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When Should You Pull In The Slides


Aggie79-82a

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We've been full time in our first ever RV for about six weeks. Currently in Brookshire, TX at the Houston West RV Park. With all of the less than desirable weather lately, what is the full of thumb for when to pull in the slides. We have a 2005 Newmar Mountain Aire with four slides. Slide toppers on the driver's side long living area slide and both bedroom slides.

 

 

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We've only pulled them in a few times in 9 years. That was 60mph sustained wind gust and once during a tornado warning. A lot depends on how your parked in relationship to the wind. Also all those times were in our 5th wheel

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Before the big icicle forms along the edge from snow melting off your roof and freezing as it drips down the side of the slide.

 

Before the puddle of water on your slid topper freezes solid and rips off your fender trim when the slide comes in

 

Before your slide-topper tears from the wind gusts.

 

 

Too smart, too late... the story of my life.

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We never pulled ours in and they never leaked.

We should have pulled them in once when a hail storm blew in with golf ball sized hail though. It didn't hurt the roof or vent covers oddly enough but it pocked the slide toppers and the little pocks had holes in the bottoms.

Insurance paid for two new toppers (done at the Winnebago factory) and about $3500 in damage to our Honda.

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For us it was when the winds were likely to rock the rig or when hail was a possibility. We quickly learned we no longer like to be rocked to sleep; more likely to be rocked awake. Dave once got caught on a freeway ramp when hail hit so it got all four sides of his new car; we leaned to respect the damage hail can do. But do pull in any awnings long before you feel the need to pull in slides; awnings are much more susceptible to wind damage.

 

Linda Sand

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It is also a good idea to pull in the slide on extremely cold nights when boondocking. It reduces warm air loss through the seals, cuts down heat loss through lessened cross-sectional area, and reduces internal volume to heat.

Reed and Elaine

Think that depends on make of unit. Ours seal great. Actually better out than in.

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When you say to yourself, "I wonder if I should pull the slides in." That's when you should pull the slides in.

 

WDR

Amen to that! He-Who-Drives-The-Tow-Vehicle didn't pull them in during a Nor'easter once and the wind picked the slide up, slammed it down and cracked the floor. Those slides come in now whenever he gets uncomfortable about the weather. Better safe than sorry.

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Getting out of the way of a storm is always a good idea but not always possible, sometimes you get no warning or too little warning to enable you to be safely away. Worst thing you can do is be hooked up and moving when a big storm hits, even if you don't flip over someone else can have issues and take you with them. I have several examples.

 

We were in Huachuca City, AZ when they put up a high wind, gusts to 70, warning, we would have had to go several hundred miles to avoid the storm and there wasn't time to do that. We sat it out with little problem aside from a small tear in a slide topper since we packed away most of our outside stuff. Folks that were caught on the road suffered everything from awnings unfurling to getting flipped as they tried to outrun the wind.

 

We were parked at an RV park at the top of the Grapevine in CA, one time we got 70 MPH winds in the evening with no warning at all, nothing to do but run out and secure the stuff outside and pull in the slides. Another visit we got 6 inches of snow and high winds with only a couple hours of warning, we could have made it down the mountain but not away from the storm.

 

We were headed from Sioux Falls, SD to Minnesota and were seeing a 50 MPH crosswind, it was so stiff the truck (IH 4700) wouldn't even shift to 6th gear! I was sleeping and Trudy was driving on cruise control so neither of us noticed what the truck was doing which was running full throttle in 5th. She finally woke me up and pointed out the fuel was showing as low which it shouldn't have been. After I woke up a bit I noticed the speed and RPMs were off from 5th and we weren't holding road speed on any upgrade at all. A bit of poking around showed me what was happening and we started looking for fuel. We got under 6 MPG that day, down from the usual 9 plus. As we were driving along looking for a fuel stop an empty semi passed us and a gust caught his trailer, it came half way across our lane and if the gust had been earlier by a few seconds he would have hit us. Normally we'd have stayed parked but there was a hail warning out for Sioux Falls and we wanted to be gone before it hit. We were darned lucky that trip as we parked for a couple hours hoping for less wind and because of another hail warning ahead, a good thing we parked as Austin got pounded with heavy hail just when we'd have been arriving.

 

In Fargo, ND we got 100 MPH plus winds, no warning at all. The RV park was closed for a couple days as trees were blocking all the roads. The rangers told us to walk out to the registration area if we needed anything and they would do what they could. We got lucky as we were in a low spot and it didn't even blow down our sat dishes. Others in the Fargo area got flipped or trees fell on them, the town saw a lot of damage too.

 

 

If you have time moving is good, if you are going to get caught while moving sitting may well be a better idea.

 

We found our weather service radio and a good set of maps showing county boundaries was pretty effective. You need the small towns and boundaries since many of the storm, hail and tornado warnings are given in relation to them. We changed routes or our schedule almost every trip up to the mid-west based on storms avoiding what we could and used the warnings to hunker down for what we couldn't avoid.

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We never had to bring in our slides because of weather. If we were in a ice storm, heavy snow or extremely high winds, we'd do so. A ice storm or heavy snow would only cause us to bring them if if we were planning to move on in a day or so.

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We got caught in a wind warning (60 mph winds) along the Missouri River in South Dakota 2 years ago. It bent the roller on a slide and stretched that awning before we had time to pull the slides in. That experience taught us 2 things--always pull in the slides when the rig is rocking and always keep track of the weather reports and warnings.

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