From time to time, when we run across a common problem with a slide topper assembly we try and disseminate this information to groups and members who own particular model coaches or manufactured parts. This post is for those of you who own Carefree SOK III slide topper assemblies.
We are finding in the field during our inspections at rally's the center bolt on the end caps are working loose. Some of our customers are reporting to us that they also are finding these bolts backed out during their own inspections. The incident rate is so high that we are taking this step to let our fellow RV'ers know by posting this problem here.
These bolts working loose creates a severe safety hazard. One of our customers just recently had his bolts work loose, the end caps then pulled out far enough for the torsion spring to unwind which allowed the fabric to unfurl. This occurred during travel and the wind caught the fabric and pulled the entire roller tube free destroying the assembly in the process. Thankfully it landed on the roof and he was able to stop before his coach or any vehicles near him were seriously damaged.
We are recommending to our customers that they check the center bolts on their end caps if they in fact have Carefree Model SOK III assemblies. If you are not sure what model Carefree assembly you have simply look at the end caps. If there are numerous bolts on the end then you have an SOK III model. If you have one screw in the center then this is the older style SOK II model. If your coach has Carefree topper assemblies and it was made during or after 2007 then you have the SOK III. For those of you with a 2006 model coach then you will need to check your end caps to see which model you have. 2006 was the transition year and some 2006 coaches made it off the lines with SOK II and some with SOK III.
Some of our customers are going to a slightly longer bolt and using BLUE Loctite on the threads. PLEASE be aware you CANNOT remove these bolts without first pinning the torsion spring in place. Failure to do so will result in the torsion spring violently unloading and possibly breaking.
We hope this info helps several of you and prevents any accidents and injuries. As always we will try and answer any questions you may have and assist you with any problems.
We wish you safe travels and may you all have an enjoyable spring/summer traveling season.
Stone Vos LLC
Stone Vos Inc