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Old 09-28-2016, 03:24 PM   #1
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Slide topper tension

Has anyone attempted to adjust the spring tension on the toppers? I have two that are sagging and hold water when it rains. Any advice or helpful hints would be appreciated.

Ralph 2005 Alpine 40FDQS


2005 Alpine 40 FDQS, 2011 Chevy Equniox, Ready Brute Elite Towbar, Ralph & Debbie with Sassie & Shelby
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Old 09-28-2016, 05:28 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure you'll have to remove the topper material to tighten the tension by turning the roller against the spring tension. I replaced all of my toppers which resulted in some increased tension because the length of the new toppers was considerably less than the originals.

The procedure I used was to open the slides and use screwdrivers to turn the rollers. The end cap has a couple of slot openings where you can insert a screwdriver and turn the roller. It's similar to adjusting springs on a garage door. You can hold the roller in place by resting the screwdriver on the mounting bracket.

You'll also have to start by removing the unfurling stop device at one end and replace it once the adjustment or material replacement is done. They need to be re-installed at the "11" or "1" O'clock position in reference to the respective side of your coach. You just have to drill new holes as necessary.

Bob Bowers (Surprise, AZ)
2003 Alpine Coach 40' FDTS
2014 Jeep Cherokee Lattitude
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Old 09-28-2016, 05:36 PM   #3
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Lots of info on the forum about this issue. Depending on type/brand of topper, you can adjust tension. Basically involves removing rivets or screws at end of topper roller and adding more tension using a screw-driver as a pry bar to hold spring in place. Sort of like setting tension on a garage door--though not as dangerous or scary!!!!

Overall problem with most brands of topper, especially those mounted on long slides, is that they allow the middle of the topper roller to sag in toward the coach. This allows topper fabric to gather more and more water as roller and fabric continue to sag under the weight. Generally speaking, adding more tension to the roller doesn't keep the middle section from sagging. Most solutions involve putting things like swimming noodles, balls or other objects under the topper fabric to eliminate the mid-point sag.

PS--A contributing issue with the toppers on most Alpines is that the geometry between the top of the slide and the roof line doesn't allow for enough slope to get the water to shed rather than pool.
Old Scout
2003 40' MDTS
Garden Ridge, Texas
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:41 AM   #4
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You are spot on Old Scout, I have the same problem with my newly replaced long top-
per, street side. The permanent solution, (take it from an old sailboater) is to remove the topper, take it to a canvas shop, and have the roof side boltrope re-sewed with about a 1/2" curve in from straight, running from end-to-end. This will remove the sag in the middle. The best way, is to have the canvas guy observe the sag in person and let him determine how much curve to sew in.
Dudley DoRight, 2006 Apex 40 MDTS
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Old 10-02-2016, 04:13 PM   #5
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