Awning & Slide Topper Fabric Replacement Tips, Discount & a $300 Giveaway!

TheRVgeeks Awnings & Slide Toppers 19 Comments

Replacing slide topper or awning fabric might just be our favorite RV project: Surprisingly Easy + Big $avings + Superior Results = Maximum DIY Satisfaction.

A 5% discount will save even more… and it might just be free! One lucky RVgeeks viewer will win $300 worth of custom-ordered replacement awning/topper fabric from Tough Top Awnings in our latest RVgeeks Giveaway.

↓↓ WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE FOR DETAILS, THEN SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW THE WINNER! ↓↓

Besides the cost savings, maybe the best thing about replacing slide topper or awning fabric yourself is the noticeable increase in quality. Unlike many DIY jobs, where we strive to equal the caliber of work performed by a professional, this is one job where we can almost always surpass them.

That’s because taking your RV to a shop for awning or slide-topper replacement will usually result in the installation of original equipment (OEM) fabric. That’s the same mediocre fabric that failed in the first place!

We purchased our very first slide topper replacement fabric from Tough Top Awnings over 3 years ago, in 2012, and it’s still like new. Since then, we’ve replaced both of our other toppers, along with helping two other friends do the same thing on their rigs. The quality of Tough Top’s fabric is far better than the original, and the responsive customer service we experienced during our purchase was terrific too.

Between the savings on labor ($100+ per hour is common at RV shops) and the lower cost of the non-OEM fabric, the total works out to about 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of hiring a pro. An added bonus is that the job is surprisingly easy. Getting more for less might seem to violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics, but in this case it’s true!

Another plus is knowing that we’re supporting a small family business run by people we genuinely respect, because they’ve earned it. We really believe in the way Ray & Tyler run Tough Top Awnings and we’re proud to share our enthusiasm for the company and their products. And seeing the jobs we’re supporting up close and in person gave “Made in the USA” a whole new meaning for us.

If you’re not sure you can replace your own slide topper or awning fabric, and want to know what’s involved, check out our series of videos that show exactly how to do it. You might be surprised at how easy it is, especially slide toppers, which are a breeze.

As DIYers, the one thing we hate most is paying someone else to do a job that we could easily have managed ourselves, especially when we realize that we could have done it better and saved a ton of money in the process!

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Visit www.toughtopawnings.com and enter the
Discount Code “RVGEEKSROCK”
for a 5% discount on your entire order!


Have your slide toppers or awning seen better days?

↓↓ SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW THE WINNER!!! ↓↓

On Sunday, August 30th, 2015 at 5:00PM Pacific Time, one lucky RVgeeks viewer will win a $300 Tough Top Awnings Gift CertificateUse the form below to enter for your chance to win the same awesome slidetopper/awning replacement fabric that we use.

INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING BY DOING ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • Enter once each day (to prevent ballot box stuffing, one entry per day is the limit)
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NOTE: When the form asks you to “Tell us about your RV!” you can provide the year, make and model. We also give you the option of including your phone number with your entry. The ONLY reason we ask for that is to ensure that we are able to quickly contact the winner. Your phone number will not be used for ANY other purpose, ever. If you’re uncomfortable providing it, just tell us about your RV.

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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

  1. I just ordered slide toppers for two of our three slides from Tough Top Awnings as mine have tears. Thank you for the discount.
    I haven’t covered all your videos and am in search of some information.
    We have a 2004 Coachman SC 401 TS for two months now and I seem to be doing a lot of deferred maintenance: house and chassis. I have contacted Forest River customer service for answers as well. Nothing yet. (I suggest passing on design flaws to the manufacturer. I have made them aware of at least 3 on my coach. Where is QC?)
    Where can I find the D seals for the slides? Since I will have the toppers off and all my top seals are falling off; what can I replace them with? If I replace all, I will have to do over 100 feet. The backing tape has released from both sides; rubber seal and house. A surface prep will be needed.
    Also, our 14 year old carpet is unrecognizable as to color. I have most of it out and am losing the little tile that is left. I tried removing cracked tile and destroyed more tile. Installed under the walls, of course.
    I can’t find anyone to agree on what should go back in. Vinyl tile manufacturer says that they need 37-105 degree range; not recommended, yet that seems to be what DYIs are using.
    New coaches have tile/porcelain plank and Forest River says they are using laminate. Looking at my bare floor and broken tile, I’m unsure.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks.
    Fred J

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      Author

      Hi Fred,

      Glad to hear you got to take advantage of the discount and get yourself some Tough Top Awnings replacements for your slide toppers. We’re sure you’ll be duly impressed with the improvement in the quality of the fabric over the original!

      As far as your questions, we’re sorry to say this, but we have to refer you to the forums at iRV2.com (free to join, free to post) as we don’t have any experience with either task to be able to give you any advice. Our slide-out seals are still going strong (knock on wood!) and we haven’t ever had to look for replacements for them (we’d call Newmar first, but since you already mentioned contacting Forest River and not hearing back, we’re guessing they aren’t quite as responsive as Newmar usually is). And since we don’t wear shoes in our RV, our carpet is still looking great after 12+ years… and we’re hoping it will continue to last!

