Sagging slideout topper – What’s an RVer to do?

By Chris Dougherty
Chris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. Here is a letter he received from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor.

Dear Chris,
The awning over my slideout is sagging on one end, but the other end is tight as both ends should be. Is there a way to adjust the tension on the end of the awning? —Jim W.

Dear Jim,
Well, it depends on the size and make of your slide topper. Many, if not most, slide toppers have only one spring, which is probably the side that is tight. Really long toppers will have two. The first thing is to determine which topper you have and how many springs you have.

It is not uncommon for the fabric to become stretched out over time, especially on the ends. Sometimes the fabrics will stretch in the middle if they are exposed, for example, to snow and ice. On occasion, the roller tube can become slightly bent allowing the middle to sag. Lastly, another possibility although a bit remote, is that the room is out of square, and one side is extending further than the other.

If the fabric is stretched, the best fix is to replace the fabric. If there is a spring problem, is it a tension issue or is a spring broken? If it is a tension issue, the best thing to do is to re-torque BOTH sides to factory specs. If you have to change a spring, then I would still do this on both sides.

If the room is out of square, the room needs to be fixed. An easy way to see if this is a possibility is to feel the room seal on the inside of the coach when the room is completely deployed. Are the seals equally tight on both sides? Measuring the flange of the room to the outside wall is another way of determining this.

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4 Thoughts to “Sagging slideout topper – What’s an RVer to do?”

  1. Jim

    Try putting a Beach Ball or something similar under the fabric.

  2. Dennis Hill

    I have a 158″ slideout topper I installed last year and I have the same problem with the rain pooling in the center and bowing the center of the fabric rod against the slideout. I shimmed the fabric rod away from the slideout last time camping and the water didn’t pool anymore in the center.
    I’ve seen center support brackets on some campers that support the rod. Does anyone know the name of those brackets? I’ve searched online but not knowing the exact name I can’t find it.

  3. gcm

    my fix is a cut snoodle (swimming thingy) measure topper
    to top of slideout, I put duct tape on both sides and stick it
    in on both ends, no flapping, but gotta remember to take
    them out/down before bringing slide in.

  4. Tom G

    My 17′ slideout regularly sagged in the middle after it rained. Pulling the slide in got most of the excess water off but the sag remained.

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