Originally Posted by DAISY BOYKIN
The factory installed slide toppers have a "STOP LOCK" on each end, where the dealer cheaper toppers do not have.
The stop locks can be seen as a little arm at each end of the topper so when you run the room out the topper is in a locked position for when it rains and water collects on the topper, the topper will not unroll more with the weight of the water. When the room is run back in, the little arm comes to a rest that installed on the side of your RV therefore unlocking for the next room roll out! The topper functions like a manual awning that you have to trip the little lock with the metal rod to lock and unlock the awning.
My topper awnings do not have the locks. When it rains heavy, I have to run the room in slightly to dump the water that collects on top of the topper.
So when you order your RV make sure you insist that the topper awnings are factory installed or you will not accept the RV.
Those 'little arms' are there to stop the awning from unrolling while going down the road. With your slide in, if you go up on a ladder and try to unroll the awning, you will see that the arm catches on a tab mounted to the camper wall. Without that, the wind from travelling at 60 mph would get under the material, unroll the awning, and rip it right off the camper.
Slide awnings do not have locks like the regular big manual awnings, and they will sag under the weight of rainwater. That is one of their biggest drawbacks, as they are not tight enough to shed rainwater.