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Old 07-04-2013, 10:07 AM   #1
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Why are there not rain deflectors for slide outs?

I've been trailer camping for about 10 years now. I bought my first slide out model in 2009 (a 2004 Keystone Springdale.) Within a month I had a catastrophe. Water had leaked through the retracted slide and rolled across the floor leaving me with two soft spots. It sat like this for over a month undetected... Now in our fifth season and after solving the leak issue, I'm ready to trade up. And low and behold I'm reading issues about brand new trailers having these issues. My heart stops when I think about spending $30K just to end up with the same nightmare.

I've been researching seal technology and it seems Keystone's cheaper models really were designed pretty poorly with only a single fat and loose wiper seal and a not very pliable bulb seal mounted to the inner face of the slide rim. Newer and better models seem to have moved to tight double wiper seals and a bulb seal that larger and softer on the face of the trailer wall. But still we read about these issues. The top of the slide seems particularly susceptible. Mine has a slight but noticeable from the outside roof bow to it. Water that runs down the wall can make it past the two seals and run along the slide roof or even more likely travel down the slide's side walls and end up on your carpet. I solved my issue with a new top seal and a slide topper. However that seems unnecessary and overkill to me just to deflect water away from the slide. Properly cared for trailers (unless being stayed in for extended periods) spend 90% percent of their warm weather life and most likely 100% of their cold weather life with slides retracted. Why has the industry not built rain deflectors similar to those used on car windows?
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:26 AM   #2
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You could order the camper with slide toppers which would protect against water intrusion.

Dave
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:37 AM   #3
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Please don't be offended here but did read the actual post or are you responding to the header. Ordering slide toppers for something with 3 slides is both costly and over kill. Not to mention the fact that they have their own costly maintenance every 3 to 5 years. A 15' long 2" wide piece of plastic to keep water off the seals seems a far more effective solution. In terms of cost, performance, and lifespan I just don't understand why the industry hasn't caught on...
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dave_Monica View Post
You could order the camper with slide toppers which would protect against water intrusion.

Dave

I think that works well while you are stationary, but when you drive in rain, water may find its way inside. I have slide toppers and I like them and would definately get them again, but not sure if it's the answer when travelling to prevent water intrusion. That being said, I have not noticed any water instrusion in mine yet.
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:07 AM   #5
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When you think about the design of the deflector and how it cups around the window, how would you open the slide?
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:10 AM   #6
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Agree about the driving in the rain comment. As I said I have a topper on mine current model. It works to keep rain and debris off the slide when parked. But they do have their trade-offs. If I felt I needed to I would order them again, but I still feel there has got to be a much cheaper solution. $2K is a lot to spend for peace of mind.

I guess I should clarify. I'm currently looking (dreaming and drooling over) a couple of Prime Time models. Both that I'm looking at are triple slide models. So slide toppers will be an expensive proposition... In a year's time I have no idea if I'll have traded up or what I will own if I do, but in this particular instance I want an inexpensive but more importantly simple and effective solution.
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:16 AM   #7
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When you think about the design of the deflector and how it cups around the window, how would you open the slide?
Well that was an example... Additonal gutters could be another solution. However if automotive deflectors were to exist for this I would place them 1/2" to 1" above the slide with maybe some wrap around angles winging the sides. Bottom line is the capillary effect should keep the water running down the wall on the edge of the deflector and let it drip from there. When the slide is open it would drip on the roof of the slide but that's really no different than the rain hitting it. Your wiper seals should all be facing out in this position which "should make it a little more difficult for water to pool there and enter the coach.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:30 PM   #8
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I'm thinking there should be a rain gaurd too. No cons, just pros, considering many RV's sit with slide in most of the time.

It would also have solved (avoided) a problem I am having when my Schwintek slide is out. The topmost horizontal seal - D shaped - works OK compressed when the slide is in, but is allowing water to run into the vertical side seal and behind the hardware where it meets the top piece. Water followed the D bottom (back towards the trailer) and ran down inside the channel. There is a rubber trough at the bottom which is intended to let a little pool gather then overflow out. But sometimes the lip of the trough isn't standing up straight so it overflows in. The factory put some black goop at the top where the vertical meets the horizontal but becasue most of the goop was gone it made for a brain burner to figure out what was going on.

A gutter to put most of the water beyond the D seal would be very useful and I will come up with something myself. For now its add goop and check its still there before it rains.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:06 PM   #9
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If you think about it. The same design as the lip above the door would work. It's something the industry already has on hand and could easily buy in bulk strips to be cut to various lengths.

I'm glad I'm not the only one to think something this simple has been overlooked.
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:15 PM   #10
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So on the weekend I was applying some sealant to any gaps I could find just under the horizontal seal of my slide where it meets the vertical pieces.

My trailer is in a meadow at a nearby KOA cg and I'm up and down the ladder where my trailer is stored while applying the stuff. At one point while I'm up there I happen to gaze across to another trailer and Hey! that guy's slide has a gutter over it!

So I took a walk around the sea of trailers stored with mine, maybe 30 in all. The motorhomes and biggest fifth wheels mostly have slide awnings, but the rest it's 50 / 50 that the slide(s) has a rain gutter. Some are clearly homemade, and some have an RV gutter that looks like it came with the trailer. Quite a mixed bag. Some even added the end deflectors.

So I think I'll keep going with the plan to add an RV gutter myself, and now deflectors too.
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