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Old 10-07-2020, 09:17 AM   #1
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Replaced all four slide toppers - My experience

I have a 2008 tiffin phaeton 40' with 4 slides
Slide toppers are Carefree SOKIII
The inboard seam failed on one topper completely
The other toppers had issues
I ordered 4 new from Stone Vos in Florida
My research said their the best. Toppers fit exactly, seemed well made.
Double seams and UV proof thread
My grandson and I replaced all four in less than a day
I did significant research to understand it
We used the method of removing the roller bar and putting the topper onto the roller bar on the ground then sliding the topper into the RV track
Had to tighten the spring on a couple of slides
This isn't rocket science or advanced mechanics
Most people with reasonable mobility and mechanical skill, can do this themselves
It would have been difficult without my grandson to assist
FYI
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Old 10-07-2020, 04:54 PM   #2
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im just wondering here.. the topper material preferred by many is like the awning, or solid fabric. then theres the clear veiw camp that prefers the net style .. what say you?? the netting protects against same branches ect but fabric holds moisture n rain can freeze overnitein puddle even in desert if ya leave in morning. i my self prefer not hold water.
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Old 10-07-2020, 05:19 PM   #3
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Wet environment most suggest vinyl. I went with the stonevoss vinyl. Very happy with them. Installed them alone. Definitely would have been nice to have help.
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Old 10-07-2020, 07:52 PM   #4
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We’ve got one messed up, and we are just going to replace them all so they match. Guy doing the work recommends Sunbrella. Says it won’t stretch as much as the Carefree vinyl we have now. The big slide on one side always gets water pooling on it, and that is what probably led to the failure. We tried to remember to empty it after a big rain, but ...
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Old 10-07-2020, 08:08 PM   #5
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We had a vinyl topper fail along the seam on the coach side after about 5 months. I removed it and repaired it with super glue and then hand stitched it with a sewing awl. I used a 3 step zig zag pattern because I thought a straight line might make a "tear here" perforation. A friend and I were able to leave the roller in place and just slide the fabric out and back in again. It was pretty easy to do.
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Old 10-08-2020, 08:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UTTransplant View Post
Weíve got one messed up, and we are just going to replace them all so they match. Guy doing the work recommends Sunbrella. Says it wonít stretch as much as the Carefree vinyl we have now. The big slide on one side always gets water pooling on it, and that is what probably led to the failure. We tried to remember to empty it after a big rain, but ...
Check out stonevoss. Great quality and fantastic people to work with. I believe a 10 year warrenty on the acrylics like you want.
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Old 11-28-2020, 12:27 PM   #7
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Hey Folks, TOTALLY new to 'Toppers', so I need some help.

We are thinking of buying a rig that needs all four toppers. The rig is a 2005 Newmar Mountain Aire 4304.

I'd like to get some help with the following questions:

1. How much do you think it'll cost to purchase the toppers and related equipment (brackets....other stuff?) for four of them and install myself?

2. Can I do it by myself or should I plan on getting someone to help? Pretty handy and can fix most things.

3. Which ones are the BEST and which ones are the BEST VALUE? Again, I know nothing about them, and reading through this short post some folks have recommended "Stone Voss" vinyl, are they the best? *Note: Just read through their literature and they certainly sound like a solid company. I just called but they're closed until Monday.

4. Here's the BIG question...will we get rain inside the RV without toppers? We're here in Melbourne Beach and up to the last couple of days, we've had LOTS of wind and rain and I was always wondering if any of the other folks here with slide outs (we have none) needed to pull in their slides due to the rain and wind. So if we buy this and can't get toppers made very quickly, will we have to always pull in the slides when it rains? THAT would hilarious! I mean, here we are complaining about not having any slides, and then when we go buy a rig with FOUR of them, we'd have to pull them in each time it rained? HA! Talk about ironic....

5. Just thought of this...color, does this matter? Is one better than the other? I was thinking white just because of the heat issue, but I 'think' I see black more than white? Or do you get something to match the rig?

So yeah, I guess that's it. I'm getting the feeling it's not a big deal nor too expensive, so maybe I could take off 1K or so off the price of the rig to get the toppers installed. Thoughts?

Oh yeah...anything else I didn't think to ask? Let me know please.
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:02 PM   #8
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If the slides are properly built and sealed, and the surround seals are in good shape, you shouldn't need toppers to keep water out.
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
If the slides are properly built and sealed, and the surround seals are in good shape, you shouldn't need toppers to keep water out.
THANK YOU! That's good to know! We are heading over tomorrow to look at this rig and I'll be sure to inspect them carefully. The last thing we want is an RV with LEAKS!

Think I'll start another post about this rig and what I should be aware of over in the Owner's section.

Thanks again folks...YOU ARE THE BEST!
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:34 PM   #10
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TriMoot: With you being in Florida slide toppers also keep your RV cooler. Slides have no insultation so the shading helps.

