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  • Are slide toppers needed?

    Hi All,

    The short question is whether slide toppers are worth it. I understand the “why” of them in general, but specifically with AF. My past experience is without slides in our truck camper, so slides are a new thing for me.
    I discussed the slide topper option on the 27-5L with Doug Karr at AF (he does something in customer service and/or design). He recommended that I not get the toppers b/c of the noise they make in wind, trying to clean them and the top of the slide itself, cost, and that AF slides use a sealant (my word; I mean some kind of multi-layered gasket) that negates the need for them.
    We have ordered a 2021 27-5L, but can still add things if we want (and if the bank account agrees).

    So...necessary, worth it...especially if we will be full-time primarily off-grid?

    Thanks,
    Lee-Ann

  • #2
    We have them on our 27-5L and while they can flap in a wind it is rarely annoying as in it never wakes us up. I suspect they are most helpful if you use the Fox in areas where the trees drop a lot, i.e. pine needles, cones, etc. Cleaning under them can be a pain under the main slide unless you have a brush with a long reach.
    Tom & Lynn
    2018 F350 DRW 6.7 Powerstroke
    2019 AF 27-5L

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by txshirle View Post
      We have them on our 27-5L and while they can flap in a wind it is rarely annoying as in it never wakes us up. I suspect they are most helpful if you use the Fox in areas where the trees drop a lot, i.e. pine needles, cones, etc. Cleaning under them can be a pain under the main slide unless you have a brush with a long reach.
      Thank you. I guess that means you are not familiar with whether the multi-layered seal (gasket) works well to keep out dnris or water.

      Comment


      • #4
        Toppers help shade the thin (as compared to the main roof area) roof of the slide-outs, keeps snow / ice off the slide roof and keeps leaves / pine cones / needles off the roof.

        If the above items are resting on your roof without a topper, may cause issues / damage when retracting the slide. With a topper, anything on the fabric, rolls off the end when rolled up.

        The seals will keep water, leaves, winds, cold air, etc from entering the trailer, but the raised top-outer edge of the slide will push & trap the debris against the seal & trailer side when closing.

        I wouldn't get another trailer without toppers. If I didn't have them while camping in forest areas, I would have to get the ladder out to check and/or sweep away debris before closing the slide.

        As for wind noise, we don't notice the topper(s) flapping unless it's over 20+mph and the wind is in a direction to catch the topper edge. Even if flapping, it's nothing to keep us awake, nor annoying.

        The only time we worried about the toppers, was in 50+mph winds and we just brought the slide in for a few hours, until the storm / winds subsided.
        Travel Blog: www.rocklinroamers.wordpress.com

        2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD:SRW, Duramax / Allison 6.6L Turbo-Diesel, Extended Cab, Long Bed, 4x4, Reese 16K Hitch, 50gal In-Bed Fuel Tank (85 gals total)

        2016 Arctic Fox 29-5T:Six-Point Leveling System, Fireplace, Two A/C's, Two Honda EU2000i Generators, TST "507" Tire Monitoring System, King-Size Bed, Progressive 'Hard-Wired' 50amp Surge Protector, 16gal Water Heater, Slide-Toppers, Power-Reel, 'G Rated' Sailun Tires.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RocklinDave View Post
          Toppers help shade the thin (as compared to the main roof area) roof of the slide-outs, keeps snow / ice off the slide roof and keeps leaves / pine cones / needles off the roof.

          If the above items are resting on your roof without a topper, may cause issues / damage when retracting the slide. With a topper, anything on the fabric, rolls off the end when rolled up.

          The seals will keep water, leaves, winds, cold air, etc from entering the trailer, but the raised top-outer edge of the slide will push & trap the debris against the seal & trailer side when closing.

          I wouldn't get another trailer without toppers. If I didn't have them while camping in forest areas, I would have to get the ladder out to check and/or sweep away debris before closing the slide.

          As for wind noise, we don't notice the topper(s) flapping unless it's over 20+mph and the wind is in a direction to catch the topper edge. Even if flapping, it's nothing to keep us awake, nor annoying.

          The only time we worried about the toppers, was in 50+mph winds and we just brought the slide in for a few hours, until the storm / winds subsided.
          Thank you - great info.

