How to Measure for an RV Slide-Out Awning
Posted: November 02, 2021
How to Measure for an RV Slide-Out Awning
How do you determine which slide-out awning is the right size for your RV?
Perhaps this question isn’t the most popular topic of conversation around the campfire. But, if you’re like most RVers, when it comes time to ask this question, you’re stumped. Measuring your slide-out is actually very simple to do, but understanding that measurement can be tricky.
In this blog post, we’ll explain how to how to measure your RV slide-out awning. Specifically, we’ll cover how to measure for a Solera slide topper, but the principles can be applied to virtually all slide-out awnings. Once you have your measurement, we’ll also explain how to it to order the right replacement awning.
First things first, we need to agree on some terms.
The difference between fabric and awning
One point of confusion when purchasing a replacement for your RV slide-out is the difference between fabric vs. awning. These terms can be used interchangeably, but it’s worth noting that when it comes time to purchase, a distinction will be made.
Fabric refers to the actual cloth material of the assembly. It’s the cloth portion and not the brackets or rail components. Awning, on the other hand, refers to the entire assembly: fabric + brackets + rail components. All of these components make up the awning.
When you go to order, keep in mind that one measurement will refer to the fabric and another to the awning.
What is a slide-out flange?
Next, before you can properly measure your RV slide-out for new fabric, you need to know where to place the tape measure. Measure from the wrong spot and you might end up ordering the wrong size.
An RV slide-out flange is the part of the slide-out room that hangs off the edge of the frame. The flange (also known as T-molding or trim) provides a more seamless look for the slide-out, particularly when it is fully retracted into the RV.
And that brings us to perhaps the single most important thing to know when measuring your slide-out.
#1 Thing You Need to Know When Measuring
To correctly measure your RV slide-out for a replacement awning, the number-one thing you need to know is that the flange will be your point of reference. Namely, your measurement needs to be flange-to-flange, not wall-to-wall or anything else. You need to make sure your measurement is from the outer edge of one flange to the outer edge of the other flange.
How to Measure an RV Slide-Out Awning Step-by-Step
Step 1: Locate the slide-out flange
Start by locating the flange or trim piece of the slide-out room. The flange will extend out on either side of the room, and you’ll need to make sure you’re using this as your point of reference when taking a measurement.
Step 2: Measure edge to edge
Place your tape measure on the outer edge of the side flange. Here, it helps to have a friend hold the end in place! Pull the tape across the slide-out room and note the distance from one edge to the other. It is very important to measure from edge to edge, and not from the slide-out walls or the awning itself.
Step 3: Match your measurement to the fabric width
With your flange-to-flange measurement in mind, you can proceed to select your replacement slide-out awning. However, take careful note that there are two measurements to consider. One number refers to the width of the entire awning assembly, while the second number refers to the width of the fabric alone (see The difference between fabric and awning above). Your flange-to-flange measurement should match the fabric width on your replacement awning.
Don't Forget! The fabric width of your replacement slide-out awning should match the flange-to-flange measurement of your slide-out room.
Step 4: Verify your extension distance
One additional measurement to consider is depth or the maximum amount of distance your slide-out extends. Lippert Solera slide toppers extend out 48” or four feet. Doublecheck your slide-out extension distance before purchase to ensure proper functionality.
Step 5: Choose your awning color
Now the easy part! Lippert offers two color choices for replacement slide-out fabric: black and white. The choice is completely up to your preferences. Black can be more heat-absorbent, making it a good fit for temperate regions, while white reflects the heat, making it better for hot climates. Both colors are made from tough, high-quality fabric to stand up to the elements.
Example Slide-Out Awning Measurement
Let’s say Joe RV Owner needs a new slide-out awning. First, he takes a measurement of his slide-out room, following the steps above and measuring from the outer edges of each flange on either side. The distance is 6 feet, 1 inch.
Next, Joe goes to Lippert.com and selects a Solera slide topper that’s 6 feet, 6 inches wide with a fabric width of 6 feet, 1 inch. Because the fabric matches his flange-to-flange measurement (and his slide-out room extends up to 48”), Joe has selected the right replacement.
Joe then selects the white color option because he wants to deflect as much sunlight as possible in his hot climate. He places the order, receives his new awning in a timely manner and lives happily ever after.
Solera Slide Topper Size Chart
When ordering replacement fabric for your slide-out awning / slide topper, it may be helpful to look through our Solera slide topper chart. This chart lists out all variations of fabric, including the various sizes and the corresponding part numbers for both black and white color options.
Keep in mind as you browse this chart that sizes vary depending on the year that your slide topper was manufactured. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Support Team.