frequently asked questions
1.) Why do my slide toppers sag?
There can be several causes of slide toppers sagging, but the three main culprits are a weak tension spring, improper tension setting, or stretched fabric. This is very true if your toppers are made from Sunbrella fabric. The quickest and cheapest fix is to re-tension the spring. If this does not eliminate the sagging issues, then replacement of the spring and/or fabric would be your next two options.
2.) My slide toppers collect water in the center. How can I eliminate this problem?
To be perfectly honest, there is no cheap or quick fix to this issue. Not even new topper fabric will eliminate this problem. The main issue is in the design of the slide topper assembly and mounting points. They were designed and installed creating a near flat surface with little pitch to encourage runoff. We have done extensive tests and studies with numerous engineered topper fabric prototypes and were unable to eliminate this headache. It all goes back to the topper assembly being poorly designed and installed without enough pitch to create run off.
3.) Is topper and window awning fabric easy to replace?
We would not label this job as easy, but it surely is not technically difficult. Anyone who has a little mechanical ability and is physically able to climb ladders or work from the roof of their RV can do the job. One must be aware that there are a few dangers involved, with one being working from heights of 10 feet or more. The other danger is the tension spring. One has to be extremely careful to not lose tension on this spring. A large percentage of our customers do their own installs, and we provide instructions and technical support via phone and e-mail with each order. In most cases, our customers do a better job then some RV techs because of their patience and taking their time to ensure the job is done correctly. Our customers know we are only a phone call away if they get stuck and need technical help.
4.) I want new window awnings, but I’m concerned about color matching. Do you have factory colors available?
Yes, we carry almost all OEM colors. Regardless of the year of your coach, almost all factory colors are still available. We have an excellent reputation for color matching and maintaining color tone continuity. We work closely with our customers to get an exact match. We also help our customers select colors according to their coach’s color scheme if they want to do go with different fabric colors.
5.) How can I extend the life of of my awnings and slide toppers?
The life of acrylic fabric can be extended by proper cleaning, keeping harsh cleaning soaps off the fabric and by treating with 303 Fabric Guard. Remember that 303 is the only protectant recommended by the majority of fabric manufacturers. All others contain either silicone or petroleum distillates which can both cause damage to your fabric by stripping the factory applied finishes (please see our section on care and cleaning).
In regards to our Migliore vinyl fabric, simply cleaning them and periodically treating them with 303 Protectant will help preserve them for years of service.
6.) Some of your competitors offer custom depth fabric. Should I consider this?
We are aware that some of our competitors cut down their fabric to the depth of the slide. We do not recommend this. The vast majority of factory slide topper assemblies are engineered for and come with spring tension presets for 44 inches of depth of the fabric. There are many reasons for the manufacturers sizing their fabric to 44 inches, but two important reasons are fabric stability and to prevent fabric creep on the roller tube. There is a myth that extra rolls of fabric shortens the life of springs. This is just a myth. What shortens the life of springs is poor metallurgy by the manufacturer, as well as corrosion and rust. The vast majority of after-market topper makers who do shorten the depth do so to increase their margins and by getting more toppers out of their rolls of fabric that come in wide widths. Providing our customers with 44 inch widths also gives you the ability to reverse your topper in the event of damage or heavy staining. The reversing of our toppers is easily accomplished because we sew double wide polyrod pockets versus sewing the polyrod into the fabric. It should be noted that Girard toppers are custom cut to exact depths. There is also a slide depth on certain Tiffin motorhomes that require extra fabric. If you have a Girard or Tiffin motorhome, please contact us directly.