We love taking care of as much of our own RV maintenance, repairs and upgrades as we can. But some projects are more satisfying than others. Just about everything we do ourselves will of course save money over paying a tech to do it, but our favorite projects are those where we can actually do a better job ourselves.
The most rewarding of all are those that initially seemed beyond our abilities, but turned out to be really easy once we knew how.
So our number one favorite DIY RV project is: replacing slide toppers!
The first thing most RVers might think of when it comes to slide toppers is: The Spring! The fear of that spring is surely the single biggest factor that would lead a perfectly handy person to pay double or even triple the cost of doing the job themselves. And the worst part is that the OEM material that most shops use will lead to the same inferior quality that caused the early demise of the original fabric in the first place.
We’ve replaced several makes and models of slide toppers, both on our own motorhome and for friends. One model that we’d never worked on before is the Carefree of Colorado SOK III. Since it’s fully enclosed, it’s hard to know where to start dismantling it, so most RVers are afraid to touch it.
We visited Ray & Tyler, who run Tough Top Awnings, at their new production facility in Vancouver, WA, where they not only showed us how new slide toppers are made, but how to install new fabric on the dreaded SOK III. It turns out that it’s one of the easiest of all! And Tough Top Awnings fabric is far superior to OEM at a fraction of the cost. We purchased our first replacement fabric from Tough Top over three years ago, and it’s still absolutely like new.
We’re excited to announce that Tough Top Awnings now offers a special RVgeeks discount on all orders. Visit http://www.toughtopawnings.com/ and use the Discount Code “RVGEEKSROCK” when you check out online (or over the phone) and get a 5% discount on your entire order.
Even if you have a different make or model slide topper, this video is a great look at the process.
Our other detailed how-to videos on slide topper and awning replacement and installation can be seen here:
- How to Replace an A&E Slide Topper
- How to Replace an A&E Patio Awning
- Replacing a Carefree of Colorado, Model SOK II
- How To Install an A&E Window Awning
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