FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FROM TOUGH TOP CUSTOMERS
Tyler is the primary person that answers the phones and returns calls. On average we get over a 100 calls a day and while on phone calls we will get 3 to 5 more calls, we return calls in the order that messages are left.
I want to add a Flexible weather guard to my existing awning. Is this possible?
Questions we get all the time is about the springs and spring tension in either a main pull-down patio awning or an electric patio awning.
On a main manual pull down patio awning you have 2 springs. A free spinning spring on the left-hand side and a locking spring on the right-hand side. Each spring has 8 rotations turned away from the coach when it is upright and all rolled up.
Each spring has 14 rotations turned away from the coach when it is deployed and all the way unrolled. An A&E Dometic electric main patio awning has a free spinning spring on the left-hand side and a motor on the right-hand side.
The spring tension is the same as a manual awning with 8 rotation all rolled up and 14 when its rollout out, and nothing on the right side except a motor. A typical Carefree of Colorado electric patio awning has no springs in the roller tubes and the end caps are just screwed on with no springs to deal with.
Are there 2 types of end caps that require pinning in different spots? The answer is YES.
The different style end caps as seen in these photos has a small hole in the very end and not the outside.
Using a backwards rivet and getting the small hole at 12 o'clock you can insert the backwards rivet into the hole and lock that spring in place before proceeding with removing the bolts to unroll the fabric.
The end cap on our SOK 3 doesn’t look like the one in your video. Where do you take out the screws in order to remove the cover over the roller tube?
This end cap without the screws is secured with a push pin system. Instead of removing screws you just push the pins in with a straight pick and while it's in, pull the cover clear of the end cap. Click to see photos. PHOTO 1 PHOTO 2 PHOTO 3 PHOTO 4 PHOTO 5
My end cap doesn’t look like the one in your video for replacing the fabric on a Carefree of Colorado Kover 3?
You have the Ascent package. This type of end cap doesn’t have screws to remove. It has push pins.
SEE PHOTO HERE
The red arrows indicates where you will use a straight pick to push the spring loaded pin in. While it's pushed in, rotate the cover away from the end cap.
Why is water pooling happening to me?
This is a design flaw many coach owners share and a fix isn’t always easy. The first thing is check to see if your roller tube has a bend in it by measuring the distance of the roller tube from the edge of the slide to the center of the roller tube at the ends and the middle. Even a quarter inch bend can cause sagging. You can either replace the roller tube, and what's to say it won’t happen again? Or for a quick fix I use 3M insulation foam tape under the fabric on the metal of the roller tube where it is bent. This will help add pressure to affected area.
This picture (CLICK HERE) confirms that the water is pooling right next to the roller tube. It shows where water is collecting on the topper and putting downward pressure on the fabric causing the roller tube to bend in the direction the red arrow is pointing, causing your water back up.
The white arrow shows the water staining deeper in the center where the roller tube is at its weakest point.
This has more than likely developed over the years and put a permanent bend in your roller tube making this that much easier with a better fabric.
Increasing spring tension should alleviate some of this but not all, as your only solution would be to replace the roller tube. And what is to say with such a deep and long slide out, that it wouldn’t happen again?
The only way to fix this is to raise the channel on the coach side and this isn’t really a good option for most RVers.
Why does every supplier of Main Pull Down Patio Awnings ask me to measure inside center pole to center pole when Tough Top Awnings does not?
Everyone else has their products pre-made overseas and they are made to a 6 inch increment. If you tell them you have an 18 foot awning they will give you 17' 6". We are not going to tell you what you need as all awnings differ in size. Instead, you tell us what you need and we will make it here in the United States to the size you need, in just a couple of days, out of quality USA parts and labor.
Oh No!!! I have lost the spring tension in my slide toppers. Now what?
With your slide all the way out, add 13 to 15 full rotations to the roller tube before installing your new fabric as you can’t add spring tension to it after you install the fabric. Note that you want the spring tension in the roller tube to be tight but not so tight that it feels like you could lose control of it with 2 hands on the roller tube.
Why don’t we sew the edges of our exposed fabric?
#1 We don’t need to. The only reason someone would sew the edges is if they are afraid their fabric will come apart or rip.
#2 You don’t want the edges of your fabric to be rigid on the side. This allows the middle of the fabric to billow in the wind, causing unnecessary noise. You want your fabric to move unilaterally with the wind.
How do I measure? Or can I just give you the model numbers?
Unfortunately, model numbers would only help us if we needed to order new hardware. When measuring the roller tube that the fabric can lay on from one side to the other, either inside the end caps or from the inside of the black cap, make sure to subtract 1.5” to give you a 3/4” clearance on each side. This will be the measurement we will need to know to cut your new fabric custom for your slide topper. When it comes to the depth of the fabric, measure the depth of the room from the side of the coach to the outside of the slide, or if the slide is in just measure how deep it comes out from the inside. This is the only measurement we will mess with. We will add on extra fabric depending on how wide it is versus the depth to give you maximum spring tension with the appropriate amount for wrap around. All other fabrics are cut to the same depth and this consideration is not given, it is just a practice of mass producers that we avoid.
On our patio awning, we don't have the small hole in the left side to stick a screwdriver in like the videos show. What do we do?
If you don’t have the small hole you will have a channel that runs the length of the roller tube on the side of the end cap that is also used to install a new pull strap. I stick a long thin screwdriver in this channel to act the same as a stick in the wheels of a tire to prevent the assist spring on the left side of a patio awning from unwinding before I remove the fabric and hardware from the side of the coach.