A & E Slide Topper fabric replacement

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by redryder, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. redryder

    redryder New Member

    My A & E Slide Topper's are approximately three and one half years old. The fabric needs to be replaced. I have been told that replacing the roller tube assembly with a new one is about as cheap as replacing just the fabric. I would prefer to replace the fabric myself and save a few dollars. If anyone has accomplished this task and would like to share their experience via step by step instructions, I would appreciate hearing from them.


    Albuquerque, N.M.
  2. s.harrington

    s.harrington Senior Member

    Re: A & E Slide Topper fabric replacement

    When you get the fabric it comes with step by step instructions. I have noticed that the fabric on the slide toppers wears out fast and A&E doesn't seem to care. I've had to replace some still under warranty all for the same reason. :bleh:
  3. downtherabbithole

    downtherabbithole New Member

    Re: A & E Slide Topper fabric replacement

    My A&E awning fabric is just now on it's last legs after ten years of continual full time use out in the elements (I am semi permanantly in an RV park).
    The roller seems to have a tiny bit of a dip in it. I was quoted by an RV tech a price around $800 to replace the fabric and another $200 if I want the hardware replaced. :bleh: That's a lot of moooooola! I'm still thinking on it, will make up my mind by next spring.

    I've jsut bought a 100 ft roll of shade screen from Home Depot, 6 ft wide, at a good price compared to other places that sell it only by the foot.
    100 yds is a lot of shade fabric! :cool: I bought it without thinking seriously of what exactly I want to do, now more ideas are popping into my head. Originally I wanted to make only a front shade for my awning (attach it with RV light hooks to the awning roller). Now I think, when I get that done, I will make shade screens for both sides of the awning and then see if I can fashion one for the end of the trailer where the worst of the sun hits on this site.

    If I knew how and was physically capable of doing the job, I'd replace the awning fabric with another roll of this awning screen fabric.
  4. rlmurraysr59

    rlmurraysr59 New Member

    Re: A & E Slide Topper fabric replacement

    My A&E toppers did the same thing, delaminated and shredded. I called them and they wanted $245.00 for the living room slide and $160.00 for the bedroom. I thought that was a little steep. I live in North Carolina and on the road that goes to Myrtle Beach, SC there is a factory called East Coast Umbrella. They manufacture umbrellas and deck chairs for hotels, boats, etc. I contacted them about making new slide out toppers for my rig. I took the old toppers off and drove to the factory. I picked out an acrylic material that is guaranteed for 5 years to maintain it's water resistance and wear ability. They measured the old toppers, cutting off some of the excess that wraps around the roller, and made new toppers for me that coordinate with the colors of my motorhome.

    They charged me for both toppers what one would have cost OEM. And they look really nice.

    How did I get them off? I took some electrical tape and wrapped it around the handles on the rollers to protect them from scaring. Then I took a pair of Vice Grip pliers that have rounded jaws and fastened them to the end of the "T" shaped handle making sure that I put the pliers on the right way. So they would grip against the tension. I turned the spring tension back until the material was loose and fastened the Vice Grips with two heavy duty cable ties to the mounting rods on the slide out. This held the roller bar in place with the tension off the toppers. I removed the two screws in the gutters along side the roof and slid the topper material out. I fold it up neatly and took it to the Umbrella Factory. They laid it out on a table and measured it. Then they used the rubber beading from the old topper to sew into the new material. Plus they hemed the leading and trailing edges so that the material will not unravel even though it is ripstop fabric.

    After I reinstalled the new topper material I carefully cut the cable ties and let the roller wind the material around it using the Vice Grips for leverage. I checked to make sure it was straight and evenly distributed on the width and put new stainless steel screws in the gutter holes and took the Vice Grips and electrical tape off the handle. I am very happy with the results.

    If you want to check out the East Coast Umbrella Factory their website is: www.eastcoastumbrella.com or you can call them at (910) 462-2500. You can e-mail them at umbrella@alltel.net. They are located at 6321 Andrew Jackson Hwy, Laurel Hill, NC 28351.

    I did have one small problem when I reinstalled on my living room topper. Seems the end wasn't exactly matched up to the slot in the roller. So I used a Dremel tool with a cut off disk to grind the aluminum edge out a little and align the slot a little better. The new topper then went in with out a hitch.

    Good luck and hope this info is useful.

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