Jump to content

Adding Toppers/Awnings to Slides on a 5-er


mysticmd

Recommended Posts

Hi - looking for some guidance. I did my search on Escapees forums but didn't come up with much other than awning material, so if I missed something pls redirect me.

 

We feel we would like to add slide toppers to our three slides(approx. 9', 14', 16') that have none now, which means we would install the hardware, etc. and be buying the entire mechanism, not just replacing fabric.

 

Anyone have any experience/commentary on brands that are good or brands to stay away from - I'm finding Carefree, Lippert, Dometic, and A&E Systems.... and not finding much in the way of what appear to be genuine reviews from customers or comparisons of mechanisms. We know we want something waterproof so will not be going with the Solara or other weaves, but will just look for a quality, heavy duty, UV-protected vinyl (if it's out there). Right now I'm more concerned with a reputable mechanism. Any help out there is always appreciated. Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer. Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought the A&E hardware & mechanism (slides, now, not awning) off ebay . I had to find a place that would sell the tube, and bought it 40 miles away. I made my own toppers out of sunscreen, not fabric. (Slides are made to get wet, I wanted to keep the junk off & they don't flap). That said, note that I am a canvas shop so have a little advantage. Where are you? Several RV salvage places you might check.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Sibernut -- we're in the southeast, the other end of the earth from most of you folks trading info on this forum. So apparently you are happy with A&E hardware; handy to be your own canvas shop! Uh, we're not so sure our partic. slides were meant to get wet, :rolleyes: - that's why vinyl over breathable mesh at this point, but we're also researching the Eternabond tape and various roof coatings. You know, it is so easy to get overwhelmed in products and info, and running water is such a conundrum unto itself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting the tubes delivered is going to be the biggest problem, long and easily bent means they may well arrive damaged and you'll need to be in a place where you can deal with the exchange. I'd be tempted to pay store prices over on-line ones just to make sure I got the hardware in good shape the first time or wait until you settle in for a couple months at the same spot. Salvage is a good option too, if you can find what you need, these things don't wear much.

 

We were very happy with using mesh instead of the vinyl material, it didn't pool water or flap which was a huge improvement. A compromise is going to the semi-transparent woven material you see in the higher end awnings, it may pool but it won't usually flap. If you want waterproof be very sure that your fabric has enough of an angle to drain properly, it will usually be a bit saggy and pool water if you mount it too flat.

 

Be prepared to pull in at least your bedroom slide in windy conditions if the flapping keeps you awake like our original toppers did us.

 

If your topper pools water be very careful pulling it in in cold weather, you can have a nasty big chunk of ice up there that can damage your sidewall or the park hookups after it tips off and hits them, we found that out the expensive way. Even in warmer weather you may want to build a PVC L shaped arm that you can use to reach up and drain the topper off one end of the slide, keeps the sidewall a lot cleaner that dumping the muddy/moldy water down it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Replacing the manual with an electric awning was high on my list of items on the retrofit...this after trapping my fingers in the mechanism. Mine is a Dometic with fabric not vinyl, 2.5 yrs and still working. The electric awning gets used a lot more than the manual due to convenience. Also takes less time to deploy and retract. Critical if a wind blows up quickly in the middle of the night.

 

Yes to the slide toppers, got them as well. A little flapping in 3o knot winds but no self destruct yet. Keeps crud off the slideout top. They do however make cleaning and lubing the slideout gasket which needs to be done once or twice a year.

 

Unless you have access to scaffolding and appropriate tools to install plus electrical skills, get an RV repair place to do it. My dining room slidetopper misses the big awning by less than half an inch when deploying.

 

They are heavy and awkward to handle. Also as we get older we tend to break not bend, which causes great pain and discomfort for many weeks. Ask Randy and me we can speak from personal experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We installed Carefree 12.5 yeasrs ago and the mechanism is still working like it should but the material is in need of attention. I ordered them from a local dealer so I didn't have to worry about freight damage. Installing them wasn't to bad after the first one it just takes a little time.

 

Denny

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Roger - I can almost feel your pain getting a finger caught in that snapping awning mechanism, yikes. And you brought up a good point - clearance with awning to slider . Participation in forums are great for learning, re-evaluating, sharing. We're already thinking down the road about when we get a bit older and don't want to climb around on a 5-er, etc. so taking all these comments in now. We do have the scaffolding and tools, but just the two of us. A bit more fodder for the dinner table discussion tonight! Thank you, Roger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You also need to figure where you will pull power from and what circuit. Can the circuit handle xtra pull? My power comes from the awning on the rear of the trailer end. The wire came down the awning track to the bottom then into the trailer. Not sure what circuit the hooked into.

 

There isn't much meat up there to tap into so you don't want to have to move the awning fwd or backward because of a conflict with the slide topper. I used about 1 1/4 x 1/4 or 5/16 lag bolts and put Sicaflex in the holes first.

 

I can dive for the switch and retract the awning in just over 30 seconds. It would take longer to retract a manual awning at 3am in the rain. Get dressed etc.

 

I'll pick up those shade things at the Tampa RV Show in January.

 

My balance is not as It was 30 yrs ago hence minimal time up on the roof.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Dish For My RV.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...