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How to Install RV Slide Out Awning: 8 Simple Steps

Written by Philip Lopez

Fact checked by Paul Lemaire

how to install rv slide out awning

Your slide-out room is an important part of your RV for extra legroom and comfort, so it’s only right that you protect it from damage. Putting a slide-out awning is the best way to keep the rain and other elements out. But do you know how to install RV slide out awning properly?

Well, it’s quite simple with a slide-out awning kit, a few tools, and an extra hand. You’ll need to secure the awning well, so it stays put and provides maximum protection.

Let’s dive into the details below.

What You’ll Need

rv-slide-topper-installation

  • RV Slide Out Awning Kit – It should come with all mounting brackets, screws, and awning rail.
  • Electric Drill and drill bits – Use a cordless model, so you won’t be limited to moving around. Besides, a screw gun is a good alternative as it works almost like a power drill.
  • Silicone Sealant And Lubricant – Many prefer to use butyl tape with a fast-drying formula and no residues.
  • A tape measure
  • A pencil
  • A metal file
  • A screwdriver
  • A ⅛- Inch Hex Key Wrench for screws with hexagonal sockets.
  • A step ladder

Some steps of this installation may require an extra helping hand. For example, you need someone to hold the other end of the awning rail when screwing the fastener holes.

Step-By-Step Instructions

installing-slide-out-awnings

Step 1: Determine The Proper Location

Place the awning rail along the area where the wall and the roof converge. More specifically, 3-6 inches above the slide room T-molding where the RV slide out covers.

Make sure that the awning rail is even and parallel with the upper portion of the slide room T-molding.

Once you have identified the proper location, mark it with a pencil.

Step 2: Apply Sealant

Put sealant or butyl tape to the back of the travel trailer slide out awning rail to make it watertight.

Secure all fastener holes with the provided screws, ensuring that the awning rail and wall are properly aligned.

Slide toppers for RVs typically have long awning rails. In our case with the Carefree slide out awning installation, it’s about 16 feet, so make sure to ask someone to hold the other end. This way, it will be easy for you to screw the awning rail with a power drill.

Step 3: Put Together The Extension Rod And Cap

Slip the extension rod into the end cap. Make sure to align the fastener locations. Next, use a power drill to secure it with the supplied self-tapping screw.

Do the same steps at the opposite end.

If you’re installing slide out awnings with access plates, proceed to Step 4. If not, apply a sealant to the back portion of the rod bracket’s screw holes to get a stronghold.

Position the support arm bracket underneath the T-molding at the slide out’s top corner with a screw, then proceed to Step 6.

Step 4: Install The Access Plates

Mount the access plate just right under the T-molding, getting as close to the top corner of the slide-out as you can. You can also install the access plates on the T-molding itself, putting one at the bottom edge. Try not to go over the corner mold.

Next, apply silicone or butyl tape on the back of the access plate, then fasten it with the provided screws.

Repeat the same steps for the installation of the other access plate at the other end of the slide-out.

Step 5: Install The Access Brackets

For the proper RV slide out awning installation, you have two options here- go lower or higher.

  • A lower position means sliding the access bracket with the first extrusion from the top for regular clearance.
  • If you like additional clearance, install the access bracket on the second extrusion for a higher position.

However, if you installed the access plate on the T-molding, you have no choice but to use the lower position.

Regardless, slide the access brackets onto the access plates at opposite ends of the slide-out.

Step 6: Prepare For The Fabric Installation

First, prepare the awning rail for the fabric installation. Use a screwdriver to slightly enlarge the awning rail at either end. Next, file any sharp edges to prevent tearing the fabric during installation, then spray the interior with a silicone lubricant for a smooth installation.

For the next step, you might need an extra hand to hold the assembly on the other end.

Step 7: Install The Slide Topper Assembly

 Once preparation is done, get the roll of fabric and unfold a small portion. Feed the fabric’s poly cord through the awning rail channel and one of the extension rods into the access bracket. Pull the extension rod fully into the access bracket until the extension rod’s opposite end can slide from the other end seamlessly.

The slide topper should be centered over the slide room to get maximum protection coverage. Measure properly with a tape measure, then secure the extension rods onto the access brackets with the provided screws.

Step 8: Relieve Tension And Cover

Give the roll tube a little turn to minimize the tension. Try removing the spring clip to release all the spring tension. Then, gently release the roll tube and position it carefully.

Slip the access bracket screw cover into the grooves to hide the screw holes. Make sure that the cover is aligned into the grooves and level against the bracket. Finally, secure the fabric with hex head screws and make sure that it’s square on the roll tube when the slide room moves.

To give you an insight into how the RV slide topper installation is done in easy steps, watch the follwing video.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to install RV slide out awning, you can keep your slide out room in top shape. Make sure that you get the right dimensions for your awning kit and the proper placement in your RV. Also, this job is impossible to be done alone, so ask someone for assistance.

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