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How To Replace Dometic/A&E RV Patio Awning Fabric

How To Replace Dometic/A&E RV Patio Awning Fabric

NEW & EASIER TECHNIQUE! We’ve learned a new and improved (EASIER!) way to do this job. Watch the new video here!

UPDATE: Tough Top Awnings now offers a special discount for RVgeeks viewers. Use Discount Code “RVGEEKSROCK” at checkout (or on the phone) to get 5% off your entire order!

Our favorite type of DIY RV project is one that’s both surprisingly manageable and also saves a lot of money. Replacing your RV’s patio awning fabric fits that description really well. A confident DIY RVer with a couple of friends can handle this job just fine, saving well over half the cost of having it done at an RV shop. If you thought that replacing your old vinyl main awning was out of your league as a Do-it-Yourselfer, watch this first and you just might change your mind!

We know that a lot of people are afraid of “The Spring!” on an awning, but under the personal guidance of Tough Top Awnings owner Ray Oberreuter, we saw how the whole process was really manageable.

We purchased slide topper replacement fabric a few years ago from Tough Top Awnings. When we opened the box, it was immediately obvious that it was superior to the original fabric (double-stitched, very tight weave and noticeably thicker) and also less expensive than OEM replacement material. Their main patio awnings are no different. Excellent quality at a great price.

Ray was very responsive when we had questions during the ordering process and obviously takes pride in making a superior product at a lower price. When we decided to replace our bedroom slide toppers last year, it was a no-brainer to order from Tough Top Awnings again.

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Sunday 25th of June 2023

I’ve just found your site and am enjoying your commentary and videos and I’m wondering if you have any recommended resources for changing out slideup Windows to something with a crank knob or handle?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank You,

Gary Arntz

Tuesday 13th of June 2023

I have watched many vidios showing haw to replace new fabric on a Dometic/A&E manual Awning. They all show inserting an awl, nail, etc. in the hole on the lt hand endcap. My awning does not have a hole for this procedure. If the awning control lever is engaged in the locked position on the rt hand side can one remove the left end cap without the spring unwinding?


Tuesday 13th of June 2023

Hi Gary. Good question. Unfortunately, the answer is no... just setting the awning control lever to the locked position won't stop the spring from unwinding when you remove the left end cap. If you don't have any hole available to pin the left-hand side... you may have to revert to the "official" way of replacing the fabric, which involves unwinding and removing the spring (then re-tensioning it when reinstalling... pay CLOSE attention to the direction it is UNwound so you can REwind it the correct way). Here's the original video on that technique:


Monday 7th of May 2018

Really old video - but still accurate! Tough Top Awning is great, thick material, and the installation is easy if you have the basic tools and some help. I also didn't have hole to lock rear spring, but 1 person was able to hold tension on it until we got front spring back on.


Saturday 28th of July 2018

i stuck a screwdriver in my strap slot and let it res agasinst the arm to hold the tension on the back side...


Monday 7th of May 2018

Thanks, J! The video may be a bit old now, but lucky for all of us, Dometic/A&E hasn't really changed the design of their awnings over the years... so these instructions still apply (for the most part, since you've already found one design change with not having a hole to use to lock the spring... glad you were able to work around that and still get the job done)! Hope you love your Tough Top awning fabric as much as we do! Safe travels!

Patrick, Dianna, Kaylah Talburt

Friday 31st of March 2017

This video really helped us out! A storm destroyed our awning and with the help of your video I was able to fix it myself. I mean DESTROYED our awning, it broke the lower support arm, snapped our awning tube in half. Luckily the campground we were working at had a bone yard of spare used parts. Sincerely The Talburts

Henry Stempien

Wednesday 8th of June 2016

I am planning to replace the fabric on my A&E Domentic 8500 porch awning very soon. I watched you video how to replace awning, etc and have a question. The video advises to remove the plastic or rubber cap on the left side of the roller and then place a screwdriver to hold in place. After looking at mine, there is no cap nor a place to put a screwdriver, etc to hold the left side. Am I to assume that there is not a spring on my left side of the roller? Any help would be appreciated. My roller was mauufactured on June 2012.


Saturday 28th of July 2018

I had same issue, I stuck a screwdriver in rear pull strap hole and let it rest against arm...worked fine for me...


Saturday 9th of July 2016

Henry, How did this turn out? I am in the same situation.


Wednesday 8th of June 2016

Hi Henry! Sorry to pass the buck, but for this one, we're going to refer you to the guru of awning fabric replacement, Tyler at Tough Top Awnings. If you give him a call, he'll be happy to help you figure out the best way to proceed. His number is 360.980.0537 and he's on West Coast time. Be sure to tell him the RVgeeks sent you... and that we said hello! Please let us know how you make out.

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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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