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Old 09-15-2016, 07:59 AM   #51
bas
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Leaf blower/ladder

I use a small ladder and a leaf blower to clean off the debris.
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:06 AM   #52
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Old 09-15-2016, 01:46 PM   #53
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Slide out supports

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Originally Posted by fredcrowley View Post
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
Good information you provide on the slide out supports and your pilots check list. Thanks!
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:16 PM   #54
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Agreed with others on not standing on the roof of the slide or using supports. The slide outs on our Windjammer get their support from the inside edges of the slide out being against the walls of the trailer. Let the slide outs go all the way out and you are done when they lock in place. It is like a big box that needs to plug the hole in the side of the trailer all the way around (like a stopper in a sink) and you are set. As to the toppers, we got them and I was worried at first about them sinking when it rained (the bedroom didn't, but the living room did) and had the dealer tighten the springs a bit on the living room one. Having used it more now (3 years) we found that as they water runs off the sides, the toppers come back up to their original tightness. We had to spend 6 months in the Windjammer while remodeling and got all sorts of storms and rain. They always came back up just fine. We even had a snowstorm and wound up with 12 inches of snow on them at one point. I very carefully retracted the slide out and the snow rolled off of it pretty well (rain does, too). We really like them and find they do protect the slide outs and we have never had a leak even with the extended stay. We are back to normal now with short vacations and the unit is working great. I am really glad we have the covers because most of the time there is nothing on the roof of the slide outs to even sweep off (I use a ladder to check). I also think they protect the rubber roof seal from the sun. And, yes I would buy those toppers again. They have really worked for us.
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Old 09-16-2016, 11:05 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twitty529 View Post
Do you not think snow gets heavy? Come on now guys. Unless you are very obese, I don't see a problem.
If you are getting snow on the top of your slide out, you are violating the 90/40 rule!

If the temperature is above 90 it's time to move
If the temperature is below 40 it's time to move
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Old 09-16-2016, 11:52 AM   #56
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I'm have a Sanabel 41ft and it has a 15ft slide camping world told me to use supports also.thanks for the info.have got lot of good and bad info since got my fifth wheel.I find it hard to get anything fixed in a timely manor and worse if it's warranty,they fix it but takes forever to get done.
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Old 09-16-2016, 11:53 AM   #57
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Love my slides covers over slides.
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Old 09-16-2016, 12:01 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by ETRV View Post
I'm have a Sanabel 41ft and it has a 15ft slide camping world told me to use supports also.thanks for the info.have got lot of good and bad info since got my fifth wheel.I find it hard to get anything fixed in a timely manor and worse if it's warranty,they fix it but takes forever to get done.
You believe CW? You know they are trying to sell those slide supports right? I have a 12' slide and the CW tech said not to use them, and the independent I use also said not to use them. So I guess it boils down to whatever makes you feel better. I'm lazy, so the less crap I have to set up, the better
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Old 09-16-2016, 12:17 PM   #59
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Bottom line, DO NOT STAND ON A SLIDE OUT and get slide toppers to keep debris and water off the slide out roof. You CAN add enough tension so they don't flap in the wind. Been there, done that.
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Old 09-16-2016, 01:02 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
Bottom line, DO NOT STAND ON A SLIDE OUT and get slide toppers to keep debris and water off the slide out roof. You CAN add enough tension so they don't flap in the wind. Been there, done that.
You and I both, together, weigh less then a walnut....
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