By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If your rig is equipped with “slide toppers,” those fancy awnings that extend out over slideouts to keep weather and dirt from collecting on the slide, you know they can be real nice. Real nice, that is, until the wind starts to blow hard from the wrong direction. One RVer, out on a road trip with a ton of noisy grandchildren, struggled when the wind began to blow and, fearing the awnings would tear, brought in the slideouts — a lot less floor space with all those kids.
So what can you do? If your RV travels take you to windy sections of the country, what’s to be done when the wind blows? Some RVers say they just grin and bear the noise of the flapping toppers, while others have related horror stories about the damage done to their slide toppers. Other RVers say they’ve just given up on having slide toppers for this very reason.
Roll ’em in? Leave ’em out? It seems experienced RVers agree – much depends on the angle of the wind, how strong the wind – and perhaps how strong your willpower is when the flapping noises take over your life. But maybe there are a couple of things to be done that could allow you to leave your slide out when the wind blows.
One trick that some RVers report has success is lassoing that rebel slide topper. How so? With a soft (perhaps manila) rope, toss a line over the slideout, width-ways. Tighten down the rope slightly to form a “V” with the slide topper, and tie off both ends of the rope. The slideout bars under the slideout are probably just the place for the tie points.
Others have reported that they temporarily install tether —balls between the slideout roof and the topper. The tether balls take up some of the slack, and with their design, you can run a light line (like clothes line) to the ball to facilitate quick removal without having to mount the ladder when the winds die off.
Still others suggest replacing the factory-equipped topper material with sunscreen material. This material still provides shade to help cool down the slideout in bright sun, but because of its screen-like form, the wind doesn’t have as much opportunity to grab at the topper surface, hence, less noise and less chance of tearing.