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Old 07-29-2021, 09:09 PM   #1
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Slide Toppers - repair or replacement options

Hi all and welcome to the dog days of summers. since it seems almost the entire country is dealing with heat and humidity we decided to stay home this summer and I am taking the time to do more extensive repairs and service before out trip in September. On our last trip I noticed the threads were failing on the slide toppers of our 2005 Safari Cheetah 40ft. I am now contemplating my options. Option one would be to remove the toppers, have them re-sewn at a local boat shop and reinstall them. Option two would be to remove them and have them used by a local shop to make new ones and option 3 would be to buy new ones on line. The current toppers are, I believe, Carefree of Colorado and are the originals , so about 16 years old. Although they are in relatively good shape they do so signs of ware and one has a small tear about 3: long. While repair is the cheapest way to go the labor is the same for all three and these are kind of long in the tooth I am thinking of using this opportunity to just go new. What are your opinions and regarding replacement Would you buy on line or have them made locally?
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:24 PM   #2
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Hey NOLA,

I faced the same dilemma a few weeks back. 3 of my 4 slide toppers had seams and stitching deteriorating and they were flapping in the breeze. Ours were 15 yrs old and obviously due for replacement. I never gave any thought to having them reseamed, as the fabric was that old too, stained, faded and tired. We have the Carefree SOKIII toppers.

I ordered new toppers from Tough Top awnings out of Vancouver Washington. They walk you through how to measure and All 4 costs just over $800. I was going to have my local RV shop install them, but After talking with Tyler at Tough Top and watching a couple of YouTube videos, (they also sent a link to a video) it was a job that I thought I could easily handle. It actually was as easy as the video made it look like and took my wife and I about an hour per topper. We did the curb side pair one morning and the road side pair the next. It is a lot of trips up and down the ladder, but it was fairly straightforward and not difficult at all.

Just my experience and hopes it helps. Good luck with yours.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLAfolks View Post
Hi all and welcome to the dog days of summers. since it seems almost the entire country is dealing with heat and humidity we decided to stay home this summer and I am taking the time to do more extensive repairs and service before out trip in September. On our last trip I noticed the threads were failing on the slide toppers of our 2005 Safari Cheetah 40ft. I am now contemplating my options. Option one would be to remove the toppers, have them re-sewn at a local boat shop and reinstall them. Option two would be to remove them and have them used by a local shop to make new ones and option 3 would be to buy new ones on line. The current toppers are, I believe, Carefree of Colorado and are the originals , so about 16 years old. Although they are in relatively good shape they do so signs of ware and one has a small tear about 3: long. While repair is the cheapest way to go the labor is the same for all three and these are kind of long in the tooth I am thinking of using this opportunity to just go new. What are your opinions and regarding replacement Would you buy on line or have them made locally?
I don't know that repair would actually be cheaper. The stitching on any awning, or slide topper is always the first to fail. On my previous coach I had an awning that looked to be in pretty good shape but the stitching was failing on both ends. Without removing it i bought a canvas kit and stitched it back through the original holes. Wasn't pretty but it held for a couple years. This was on a 20 year old coach I was planning on selling.

On my new to me DP, I had one slide topper that was tearing at the seam about 3-4 inches. Knowing once it starts it takes off, when I had it at the Winnebago factory service center for some other stuff I had them replace it. Mind you, probably the most expensive place to have it done, but it was there and needed to be done. The fabric was $300 and it took 1 hour at $145 to do it. Now it's brand new. My son and I looked at it, found fabric online for about $175, watched a video on how to do it and decided it would take 2 of us, without the right equipment all day to do it right. So I spent an extra $200 and had the factory do it. I had plenty of other projects that I knew how to do so I figured the money was well spent for the time I saved for other stuff.

Whether you do it yourself or have somebody do it, I would replace the fabric. If the original lasted 16 years, will you have this for 16 more years? Probably would be the last time you touched it. A patch is just that. a patch.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:35 PM   #4
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A bit additional info and questions: Out toppers have Alumagard covers and are currently made of Acrylic fabric. I am not sure if this is a fabric exclusive to Colorado Toppers or similar (or better) than Sunbrella or other similar fabrics made for outdoors. Do you recommend Vinyl or Woven toppers?
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:29 PM   #5
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Had the fabric toppers previously, but went with a vinyl fabric product for the new ones. Heavy but flexible. Double stitched on each side and the color was close enough to original to not look out of place.
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Old 07-30-2021, 12:29 AM   #6
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I bought the universal vinyl (?) ones from Carefree and installed them. They were something like $90 USD each. I'm very impressed with them. The bonus is that you can cut them to the full width of the roller and this goes a long way to preventing leaks because it now covers the entire roof of the slideout.

I was going to spend +$500 USD on custom ones but am very glad I went this route. No water can permeate them and it fixed big leaks that I was never able to track down....
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Old 07-30-2021, 06:42 AM   #7
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Contact StoneVos in Brooksville, FL. Chris makes the best awnings, best fabric, and lifetime warranty on the thread. Easy to work with and price competitive.
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:27 AM   #8
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Slide topper replacement

We replaced our slide toppers ourselves and it was fairly easy. I would definitely replace them over repairing them. Ours were carefree toppers and only 7 years old. But once removed we realized the old fabric was brittle and cardboard like. We replaced ours with one person on a ladder and one person on the roof.

I made a video on it and you can see what the old fabric was like. To the moderators, If I am not allowed to post videos please just delete the link and this part of the post or the post in its entirety.

https://youtu.be/nfkzOAq0Itw

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Old 07-30-2021, 08:22 AM   #9
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Contact StoneVos in Brooksville, FL. Chris makes the best awnings, best fabric, and lifetime warranty on the thread. Easy to work with and price competitive.
x2 for sure...
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:57 AM   #10
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X3 for Stone Vos --- Best in the business -- Bill Willard
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Old 07-30-2021, 11:11 AM   #11
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If those toppers are 16 years old they can't have much life left in them! I would replace them with the high-quality acrylic toppers from Stone Vos! They provided a perfect match for the fabric that came on our 2002 Windsor!
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Old 07-30-2021, 11:12 AM   #12
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Had the fabric toppers previously, but went with a vinyl fabric product for the new ones. Heavy but flexible. Double stitched on each side and the color was close enough to original to not look out of place.
I winter in Mazatlan Mx. A lot of the folks in the "trailer park" as we call it have new toppers and awnings made. Good grade marine Vinyl. Cheap prices. One guy even had a complete sun room with screens, roll up side covers, front and rear zipper doors. They were there 1/2 day measuring, 1 day installing. All told, $14,000 pesos. ($700) including material.
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Old 07-30-2021, 11:13 AM   #13
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If you want to fix it once, go with Stone Voss. Slide toppers and awnings are their specialty.
Stone Vos RV Awnings and Slide Topper Replacement Fabrics
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Old 07-30-2021, 02:57 PM   #14
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If I counted right...X6 for Stone Vos. 10 year full (not prorated!) warranty.
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