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Old 09-02-2020, 04:26 PM   #1
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Slide Topper Removal

Slide Topper, do you really need slide toppers?

According to Solara, the purpose of a slide topper is more protection, by giving slide-outs extra protection from debris and water infiltration. Attractive and economical slide-out awnings automatically retract and extend with the slide-out and prevent leaves, bird droppings, branches and more from damaging slide-out seals. I am not advertising for Solara, but they had the best description.



I have a 2006 Forest River Georgetown model 340SE,

My problem. The patio awning, which is directly over the kitchen slide, SEE FIGURE(S) 1 through 4, is directly impacted when the kitchen is retracted or extended. What happens is the anti-billow bracket, which rotates, rubs on the patio awning. As a result of the rotation, the anti-billow bracket is stretching the fabric of the patio awning. Having already replaced this fabric once, I really don't want to replace it again based on the slide topper.



As seen in figure 4, the anti-billow bracket points up (about 30) when the slide is fully extended. During slide movement, the bracket rotates 360 twice. The patio awning cannot be set or retracted unless the kitchen is in.


I have been advised the bracket was not installed correctly. Yes it was, that I should never move the kitchen unless the patio awning is retracted, not realistic. I am asking for an opinion. Should I remove the slide topper? In my humble opinion the slide topper is redundant to the protection provided by the patio awning. Any guidance anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks in advance
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Old 09-05-2020, 02:51 PM   #2
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Just remove the anti-billow device. Never had 'em never needed them either.
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Old 09-05-2020, 10:44 PM   #3
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There slide topper is going to withstand higher wind gusts than your awning. I'd leave them both on there and just remove the anti-billow device. You really don't need it. I've drug my trailer all over the US and it's seriously never been a problem.

Toppers are nice in that they do provide protection from leaks and extra water getting inside your camper if it's been raining when you need to move. Without them the water that's resting on top comes into your camper.
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Old 09-05-2020, 11:09 PM   #4
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Your question is, should I remove the slide out topper and your rationale is that when it rains the protection the topper offers is redundant to the protection of the awning.

I always leave my slide outs in the extended position when it rains but usually will retract the awning when it rains to protect it from damaging wind, hail, and heavy rain in a storm. There is no redundant protection in most cases, at least not the way I safe guard my awning.

Was your awning fabric replacement the result of the anti billow arm rotating against the awning fabric? If you have only replaced your fabric once in 15 years that's pretty good awning life. My original awning is the same age and was due for a fabric replacement the end of last year but because of covid I've put it off.

Imho, keep your anti billow arm. It will act as a brake against the wind to keep your topper from unrolling on the road.

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Old 09-06-2020, 06:15 AM   #5
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It may sound redundant but when you don't put your awning out now the slide is still protected. I'd leave the slide topper on. Later RJD
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Old 09-06-2020, 07:19 AM   #6
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Thank you for pointing out the obvious to me. I also slide outs in the extended position when it rains but retract the patio awning when it rains to protect it from damaging wind, hail, and heavy rain in a storm. And you are absolutely correct there is no redundant protection in most cases. In my case I have to retract the kitchen slide every time I retract/rollup the patio awning.

To answer the question, "Was your awning fabric replacement the result of the anti billow arm rotating against the awning fabric?''. The answer is no. I am the third owner and there are receipts for 3 other awning fabrics. At $500 or more dollars per replacement, I am trying to find a permanent solution.
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Old 09-06-2020, 07:43 AM   #7
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At this point, I would find an independent service shop and get a second opinion on topper installation. Maybe they will have an idea on how to fix it so awning and topper play nice together.
Otherwise, I would just take the topper off and not worry about it.
I did not enjoy the toppers we had on a previous RV and will never have them again.
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Old 09-06-2020, 10:29 AM   #8
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If you are going to take the slide topper off I would recommend sealing all the seams up there and along the sides including any screw heads because you're going to expose an area to significant moisture that it was previously largely protected from. I'd also look at your rubber seal up there too for its conditionfor the same reason.

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Old 09-06-2020, 10:26 PM   #9
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If you remove the topper, carry a ladder and long broom in order to remove leaves, standing water, and limbs from the slide box top before retracting.
The patio awning is a fair weather friend. The topper is always there to protect.
Pulling in leaves and limbs will damage the slide wipers.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:11 PM   #10
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So.. you'd rather take it off and monkey around with the potential damage that can come than remove the anti-billow device because you're afraid it will open up while driving?

I can say.. I've owned my camper for 4 years now (it's a 2008 model which we bought used). I have two toppers and an awning.

None of them have an anti-billow device and I'm not worrying about it.

We've pulled the camper all over the place.. an average of two times per year to the Midwest, to the West twice, and all over the SE (we live in Georgia and love going to Florida, South Carolina, etc).. so much in fact that I've gone through two sets of tires. Driven in high winds as well on multiple occasions.

$400 or more for a replacement topper is highway robbery. You can replace that yourself for much much less.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N8S43VY..._z0xwFbX1RE6V7

$150 for this and I have enough to replace all the toppers on my camper two times.
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