Measure, Order & Replace Your RV Slide Topper

TheRVgeeks Awnings & Slide Toppers, Repair, Replacement 10 Comments

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!

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!

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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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.

Comments 10

  1. 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. Post

      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.?

  2. 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. Post

      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.

  3. 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. Post

      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.

  4. 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. Post

      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!

  5. 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. Post

      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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