Tuesday, January 23, 2018

DIY Replacing Dometic or A&E Slide Out Awning (Part 1)…

With our RV closing in on being 11 years old it was time to replace our Slide Out Awning Covers. Two of them had started separating along the seam and while here in Bonita one of them finally tore through on a particularly windy day. After pricing replacement material and reading reviews there was one company that stood out – Tough Top Awnings.

After reading the product information I decided to buy the 15 oz. fabric.Next I needed to figure out what brand of slide toppers I currently had. I was told by Tiffin I could find a label on the covers but the type I had were covered on the outside by a metal casing. So I hit the web to search photos of slide toppers and at last determined that mine were Dometic or A&E Slide Toppers.

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However, I wanted to be sure so I searched the web for how to take off the old toppers. On each end of the metal casing are two hex head screws that needed to be removed. Then I had to remove three screws from the center bracing. The center bracing actually is what holds down the casing and once the center bracing was removed I was able to twist and lift upward the casing to take it off.

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With the casing off the slide topper was exposed and I finally found a label which verified I indeed had Dometic or A&E Slide Toppers. Now all I had to do was take the measurements as Tough Top Awnings instructed on their web page. Then I ordered the new fabric. Since it would be a while before I would receive the new fabric I went ahead and took off all the old fabric so I would be ready to install the new fabric when it arrives.MVIMG_20180122_122903

With the black casing removed I used a pair of vise grip pliers designed for removing oil filters I ordered from Amazon. By turning the roller tube I was able to release the tension on the old fabric. After each turn I inserted a nail or ice pick through the end of the roller tube to keep the tube in place as I released more tension. I continued doing this until I released all of the rolled up fabric and exposed the end of it.

Before I could remove the old fabric I needed to remove the screws in the ends or channel on the side of the RV which held the fabric in place so it couldn’t slide about. Then I cut the tape that was on each end which held the fabric inside the groove on the roller tube. Now the old fabric was ready to be pulled off. I slid out the old awning fabric. It did take a mighty tug to initially get it to move but once freed I was able to slide it off relatively easily.

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Now all I have to do is wait for the new awing material to arrive and I can finish the write up on installing new slide topper awnings on an RV. In the meantime we have been enjoying ourselves here in Bonita Springs Florida and were particularly happy to see the Manatees come back up the Imperial River. After all of the tree damage caused by Hurricane Irma many wondered if they would be able to make it back of the river. We are glad they did and I will end this blog with a few pictures of these manatees…

NOTE: We are now in our winter home until March 1st in Bonita Springs Florida at Imperial Bonita Estates RV park and Coop.

7 comments:

  1. Nice to get that slide to[[er material replaced and you will be good for many more years.

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  2. Filing this one away and waiting for your install post. We had ours replaced professionally and should have seriously considered whether it was a DIY project. Looking forward to Manatees. Great that they are right in your river.

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  3. Good information, hope I neverhave to use it:)

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  4. I know you will enjoy your new toppers!! They should last a good while!
    Love the manatee!! Glad they returned!!

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  5. Your rig certainly does not look 11 years old. You take very good care of it.

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