          Comment


          • #6
            The slide toppers keep the leaves, nut, pine needles, water, etc. off of your slide. When it time to saddle up and go, there is no need to clean off the top of your slide before you close them. Get them.
            2015 GMC Sierra 3500HD Dually 6 liter Gas, DC, LB, 4.10's, 2016 AF 990

            Comment


            • #7
              Agree with Dave and Geoboy. Pinecones are slide mechanism killers.
              2019 AF 27-5L, Onan, 4p auto level, Tire Tracker, bike rack, rear mount camera
              2020 Ram Long Horn LB diesel dually,60 gal aux, Curt 20K hitch

              Comment


              • #8
                I concur with the above folk. I’ve been in very strong winds and it wasn’t that bad. There are several techniques that are posted that reduce the noise issues. But again, I would definitely get them and will replace mine when they go bad.
                Terry Haynes
                USAF 20 yr Retiree. 2018 29-5T 2 a/c, Disc Brakes, Slipper Springs, SoftStart, RV Airflow, AC/Gas frig, Pantry, basement slide, slide toppers, Drain Master sewer hose, LevelMatePRO, 4 Camera Haloview System, Honeywell thermostats on both A/Cs, TST with truck and RV spare tire monitors,
                2019 RAM 3500 CTD SRW LB Laramie Longhorn, Companion B&W hitch, Revolver X4 truck bed cover

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by IRN83 View Post
                  I concur with the above folk. I’ve been in very strong winds and it wasn’t that bad. There are several techniques that are posted that reduce the noise issues. But again, I would definitely get them and will replace mine when they go bad.
                  Best remedy for flapping, was to throw a rope over the main topper and loosely tie under the slide. The small topper has never really been an issue.
                  Travel Blog: www.rocklinroamers.wordpress.com

                  2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD:SRW, Duramax / Allison 6.6L Turbo-Diesel, Extended Cab, Long Bed, 4x4, Reese 16K Hitch, 50gal In-Bed Fuel Tank (85 gals total)

                  2016 Arctic Fox 29-5T:Six-Point Leveling System, Fireplace, Two A/C's, Two Honda EU2000i Generators, TST "507" Tire Monitoring System, King-Size Bed, Progressive 'Hard-Wired' 50amp Surge Protector, 16gal Water Heater, Slide-Toppers, Power-Reel, 'G Rated' Sailun Tires.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Slide toppers for us now and always. That said they do need to be cleaned, they do make cleaning under them difficult, they do flap around in windy conditions. But for us that doesn't offset the positives.
                    2016 Arctic Fox 32-5M, 1,150 watt Solar Panels (5 @ 170, 2 @ 150), 2 Life Blue 200 Amp hr lithium batteries, Victron Blue Solar MPPT 150/85 Controller, MS2812 Magnum Pure Sine Inverter/Charger, 5.5 Onan LP Gen, 6pt leveling system, 2nd 13.5k A/C, Slide Toppers, Fireplace, King Bed, Central Vac. Hardwired Surge Guard Model 34560, rear view camera, clear entry door window,

                    2016 Ford F-450 Lariat. B&W Companion Hitch. Remax Bed Roll Cover, Bed Carpet.

                    Winter in Florida, traveling other seasons.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks folks. Added that to the 27-5L order.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Leemom3 View Post
                        Hi All,

                        The short question is whether slide toppers are worth it. I understand the “why” of them in general, but specifically with AF. My past experience is without slides in our truck camper, so slides are a new thing for me.
                        I discussed the slide topper option on the 27-5L with Doug Karr at AF (he does something in customer service and/or design). He recommended that I not get the toppers b/c of the noise they make in wind, trying to clean them and the top of the slide itself, cost, and that AF slides use a sealant (my word; I mean some kind of multi-layered gasket) that negates the need for them.
                        We have ordered a 2021 27-5L, but can still add things if we want (and if the bank account agrees).

                        So...necessary, worth it...especially if we will be full-time primarily off-grid?

                        Thanks,
                        Lee-Ann
                        Our 29-5T doesn't have slide toppers. My BF's previous RV did. There are pros and cons. The argument that one needn't worry about accumulation of debris on slide room roofs when toppers are installed may not be entirely true. In my BF's experience he had pine needles accumulate under his topper in corners under windy conditions. He also had birds nesting under the topper.

                        We opted against toppers on our AF thinking we could always add them if we wanted too. Besides the additional cost, they add weight, something we think many people don't pay enough attention to in general. They add an additional maintenance item and expense when they need service. That said, they may reduce service requirements on slide room roofs.

                        My BF uses the bedroom slide rooftop as a step up from a ladder get to the roof of the RV. With a topper he wouldn't be able to do that.

                        We have found no leaks as a result of not having toppers and after 3+ years of RV ownership with more than half of that in the RV we aren't planning to add them. We would say start without them then add them if you see some reason to do do.
                        2018 Arctic Fox 29-5T, 760 watts rooftop solar, 4 LifeLine GPL-4CT 6 volt AGM batteries, 2800 watt Magnum inverter, 1000 watt Aims inverter, Progressive Power Management System, Hughes Autoformer, Sailun G rated tires, Centramatic wheel balancers

                        2017 Ford F350 XLT Diesel 4x4 Dually SuperCab, B&W Companion hitch

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