I just replaced my slide topper awning...myself
It's been over a year since the slide room awning on my Sunstar got destroyed in high crosswinds on I40.
(NOTE to everyone with these. Add to your daily checklist to check the anti-billow arm on each slide awning. I apparently lost mine at some point, leading to the almost-tragic loss of the fabric.)
I ordered a new awning fabric from Stone Vos, a new anti-billow arm, and a second arm for the spares bin.
After downloading the Dometic instructions, and looking at a couple of YouTube videos, and studying the installation a lot, I decided I could find a one-person process that didn't require any disassembly save removing the remnants of the last awning.
I did it all with the slide room extended. First I had to rewind the tension spring roller since all of the magic spin had gotten let out of it, and pinned it in place with a piece of coat hanger wire.
Stone Vos ships the replacement without the plastic cords installed in the pockets, so I had to pull those in.
I did use 2 ladders. One to get the coach side started in the channel (the channel runs the full length of the Sunstar wall), and the other to slide the roller side into the channel. Copious amounts of silicone lube helped on both sides.
Oh, I put a couple of extra turns on the roller to allow for the fact that I had to install the fabric loose.
After about 4 feet, I saw why they say it takes 2 people. But, all I had was me and the dog, and he doesn't have thumbs.
So, I wandered around and looked at things for a while until the plan came to me. I got a Harbor Freight bar clamp, a hank of rope, a 5 gallon bucket, and a 40 lb rock. Tied the rope to the clamp, squeezed the clamp down on the rear edge of the fabric, hung the rope over the end of the slide room, put the rock in the bucket, and tied the rope to the bucket handle as high up the side of the room as I could lift it. I called it my "village idiot" helper. Dumber than a bucket of rocks...
Anyway, it all worked. It probably took me 90 minutes or so to get the awning installed. Then I taped the roller tube side in one place to keep it from sliding, draped the excess fabric neatly over the top of the roller, grabbed the roller firmly, and pulled the wire out that was holding the tension. It took a couple-three rolls and unrolls to get the wrinkles out. Then, I ran the room in and out a few times to make sure everything was OK.
One hitch. Because of the way the roller is mounted, and the gutter on the coach, the anti-billow arm can't be installed per directions. It hits the gutter instead of the stop on the wall. It must have been that way from the factory, because I can see wear on the gutter where it hits.
Oh, well, at least I got it done, just me and my village idiot...
2014 Itasca Sunstar 31KE
1988 Itasca Suncruiser 31RQ
1968 Travco 21'