How to Replace RV Slide Covers

by Nicole Vulcan
Your RV's slide out cover might need to be replaced every few years.

Your RV's slide out cover might need to be replaced every few years.

RV slide out covers help keep leaves and other debris from settling on your slide out roof and ending up inside the RV when you retract the roof. Unlike porch canopies, which don't always get used, RV slide out covers get used every time you use your RV, and can get worn out in just a few years. If your RV slide out cover is torn or worn out, you can replace it with a new one fairly easily. To make the new one last longer, consider investing in a cover made from the thickest material with the tightest webbing.

Measure your current RV slide cover using a measuring tape. Order a replacement cover from a manufacturer of slide covers, such as Tough Tops or Carefree of Colorado. When you receive your new cover, read the installation instructions carefully, as each manufacturer has slightly different methods.

Open your slide out room to stretch the current cover out to its full length. One of the round "caps" on either end of your roller tube should have a hole in it. Find the hole and stick a cotter pin or other thin metal rod in it, to "lock" your roller tube and keep it from rolling up your current canopy.

Remove the old fabric from the awning rail that is on the wall of your RV as well as the roller tube that stores your fabric. Do this by removing the screws on either side of the awning rail and pulling out the old fabric from one end.

Use a metal file to smooth out any burrs or rough spots on your awning rail, so that your new fabric does not get torn. Clean out any debris in the awning rail using a vacuum cleaner, and spray a lubricant in the rail channel to allow your new cover to slide easily.

Slide the new fabric into the awning rail and the roller tube. It is best to have two people to do this job -- one to slide the new cover onto the rail and roller tube, and another to guide the fabric slowly to its new position.

Remove the cotter pin or other metal device from the roller tube to "unlock" it from its position. Close your slide out room and watch the new slide out cover to see that it is rolling up properly. When you are satisfied that your new awning is in the correct position, replace the two screws on either side of the awning rail, to keep the new cover in place.

Items you will need

  • Measuring tape
  • Ladder
  • Cotter pin
  • Drill
  • Metal file
  • Spray lubricant

Tip

  • If you have an anti-billowing device on your slide out cover (designed to keep the cover from unrolling during transit), you will need to remove it before removing the old slide cover.

About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

Photo Credits

  • motorcoach,motorhome,rv image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com