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Old 09-13-2016, 05:42 PM   #31
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: In the RV
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Thank you all for the info. This was way more than I hoped to get. I can see where I will be checking here often as this is where the 'real' RV'ers live.

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Old 09-13-2016, 05:49 PM   #32
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Having replaced, repaired and sealed many slide out roofs I will tell you it's a very bad idea. There is little bracing in the ceilings. It will flex and open the seal (taped or otherwise) along the outside aluminum extrusion.

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Old 09-13-2016, 07:12 PM   #33
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Location: Full-timers
Posts: 44
Walking on slide roof, slide supports, slide toppers

We are full-timers (me, my wife, plus her sister), with a 43' FR Sierra 5th wheel with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a large living area.

1. I would not stand on top of slide. They are built to the same standards as the walls, etc., and we all know how weak they can be.

2. I'd strongly recommend slide toppers. As mentioned by others, they provide good protection to the slide top. Also, if worse comes to worse, you can always replace the slide topper if necessary. Much cheaper than repairing a slide roof, seals, repairing water damage, etc.

3. There have been a few times that we experienced strong winds. For me, this means wind speeds about 20mph and above - including one instance where we had straight line winds in the 55mph range! In our experience this occurs primarily in the wide open RV parks in southern New Mexico and Arizona. With winds like this, the slide toppers flap real hard - noisy, and also presents the risk of damaging the topper. Solved the problem by using 3/8" rope draped over the center of the topper, with a 4' pool noodle that I had previously threaded the rope through, that I locate in the outside center of the topper. Each end of the rope drapes down over the ends of the slide, where I then tie the rope ends to the slide mechanism under the slide. FYI: with extreme winds like I mentioned earlier (55mph), I didn't mess around. I just retracted the slides, adapted to the tighter quarters, and poured a glass of wine for each of us. Problem solved.

4. I use slide supports under our long slide (about 14'). This slide is in our living area, and has a full-width sofa in the slide. With 3 or 4 folks averaging about 160lbs, that is adding about 640 extra pounds that the slide mechanism has to support. Since the sofa is against the outside wall, that 600+ pounds is concentrated at the outward end of the slide mechanism - pretty powerful leverage. While the slide mechanisms are pretty sturdy, I use two supports to help take the strain off of everything. Again, I need to point out that these rigs are not built to the same structural standards of a house - weight (especially for a 5th wheel), and cost, are 2 major factors that govern the lack of "robustness" of construction.

I do not use slide supports under the other 3 smaller slides, as any interior weight on these slides is not as significant as on the large living room slide.

4a. With slide supports, it would take a pretty dramatic event to cause a significant weight shift to over stress the slide supports/slide. Since the slides are only extended when the rig is stationary, and presumably the landing gear is down, a flat tire would not affect the stance of the rig. Of course if you retract the landing gear without first removing the slide supports, and you have a flat tire, then the whole situation could be a serious problem.

A word of warning using slide supports. Don't exert excessive upward force when placing the supports under the slide. It is possible to lift the slide upwards in its' opening in the side of the rig, with the potential for leaks, and damage.

IN SUMMARY: BE CAREFUL - THERE ARE BIG FORCES AT WORK. Our rig is 16,000# loaded. I have devised a set of procedures (much light a aircraft pilot's check list), that is unique to my rig. Even with the several hundred times that I have set the rig up, and closed it up to move on, I don't want to make a mistake. Mistakes can be expensive!

Of course, even though I am intelligent, good looking, and a swell guy who is extremely modest, I have learned a few lessons (well maybe more than a few!) the hard way.

Y'all take care, eh? Fred
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:03 PM   #34
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 30
As to awnings, I am in a quandary on that one. One camp says they are indispensable and the other talks of the billowing in the wind causing excessive noise and water pooling.[/QUOTE]

They're BOTH right.. Which hassle would you rather deal with? I have opted to sweep off the slide before retracting.
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:35 AM   #35
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Full timer,,,at Lake Georgetown in central Texas for the winter.
Posts: 418
If you're wanting the slide supports to prevent movement,,,,,,don't do it. Another option is to get a set of jacks from Walmart.....about $35......crank them up on the framework underneath between the stabilizers and tires.......that cuts down on the vibration inside.
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:39 AM   #36
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: In the beautiful mountains of Idaho
Posts: 18

I have been using supports for a long time. They keep the coach more stable and I feel a lot less wobble in the coach when walking around inside. I make sure they are not overly tight but just firm enough to make the coach more stable. As far as cleaning mine, I insisted my new coach have a rear ladder installed. I go up on the coach roof and use a broom I carry to sweep it off. At the same time, I make sure the gutters are clear as well. If you do this, be sure to only walk along the edges where it has the most support. Try and avoid walking in the center if at all possible.
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:48 AM   #37
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Posts: 4,783
An 8ft step ladder and a auto windshield Squeege on a extendable painters pole works perfect. It can also be used to wash and treat the top of the slide out.

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Old 09-14-2016, 12:02 PM   #38
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My slideouts have skylights so I don't really want toppers. A quick cleaning via ladder after camping works for me.

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Old 09-14-2016, 12:16 PM   #39
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Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 1
Standing on slide out roof.

I see no problem standing on the roof of my slide outs. This said I make certain to stand close to the ends where it is stronger. The slide out is designed to stand on or in from the inside so having a person's weight on the outside is the same weight. Stand close to the ends, you should have no problem.
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Old 09-14-2016, 01:08 PM   #40
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,377
Kill 2 birds with one stone.
Install slide toppers. Like so many said already the debris will roll off as the slide is extracted. Then there is no reason to worry about standing on them because there's no reason too.
As far as concerns with the topper flapping in the wind, it won't be an issue as long as they are installed with enough tension. If it's too loose you just unmount it and roll it a wrap at a time until you're satisfied with the tension.

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*Retired: 1987 F350 Crew Cab Dually 6.9 turbo diesel
2007 Forest River WildCat 32QBBS
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slide, slide out

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