Typical rains/winds doesn't affect slides and water getting inside... IF the slides are properly sealed. On a Newmar you should have no issue but the seals on older rigs may need replacing after years of being exposed to the elements; especially if they weren't maintained. We always used 303 Protectant on any rubber. You'll be able to see if there are serious cracking issues.

Extremely high winds leading to hurricane/tornado strength? Bring in the slides.
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
TriMoot: With you being in Florida slide toppers also keep your RV cooler. Slides have no insultation so the shading helps.

Typical rains/winds doesn't affect slides and water getting inside... IF the slides are properly sealed. On a Newmar you should have no issue but the seals on older rigs may need replacing after years of being exposed to the elements; especially if they weren't maintained. We always used 303 Protectant on any rubber. You'll be able to see if there are serious cracking issues.

Extremely high winds leading to hurricane/tornado strength? Bring in the slides.


Awesome, thanks for the input!
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:20 AM   #12
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I have black toppers and would stay with that color because white ones look like crap in no time. We have black upper edges to our awnings for the same reason.
We do not bring our slides in unless the winds get above 30 mph ro so. The vinyl ones with the square reinforcing pattern do not tear easily.
The reason to have toppers is to keep debree off the slide and out of the seals when you bring them in and also to protect the upper seals from UV degredation. Slides should not leak without them, but they do keep a lot of water away from the seals.
As far as cost, ball park $400/per topper if you have them done. It will take 2 people and two ladders about 30-40 minutes each if nothing goes wrong. Watch one of the many u-tube videos before you tackle the job.
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teamfoxy View Post
I have black toppers and would stay with that color because white ones look like crap in no time. We have black upper edges to our awnings for the same reason.
We do not bring our slides in unless the winds get above 30 mph ro so. The vinyl ones with the square reinforcing pattern do not tear easily.
The reason to have toppers is to keep debree off the slide and out of the seals when you bring them in and also to protect the upper seals from UV degredation. Slides should not leak without them, but they do keep a lot of water away from the seals.
As far as cost, ball park $400/per topper if you have them done. It will take 2 people and two ladders about 30-40 minutes each if nothing goes wrong. Watch one of the many u-tube videos before you tackle the job.
Yup, the guys who replaced our toppers did it in 20 minutes each or less, 2 people, 2 ladders. Then again, they do it every day, 5-6 days a week. I was impressed. Total cost for all 4 of my toppers was $1100, custom fit Sunbrella fabric with a 10 year warranty on material and a free ďtighten them up if need beĒ. Of course that was in Alabama where labor costs are less than most places. I like the look of them.
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Old 12-06-2020, 07:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriMoot View Post
Hey Folks, TOTALLY new to 'Toppers', so I need some help.

We are thinking of buying a rig that needs all four toppers. The rig is a 2005 Newmar Mountain Aire 4304.

I'd like to get some help with the following questions:

1. How much do you think it'll cost to purchase the toppers and related equipment (brackets....other stuff?) for four of them and install myself?

2. Can I do it by myself or should I plan on getting someone to help? Pretty handy and can fix most things.

3. Which ones are the BEST and which ones are the BEST VALUE? Again, I know nothing about them, and reading through this short post some folks have recommended "Stone Voss" vinyl, are they the best? *Note: Just read through their literature and they certainly sound like a solid company. I just called but they're closed until Monday.

4. Here's the BIG question...will we get rain inside the RV without toppers? We're here in Melbourne Beach and up to the last couple of days, we've had LOTS of wind and rain and I was always wondering if any of the other folks here with slide outs (we have none) needed to pull in their slides due to the rain and wind. So if we buy this and can't get toppers made very quickly, will we have to always pull in the slides when it rains? THAT would hilarious! I mean, here we are complaining about not having any slides, and then when we go buy a rig with FOUR of them, we'd have to pull them in each time it rained? HA! Talk about ironic....

5. Just thought of this...color, does this matter? Is one better than the other? I was thinking white just because of the heat issue, but I 'think' I see black more than white? Or do you get something to match the rig?

So yeah, I guess that's it. I'm getting the feeling it's not a big deal nor too expensive, so maybe I could take off 1K or so off the price of the rig to get the toppers installed. Thoughts?

Oh yeah...anything else I didn't think to ask? Let me know please.
TriMoot,

Not sure if you ordered the material yet but I too was going to pull the trigger on purchasing the material from a well known company and then my wife suggested to look on Amazon and glad I did. I purchased this Solera Universal Slide Topper... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MSM26L0...p_mob_ap_share. I paid around $150 and Iím able to replace all 4 of my slides twice with the amount of material it came with. I had help from my son in one afternoon and they look amazing. Plus I got to spend quality time with my son - A Win Win!
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