the 4 to cut the unused portions off when having them re-sewen for $130. Black thread holds up longer than white.

Usually when this topic comes up you’ll hear having StoneVos sell you new fabric.$$$

Not sure what upkeep would keep this from happening as I spray all of my canvas with 303 every other year. Guess I should have done it every year.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob caldwell View Post
no upkeep isn't the threads fault....
What upkeep exactly should one do???

The thread on the 15 year old Girard awning is still good but at 10 years there are multiple failures of the Carefree thread.

Bob, do you even have slide toppers on your 5er?
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:26 PM   #7
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As a matter of fact I do....I use 303 on them after washing them and letting them dry....
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:58 PM   #8
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Many of the better marine canvas shops have a PTFE thread either as a std or option. Its guaranteed for life of the fabric.
If you want to DIY or purchase thread to supply to someone to do it try Sailrite.com they sell small qty matls and supplies for DIY types. A couple layers of Sunbrella fabric will sew reasonably well on many home machines w the right needle and adjustment. A walking foot machine is best but I started w an old Singer doing some boat canvas repairs.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:26 PM   #9
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My carefree toppers lasted 12 years then ordered Stone Voss toppers. They are a better topper plus they cost less.
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:20 PM   #10
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Our 04 coach, with Carefree Omega II combo Topper Awnings thread were junk. IMO, Carefree saved a few bucks on the thread - and should not have. (And Bob, yes perhaps your year Carefree (Assume you have Carefree?) may have better thread used when built. And normal cleaning and care is good. I do not use 303 on fabrics, but perhaps I should. Every two years we clean. Dry. And spray Water Repellant on ours.)

Our coach had just under 13K on it when we bought it used at about 6 years of age. The majority of the time, the coach was in storage, with in that style Carefree, full protection from the elements. And yet, within 18 months of our usage - we could see the signs of problems ahead as far as thread used.

We removed the fabric, took it to a local sail maker, and had it restitched.

We got another 5-6 years out of it. Before seeing signs that the fabric itself was becoming a problem.

We decided to replace it with Stone Voss as the supplier. Much better quality material, and going strong. We continue an every two year cleaning, and application of water repellant...

So IMO, unless Carefree has changed their choice of thread - yep, it's a weak link.

Opinions will vary. And for sure, different models of the same supplier could have variances!

Best to all,
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:24 AM   #11
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Here is a previous post about what thread to use

Thread Used for Topper Repair?
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:47 AM   #12
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Nancy owned a marine canvas business for about 12 years. PTFE thread (usually sold under the brand name Tenara) is much more expensive than polyester (Dacron). However, as a percentage of the cost of the product, it makes little difference. What does make a difference is the additional time it takes to adjust the tension and the unavailability of pre-wound bobbins.
The thing is though that most RV awnings are made from polyester fabric (5 year life span) and not acrylic. (10 year life span)
On the RV awnings & toppers that came with our RV's, the issue has not been the thread, but fabric failure near the ends where the rope edge meets the aluminum track. This somewhat makes sence because that is the part that is always in the sun and where the stress from the wind occurs. I have hand sewn on 6 inch lengths of 2" wide webbing which is in turn screwed to the the track. I use a sewing Awl the allows you to make a lock stitch like a sewing machine. Doing that has allowed us to get another few years out of our awnings and you don't need to remove the awning to do it.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:57 AM   #13
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Carefree thread is notorious for rotting out. They could do better, and maybe they do by now, but yours is what it is. Take the toppers off and re-stitch with good quality thread. My wife is a capable seamstress with a good machine and did ours, but you can take it to a local upholstery or canvas shop to get it done.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:49 AM   #14
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Just contact stone voss and fix the problem once and for all.
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