bdersham

Slide Canopy / Water & Snow

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bdersham   

We are living at the moment full time in our RV and are In Carlisle PA  

About every 3-4 weeks we take our unit out for fuel and if appropriate a wash job. Today, attempting to get the unit ready to take out, I discovered the canopy that comes out with the slide had ice on it, about 1 in thick in the middle where it had troughed and it was impossible to retract the sides. Had to get an extension ladder and it took about an hour to clear the 3 slide canopies.

Given we’re going to be here for a few months this is bound to occur again and I’m looking for suggestions on how to avoid having water / snow get on top of the canopy and sit there. 

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bdersham,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum!

There are a few options, but first could you post the Make, Year and model of your RV.  Not all are constructed the same and the information will help the forum members to offer the most relevant information.

Rich.

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Coach will also be warmer if the slides are in. Since the slides roofs are fiberglass perhaps make a frame that you can slip under the canvas part and make it peak so the water will run off or the snow will run off as it melts. Frame does not need to be heavy so 1 X 3 material will work be sure long part, ridge is on edge not laying flat.

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abyrd   

We were in our MH over Christmas had about 4" of snow and it melted and froze overnight on all four slides.  Fortunately it warmed up and it started to melt and I was able to remove the slabs of ice. . . .

Not sure there is much you can do to prevent heavy wet snow from causing the canopy from sagging and collecting.  I don't believe you can put enough tension to the roller to prevent it from sagging.  Mine also catch rain water that causes the canopies to sag,  I always dump the water before retracting slides by either raising or lowering one end of the coach with the levelers before closing the slides.

Jim

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Have you thought about putting a small bucket (inverted) under the awning and on top of the slide roof?  That would give you a "peak" to let water run off.

Blake

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TBUTLER   

I have often thought of making a PVC pipe frame to insert under the canvas cover on our slide outs.  I've never done it but this would be light weight, could be push together and take-apart for easy storage.  I would use an inverted T to support a single pipe under the canvas.  For longer stretches you could insert several inverted T's to support a longer stretch of pipe which would establish a peak or simply prevent sagging.  I think the latter might be the better approach as a peak drains both toward and away from the sides of the coach.

We had a heavy snowfall on our coach one winter, six inches on the roof.  It was several days before I got on the roof to clear it.  The slide out covers were completely flattened on the slide out roof.  The following summer, the large slide out snapped a spring.  I lay the cause of that on the extended time that the spring was at max torque.  It could be a coincident but it is the only time I had a spring break or should I say a broken spring.  As a teacher I had regular spring breaks!

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abyrd   

I just thought of a good solution to prevent the canopy from sagging.  Place an inflatable float like you use to float on in a swimming pool,  they are cheap and easy to store. 

Jim

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1 hour ago, bdersham said:

My coach is a 2014 Itasca Ellipse 

Thank You for posting the information!

Thinking that the coach might have 4 slides? That there is very little slope to the toppers, that kind of means there is very little space between the slide tops and the topper material.

 Bladders - filled with air might slide between the topper and the slide roof could work to keep the center a little higher then the outer edge  - the other edge connects the the drip rail.

   Link to a possible  source.     http://www.atlinc.com/inflatables.html

Installing and removing them could be challenging.

Anything made of ridge material could very well damage the material and the roof top of the slides. 

The water might drain off the top by setting the coach at a slight angle front to rear. 

Toppers where not designed to be extended in winter conditions.

Moving the coach to add fuel and LP in cold weather is no fun. 

Rich.

 

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abyrd   

My owners manual states that the coach is not intended for use when the temperature drops below 32 degrees for extended periods.  Guess me all try extend our free time.

Jim

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TBUTLER   

Our coach has a winter kit installed.  There is a heating pad under the fresh water tank and an electric heater built into the compartment where the waste tanks and the water connections are located.  The water pump and other water distribution is located in the same compartment as the water heater and the inverter which keep those warm.  So some coaches may be not for winter, ours is well equipped to withstand normal cold weather and some sub-freezing.  I wouldn't want to subject it to constant below freezing temperatures without some additional basement heat. Use of the heaters does require at least a 30A connection or the generator to operate them.

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manholt   

Welcome to 2018!

I'm currently in Three Rivers, Texas and it's well below freezing...we left the Hill Country of Texas yesterday and it has been below freezing there for a week.:( All 4 of my slide toppers have been off for about 3 weeks now, (being replaced as soon as other parts come in and the Holidays are over), I have had less of a problem with rain, sleet and ice accumulating, without than with the toppers! :) There is insulation between the inside an outside of my slide roof.  I found that it's also easier to remove debris, water and ice, without the toppers....maybe that's why the very high end coaches have flush slides and no Toppers?

