How To Replace A&E / Dometic TwoStep Awning Fabric

TheRVgeeks Awnings & Slide Toppers, Replacement 19 Comments

In our humble opinions, replacing awnings and slide toppers is the absolute epitome of the perfect DIY RV project. When we’re deciding between hiring a professional vs. doing a repair or upgrade ourselves, fabric replacement hits a grand slam in the Do It Ourselves! department.

Each make and model is just a little bit different. So today we’re with Ray and Tyler of Tough Top Awnings showing exactly how to replace the fabric on an A&E / Dometic TwoStep manual pull-down patio awning.

Replacing worn out awnings or slide toppers fires on all DIY cylinders:

  • Substantial savings on parts (OEM fabric is considerably more expensive)
  • Avoids the entire cost of labor (other than the requisite food or drink for any helpers)
  • Superior results. After all, the OEM material is what failed in the first place, and it really pales in comparison to the high-quality replacement fabric available from a company like Tough Top Awnings.
  • Doing the job on your own schedule. This is especially important for us full-timers. Having to coordinate a service appointment for our anticipated arrival in a particular location, and then being off the RV for the day, are our least favorite things. We figure that service appointments are no fun for part-timers either.
  • Provides what is possibly the greatest satisfaction of all for any handy RVer: not paying someone else to do something that we can do perfectly well ourselves… and do it better!

The thing about awnings and slide toppers is that if you’ve never replaced one before, it can appear daunting. There’s a giant spring in there waiting to kill you, right? The spring tension is actually so easy to handle that it’s surprising.

Once you see how manageable the whole job is, you’ll probably agree that any self-respecting DIY RVer would kick themselves for paying someone else to do it for them. Especially when you see the difference between the cheap OEM fabric and the far superior products we use from Tough Top Awnings.

When we recommend products to our friends, we look at a lot of factors. First and foremost, what has our personal experience been with both the product and the company (customer service and support can be just as important as the product itself). We also research their reputation online, in RV forums, Amazon reviews, or other places where consumers can voice their unbiased opinions.

When we bought our very first slide topper several years ago, we chose Tough Top because their reputation was so good. When we had questions, Ray, the owner, was as responsive and helpful as we’d heard. When we received our order, it was obviously superior to the original.

Now, after having replaced all of our slide toppers, we know just how dedicated Ray and his operations manager, Tyler, are. And so is their staff. We’ve seen in person how meticulous and thorough they are in crafting their custom-made products. We have tremendous respect for them, and a renewed appreciation for “Made in America.”

Having visited their shop in Vancouver, WA several times now, we’ve become good friends. So we’re honored and grateful that they’ve offered to provide a special discount to our viewers. And we’re proud to recommend Tough Top Awnings without hesitation.

To save 5% on your entire purchase, check out using the discount code “RVGEEKSROCK” (can you tell that we have a mutual admiration society with Ray & Tyler)? wink

Complete details on measuring and ordering replacement slide topper and awning fabric are available at ToughTopAwnings.com.


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We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, and The RVgeeks are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. But our opinions are our own, you won’t pay an extra penny, and we only link to products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence.


Comments 19

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  1. Pingback: RV Stuck in the Desert! Coach-Net Wrecker Rescue - TheRVgeeks

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  2. Any suggestions of how to clean
    the white underside of the awning?
    It looks like mold (black) from
    being rolled up wet.

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  3. Hello my usage friends this is Robert from zweden.

    Like to know if you can help us some? We like to make led in the Monaco dynasty and we try to order at your favorite led company, but the do not shipped to zweden. Can you ask them of the can ship to me. And if the do, can you help me to receive the right led? Thanks and hope to see more video. Take care and hugs from us.

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      Hi Robert & Ingrid. We contacted Steve at M4, and we’re sorry to report that he does not ship to Europe. Here is what he said:
      “US and Canada only. Reason one is the cost to ship. Reason two is that every country has different laws/tariffs regarding importing LEDs and the tariffs are often prohibitive. Even Canada is very hard right with tariff, freight cost, and the exchange rate.”
      Sorry. :(

      1. Hello my friends, looks like I have to come to us?the only problem is then I will never come back??tanks for your help and happy rv.

  4. I love the videos you guy’s do they are very helpful and on this one I notice the drip spouts they took out on the winnebago and I have been looking for ones like that for my winnebago. Do you know where they got those?

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      Thanks so much Rich & Kathy. Nice to hear you’re enjoying our videos. Sorry we can’t of much help on this one, but we don’t actually even know the owner of that RV. Your best bet is to look on either the Camping World website or on Amazon. Maybe a search for “RV rain gutters” would find them.

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  6. you guys do such a great job with all aspects of rving. from awnings to site seeing, you are most helpful

    1. Thanks, one question though, why do you call this a twostep awning? Because it has the guard cover when closed? or is this what A&E calls this type of awning. I’ve watched a bunch of your videos and I’m just about ready to try this myself, My awning is a A&E 8500 series, I’d like to get the awning material from your friends but I don’t know if they have “Checkered flag” style awning material.
      Thanks again, you guys ROCK!

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        Hi Russ! “TwoStep” is the name of the model. If you look quickly in the scene where we slid the new awning strap into place, you can see the ID plate on the roller tube with the name visible. Look fast though!

        If we’re not mistaken, the very first awning we replaced is the same one you have, and also the same one we had on our Bounder. That step by step video is here:
        http://www.thervgeeks.com/repair/replace-rv-patio-awning/

        We are not aware of Tough Top Awnings carrying the checkered flag fabric, but we’ll check with Tyler and get back to you. We know he’s been expanding his product line, so who knows? Maybe he can get it.

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            Hi Russ. We talked to Tyler this afternoon, and he said he does not carry anything other than solid-color fabric at this time. He said he has looked into many patterned fabrics, and is not satisfied with the quality of any of them.

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