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Old 12-11-2019, 10:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 8
Dometic A&E SlideTopper 86103FJ.351U Torsion Assembly Installation 2013 Tuscany 45LT

With an older thread, to which no more communication could be added, I had the same issue, but the thread was never completed, and it left me hanging with regard to the solution. I private-messaged the original poster, but in his response, he couldn't recall the solution, and he had since sold the motorhome. So, I am hoping to help someone in the future, because YouTube doesn't directly address this issue either: A wind gust completely lifted my 30' slide topper and broke both brackets from the slide-out. The torsion bars snapped at the ends, but the fabric cover was not detached. I was able to order both the left and right torsion assemblies from a very large, well-known internet source, for what I deem was a fairly good price of $95.85 each. Scour the internet for .pdf packets of installation instructions. They are fairly easy to locate, however, they are still not specific enough to having the topper still attached, but just needing to reinstall/reattach the brackets. You will learn that the torsion springs will need 13 turns on this model, in the correspondingly specified direction for the left and right side. MY QUESTION: Do I apply the 13 turns as if the slide-out was closed or do I apply the turns with the cover extended over the slide-out? This was where the other irv2 thread died off...in other words, the installation was much more difficult in terms of determining the correct installation processes rather than the mechanical installation or the strength needed. I called Dometic customer service, but, because this was a technical question, the person answering my call could not give me technical advice, she could only answer 13 turns. Two additional calls to independent rv repair companies couldn't help me come to a consensus either. I determined that IF I HAD PURCHASED a brand new slide topper, the torsion would be factory set, and the instructions recommended installation of the fabric to the motorhome with the slide extended out about six inches. So, I applied the torsion turns with the rolled up slide topper up next to the motorhome, slid in the provided cotter pins, and hand-unrolled enough fabric to allow me to install the roller onto the brackets. I didn't want to fully attach the horizontal bracket bars (securing them with screws) until I made sure the slide-out was going to operate properly. After a couple cycles, the performance was fine, but I should have secured the bars. Everything was fine doing it this way, but none of the screw holes lined up afterwards, so I had a lot of adjustments and fine-tuning to do (enter the use of the hammer) to get things lined up properly again. By the way...who the heck in Dometic's engineering department thought that three screws in each bracket were enough to secure a 30' topper??? You can sail a Clipper ship with the amount of fabric up there! In my research, I saw other brackets with five screws each, in the "w" pattern. Clearly, only three screws were not enough, so I pre-drilled two more holes, so that I could have a total of five screws per bracket.

I hope this helps someone with the installation of the Dometic 30' slide topper on a 2013 Thor Tuscany 45LT. I would still recommend watching the YouTube videos, especially from "RV Geeks." Even though most of the current videos are for the fabric replacement, some of the instructions are helpful and beneficial for this job, as well.

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Old 12-12-2019, 07:56 AM   #2
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Location: Upstate New York
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First of all, please, please don't make such long paragraphs. Us old guys have short attention spans

Fairly easy job but with a very long topper you will need a second pair of hands. I just had to add more tension to our 13 foot topper sinch I was aware that when I installed it, my helper unrolled it another turn by mistake.

- The first thing you need to do is to make a couple lock pins. I used about a 4" long piece of coat hanger with one end bent at 90*

- Roll the slide out about a foot. It makes a nice shelf which will be welcomed

- Next, you need to check if the spring has popped off the retainer by putting Vise Grips on the protruding 'axles'. If that spring turns freely, with no tension, it just gets a little more complicated. You will need to drill out the rivets, dig the retainer out (~18" inside the tube) then reassemble, using new pop rivets, 3/16" if I recall - one of mine needed that after being shipped.

- With the topper ready, you can lower it to the slide roof. With the Vise Grips, wind 14, not 13 turns since the topper is now partially unrolled. Wind in the direction shown on the instruction sheet. Insert that pin you made up in the factory hole.

- Install the new brackets on the 'axles', using the original 'D' safety pins.

- Bolt the brackets back on the slide then pull the coat hanger pins and you are done. DO NOT pull those coat hanger pins until you are 100% done with everything else

This can be a dangerous job. The springs are under quite a bit of tension and losing your grip on the Vise Grips can hurt you and damage the RV. It will also mean that you will probably have to drill out those rivets, retrieve the retainers and start all over.

Take your time!!!!!

Dave W along with my DW, Susan and our poodlepups, Callie & Molly,2011 Ford F250 6.7 CCLB, 5er Hitch Option w/B&W Hitch,,Ride Rite air bags, 2014 Montana High Country 343RL (38')w/disc brakes
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:55 PM   #3
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Thanks. I appreciate your input. Having solved my dilemma, my post was meant for the next soul who has to do this job, because there was nothing on the internet, ANYWHERE that shed complete light on my issue.
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