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Old 05-14-2015, 04:16 AM   #1
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How important is the topper on slide outs?

Even some of the top RVs don't have them, while others do. I suppose they are an option for all. But are they important and why? Do you feel they are a must to have, or only on cheaper models maybe? What sayeth thee?
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:42 AM   #2
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You will hear multiple views.
For me, I would not buy a unit without them. They keep the stuff off the slide, which means I don't have to climb on a ladder to clean it off, essential for me.
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Old 05-14-2015, 05:59 AM   #3
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We had toppers on the slides on our previous motorhome, but we don't have them on on the 5th wheel we have now.

Slide topper pros
Slide toppers keep water and debris off the tops of the slides. When we pull in the kitchen slide of our current 5th wheel (which does not have slide toppers) during or immediately after a rain, a small amount of water sometimes runs off the top of the slide and makes a small puddle on the kitchen floor. Fortunately, the floor is tile and we just wipe it up. It would be a different story if this happened in a carpeted area.

Slide topper cons
1. Slide toppers flap in the wind, which can be quite annoying - especially at night.
2. Slide toppers on larger slides can sag and accumulate water. I was always cleaning the dirt and algae stains off the 12' slide topper on our MH. The slides on the off-door side of 5th wheels tend to be much longer (ours is about 16'). If a 12' topper sags and holds water, imagine how much worse a longer slide will be.
3. It is likely you will have to replace the fabric on slide toppers every 3 to 6 years depending on how much of the time your slides spend in the extended position. The vinyl gets degraded by the sun and the flapping aggravates the tendency of the degraded vinyl to crack.
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Old 05-14-2015, 06:13 AM   #4
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We had a motor home with slide toppers that was thirteen years old when we traded it and the original topper fabric was still in good condition. We full timed in the motor home for seven years and I can only think of maybe three times that we pulled the slides in because of heavy winds and once when we got caught in a heavy snow storm.

We traded it for a 5th wheel without toppers and I ended up pulling out a ladder each morning we moved and had been under a tree to clean off the branches, leaves, acorns, pine needles...

Our new 5th wheel has slide toppers and we're very happy with them.
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Old 05-14-2015, 06:16 AM   #5
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I believe the slide top also provides shade on sunny days.
I do wish there was a solution to the ponding water, I am thinking of another turn on the spring to help some.
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Old 05-14-2015, 06:23 AM   #6
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I do wish there was a solution to the ponding water
There is. Use a beach ball.

Bruce
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:30 AM   #7
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It might depend on the slide system. Our slides do not have a flange on the end. There is a heavy wiper fixed to the coach that will push debris right off the end of the slide when bringing it in. That includes water and snow. Our Lifestyle is the first RV that I've seen with that feature. But our Lifestyle is like the earlier Carriage. I'm presuming that the earlier Cameo of which our Lifestyle is a copy has the same feature.


The negatives to a topper that I've experienced is snow pushing down on the topper preventing bringing in the slide. Then as others have mentioned the wind wipping the topper and you think you are going airbourne. Heavy rain could push down on the topper preventing bringing in the slide.


So, if I had the same slides as in the past, I would probably lean toward the topper and fight the negatives when they occure. But, it is a toss up.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:37 AM   #8
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:21 PM   #9
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It might depend on the slide system. Our slides do not have a flange on the end. There is a heavy wiper fixed to the coach that will push debris right off the end of the slide when bringing it in. That includes water and snow. Our Lifestyle is the first RV that I've seen with that feature. But our Lifestyle is like the earlier Carriage. I'm presuming that the earlier Cameo of which our Lifestyle is a copy has the same feature.
Wow, that is interesting and great to know.

And also, Lifestyle is a copy of Cameo? I wasn't aware of that, unless I just forgot. Do you mean a copy in design, or quality and efficiency? Or just in the way it works?
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:22 PM   #10
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Great answer, everyone. It seems my questions always inspire a debate.
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:36 PM   #11
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And also, Lifestyle is a copy of Cameo? I wasn't aware of that, unless I just forgot. Do you mean a copy in design, or quality and efficiency? Or just in the way it works?
Everything. Lifestyle picked up Carriage, hired its employees, used their design, floor plans, construction, everything. I don't know if they are built in the same facility though. The owners forum is called Carriage/Lifestyle. Carriage Lifestyle Owners Club & Forum • Index page
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:37 PM   #12
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I have had both, slide toppers are a must for me now. If the topper sags as one person mentioned. it's out of adjustment. If it flaps in a breeze, it is out of adjustment. Over 35 MPH winds, I bring the slides in, why stay awake all night listening to them and the chance of having them damaged.
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:48 PM   #13
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I had RV's with and without slide toppers.

They are not necessary.

One less thing to repair and replace.

I was once a big advocate. I changed my mind.
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:18 AM   #14
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I think a lot depends on what part of the country you are in.
If you are in the mid west or stay on the coast a lot, there will be lots of wind and they will flap a lot.
Here in the Southeast, we do not have as much wind but do have lots of trees and debris, we love our slide toppers.
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