      We know lots of people post on iRV2 about replacing their carpet with various forms of vinyl flooring, but we don’t know if they’ve found something that doesn’t have the temperature range issue you mentioned… or if they just ignored it! We’d assume the issue probably has to do with the adhesive (which means maybe there’s an alternative that could withstand greater temperature swings?!?)… but it’s possible the vinyl itself could be more susceptible to damage at temperature extremes.

      Again… sorry we couldn’t be of more help! But let us know how you make out!

      1. Ok. Thanks.
        FR replied and they are using Shaw Laminate in their new coaches and Weather Seal, 1 X .875 ribbed w/GBTS EPDM black for the outer body seals.
        I am considering ceramic in the main area and re-carpet the master and driver cockpit. We’ll see how that works.
        I belong to iRV2. I have searched, but not posted. I also have spent a lot of time on You Tube. May post my progress/results to YT. LUK
        Best
        FJ

  2. Are you pitching the awning to one side so the water can run off. The reason I ask is because shortly after getting my rig I neglected to pitch the awning and the same thing was happening .

    1. Thank you for that suggestion but I think our awnings have deeper sags and pool too much water for the tilt side to side to work. I agree withe Peter that it’s a design flaw from the manufacture. The awnings should have been mounted higher on the coach. Perhaps raising the coach in the front and lowering the rear may help when it’s time to roll in the slides. One problem I see to that idea is a warning in the owner’s manual to always level the coach before extending or retracting the slides. I guess I could re-level after dumping the water and before retracting them .

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        Author

        Roger… Newmar recommends the same thing (level the coach before extending/retracting the slides), so that’s exactly what we do if there’s a lot of water pooled up on the slide toppers when it’s time to retract the slides. We’ll raise/lower the nose to get the water to run completely off the toppers, then re-level the coach so we can pull the slides in. We even have a video about it (surprise!): http://www.thervgeeks.com/maintenance/prevent-an-rv-slide-out-flood/

        If there’s not a lot of water on the slides (or if it wasn’t windy when it rained, so there’s little chance there’s water that was blown under the topper and is sitting on top of the slide), we just retract the slide like normal.

        Hope this helps!

    2. Post
      Author

      Hi Jack,

      The “awnings” that Roger is talking about are slide toppers that are fixed in place and cannot be pitched like a manual patio awning can be. Unfortunately, he’s at the mercy of his manufacturer’s decision to install the slide toppers too flat/horizontal so that water pools up on them when the slides are extended. We have the same problem, and other than lifting the front or the rear of the coach a little to help water flow off the toppers, there’s not much you can do.

  3. We have a 2013 Allegro Bus with long slides. The material is in almost new condition but when it rains they sag and accumulate a bathtub full of water. The only thing we know to do is roll the slides in very slowly and stop several times to let all that water drain off. Do you think this is normal? Is there any solution you can think of? As always, thank you so much for all your helpful videos!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Roger. Our longest slide also holds water, but it has always done that. We attribute it to poor design on the part of many manufacturers, who install slide toppers perfectly level. All they would need to do (and some manufacturers do this) is raise the side of the topper that’s attached to the motorhome a few inches so the water would run off. One of the things we would count as a big plus in any new RV that we considered purchasing would be slide toppers that are mounted high on the side of the rig so that water would run right off and never pool. Unfortunately, once they’re mounted level, replacing the fabric doesn’t seem to correct the problem (at least it didn’t for us). It’s just a design flaw.

      We’ve heard about people putting various contraptions up there to try to raise the center of the topper when open, including things like beach balls. That’s too much trouble as far we’re concerned, along with the risk of forgetting it when closing the slide.

      Here’s what we do to prevent a “slide-out flood” from soaking us:
      http://www.thervgeeks.com/maintenance/prevent-an-rv-slide-out-flood/

  4. We just purchased a 2000 Newmar Dutch Star 40 footer and are making the move to become full timers. RVGeeks has been so helpful in teaching us about using and taking care of our coach. Thanks for all you do and we hope to see you on the road some day!

    1. Post
      Author
  5. Great video, I ordered and installed my own slide toppers from Tough Top. Your video made it easy thank you very much.. I have one question. I have slack on one end of the topper material which I thought would be resolved but wasn’t. Since the rear of it is tight and the front is loose can I tighten the spring on one end to take up the slack? Thanks, Ray

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Ray! Nice to hear you found our video made it easy to do the job. Regarding the slack on one end of the slide topper, it sounds like it’s possible that your slide might not be square, as in one side is not fully extending. If you’re inside the RV when the slide is open, you should see it sit tightly against the wall on both sides. Can you tell if it’s possible that it’s not that way?

      If it seems to be square and fully extended straight out, is it possible that one of the brackets that hold the end of the roller tube is bent? We’d suggest dropping a note to Tyler at Tough Top. He’s installed an awful lot of these, and has probably seen every possible thing that can happen. He’s really responsive and will surely to be happy to help if he can. You can reach him through their website: http://toughtopawnings.com.

      Please let us know how you make out.

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