Some cut and dried-------
When I ordered my 8285WS, I ordered it with the slide toppers, I do not regret it. Here in Florida and anywhere else in the hot summer, toppers do shade the slide outs, they do protect the rubber seals when the slides are open. Very little leaves or other debris get under the the toppers. As for the flapping, I have not had the experience of the wind blowing to make the noise on the toppers.
There are pros and cons to the toppers, Your dollar, your RV, your good looking RV with toppers that protect the bump outs from heat. Just make sure after a hard rain, you run the bump out in about half way to get rid of the water that pools on top of the topper.
When I see a RV with the topper rail installed and no topper installed, the first thing that I think is, the owner must be on a budget for not having the toppers or was not advised of the benefits of the toppers at time of purchase.
Sid, Lois & HRH MISSY Terrible 2s SHIH TZU
2011 ROCKWOOD 8285 WS
2014 F-250 KING RANCH PS/SD/6R140/BFT
BOLIY PRO 3600SI GEN
DAYS CAMPED 2016 57 DAYS