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How to Replace RV Patio Awning Fabric – Dometic A&E – New EASIER Method

How to Replace RV Patio Awning Fabric – Dometic A&E – New EASIER Method

We’ve demonstrated how to replace the fabric on many different awning & slide topper models. A few years ago, we showed how to replace one of the most popular patio awnings on the market – the manual pull-down Dometic/A&E.

We’ve now learned a new way to do the job… a considerably easier method than the old way. Here’s a step-by-step  tutorial, as we replace the awning on our friends Tom & Cait Morton’s 5th wheel. Watch the video above to see how surprisingly easy this job is for any reasonably competent DIY RVer (with the help of a couple of friends)! Since we’ve gotten positive feedback whenever we’ve included bloopers, look for a few at the end. ;-)

Of course Tom & Cait were rolling cameras too, so you can check out their version of the installation here:

Be sure to check out the Morton’s website and YouTube channel for lots of other great content:

Do you have a different model awning, or want to replace your slide topper fabric?

Complete details on measuring and ordering replacement slide topper and awning fabric are available at ToughTopAwnings.comSave 5% on your entire order by using Discount Code RVGEEKSROCK at checkout!

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Matt navlet

Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

I don't need to replace my awning fabric......I just need to repair my screw up!

I left one of the tension nuts tight when I retracted my electric awning (Dometic 9100). This caused it to tweak out of alignment. This awning also has a turtle shell. Now it does not roll up tight. It does okay on the front end, but on the back end (where I left the nut tight), the fabric hangs out of the turtle shell.

I'm hoping that there is way to re-roll it and get it squared back up again.

I have pictures and a video, but I'm not familiar with how to upload.


Wednesday 24th of November 2021

Hi Matt. So sorry to hear about this problem. We're not experts on the 9100 power awning, but it sounds like leaving the lock nut tight may have bent/misadjsted something on that back arm itself. That could cause the arm to be at a different height when retracting, and thus having the fabric roll up on the roller tube incorrectly. We'd take a very close look at all elements on that rear arm and try to figure out if, when retracting the awning with the lock nut engaged, something got pushed/squished out of alignment.

Once the structure of the arm is confirmed, if you're still having the problem, it could be a result of the fabric being pulled out of square... where one of the attachment points (side of RV or roller tube) got pulled forward/backward. When that happens, the fabric rolls up misaligned (when rolled up, on one end you'll see the concentric roll of the edge of the fabric, and on the other end it will be an "inverted cone"). If you see that, you need to pull the fabric so that it rolls up straight. With the awning extended, you can either pull the fabric on the tube toward the arm on the end where you could see the concentric rolls... or pull the fabric at the attachment on the wall of the RV toward the arm where you saw the "inverted cone" of fabric.

You just want to make sure that, once done, the fabric is centered on the roller tube (you can measure from the end cap to the edge of the fabric on each end of the roller to see how close they are). It can take some repeated adjustments, roll the awning in/out, re-adjust... before it's perfect.

And if THAT doesn't do it, we'd suggest reaching out Tyler at Tough Top Awnings to see if he has any input (HE'S the expert on awnings!).


Saturday 17th of April 2021

Thanks for the video showing how to replace my awning on my small R-Vision camper. I ordered my new awning from Toughtop and followed the procedure. After installing it I centered it on top and between the end caps. Then, before locking the awning in position on the top of the camper, I lowered and raised it a few times, however the top would move to one side about 3". I tried this several times after re-centering and with the same result. I could screw it down centered, but it would probably not lay flat or no wrinkles.


Saturday 17th of April 2021

Glad our video helped, LeRay! Based on what you're saying, it sounds to us like it could be an issue with the awning hardware itself being out of whack (bent or misaligned). But because we haven't encountered a problem like you're describing, we'd suggest giving Tyler at Tough Top a call to see what he suggests... he's the expert about awning fabric replacement and we'd bet he's had this problem before and will be able to tell you what to do to correct it. Let us know how you make out, so everyone can learn!


Saturday 27th of February 2021

I am in need of replacing a new rv awning, thank you for writing this post, very useful.


Saturday 27th of February 2021

No worries, Tom. Good luck with the project!

Kenny Laferriere

Sunday 28th of June 2020

Hello! We followed this video, but had trouble at the very end when releasing the orange pick. It seemed the tension wasn't correct and there was still some slack on the fabric when finally closed up. What do we do? Do we have to start again and unroll, then re-turn the tension again, re roll and release the pick again?

Thank you for the advice! Kenny


Sunday 28th of June 2020

Hi Kenny! Sorry you had trouble! You shouldn’t need to completely undo and unroll the awning in order to add more tension. Just unroll it a bit like at the beginning of the video. Then pin the left-hand end so it doesn’t unroll (leaving the right-hand side in “Extend” mode so the spring is ratcheted and won’t unwind on you)... and remove the screw that holds the awning bracket to the left-hand arm. Using a cloth and pliers to hold the left-hand awning bracket, you should be able to remove the pin and then add a winding or two to the spring before putting the pin back in and re-installing the bracket onto the arm.

Since you re-tightened the spring on the right-hand side during the fabric replacement, we’d guess adding a couple of turns to the left-hand spring should fix things, but you might have to tighten both. You’ll want to keep the tension in both springs fairly consistent, so the awning doesn’t roll up unevenly. So keep an eye out for that. Try the left-hand side first (adding a couple of turns) and see if that fixes it. If the other side now seems like it’s not retracting as quickly, repeat the process and tighten the spring on that side a turn or two to even things out (being sure to pin the left-hand spring first so it doesn’t unwind on you when you remove the right-hand bracket from the arm!).

Let us know how you make out!


Wednesday 20th of May 2020

It would be really helpful if you could make a printable checklist of the steps. We would really appreciate it! This is a wonderful video!

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PLEASE NOTE: 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.

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