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ambyn

Slide Topper Leaks

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One of our three slide toppers is full of pin holes that allow water to leak through which then runs down the slide out side and winds up in one of the basement compartments. I think that a hail storm this past August was the cause of the pin holes as the other two toppers do not appear to have this problem.

Leaving our main awning out a couple of feet keeps the slide topper dry but is not viable in high winds.

Does anyone know of some type of coating that could be "painted" on the topper material to fill or cover the holes?

How hard is it to remove and replace the topper fabric?

Know of a good place to get a replacement topper? Camping World told me about $280. A local cover maker was about $200.

RV-Motorhome-Answers has something called Tough Top replacement awnings. Anyone have experience with them?

Thanks in advance.

Regards,

Amby N

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The awnings on our slides are from Carefree of Colorado. We went to them (their dealer, they don't deal directly with the consumer) with the serial number off the roller and got a replacement cover that was an exact match for the original. I consider dis-assembly pretty easy. If your covers are CoC, they have the instructions on-line if you don't have the original documents for the awnings. It gives step by step instructions which are easy enough to follow. Tools needed included a set of socket wrenches, screw drivers, a cotter pin or nail. You might use a little silicon spray to slide the bead on the awning out of its slot. You'll want a little caulking to seal the screw that locks the awning in the slot. Treat the spring apparatus with respect, follow those instructions to the letter.

I took both our slide awnings off and took them to a repair shop when they were ripped from wind during travel. Just wear and tear over 4 years of continuous use. Put them both back on a few days later and have since replaced one with a replacement awning. It is about a two hour job to remove one and replace it. Maybe a little more if it is your first time. Taking them off can be done single handed but putting them back on it helps greatly to have someone to assist. A friendly neighbor in the campground where we were helped me with the first job, I had Louise on the roof to help pull on the new awning while I was on the ladder pulling the awning onto the roller. That was one of only a hand-full of times I've managed to get her on the roof of the motor home in eight years!

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Brett,

The slide toppers are A&E. I have not contacted them at this point. I like the idea that the tough tops company advertises 15 oz per yard material where the A&E is said to be 12 and Carefree 11.

I have also thought of waiting till we get to Tucson in January and finding a local awning company to make a new topper for me.

Amby N

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A heavier fabric will make a slightly larger roll when the slide is retracted. As long as there is room on the roller, I'd go for the heavier fabric. I don't think they make a fabric that will stand up to a hail storm though so if you get caught with your slide out in the hail, you'll likely have the same problem. Maybe it will take larger hail to damage a heavier fabric!

I would definitely contact A&E for instructions on how to do the removal and replacement. The springs that wind the rollers are strong and if you let it get away, they can be dangerous. With CofC they insert a locking pin in the roller when it is wound tight (slide fully extended). Then you bring the slide in part way to release the tension on the fabric and remove it. The roller remains locked by the pin until the fabric is replaced.

I've seen several queries about increasing the tension on the fabric on the slide out. For those who are interested in increasing the tension on the roller, it is possible to get a good grip on the roller and remove the pin and put an extra half turn or full turn on the roller to increase tension on the fabric. Remember that this also puts an increased pull on the slide out and will increase the work load on the motor moving the slide out. It might seem like a small force but could lead to problems if the motor is not strong enough to move the slide in all conditions with that additional load. Also be aware that it simply may not be possible to put enough tension on the fabric to keep water from collecting on the cover and sagging (a common complaint).

Let us know what you finally end up doing with this. Good luck.

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Here's an update on what I have done to fix my leaking slide topper.

I found a product called VLP on the web. It is a Vinyl Leather repair sealer/glue. It remains somewhat flexible when cured on a vinyl awning.

VLP in small tubes for about $4.95 can be found at many Ace Hardware stores.

I used two tubes to fill all the holes in a 13' slide topper that is about 18" wide. So far after a couple of rains it is not leaking. But I have not put the slide in as we are in Tucson until early April so I do not know how rolling up the awning will effect the repairs.

The awning needs to be cleaned before applying the VLP.

I have used armorall on my other toppers to protect them from UVA and UVB. After 5.5 years they look pretty good.

Amby N.

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Amby,

Thanks for the follow up. I think it really helps all of us to learn what you did and how it worked for you. I hadn't thought about using Armourall on the awnings. I'll have to give that a test!

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I found this source for Slide Topper material and ordered new material for my large slide.

They where very helpful and the material has worked well for us.

I changed the material myself with a little help from my son.

The real trick is the tension of the springs in the roller tubes. One needs to work safely, locking the roller so it does not unwind is the area that requires Great Care.

Not for the faint of heart.

The rest of the job is not bad with just a little help from a extra pair of hands.

http://www.rv-motorh...out-topper.html

Found them to be very helpful and willing to help.

Hope you find them as good to work with as I did. They will install the fabric for you also.

Rich.

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