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Old 03-07-2016, 10:20 AM   #1
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Slide Topper Collecting Water

We just purchased a Forest River Cascade TT, 27ft. We had the dealer install a slide topper which I believe is 10 or 12 ft. Sorry I did not measure it. It extends over the dinette and the sleeper sofa. We have had the TT two weeks. The first week home we opened it all up in our driveway and pretended to camp, just to test everything out. Well it rained, we noticed that the slide topper collected a fair amount of rain on it. We had to draw in the slide to get the water off the material which you could tell was stretched out quit a bit. So we also had a leak in the bathroom sink so we had to take it back to the dealer to fix the topper, the sink and there was a cap missing on one of the chairs in the living area. The repairs were done and we picked the TT up on 03/05/16, the invoice says: "Customer states topper needs tension adjustment, CAUSE: Slide topper not properly mounted, exterior repairs, inspected and verified. Found two of the slide out brackets were pulling loose from the slide out. Found excessive putty tape was used behind the brackets causing poor tension in the slife topper. Loosended the brackets and removed the putty tape as needed. re-installed the slide topper brackets with new hardware and resealed them using clear caulking. Reinstalled the roller tube and retensioned the slide topper. Inspected and verified proper operation".

MY Question: Is is normal for slide toppers to collect water like this. I think not. I think it will stretch out the material and damage the topper. Water is heavy.

I think I need to go back to the dealer.

My other question is has damage been done to the TT with repeated screws to the TT. We are new to the TT scene. We need some seasoned advice. Thank you.
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Old 03-07-2016, 10:30 AM   #2
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Cant speak to your specific rig or the type of topper installed but water collection on toppers is a common issue. Often the design of the RV side-wall and the slide dont allow for significant slant on the topper so water collects and the material sags, trapping more water. Second, on longer toppers, as the material starts to sag, the middle portion of the topper roller is pulled inward, allowing for more material to sag and collect more water. Generallly speaking, "proper installation/topper location" will help but tightening the tension on the roller will not help much to over come poor slant or distortion of the roller. Some owners stick "stuff" [eg, pool floats, balls, etc] under the topper to keep the material from sagging but that is a pain....
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Old 03-07-2016, 10:31 AM   #3
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easy to rectify; take a piece of Styrofoam 8 to 10 feet long and about 5 - 6 inches square and slide between slide and bottom of the awning that way the foam holds the awning up and the water runs off.

store inside when travelling and use when stopped.

good luck

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Old 03-07-2016, 02:28 PM   #4
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It happens! When I've had puddling water, I just retract the slide to allow the water to drain off which only takes a few minutes. It doesn't happen that often unless you hit a real rainy stretch.
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Old 03-07-2016, 03:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbwr View Post
It happens! When I've had puddling water, I just retract the slide to allow the water to drain off which only takes a few minutes. It doesn't happen that often unless you hit a real rainy stretch.
That is the best solution IMO.
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Old 03-07-2016, 04:05 PM   #6
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I've seen people with small blow up beach balls and they put them under the topper. But they need to be small so you don't stretch the fabric.
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Old 03-07-2016, 04:39 PM   #7
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Contacted Dealer

So I contacted the Dealer we purchased the TT from. Now remember this is only 2 wks old. We haven't even been out camping yet. I told them that there was a very large pool of water on the topper this morning and when my husband went out to pull in the slide I could see the material all stretched out rolling up inside. But we had to leave it because it was raining. The tech who worked on our trailer said that there was in fact a problem with the original installation of the slide topper from the manufacturer, he began to explain to me what had been installed wrong at the factory when I told him that in fact the dealer had installed the topper. It was after market install by his service center. Then he told me that there are brackets that the manufacturer installs within the slides where a topper has to attach and if those brackets are installed incorrectly from the manufacturer then any slide topper will never fit correctly. He thinks that is what we are dealing with. Not that the Dealer's Service department installed the topper incorrectly which is what the service ticket says, but that the manufacturer installed the mounting brackets incorrectly.

He was going to check with another technician and get back to me. That was about 3 hours ago. I will patiently wait for his call back.

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Old 03-09-2016, 10:14 AM   #8
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Hi everyone, I want to thank each of you for taking the time to read my post and offer advice. The tech called me back and said that they need to adjust the tension again. I was not comfortable with that answer, so I emailed the manufacturer. Carefree of Colorado responded saying that water pools on all slide toppers and that I should retract my room when it rains. Hahahaha, not in the PNW, so I guess we go with slipping something under the topper. I think we are going to order a couple inflatable wedge pillows and see how this works.


Again, I deeply appreciate the input and suggestions. I am just really frustrated with the topper being installed improperly the first time, and with paying the price we pay for our enjoyment and then to encounter these problems. Dealers act like you are Kings and Queens when they want that sale, but once the sale is made, you are nothing but chopped liver. That is how I feel with this Dealer. Well we do love this TT and can't wait to get out and enjoy time with family and make new friends.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:55 PM   #9
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Having had slide toppers on previous TT, and not on my fiver, I really don't miss them.
It really sounds odd that the brackets were were 'installed incorrectly'--he is just making an excuse for the defective original install which they themselves did.
However, you can NEVER get enough tension on the fabric to stop all sagging--it is just gravity pulling on something not well-supported. There is some type of tension adj available to take some of the sag out as time goes along. As mentioned above, just run the slide in far enough to dump the water, or place something under it so the water will drain instead of pooling.
On the humorous side--when I had my wife run the slide in first time after a rain and I was going to wipe the wet leaves off as it rolled up--it was a very dampening experience...
Joe
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:51 PM   #10
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Funny

Thanks Joe, that is a funny story.

We will make due and I am sure we will have many enjoyable outings ahead.
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:41 PM   #11
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So our slide topper situation has continued to get worse and worse. To the point that even a light rain will fill the slide material with water almost from end to end you can see the ends pulling in and the material rests on the top of our slide. Not good, if we try to retract the slide you can tell it labors because of all the weight, so we need to remove water before we try to retract the slide. When we are finally able to roll in the slide, the topper material rolls up so uneven you can see lumps and ridges all along the roller. When we are able to put the slide back out, you can hear the material ripping apart from itself as it was stored wet and has sat for a couple days or more. Then the material lays on top of our slide. So.................I went back to the dealer and told them we were NOT pleased. There are a couple issues here, we were told that the cost of the slide topper would be split 50/50 with us and we were billed $650.00 for the Carefree of Colorado topper. These toppers do not cost $1300. I was bounced around the dealership until I was finally connected to the General Manager. I told him, we first complained about it after we had it less than a week, the service department noted that it had been improperly installed and in fact the brackets were pulling away from the mounts on the side wall of the trailer. At first he wanted to fix the current topper, then he wanted to replace with another Carefree, I held firm to wanting a new topper installed and wanting a Dometic product which was on our previous TT. After an afternoon of thinking and "checking things with service" he finally agreed to replacing the topper with the Dometic. I really think the current problem with the Carefree is 50% product, and 50% installation problem. Hopefully this will be taken care of soon and we will be happy. I hope installing a new topper will not compromise the side of our new trailer.
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