Slide-out rooms tend to be in the rear of the RV, and they can accommodate various configurations such as sleeping quarters, dining rooms, and bathrooms. However, these slide-out areas are prone to damages if you do not do an RV slide topper installation.
With that said, you are now left wondering, how to install RV slide out awning? First, you need to gather the essential materials and tools, such as an awning rail, the RV slide out covers, and a basic set of tools.
Then, make sure that the mounting brackets are secure. That way, the travel trailer slide out awning will not fall.
At first, the process might look relatively straightforward. But be wary as missing some important details can make you commit costly errors. Keep reading to know more about the things you will need for this project and how to complete it efficiently.
Table of Contents
What You’ll Need
In certain cases, the RV slide out installation should only take about 2 to 4 hours. But before you start, acquire the measurements for the RV slide out awning installation. Remember to measure the entire length and depth of the flange.
The awning should extend at least 2.5 inches in either direction. Check out the following list of some slideout widths and their compatible awning sizes for your reference:
- 56 to 61.5 inches: 66-inch awnings
- 75 to 68 inches: 75-inch awnings
- 25 to 74 inches: 78-inch awnings
- 25 to 80 inches: 84-inch awnings
- 25 to 86 inches: 90-inch awnings
After getting the ideal measurements for slide toppers for RVs, you can proceed with gathering the other important pieces of equipment for the project. These items include the following:
RV slide-out awning kit: With so many options for RV slide out awnings, it can be challenging to narrow down your search. By keeping certain factors in mind, you can limit your options and arrive at a clear purchasing decision.
Aside from the size of the awning, you should also consider the fabric’s construction. Two popular options that are also quite durable are acrylic and vinyl.
Take note that these two fabric options have their distinct pros and cons. For example, in many cases, vinyl is more water-resistant compared to acrylic. On the other hand, acrylic is cooler than vinyl.
You can also check out the product descriptions and owner’s manual of specific slide-out awning kits.
For example, doing a Carefree slide out awning installation might mean that you need to comply with distinct setup instructions to make the awning fit properly.
Stepladder: Many RVs are tall vehicles, which means that you need a stepladder in installing slide out awnings. It is because you need to attach some parts near the roof of the rig.
You can easily pick up a stepladder from a local hardware store. But purchasing the wrong model can increase the risks of accidents.
Therefore, make sure that the ladder has a fairly sturdy construction. It should have no problem carrying the weight of an average-sized adult.
Search for stepladders made of aluminum or fiberglass as these materials tend to outshine others in terms of durability. You may also buy steel ladders, although these options tend to be more expensive than other models.
Other tools: Aside from the awning kit and stepladder, you need to have the right handheld tools for the project. Some of the equipment that this task requires are:
- Clear sealant
- Drill (and the right drill bits)
- Pencil (to mark placements for the holes & the rail)
Make sure that these items are within your hand’s reach while you are doing the RV slide out awning installation. Otherwise, it is also a good idea to have someone nearby to give you the items when needed.
Before you start, make sure that you have the items nearby and accounted for the job. Check if you need additional screws for the job. Otherwise, you may need to return to the hardware store to buy extra screws.
After that, you can start with the installation process. Make sure to follow each step accordingly. Avoid getting worked up and hurrying each step. Otherwise, you might commit some costly mistakes.
Step 1: Mount the Brackets
Mounting the brackets is the first step to install an RV slide-out awning properly. The surface where the mount will go should have enough framing or thickness for the brackets and screws to adhere to.
Do not skip this inspection first because aluminum or fiberglass skins must hold well onto the mounting hardware. Then, align the brackets to the inside edges of the flange’s top and side room areas.
Coat the surface with your preferred sealant. But pay attention to the mounting holes. Consider sealing these areas after you put in the screws to avoid water leaking into them during rainfall.
Also, you may need to use a stepladder for this step. Large campers, motorhomes, and fifth wheels tend to have a height of 10 feet or over. However, if you have a smaller travel trailer, a stepladder might not be necessary.
Step 2: Mount the Roller Tube
After the brackets are securely in place, you need to mount the slide-out awning’s roller tube.
With the help of a flat-head screwdriver, open one end of the rail slightly. Again, do not be hasty and apply more force than necessary. Clean the rail if it is dirty, and spray it with silicone lubricant.
Next, unroll a bit of the awning’s fabric from the tube. Slide that small amount of the fabric into the awning rail while ensuring that it stays in the center. If it has some slack, roll the extra fabric back into the roller tube.
Get the end-cap in the roller’s tube right side. Also, use one pan-head screw to hold the roller tube’s end-cap. Do the same rolling procedure for the other end.
Step 3: Secure the Slide-out Awning
The last step is to secure the fabric onto the slide-out bracket. Do this step by positioning both the fabric and roller tube until both items are at the center of the slide-out.
Secure both end-cap arms to the mounting brackets. Use two pan-head screws to affix both end-caps on both ends. Start the process from the bottom so it is easier for you to catch the top end if it falls out.
Remove the locking pin with the spring mechanism from the roller tube. The fabric should be rolling straight back into the tube. Test the functionality of the awning by opening and closing it a few times.
Finally, use another pair of screws to secure the roller attachment to the rail.
Did you like this guide on how to install RV slide out awning? Share with us your thoughts in the comments. Also, make sure to share this article with other RVers that may need help in installing their slide-out awnings.
In summary, make sure to purchase the items needed for this project, such as an RV slide out awning kit, a ladder, and some basic tools. Next, stay patient when installing the fabric, especially when unrolling it from the roller tube.
Practice diligence and patience. If done correctly, you can now enjoy your fully functional RV slide-out awning.
Hi, I am Tom Hank, an RV-er since 2014. Back then, I started without much help. As you can imagine, the struggles are endless. But now, you do not have to begin your adventures knowing next to nothing about RV lives.