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Old 03-21-2007, 06:21 AM   #1
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After reading all these post of folks replaceing thier slide toppers I'm wondering how long does an average topper last? I know this will depend on how much you use it, full timer vs part time use. The reason I ask is I have a 2001 Itasca 30w with one slide. I use it maybe 20 to 30 days/nights a year. Mostly in the winter when the sun is not too intense. It looks fine , no rips, no fraing, it is the original topper.

So how Long should I expect to get out of it 5 years, 10 years, 15 years?

Let me know your experience.
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:21 AM   #2
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After reading all these post of folks replaceing thier slide toppers I'm wondering how long does an average topper last? I know this will depend on how much you use it, full timer vs part time use. The reason I ask is I have a 2001 Itasca 30w with one slide. I use it maybe 20 to 30 days/nights a year. Mostly in the winter when the sun is not too intense. It looks fine , no rips, no fraing, it is the original topper.

So how Long should I expect to get out of it 5 years, 10 years, 15 years?

Let me know your experience.
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:43 AM   #3
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Well as you can see by my post mine lasted 4 years. We are fulltime RV'ers and only go where the sun shines!
Mine started showing wear at the leading edge when rolled up between the MH body and the roll itself. The straw that broke the bank was having the slides out during a hail storm. Nickel size hail. I would say you're pretty lucky because over time they dry out and get brittle.
Next time I'll have roller covers with woven more flexable material.
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:10 AM   #4
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Well I live in the Seattle area so not much chance of it getting dry.....
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:32 AM   #5
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On my 03 39QD I am currently replacing both slide toppers. May I suggest that age is not the most important factor. MOST of the toppers on older units (including up to 2003)did not come with a metal cover over them for storage. This allows the sun to destroy them more quickly especially if you live someplace with lots of sun. (Arizona) I did look into replacing the entire unit with the newer models that have the metal covers but decided that they were not going to be cost effective. Sorry I can't be more specific on your age question but it really does depend entirely on how much exposure to the suns rays you get. Incidentally, my patio and door covers which are protected by metal covers when stowed are both in great shape and I expect many more years from them.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:02 AM   #6
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I replaced mine last yr (coach was 4 yrs old). Primary problem was ripping leading edge on LR slide topper. Rear topper was still in fairly good shape but decided to do them both at once. Previous owner spent 2 winters in FL.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:33 AM   #7
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Mine only lasted a couple of years. I do park a couple of times a year at Beverley Beach and the wind does seem to blow all the time. Also I didn't have any inside storage when not in use. They was installed by CW. When I replaced them I used the Elite model, has the metal cover, and 2 years later, was showing no wear. Warrenty was only one year.
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:45 AM   #8
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Our street-side LR topper ripped at about 18 months at the aft end where it attaches to the roof mounting extrusion.

We camped in lots of wind last summer and I suspect that contributed to its early failure. All the other toppers seem to be in okay shape.
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:19 PM   #9
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Well I guess I'm pretty lucky then, mines 5 to 6 years old looks fine, it is always exposed to high wind, snow and rain. It is also stored outside. well guess I'm just lucky.
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:20 AM   #10
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We're on our 7th year (01 adventurer) with no problems yet. I think one of the key factors to its longevity is the fact that we store the coach indoors when it's not in use. It doesn't set around all that much since we have a little over 50,000 miles on the odometer.
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Old 03-22-2007, 07:20 AM   #11
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Hikerdogs: Maybe 2001 was just a good year for slide toppers....
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Old 03-22-2007, 03:35 PM   #12
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I had a tear in the large slide topper and I patched it with a piece of Vinyl Coated Fabric and PVC cement from a local fabric awning company. The patch has held up very well for three years now. The slide toppers are now about 4 years old.

Vinyl coated fabric awnings on homes and commercial buildings left up year-round usually last eight to nine years.

It appears as though the manufacturer used a "Vinyl Laminated Fabric" as apposed to a "Vinyl Coated Fabric" and with the exposure to the sun and wind wiping during driving the fabric tends to delaminate. Also it seams like a cheap grade of vinyl that becomes brittle soon.

Our toppers seam to have black mildew on the fabric from being rolled up wet or damp. The patio Awning has had the same conditions of being rolled up wet or damp however no signs of mildew on the patio Awning.
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:31 PM   #13
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I left Virginia the first of February with a small wear and tear in the large slide of my 36' Journey DL. By the time I got to Casa Grande,Az. both slide awnings had delaminated.Decided to travel back home to have replaced. Currently in Arkansas with just a thin piece of covering left.
I plan on returning to the Southwest in January so I have decided to replace my awning cover with a newer system that is enclosed and is a coated fabric. If any of you readers have some recommendations, I would appreciate it.
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:03 PM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by rvcarpenter:
Hikerdogs: Maybe 2001 was just a good year for slide toppers.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
That sounds just GREAT to me!
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:55 AM   #15
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Regarding slide toppers - I'm on my 3rd street side topper over the galley area and the 2nd topper on the curb side bedroom since the rig was placed in commission. One event saw the large ST become damaged due to a falling object brought about by cyclonic wind damage.

The leading edge on the ST appears to tear and it starts to get a bit ugly unless you're on top of it and change out the ST when it starts to look poorly.

One other thing that seems to go fail prematurely are the slide toper tension spring end caps. On on my second set of those - they wear in an egg shaped pattern and when the slideout is operated a visible jerking movement can be observed when the hole comes around to the high side.

This is an A&E product.
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Old 04-04-2007, 05:23 AM   #16
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Our started to delaminate last year. I put some duct tape on the edge until I get around to replace them.
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:07 AM   #17
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Well clearly it looks like 2001 was indeed a good year for toppers!
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Old 04-04-2007, 07:02 AM   #18
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Our lr/dr slide topper had a hole/tear in it this winter. We found some sail tape at CW that DH tried. It worked..and so far, no replacement (knocks on head for luck). Our tear was caused by several wonderful cold fronts with close to 50 mph winds coming thru. And you can't hide from flying debris!

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Old 04-04-2007, 02:36 PM   #19
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Pulley,
When I buy a new coach, I would look at the fabric or the mesh with the cover.
The mesh are the kind like Alfa uses. It lets air breath through but keeps the leaves and stuff out... The other are the fabric/material like on the Monaco, etc.
Both are much lighter and flex more without tearing and coming apart like the Cheap A&E junk! Lets face it, if your replace them twice and even doing it yourself your spending far more money then the top of the line toppers!
You get what you pay for!
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:21 PM   #20
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Ed, I appreciate the feedback. I looked at a friends Monaco in Arizona last month and liked what he had on (fabric). I also like the idea of the cover when rolled up. I believe I will look into this further. I like to get what I pay for. Thanks again.
Keith
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