Here is the full-length version of this video, showing how to measure, order and install a new A&E slide topper.

Our favorite type of DIY RV project is one that’s both surprisingly manageable and also saves a lot of money. Slide topper replacement fits that description to a T by being much easier to accomplish than one might expect, while costing as little as 1/2 to 1/3 the price of having it done at an RV shop. If you thought that replacing your slide toppers was out of your league as a DIY RVer, watch this first and you just might change your mind!

UPDATE: Tough Top Awnings now offers a special discount for RVgeeks viewers. Enter the discount code “RVGEEKSROCK” at checkout and get 5% off your entire order!

This video is the full-length version, where we demonstrate how to take the needed measurements, how to complete the online order form and then show you the “standard” method for replacing a typical A&E slide topper (Carefree of Colorado toppers are different of course). We also recorded a shorter version, which shows only the installation itself. You can view that shorter video here:

A&E Slide Topper Replacement Video – Installation Only

This is a really easy DIY job, which we did in 20 minutes flat with two people and two stepladders. If you saw our first video on this topic last year, we tried an “alternate” installation technique that’s a good method to consider using on deep slide-outs. You can view that video here:

A&E Slide Topper Replacement Video – “Alternate” Method

The alternate method is a bit more involved, but we liked the fact that much of the work was done on the ground, and we didn’t have to reach across our deep slide-out from the ladders. Watch both videos and choose the installation method that you’re most comfortable with. Either way, it’s probably easier that you thought!

We purchased our first slide topper replacement last year from Tough Top Awnings. When we opened the box, it was immediately obvious that it was superior to the original fabric (double-stitched and noticeably thicker) and it was less expensive than buying OEM replacement material from A&E.

Ray (Tough Top’s owner) was very responsive when we had questions during the ordering process and he obviously takes pride in making a superior product at a lower price. When we decided to replace our bedroom slide toppers this year, it was a no-brainer to order from Tough Top Awnings again. You can get more detail by visiting their website:

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  1. I’ve been trying to contact Tough Top both by phone and email. All I get is voicemail and no responses to email, so I went to check out competitors. Nobody seems to be able to tell me how to order the width I need as I may have a special situation. My roller is 153 inches between end caps, but my rail is only 150 inches end to end. The typical measurement is done by measuring between the end caps and subtracting an inch from each end, but if I do that I’d have 1/2 inch hanging out of each end of the rail, a fact it seems that is not easily understood by those in the business. So, my confusion on what width to order continues…….It is my understanding the edge of the fabric must be contained wholly inside the rail, and space on the ends is needed to install the lock screws. Is this true? If so, how much space on the ends?

    1. Hi Michael. We just texted Tyler, and he asked if he could call us in a bit due to being overwhelmed with phone calls. He’s been super busy lately, but is also great about returning calls. Have you left him a voicemail? We’re sure you have the correct number, but just to confirm, it’s ‭(360) 980-0537‬. We’ve never heard of an awning rail that wasn’t long enough to accommodate fabric that’s the full width of the roller, but in this case, we’d recommend that the fabric can’t be wider than the track, or it will hang out on one or both ends. That would prevent it from laying flat along the edges, and might lead to eventual tearing. We’re sorry you’ve had trouble getting in touch with Tyler, but if you leave a voicemail, he makes it his mission in life to talk to everyone who calls. He’s well-known for being responsive, and is surely only being delayed in responding due to overwhelming interest. We’ve seen several competitor’s fabric, and he’s so busy because their fabric is by far the best out there. Don’t give up, and be sure save with the RVGEEKSROCK discount code ordering either online or over the phone. You’ll be super happy with the results. Just to confirm, you should absolutely ask Tyler your question about correct length, but we’re pretty sure he’ll agree that the fabric should’t hang out past the rail.

