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