My Bay's are heated by the Aqua Hot furnace and have never been below freezing or at freezing...I have flowing water currently and it's 27!

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abyrd   

My brother-in-law has never had toppers on the slides on his Discovery MH.  He lives in the Pacific NW and most of his travel is on the coast wit rain and wind,  ha has never had any problem with water intrusion. His seals around the slide don't look any different than mine

Even with the toppers on my rig the wind blows the rain and it accumulates on the top of my slides.  I beginning having the toppers is like having both belts and suspenders.

Jim

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In Pa and last night it hit -0- and has not gone above freezing for a week now. At Hershey Camping Resort where they turned the water off so using my own tanks. they do have one facet where you can haul water to your coach. About 4 days ago woke up in the middle of the night and it was 10 degrees and we did not have any water. I have an Aquaheat system and my basement is very nicely heated. The coach Manufacture placed the coach water filter on the outside wall and i think it was the culprit which froze. Fortunately I caught it in time and put a small heater in the water closet. It took about 5 hours but we have water again and have not had a problem since.

We decided to move camping spaces to be closer to water source today. We have about 4 inches of snow the other day and knew I had to get it off the slide toppers before I tried to bring in my 3 slides. Went up on the roof and tried to remove the snow only to find huge chunks of ice under the snow. Looked like a bunch of leaves had fallen and water had accumulated on the slide toppers and with this cold weather froze solid. Knew I would cause some severe problems if I tried to close slides so I went to auto parts store bought 3 cans of Prestone  windshield de-icer. Back up on the roof in 12 degrees and sprayed and then scrapped the ice off. Was able to removed some in huge chunks. I was able to close slides although because of the cold they did not come in as smooth as they usually do. 

A lot of work to get closer to water, now I just need about 200 feet of hose and I wont have to carry water 5 gallons at a time. Although with the AquaHeat System I am hauling diesel fuel as with these cold temperatures I am going through about 4-5 gallons per day.

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manholt   

I put 68 gallons in my tank 10 days ago, Aqua Hot has been on 24/7 on diesel and I have driven 287 miles and now have 79 gallons left on a 150 gallon tank.  Yesterday I drove 153 miles from Ranch in Texas Hill Country to the Camp in Three Rivers, Texas...since it was bellow freezing most of the way, I had generator on and floor tile heat on! :D I'll be on Aqua Heat for the next 72+ hours, until we go to Harlingen, Texas almost by the Mexican border!  I will fill my fuel tank before I get there. 

Welcome to 2018. 

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RayIN   
On 12/31/2017 at 4:26 PM, elkhartjim said:

It may be hard to find but a beach ball inflated enough to take any sag out may be an option.

That's what I use to keep the topper awning  supported. DW's straight broom works well to position the beach ball and remove it when we make ready to travel.

I wonder why bdsham doesn't have his LP tank filled delivered by tanker truck?  It's hard on a diesel engine and transmission being started unless it's driven at least 20 minutes to reach normal operating temperature, and it will never reach normal operating temperature while idling; in fact it will cool down idling after being driven.
Washing any vehicle in freezing weather doesn't sound good for the seals either.

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FIVE   

The Aqua Hot is a great system, but if it is really cold, it will not keep your dump T handles from freezing.  The way I keep anything from freezing is multiple trouble lights with 60 watt bulbs (old style that get warm).  On one winter trip...heading south...the Cummins never got over 180 degrees, even after driving all day.

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I  keep a ceramic heater in the wet bay it will be warmer hear at only 23 but I don't trust light bulbs to be enough. I have 3 heaters in the coach to fight off the cold. The one in the wet bay and 2 upstairs. 

Bill

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manholt   
Quote

Your T handles will freeze

Where most of you are right now, I'll agree.  It never got so cold, that water would not flow and for the 48 hours that it did, I was on my fresh water tank, I still have not had a reason to H/U my sewage.  Showers, I take in the house portion of the barn, same with other things. :P We have no reason to take the coach or coach's north of Burnet. TX. in the winter! :)  Tomorrow, we will be in Harlingen, TX. 40 miles from Tom Butler and it's suppose to be in the 60's!

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The National Weather Service says that  it is 27 degrees here in Beaumont. and is supposed to be around 41 today. Have snow on the top of the truck but can't see if it stuck to the ground. 

Herman

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