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Fifth Wheel Slideout Toppers


73pete
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I like them and please don't go by negative info on the internet. You mostly get people who have had problems with them. I have found that most people don't post about things that they are pleased with, only those issues that they have had. I have them on my 2018 Cardinal 3825 FL and my other fifth wheels that I have had in the past. 

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I put toppers on 3 of 4 slides.  We spend the month of March in a park in the Texas hillcountry under some giant Live Oak trees.  These trees will drop leaves for the whole month and the slides accumulate leaves to a depth of 4-6 inches so i had to climb up to sweep them out!  With the toppers i no longer have to worry about that.  

(the 4th slide was too small to accomidate a topper)

The downside to toppers is that if the wind is strong and in the right direction the toppers will flap in the breeze but there are fixes for that if it annoys you!

In all the pros outweigh the cons.

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8 hours ago, rynosback said:

I researched them. There is NO middle ground on them. I found that there was more negative feedback over positive. So I opted not to install them.

What a shame. Here is some middle ground in favor of toppers.  Unless you are in an open field with no trees near-by they are invaluable.  I have had them on fivers and TT slides for 30+ years and have no complaints.  Sweet Gum balls, pine cones, acorns, leaves, twigs or other falling debris left on a slide when you close it can ruin seals or keep the slide from fully closing.  It is also a plus to be able to move a slide in when closing up for travel when it is raining without bringing the "wet" inside.  Toppers can also reduce heat in the RV during sunny summer days and prevent top seal leakage of water into the RV.  At 75 years young climbing on the roof or ladder to sweep off a slide is not an advisable option for me - nor should be for those even younger.  This scenario is even worse if your departure from a campsite happens while it is raining.  Personally, I have never been bothered by a properly installed topper flapping in the wind.  Downside to toppers is occasional water pooling which only occurs when the RV is perfectly level and the toppers are not tight enough at the roller (slight rearward inclination that cannot be detected in the RV drains toppers).  I do have a center support/roller on the tube of my longest topper (14') to keep the topper tight and prevent bowing of the cheap, thin aluminum rollers most have.  Personally, I would NOT have a RV with slide-outs that did not have toppers.

Edited by RandyA
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I went with the negatives years ago and wish I hadn't and went ahead and installed toppers.  The wind issue was the killer for me even after reading several fixes for topper flapping, consisting of various spacers to hold them tight, and provide for drainage.  In the end, with covid and medical, our rig got way too much Arizona sun, resulting in UV deterioration of the slide seals requiring they be replaced.  If I had this decision to make again I would install toppers (and still might).

Later,

J

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I went with the Carefree SOK III slide awnings.  I love the way they keep the sun off the slide tops and quieter in the rain.  But they are a real pain in the wind from certain directions.  Sometimes, the bedroom cover is so noisy that I'll sleep in my recliner in the living room.

It is a love-hate relationship.

Ken

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9 hours ago, ARGO said:

I have the ability to make my own, and I chose Sunscreen material, NOT solid fabric.

I'm need of new fabric and a sunscreen material is what I looking for, Any links?

 

8 hours ago, RandyA said:

I do have a center support/roller on the tube of my longest topper (14') to keep the topper tight and prevent bowing of the cheap, thin aluminum rollers most have.  Personally, I would NOT have a RV with slide-outs that did not have toppers.

Randy I agree with you 100%. Personally if I'm on top, it is crawling.

 

1 hour ago, TXiceman said:

I went with the Carefree SOK III slide awnings.  I love the way they keep the sun off the slide tops and quieter in the rain.  But they are a real pain in the wind from certain directions.  Sometimes, the bedroom cover is so noisy.

I had three slide awning ordered to be installed by dealer over 6 years ago. I would not recommend Carefree, a center support is needed on longer toppers. My shortest topper is noisy now but the wind-up spring has never been tightened.

Clay

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I have Dometic power awning and had not problem with the hardware. Dometic says the intend of the awning is purely shade not protection from rain. That is the way they built them as water comes through their stitching.

Carefree hardware is my problem in that, the roll-up reel bends to allow water to accumulate in a pool. The more water that accumulates, the more the reel bends allowing more water to be stored. You can imagine what happens when something happens the causes the water to move. From the inside it sounds like a good dairy cow taking a Pee. You hoped no one was standing near by.

I experienced this first hand in Mesa AZ when the air-conditionor condensate ran to the slide awning.

Clay

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Have had Carefree slide covers that also doubles as a window awning on our 2004 Alfa fiver that we bought new. The original Carefree material was a sunscreen material with the first 10" from the trailer being vinyl. A couple of years ago, the vinyl started to separate so I had a local outfit here in Yuma, AZ. sew up new sunscreen material to replace the original. Really like them.

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Argo .. Thanks for information. I have not heard that you had a choice in the fabric about sun reduction. Who is the manufacturer of the toppers that have a choice in fabric sun reduction and were or who is the best dealer to buy from. Thanks 

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There are a couple, my supplier sells Pfifertex. I believe Sunbrella makes "Awntex" but have no experience. This is good stuff, meets Calif fire codes etc. 80% is like mosquito screen on steroids, 90% is much closer weave. My toppers don't flap, don't hold water (don't rust,bust,collect dust) etc. Comes in several colors too. Check out colors at Sailrite, or my supplier www.manart-hirsch.com

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