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Old 08-18-2008, 07:23 PM   #1
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We spent the weekend camped in the Sacramento River delta, which is known to be windy...especially in the summer. This weekend did not disappoint in that department, so we were parked in a hefty crosswind aimed straight at our full-length slide all weekend. The steady breeze, which we estimated was 15-20 mph with gusts to 35-40 mph or so, would cause the slide topper on that 23-foot slide to bulge up, then rapidly retract. (Imagine the noise inside. Not fun!) Needless to say, we spent most of the weekend with the slide retracted. We didn't want to risk hearing the slide topper rip and seeing it go flying.

Cruising 'round the campground, we saw several slides and toppers pointed the same direction as ours that didn't move an inch in the stiff delta breeze. But, to be fair, not one of them was anything close to 23-feet long.

We're wondering a couple of things: If you're camped with a crosswind aimed at your slide, what windspeed would cause you to pull your slide in? And, can slide toppers be adjusted to stay taut in a crosswind?

We're newbies at all this....your expertise is warmly welcomed.

Thanks,
Natasha
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:23 PM   #2
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We spent the weekend camped in the Sacramento River delta, which is known to be windy...especially in the summer. This weekend did not disappoint in that department, so we were parked in a hefty crosswind aimed straight at our full-length slide all weekend. The steady breeze, which we estimated was 15-20 mph with gusts to 35-40 mph or so, would cause the slide topper on that 23-foot slide to bulge up, then rapidly retract. (Imagine the noise inside. Not fun!) Needless to say, we spent most of the weekend with the slide retracted. We didn't want to risk hearing the slide topper rip and seeing it go flying.

Cruising 'round the campground, we saw several slides and toppers pointed the same direction as ours that didn't move an inch in the stiff delta breeze. But, to be fair, not one of them was anything close to 23-feet long.

We're wondering a couple of things: If you're camped with a crosswind aimed at your slide, what windspeed would cause you to pull your slide in? And, can slide toppers be adjusted to stay taut in a crosswind?

We're newbies at all this....your expertise is warmly welcomed.

Thanks,
Natasha
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Old 08-19-2008, 02:12 AM   #3
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Natasha,

Look through These posts regarding the anti-billow device.

I had a similar experience last October while driving in a 35 - 40 MPH gusty crosswind. I found the rivet missing that should secure the bracket to the end of the hexagonal bar mounted on the slide. Wind would get under the roll of the topper and cause the end bracket to twist on the hexagonal bar. When the spring tension overcame the wind there was a big THUMP

While at the factory for other repairs, I told them about this trouble. Their fix was to place 1/2" spacers under the slide topper mounting plates on the side wall of the slide out. In looking around at other MHs since this repair, I find older rigs have plate mounted directly on slide wall - newer rigs have this spacer under mounting plate.

I hope this helps.
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:30 AM   #4
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Ours essentially wore out after three years of lots of use (we fulltimed for over a year) in very windy conditions for much of that time. I have always been reticent about pulling in slides due to weather, and the one time we did, our street-side living room topper had a 1/4" coating of ice and wow what a noise it made on retraction.

I thought for sure it was ruined, but it wasn't.

Consider your toppers an expendable and enjoy the rig.
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:18 AM   #5
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Although 23' is a good distance for this, carry a 2 1/2 or wider flat strap that will fit across the middle of the topper. Attach a rope where the strap overlaps the topper on each end. at the bottom of each rope, place a good quality bungee and attach it to the underneath frame and adjust the tension on the rope for a comfortable pull, not extensively tight. This will relieve the flapping to a great extent. Don't forget to remove the strap prior to retraction (Another check list item)

I would not construe this to be a permanent fix, but a temporary one when you are on the road and cannot get the tension fixed until you get back. Most auto stores or sports stores (Academy) have flat straps.

DO NOT use a rope or narrow strap across the topper as it will act as a knife and cut through the fabric where it goes over the edge. Wider is better.
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:12 PM   #6
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John

I agree with you. I have a 2002 Ultimate Advantage and the slide topper on my living room slide out gave up the ghost this past weekend. The spring in it broke. The sides were becoming frayed with use also. I bit the bullet and ordered a new one from Carefree of Colorado (that is the one that I had on the coach). I had to replace the one on the bedroom slide this past winter -- broke spring on it also. Both of the new ones are the types that are enclosed in the full case when not extended -- helps to prevent any "billowing" when traveling down the road.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:43 PM   #7
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The shipping of the slide topper "blew me away" --- I ordered late Monday afternoon and it was delivered today. Took about 2 1/2 hours to take off the old one and put the new one on. Looks great and now the front and back match.
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Old 08-21-2008, 03:14 PM   #8
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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 David K:
The shipping of the slide topper "blew me away" --- I ordered late Monday afternoon and it was delivered today. Took about 2 1/2 hours to take off the old one and put the new one on. Looks great and now the front and back match. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Wow - customer service doesn't get any better Kudos to you for wrestling with your topper and replacing it yourself!
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:15 AM   #9
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We bought a 2-year old coach and had all three slide toppers replaced (at Camping World) due to rotted fabric. New fabric has been on exactly 48 weeks and one is already rotting again. Fortunately, it is still under Dometic's 1-year warranty. I'm sure Dometic will find some excuse NOT to cover it, but we'll see.

On a similar topic: It appears that Winnebago FINALLY (hurray!) dumped AE/Dometic awnings for Carefee on the 2009 models.
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