    2. Hi again, Michael. Shortly after we replied to your comment, Tyler from Tough Top Awnings returned our call. He said he received your email and voicemail, and the email has been replied to. He said the reason he didn’t call you back is because you didn’t leave your number, but rather just an angry message that since he didn’t pick up right away, you were calling a competitor instead. Tough Top Awnings is a small, family-owned company, doing their best to keep up with demand during challenging times. And their demand is so great because they make the best product of its kind. But he can’t pick up every call as it comes in, because he spends most of the day helping customers on the phone. Just as he wouldn’t hang up on you to take another call, you can’t expect him to hang up on someone else to take yours. We’ve known Tyler a very long time, and there’s nobody more dedicated to customer service. He returns every call as soon as he can. But you do need to give him a chance. If you do, he’ll take amazing care of you, and you’ll end up with the best awning replacement available.

  2. Just stop by Tough Top Awning – Tyler and his crew are great. Fixed a couple of Hardware problems and replaced all three of our toppers. Five stars.
    Will see you guys in Quartzsite

    1. That’s great to hear, David! But no surprise, of course since Tyler and his crew are awesome. We can’t wait to see the progress they’ve made on the new shop, and we’ll look forward to some Quartzsite time this winter.?

  3. Hi guys, just a question regarding slide toppers awning. Is it possible to add a metal case cover to existing toppers?
    If yes, do I need to shorten the original or the spring loaded tube would accommodate the “extra” length, leaving enough room for the aluminum case, once folded?

    1. Hi Nick! That’s a great question, which we don’t recall hearing before. We’re not sure they sell the metal wrap alone, which could be an obstacle in itself. As far as installing a wrap is you can get one, we bet it’s possible, but we’re going to defer to the most expert person we know on this topic – Tyler from Tough Top Awnings. We’d suggest that you contact him directly by e-mail at or on by phone at (360) 980-0537‬. He’s on Pacific Time, so you might even catch him this afternoon, before the weekend. Be sure to tell him we sent you, and of course if you’re buying replacement fabric, be sure to use the RVGEEKSROCK discount code (even over the phone!) to get 5% off. Hope he can help.

  4. By any chance are there pictures of slide toppers without the metal protector? Mine appears to only have access at the point of the gutter down spout which is about four feet away from the actual slide

    1. You can absolutely slide the topper the four feet along the track on the side of the RV. If the downspout is blocking the end of the track, you may need to remove it before the fabric can slide all the way out. It’s exactly the same as one with a metal wrap, actually, except that the fabric continues all the way to the RV.

  5. This is my next project! We have slides that are allowing water in and for the life of me could t figure out how we’d trouble shoot it without days at the shop hoping they’d figure something out.

    1. That’s great Cindy! By coincidence, we’re here at Tough Top Awnings this week shooting some new videos about replacing window, door and patio awnings. Make sure you get your discount on new slide topper fabric by using the “RVGEEKSROCK” discount code when you order!

  6. I want to add slide toppers to my slides. I can’t find any instructions on how to measure each slide and order the correct item. (I need more than the fabric, I need the slide topper mechanism; the whole kit and kaboodle).
    Do you have instructions on how measure a slide to order the correct topper?

    1. We don’t have any experience adding a topper to an RV that didn’t already have one, since both of our RVs came with them from the factory. But we did some Googling and found some information. The measuring process is different for each of the two brands: Dometic and Carefree of Colorado. So first you’ll have to narrow it down to which of the two you’d prefer (we generally prefer Dometic to Carefree of Colorado… but that could just be because we’ve only ever had Dometic brand awnings & toppers).

      From what we can find, Dometic recommends the following: Measure the room edge to edge and add 6″, then round to the next longest even half foot (60”, 66”, 72”, 78” etc.). When they say to measure the room, they mean to include the outer flange, not just the width of the roof of the slideout (see page 3 on their Installation Manual here).

      For Carefree of Colorado, they say you can measure either of two ways: from outside edge of flange to outside edge of flange, or measure the width of the slideout roof top (open the room to measure). Then you can use charts like these at PPL Motorhomes for the SOK II (no protective wrap) or SOK III (fully-enclosed) model slide toppers.

      Either way… it would probably be smart to identify which brand & model slide topper you plan to buy, then Google for the installation manual for it. That way, you can confirm the measurements they recommend to be sure you order the correct size.

      Hope this information helps! Let us know how you make out.

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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 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.
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