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Old 01-20-2010, 02:43 PM   #1
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Slide Topper Wind Damage

We're currently in the middle of those nasty California storms and set up in Sacramento. I was late pulling in my slides and now clearly have a problem. A gust got under the slide topper on my road side slide and it billowed up like a parachute. I pulled the slide in and now the topper is just violently flapping around in the wind. It's just too crazy out there right now to even think about trying to take a closer look or further action.

So, any ideas what kind of damage I'm going to be looking at when this mess finally clears? Is there a shear pin that may have let go or am I looking at having the fabric or entire unit replaced? The vinyl doesn't seem to be torn yet.

The topper is an A&E and I believe is 14 feet long.

Thanks in advance... as always.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:01 PM   #2
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That is a good point.... At what wind speed should the slides be pulled in to prevent slide topper canvas damage or any other wind damage to slides?

Side Note: Someone told me they saved a lot of heating propane by pulling in the slides during severe cold.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:50 PM   #3
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Hi Rick,
I had a topper fabric ripped off by a tornado. The bottom line is that I was able to reattach the topper. It still works fine. The part of the fabric that came undone was the plastic tube inside the slot next to the coach. I think it got a gust of wind and the plastic tube was pulled out of the slot.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
At what wind speed should the slides be pulled in to prevent slide topper canvas damage or any other wind damage to slides?
I don't think there's an accurate guideline.

I've brought my slides in when a severe storm was forecast and once when I felt the wind was blowing too hard.

It's a judgment call.

In Gary's case, the tornado snuck up on the RV park and they couldn't react fast enough as it was suddenly upon them.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:24 AM   #5
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My street side slide topper will occasionally billow when I am driving down the road and the wind is blowing from a certain direction and over a certain speed. I have found that I can stop it by using a small bungee cord. I wrap it around the tang that sticks out at the front of the awning. This keeps it from unrolling. Just remember to take it off before deploying the slide.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:02 AM   #6
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If the slide was retracted in high wind while the topper was still billowing, it may be that the anti-billowing lever may be stuck against the side of the coach. This would prevent the topper from properly rolling up. When the wind dies down, try putting the slide out just slightly. If the topper doesn't quickly roll back into position, you may have a broken spring inside the slide topper tube.

Keep me posted.

Bill
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Doug Sage View Post
My street side slide topper will occasionally billow when I am driving down the road and the wind is blowing from a certain direction and over a certain speed. I have found that I can stop it by using a small bungee cord. I wrap it around the tang that sticks out at the front of the awning. This keeps it from unrolling. Just remember to take it off before deploying the slide.
You should have an anti-billow arm on the topper. As far as I know Winnebago has had them on the A&E toppers for years (my 2004 has them). Maybe it's not adjusted properly?
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:21 PM   #8
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Had the same winds up here at Beale. Nasty storm.

Our rule is, if the national weather service is forecasting gusts above 30 mph I pull in the slides. I hate having to get up in the middle of the night to pull the slides in so I don't have to listen to the toppers slapping on the top of the slide out. And I would prefer not having to spend money to repair them. Seems like a no-brainer to me, re-arrange a few items in the coach and push a button.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:21 AM   #9
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Each rig/topper will be different.

If the forecast is for gusts over 50 or sustained winds over 35 we bring in our big slides only. We've never felt like we had to bring in the bedroom slides (all 4 slides have toppers; 3 of which have the automatic "tent" pole).

BTW, we've been sitting in So. Nevada (Pahrump) through these storms without a problem and only one night had to bring in the big slides.

Also, we do release the window awnings in these winds.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:29 PM   #10
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Thanks all for the insights. To wrap this up, I had California Mobile RV come to my site for the "repair in the rain". Inside of an hour they had taken the topper apart and "popped" it back in. I watched as they unstuck something which had been stuck and it went back in like a window shade released too soon. Nothing was broken but it was a $300 lesson on when to retract my slides in bad weather!
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:19 PM   #11
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Where were you staying in Sacramento- we go to that area a lot only south of there in Rio Vista. How long did it take for the repair guys to come out?

Thanks, Drew
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:53 PM   #12
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We actually stayed at Cal Expo and really like it because it's so close to everything and right on the American River bike trail preserve and plenty of room for the dogs to roam off leash. We could bike all over to our hearts content.

I'm from that area and bought my coach in Roseville so I called my dealer. He put me in touch with the guys at Calif Mobile RV. I called them Wednesday about 4pm and two guys were at my site Thursday at 11am. They were each on a ladder fighting with a 15' topper in the pouring rain. Their bill included a "one time" $99 charge for coming to your site but if you need them for anything else anywhere within their service radius of about 50 miles, they waive the charge. Technically they say it's only for calls within 90 days of each other but I got the impression they are pretty liberal on that.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:24 PM   #13
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Best move I ever made was takng the toppers off the slide outs. What they are good for or suppose to be good for is beyond me. I no longer have the noise when it's windy and don't have to think about running the slides in. The birds don't have a place to build a nest.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:37 PM   #14
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I should have mentioned that the Cal Expo RV Park is (like many fairground campgrounds) basically a parking lot with hook ups. I'd be sure to get a site in the "gravel" section since the paved section is very sloped. It was kind of cool being only about 100 yards from the first turn of the track for harness racing. About four nights per week there are races and every morning you can watch the trainers work the horses.
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