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Old 01-03-2014, 12:17 AM   #1
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Slide Toppers vs Wind Gusts

Any words of advice to a newbie regarding slide toppers in wind gusts? I'm sure many of you have had inclement weather during your trips, and the wind blowing through the toppers makes you nervous, or at least it does me. Retracting the slides under certain conditions, such as strong wind gusts seems prudent, but then you end up cramped like a can of sardines for the duration of the storm. Anyone have manufacturer suggestions or specs regarding strength of wind gusts that require slide retraction to avoid damage, or any words of advice would be appreciated.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:53 AM   #2
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I don't think there are any published or recommended specs, at least not that I've seen. My experience is that generally anything over 25mph constant fabric will start stretching. Sudden gusts greater than that can bend mounting hardware, even the roller tube. Others discuss using ropes and various other things to hold the slide toppers down until the storm subsides - I feel that's frivolous and in most cases could cause more damage than simply bringing the room in until the wind subsides. During periods of heavy snow or rain I occasionally bring the room in and back out to prevent either from pooling on the toppers.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:54 AM   #3
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Some reading .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisKW View Post
Any words of advice to a newbie regarding slide toppers in wind gusts? I'm sure many of you have had inclement weather during your trips, and the wind blowing through the toppers makes you nervous, or at least it does me. Retracting the slides under certain conditions, such as strong wind gusts seems prudent, but then you end up cramped like a can of sardines for the duration of the storm. Anyone have manufacturer suggestions or specs regarding strength of wind gusts that require slide retraction to avoid damage, or any words of advice would be appreciated.
Till other chime in as this has been discussed a lot here before....here is some reading for you to look over https://www.google.com/search?q=slid...2.com&x=32&y=9
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:48 AM   #4
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94-Newmar stated the general rule that most of us use. Over 25mph bring in the slides. When you start hearing a lot of flapping, you are chancing damage. I am not going out to tie down those toppers either. When you realize how much those things cost, you can put up with a little cramped time rather than risk it. Also I bring mine in if it is going to rain or snow then freeze. Ice forms on the topper that won't allow you to bring in the slide without major damage to the topper. You can sweep off snow but if it has gone above freezing at any point there will be ice on there.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse89 View Post
Till other chime in as this has been discussed a lot here before....here is some reading for you to look over https://www.google.com/search?q=slid...2.com&x=32&y=9
Thanks, very good reading indeed!
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:46 PM   #6
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I wish I had read this a bit sooner. I just bought a 1999 Fleetwood Bounder 39z, the slide topper was in need of replacement when I bought it. A week or so ago high winds popped it lose from the MH. Today with high winds the topper had unrolled and was beating against the side and by the time I got home the roller had come lose at one end. Hopefully it isn't too damaged, I'll either take the roller down for now or reattach it.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:34 AM   #7
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This is why I decided NOT to have slide toppers on my Dutch Star. Don't have to worry about wind gusts, has never leaked in 4 yrs. of fulltiming. On occasion I've had to sweep off a twig or two, but it's never been a big deal. Just never liked the idea of having to get up in the middle of the night to bring in my slides.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:22 PM   #8
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We've seen float noodles installed under slide covers to stop the flapping. Those floaty thingies have almost as many RV uses as duct tape.

Noodle uses:

Keeping slide covers from flapping in high winds...check.

'Bumpers' for keeping heavy objects in compartments from moving around.

Split lengthwise and slid over windshield wiper blades during storage.

Protection for exposed wire bundles or plumbing from chafing or shifting objects.

Split and covering those, 'I knew that slide edge was there, but bashed my head on it anyway', sharp edges.

Patio awning braces...ditto.

Three foot sections place in a few accessible locations for the DW to whack you in the head for forgetting to installing the noodles for the last two items = after she ran into one or the other.

And, as a personal floatation device for those of us afflicted with 'negative buoyancy' but do not have the energy to tread water on a really HOT day while holding a beer.

I'm sure there's other uses...
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmdovie View Post
I wish I had read this a bit sooner. I just bought a 1999 Fleetwood Bounder 39z, the slide topper was in need of replacement when I bought it. A week or so ago high winds popped it lose from the MH. Today with high winds the topper had unrolled and was beating against the side and by the time I got home the roller had come lose at one end. Hopefully it isn't too damaged, I'll either take the roller down for now or reattach it.
This happened to us in Death Valley several years ago when we were camped at Furnace Creek Ranch RV Park and they were forcasting winds of 30 mph. Pulled the main awning in and during the night the winds got up to about 60 mph and did a job on the 10 year old toppers.They did some tearing,but didn't come apart. The next day as we were leaving and headed south doing about 35, the MH took a gust of wind and almost stopped. Several cars in front of us were blown all over the road and when I looked in my mirror,I saw the main awning just unroll. I was able to pull over by the resort and get up there and fasten it back together with muffler clamps. While doing so,an employee of the resort came over to help and told us that the gusts had gotten as 75 mph just then. OOppss..
Well my insurance did cover the whole thing under comp,both toppers and the 19' awning.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:38 AM   #10
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I pull my slides in if high winds imminent.
The PO of my coach related to me he lost the bedroom topper in a storm.
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:30 PM   #11
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So what do you do if the slide toppers unroll while driving down the road? This happened to us yesterday driving through New Mexico. Winds were a steady 20-30 mph, but out of no where, 60-70 mph gust comes up. Suddenly, the topper is unrolled and acting like a sail. We pull over, put the slide-out out and back in, but the topper is not tight due to the constant wind. We finally made it to a rest area and pulled in next to a big rig trucker and were able to get it wound tight. I also went up and put bungees around both ends.

But what is the best way to keep this from happening in the future?
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:31 PM   #12
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As a long time sailor, when the winds get strong enough so that I think to myself..."maybe I should reef (reduce the amount of sail due to strong winds) pretty soon"...it IS time to reef. Same for slide toppers. When I think it's time to consider bringing in the slides...it IS time to bring them in.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
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We've seen float noodles installed under slide covers to stop the flapping.
How do you use noodles for that purpose?
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:22 AM   #14
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How do you use noodles for that purpose?
On a lot of coaches, the gap between the cover and the top of the slide is only maybe a couple of inches. They're just slipped under the cover. I imagine it works pretty well on the shorter slides. We just bring our slides in during high winds. We also never leave the main awning extended if we leave the campsite.
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