Mod #33: Slide Topper

Mod #33: Slide Topper

Submitted on: 07/10/08

     Category: exterior
Mod Rating: 12345

(35 ratings)

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Mod Description:

A slide topper is a type of awning that automatically extends and retracts as the slide-out moves in and out. The awning helps protect the slide roof and provides some shade for the slide room. Any debris that collects on top of the slide falls off as the awning retracts with the slide-out room. This helps protect the slide seals as well since debris on the slide roof, like a small pine cone or or branch, can damage the seals when retracting the slide.

Mod Difficulty:

This mod will require a buddy or two to help out. A slide topper is not difficult to install, just a bit unwieldy due to it’s physical size. The basic steps are to affix the brackets to the slide, slide the awning’s edge in to the awning channel, install the tension tube (be careful here as the tube could retract and possibly pinch your fingers) to the brackets, and finally attach the awning to the tube by sliding the fabric in to the channel on the tube. Follow the steps in the included instructions for how to adjust and test out your topper.

Of course, there are also a few accessories that you must have for your topper. Well, you don’t have to have them but they are sure nice. One of them is a rafter that that runs the entire length of the topper, providing support down the middle of the material to prevent water pooling. Another also provides fabric support but does so using an inflatable wedge. And yet a third that is just a simple piece of thick foam you can make yourself that will provide some support as well.

TipIf you use any of the above supports, be sure to remove them before retracting the slide or you stand the chance of damaging either the slide, the topper, and/or the seals. This is a no-brainer but it’s very easy to forget. Add this to your departure checklist. You have one, right?

ModMyRV recommends these parts for this mod:

Slide Toppers
Dometic Slide Topper Elite
Carefree SlideOut Summit

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13 Comments For This Mod

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  1. Bob Vaughn

    My camper came with this…..but the water would collect on the top of it when it rained and all that water and leaves and pollen would run down the side of the camper when the room was brought in which made a nasty mess on the outside……When we were in TN for Thanksgiving last year it rained during the day then during the night it got down in the teens….when we went to put the room in the next morning to leave it was frozen. When a big sheet of ice came off the top it took the top layer of the fabric with it….I ordered a new fabric thru camping world and took it to them to replace the fabric when it came in…..as I waited the tech came in and told me that the wrong size fabric had been sent from the warehouse and the only option was to replace the whole thing ….I was not happy with this outcome but was really ticked off when I was telling my friend in another city and he told me that the same thing when he took his to CW to be replaced…..It was the basic bait and switch which CW service centers are notorious for……I solved the water collecting on the top by buying an “Air Wedge” and I put it under the slide out topper when we are going to sit for a couple of days…..

  2. jmt

    Is anyone in a very rainy climate that has a slide topper? I’ve been considering it but really not sure it’s worth the expense?

  3. tvman44

    We camp mostly in SP’s and we do not have to get up there and sweep off leaves and branches before we can close the slide like I see a lot of people do. Would not be without it.

    Bob do you have a picture of the Air Wedge you speak of??

  4. Portagie68

    Bob - I have the same water collection problem on my slide topper. The design of my trailer has a window were I would not like it so the trailer mounting bracket is not high enough. I do not have the slope in the slide for water to run off. My solution is to replace it with the Colorado slide topper that has a the metal arms inside. Your solution my help instead. Can you detail it more.

  5. Travis

    Worth every penny. Keeps them dry and twig free up thier. I have never had any water sneak in with them. If its raining when you leave and put the slide in, the water comes with it. I love mine.

  6. mbrykhus

    I have had one since 2007 and will never have another one. It does keep the leaves and sticks off but does allow water to collect and then comes off in a deluge when you slide it in. My biggest complaint is the noise and how much it flaps in the wind. It has kept me up on numerous occasions. if you have to buy all the gizmos to keep the water from pooling and have to climb up to take them out then it’s just as easy to sweep off the slide without it.

  7. builder

    I live on the “wet” coast so slide toppers are a must. Without one, it’s not just twigs and cones but, as Travis said, the wet slide roof evaporating water inside the coach as it dries. When installing, keep the topper wall mount as high as possible to improve the slope. I’m a fan, too.

  8. Jim-Bob

    I installed two on my Fuzion Toy Hauler. The instructions have a minimum and maximum placement for slope. I will be doing a lot of camping this winter in Northern California, snow and rain. I was considering putting a small cheap foam or air filled ball under them. I have heard of a couple of gizmos that can be slid under the fabric. I don’t want the water and crap being pulled back inside.

  9. Tim Hamlin

    Bob, I just returned today after spending Thanksgiving in Tenn. and I had the same problem with rain water and ice build up. I was fortunate and didn’t cause any damage to the slide topper but this is the biggest reason I didn’t want these but they were already installed on the camper when I purchased it. Where did you find the “air wedge” and is it easy to install. I have tried to google it but didn’t really know what I was looking for. Thanks to anyone else who also might have any ideas to help correct this problem.

  10. john abney

    my dad and i are planning on taking our raptor across country. the awnings look like a must to me . i have heard the pros and cons if you keep the fabric protected it should last i prefer mineral(baby) oil as a protectant. as for the sagging i wondered about that im thinking about an inflatable raft air it up till you get the desired lift. one question i have is which one is better slide topper or the kover II ?

  11. campers2

    I would like info on the “air wedge” you mentioned. I have been looking for something inflatable to put under the topper to keep water from pooling. I have seen all the PVC contraptions and do not want to fool with all that. Where can they be looked at or purchased?

  12. ModMyRV

    Try here: http://www.awningairwedge.com

  13. AL

    Easy solution to the rain gathering on the awning. Get yourself a twin size inflatable mattress and put it on top of your slider, under the awning. Works great!!

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