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Old 03-03-2008, 05:49 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 156
Slide Topper Awning Problem

I have a slide topper awning that collects water rather than deflecting it off. I had two days of rain on my first trip and notified DOMETIC right away and have been getting nothing but a big run around with them since. Buddy has the same unit with no problems.
History of my problem is as follows:

07-09-07 Picked it up my factroy ordered 8317SS from Nolans RV in Denver, CO

07-27 to 09-02 2007 Used my unit in Oregon to which I only had two days and one evening of rain. Noticed that my slide topper would catch the water rather than having it run off. My buddy has the exact same unit and was parked next door to us and never had that problem.

09-18-07 I Emailed and notified Dometic of my problem and received a reply that I should take my unit to an authorized service center to have the topper tension tightened.
Made an appointment for Camping World for October and when I arrived at the appointment that day they could not take me. Since I was not going to be using the unit until spring I made an appointment for February. I should also mention that during this time the slide out is in during storage and non use.

02-21-08 Camping world added three turns of tension and the tech aslo reinstalled the anti-bellow as they said that it was about to fall off.

02-28-08 While waxing my unit I noticed that a couple of screws holding the topper assembly to the slide out were gone. I notified Camping World and the tech said that they were missing or rusted/broken off when he performed his work on 02-21-08. Notified Dometic and they replied that they should be replaced and that it would be under warranty.

02-29-08 Rained overnight and woke to notice that the topper awning still collects water. My buddies who has the exact same unit parked next to mine works as it should and does not collect water. Notified Dometic to receive a reply “Water pooling on the slide out awning will stretch the fabric, if the slide room is open when it is raining, you should close it when the rain stops so the water will run off. If the fabric is stretched from water pooling it will need to be replaced and it would not be covered by the Dometic limited warranty. “
Duh!!! I have explained my problem via email with pictures and all previous correspondence since day one of this problem to receive this poor response.

My salesman from Nolans RV has replied... that he talked with his service adviser about you still having issues with the awning and he said that they probably need to add more tension but also added that the turns need to be done on both ends to get the full benefit of the tension. I don't think the reason dometic gave you for the awning stretching is a good one seeing that both your units are the same and used at the same location and one has the problem and the other doesn't. I'm hoping this issue is taken care of soon without all the headaches.
Keep me informed as you are doing so I can transfer this info if needed onto others. This is very unusual with the rockwood products as like I said we have very few issues with them.
I do have to say that someone is out there looking out to help me with my problem... my initial salesman "Mitchell" from Nolans RV. Thanks Mitchell!

I plan on forwarding this info to Camping World and Dometic and I will keep the forum informed on what happens next.

03-04-08 Received an email from DOMETIC stating "Because there was not enough tension on the awning which may have allowed the fabric to be stretched, we will replace the fabric under warranty."
I immediately contacted Camping World's fantastic service rep and he has ordered the new fabric. (I do have to mention that dealing with the service rep from Camping World has been pleasant and that all my emails and calls have been promptly returned). So hopefully with the tension added on both ends of the topper, the new fabric and the missing screws replaced, my problem will be solved and I will be a happy camper. I will keep the forum informed on my soon to be repaired awning.


2008 Rockwood 8317SS - 2010 F150

2013 Camping Days: 22
2012 89 2011 50 2010 61
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:53 PM   #2
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I have the same issue to a lesser degree on both 5'ers that I've owned. There wasn't enough space on the trailer to give the slide awning a proper slope for complete water run off. I just pull mine in after the rains.

Keep us posted on your experience.

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Old 03-03-2008, 06:28 PM   #3
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Location: Prairieville, Louisiana
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They're right about adding tension to the topper role. This is a relatively simple job which takes two people to perform(one on each side).
I don't see why they didn't place enough tension on it the first time you brought it in.
As for the awning stretching when water pools on it, I don't believe that's possible. There's only about 3" between the awning fabric and the slide roof.
There isn't enough room there to do damage to the fabric or the awning role. Heck, I've had rain water pool on my main patio awning, at least 5 gal., and it did NO damage. And, this happened more than once.

Short story:
The first year I had my 8315SS, the slide awning was tight. Water would NOT pool. It was sent back to the factory for repairs the winter of '06. When I got it back, the slide awning was loose and water DID pool. It did NO damage to any part of the awning. When rain water would pool, I didn't worry about it. After the rain was over, I'd pull the slide in a little at a time to let the water run off. Then I'd move the slide back out.
This winter past, the TT went back to the factory for repairs a second time. When It was returned, the slide awning was as tight as when it was new.

What I'm getting at is, it's the same awning as when it was new and NO damage has been done.
Bring your trailer back to the dealer and tell them you want the darn awning tight.

Note: To tension the awning as tight as your buddy's, you'll need a know weight(about 2-3 lbs.). Extend the slide and measure the distance from the slide roof to the awning fabric, as close to the center as possible. Place the weight on awning fabric, as close to the center as possible, then take another measurement. When you take your TT to the dealer, have them perform the same procedure until they get the same measurement as your buddy's TT.
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:34 PM   #4
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Keep on it until someone does the right fix.

PS...In the mean time...I've seen people slide a ball (kick ball, basketball, etc) under the canopy and rest it on the slide to aid the drainage.
Pete (Jolly Mon)

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Old 03-04-2008, 04:01 AM   #5
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I have the same problem as well, I was at an RV show about two weeks ago and noticed that Rockwood made a change with the topper, it is now attached just about even with the roof which gives it more slop, however I see a problem with this design, it looks like it may become a giant sail while in tow.
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:44 AM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 80
Question Ice on Slide Topper

While in Pigeon Forge TN. last Thanksgiving a rain one day and a freeze that night froze the water that collected on my slide topper....When I put in my slide the ice took the top layer of the fabric off....Now my local Camping World will not order me a replacement fabric until I give them the serial number of the slide topper....There is no number that I can find on any part of that thing. Anybody have an idea of where to look on an AE slide topper to find the number?????
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:28 PM   #7
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I took a look at mine and did not see one. I would suggest maybe contacting Dometic to see where it is. Email address is

2008 Rockwood 8317SS - 2010 F150

2013 Camping Days: 22
2012 89 2011 50 2010 61
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