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Old 07-28-2012, 10:47 PM   #1
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Video showig how to replace the fabric on A&E slidetoppers

While parked in Wisconsin, on the west shore of Lake Michigan, my large living room slide topper finally gave up the ghost and tore during some sudden, violent winds (we weathered some amazingly violent storms... just didn't get the slide retracted before a massive gust!). Not a huge loss, as the topper fabric (it was original) was already coming apart in some areas... and I've been slowly gathering my courage to replace it myself.

Since Mother Nature has accelerated the time-schedule for doing this project, I did some more intense searching online. I'm a visual learner, so I like watching videos of people doing a task. Found this video that was so thorough, I'm feeling really confident I'll be able to do this myself:
HOW TO: Replace an RV Slide Topper - YouTube
If you're considering changing out the fabric on your A&E slidetopper, I'd recommend watching this video first. I'm off to find a source for replacement fabric I can have shipped to me ASAP so I can tackle this project soon!
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:53 AM   #2
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Thanks John I have added to Newmar Quick Tips # 3 also.
I have two to replace.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:20 AM   #3
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My lounge slide topper has partial line of sun damage at the very top. I've been told that they have enough extra material that I could cut off the bad and re-sew a new retainer seam. I could do that, but I'd rather add an aluminum wrap. Is that possible with out a hardware change?
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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Thanks John I have added to Newmar Quick Tips # 3 also.
I have two to replace.
Great! Hope it can help someone else, too!
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:46 PM   #5
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My lounge slide topper has partial line of sun damage at the very top. I've been told that they have enough extra material that I could cut off the bad and re-sew a new retainer seam. I could do that, but I'd rather add an aluminum wrap. Is that possible with out a hardware change?
Dunner,

Good question. I'm not sure. I think it's possible that you'll need different size beading/tubing inside the seam. Don't quote me on this, but I think the diameter of the opening you slide the RV-side of the awning fabric into is different than what it is on the metal wrap. I don't have any concrete proof that that's the case... just a gut feeling from some of the stuff I've been reading online in preparation for my own replacement.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:07 PM   #6
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Would that mean that when you buy a replacement that you would have to specify if you had a wrap? I'm thinking that any beading would prevent it from pulling out.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:44 PM   #7
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Would that mean that when you buy a replacement that you would have to specify if you had a wrap? I'm thinking that any beading would prevent it from pulling out.
From what I've seen, yes: everywhere that sells replacement fabric specifically asks if you have a wrap... partly to be sure they provide the correct amount of fabric, but partly because the beading is different size.

The size of the track must be different... and I'm not sure which is bigger. But I suppose the "risk" is that your beading from your current configuration could either be too big to fit into the track on the wrap... or too small and would allow the slide topper fabric to pull out.

You might be able to talk to one of the people who make slidetopper replacements to see what they say/recommend. I'm looking at ToughTopAwnings as being the current "first contender" for my business. Everything I've read about them indicates they're (1) good to deal with and (2) sell a high-quality replacement fabric. You might try calling them to see if they could direct you the right way.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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Another thing I'm wondering is, if I buy a wrap, will it slide into the existing channel on my MH.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:40 PM   #9
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Another thing I'm wondering is, if I buy a wrap, will it slide into the existing channel on my MH.
No experience here... but I'm guessing that they should. Since the wrap is designed to site between the coach and the slidetopper, I'd expect that the wrap would have the same size bead to fit into the channel as the original awning would. But it's entirely a guess.

Anyone else out there have any experience adding a wrap to an existing slidetopper?
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:07 PM   #10
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I put some 303 Protectant on it and will watch to see if it gets worse.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:34 PM   #11
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I put some 303 Protectant on it and will watch to see if it gets worse.
That worked for me... got me about another year or so of life (would have gone longer if the winds hadn't finished it off for me!). I had a couple of areas on mine where the vinyl was aging and beginning to separate from the fabric/mesh. The 303 seemed to be helping... but, then again, it could have been that I spent a year and a half in the Pacific Northwest... so the sun wasn't as strong as in the Arizona desert.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:14 PM   #12
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Right now, it is just a thin strip about 1 1/2' long. If I find it leaking or getting worse, I can always take it off, and sew a new tubing seam on it. I have a 1913 White Rotary sewing machine what will sew through just about anything.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:50 AM   #13
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My lounge slide topper has partial line of sun damage at the very top. I've been told that they have enough extra material that I could cut off the bad and re-sew a new retainer seam. I could do that, but I'd rather add an aluminum wrap. Is that possible with out a hardware change?
You will find that the sun has made the material stiff and when you go to bend it to sew the bead it will crack. You are better of to buy a new one made for the wrap at the same time you buy the wrap.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:55 AM   #14
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The video that bcbounders (John) posted was great! In the video the host made reference to a less expensive but more durable fabric. Anybody know what that might be? We're at the 5 year mark and replacements are looming in our future.

Mark
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