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Old 01-14-2015, 10:40 PM   #1
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Slide toppers

I bought a new fifth wheel, and when I purchased I asked about putting toppers on and sales said they weren't worth the money. Could in get some advice on this matter?
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:06 PM   #2
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Most times when this question comes up, people say they are glad to have them - mainly to keep debris off the top of the slide so you don't have to sweep them off before retracting. The main downside folks mention is that they can be noisy in high wind conditions, and they can be. The very ends can flap briskly in a strong wind and almost sound like a vibration. In 9 years of full-timing, it has seldom been a problem for me. I guess one other downside is the eventual need to replace the fabric, but it can be a DIY job if you are so inclined.

If you are thinking of having them put on after the fact, the one piece of advice I always give is to make sure they are installed such that the fabric is at a downward angle to the outside of the slide. If the fabric is perfectly level, it tends to let water collect, both from rain and AC run-off.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:09 PM   #3
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The main possible issue is stuff blowing in underneath the topper. We have a full wall slide and I was unsure of how to blow stuff out. I ended up making styrofoam plugs to fit at each end. Seems to work so far. With the plugs in we have not had any topper flapping so has been quiet.

The 5er does not have toppers. I just go up and sweep the slide off. I know it is clean.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:15 PM   #4
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A friend I camped with all summer in AK would get a bath every time he pulled in the slide. Water pools in topper. My 5r is 20 yrs old never used them. I don't park under trees often, so I don't see much falling debris.
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:35 AM   #5
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A friend I camped with all summer in AK would get a bath every time he pulled in the slide. Water pools in topper. My 5r is 20 yrs old never used them. I don't park under trees often, so I don't see much falling debris.
Yes, if the toppers are installed so that the fabric has no slope, water will pool. The real solution is to NOT install them that way (or some newer models have a mechanism to create a "peek" in the topper), but all you have to do to keep the water out is to let the water run off before pulling the slides all the way in.

Having toppers installed in a less than optimum configuration, after a rain I will slowly pull my slides in maybe half way and the water will run off. No need to get wet - just know what the situation is and proceed accordingly!
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:39 AM   #6
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Had them on last RV, don't have them now, don't miss them, won't buy them again!
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Old 01-15-2015, 05:46 AM   #7
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In 23 years and 3 units. Never needed them. There's a lot of options for RVs that I do without and that way it's much less to maintain. Camping World catalog is full of stuff we do no need. Keeps the weight down to.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:25 AM   #8
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The only place that I need them is where I have to park in my driveway. When we purchased the '14 5er they were offered at a whopping $2100+/- which for the four slides sounded like a decision for me to continue climbing on the roof a few times a season to sweep the slides and also inspect the roof for damage.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:08 AM   #9
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I use a light leaf blower to clean off the slides. It is 110v, but there are battery blowers that would be good for boondocking. Although I don't have slide toppers, I would want them more for keeping the trailer cool while in the sun. I may install my own on this fiver or get them on the next unit.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by tkcas01 View Post
Most times when this question comes up, people say they are glad to have them - mainly to keep debris off the top of the slide so you don't have to sweep them off before retracting. The main downside folks mention is that they can be noisy in high wind conditions, and they can be. The very ends can flap briskly in a strong wind and almost sound like a vibration. In 9 years of full-timing, it has seldom been a problem for me. I guess one other downside is the eventual need to replace the fabric, but it can be a DIY job if you are so inclined.

If you are thinking of having them put on after the fact, the one piece of advice I always give is to make sure they are installed such that the fabric is at a downward angle to the outside of the slide. If the fabric is perfectly level, it tends to let water collect, both from rain and AC run-off.
+1 Couldn't have said better myself. I have liked mine very much.


Having toppers installed in a less than optimum configuration, after a rain I will slowly pull my slides in maybe half way and the water will run off. No need to get wet - just know what the situation is and proceed accordingly!


I found that I can eliminate any issue at closing by just raising or lowering the front jacks and let the water run off the ends, then return to level. Easy peasy.
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:34 PM   #11
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Had them twice on motorhomes. Never again. Lost one in transit (that was fun) and one parked to wind. Spent many a day in the unit with slides in due to high winds. Not bad in most motorhome configurations, but that can be very nasty in many fivers.

There is no need to get on the roof to clear the roof of a slide. Long soft cotton rope (like clothes line) as long as needed for your longest slide - - probably at least 40' long. Tie a big old soft bath towel in the middle of the rope. Throw the bath towel on the topper roof with an end of rope coming off each end of slide. Working in tandem with partner, or carefully by yourself, pull the towel end to end in straight lines starting tight at the body. Do not stand near the end of the slide while doing this.

To me, toppers are more bother than they are worth, especially when a squirrel or bird decides to make its nest underneath it. Happened twice. Interesting.

Bob
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:27 PM   #12
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Slide toppers

Our Motorhome has toppers. Also have a TT without. Prefer with. Keeps debris off the slide. Quieter in the rain. Don't have full confidence in the slide without topper keeping rain tight.
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Old 01-15-2015, 03:19 PM   #13
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I have own two fifth wheels both have had slide toppers. I would not own any type of RV without them. I for one do not want to go outside and sweep off the rain water in a down pour when bringing in the slides. I also don't want wet carpet and furniture from water that has pooled on top of the slides.

I have broken camp in the rain and brought the slides in during a rain storm more than once and every time I do I am glad that I have the slide toppers installed.

To prevent the flapping of the slide topper if that is a concerned you can place a beach ball under the topper between the slide roof and the topper. This will prevent the topper from making noise.

Jim W.
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:10 PM   #14
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Remember the wind blows from the side not downward. Added problems when having to clean it out. Freezing rain and snow building up on them when you have to get going the next day. More trouble than they are worth. I have them and wish I didn't.
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