Slideout Toppers - Yes or No? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 11-09-2014, 03:53 PM   #1
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Slideout Toppers - Yes or No?

Good day all you good camping folks. Hope the sun is shinning and keeping you warm where you are. Here in Ottawa, Canada, it's about 32 and sunny.....the white stuff is not far away.

My First Mate and I have an equipment question for the Forum:

We purchased a 2014 Denali 289RK which did not come with slideout toppers. Now we hear different stories; one is that they are not necessary, will gather water and will flap in the wind so don't waist your money

.....second, is that they are in fact pretty much a necessary item which will help preserve the upper seals on your slideout and will save you the trouble of climbing up and cleaning the slideout tops every time you bring them in.

What are your thoughts on this issue? We were told that it could cost a couple thousand to do two slides. We have an 8' slide and another which is about 12' (give or take). Any opinions or shared experiences would be greatly appreciated. If they are actually a necessary item, now would be the time for us to get our dealer to order and install them as we will not be picking up the TT until May 2015.

Yves
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:33 PM   #2
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We had one put on and find that we don't have to clean off the slide roof before bringing in the slide I would imagine you would/could bring in a lot of unnecessary "crap" if you didn't have them!
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:59 PM   #3
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I've had three other 5th wheel trailers without toppers on the slides. It was a necessity for us to have toppers on this unit. They have their advantages and disadvantages. As you've heard and said, rain collects in them unless you can have them mounted on the trailer a little higher up than the top of the slide. This will eliminate any water collecting in them. Second, you mentioned flapping in the wind. Yes, if the wind is blowing toward the front or toward the rear of the camper. Generally, if the wind is blowing to the side of your camper it won't flap. So, all depends on what angle your parked to the wind.
Before I had toppers, as Nanny and Poppy stated, there's crap that collects. If you park under trees with pine needles or leaves you generally have to climb on the roof and sweep off the top of the slides before retracting them.
It's a matter of preference.
Good luck with your decision.
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:21 PM   #4
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Pros & Cons have been mentioned...

My opinion... the pros outweigh the cons.
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:22 PM   #5
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I have them on mine. Here is a picture so you can see what they look like, I have the same trailer as you.

Living in Missouri and most of my camping is in wooded area's, I think it is great. Not only do mine keep debris of the top, but when raining, the keep the tops of the slide mostly dry. Might help with potential leaks. I have had some windy nights, and haven't had any trouble with flapping or noise.
I think living in the desert, the benefit might not be the same, but they do however provide shade to the tops, which might help with cooling.

I did work a deal when I bought my trailer to have them installed at cost. So I paid about 750.00 or so for mine (total for both). I think it was money well spent.
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:57 PM   #6
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My dealer talked me out of them. He said he would take my money if I insisted, but wouldn't recommend them. It's so breezy down here, you have to sweep the roof off regardless of a topper or not. I always carry a small ladder and broom, so it's no big deal to brush it off. My slide is also very water tight, although if your're relying on a topper to keep you dry...
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:16 AM   #7
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Amazing how dealers are all different. My dealer said that is the only upgrade he thinks is necessary on a TT.

I installed one on my super slide and I'm very happy.
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:22 AM   #8
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I put one on my slide and love it. For me it helps keep the weather out and helps keep some heat out in the summer.
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:53 PM   #9
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I think I am inclined on getting them installed. I'll get a quote from my dealer this week and will post it. Hope I can get a similar deal like Eric got but I doubt it...probably looking in the range of $1,500 CDN for both but the thought of having to clean the top of the slide outs each time I think makes them worth it. We too camp in wooded areas and there are pine needles, spruce needles, tree sap and all that good stuff that can ruin the rubber seal.
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:00 PM   #10
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I think I am inclined on getting them installed. I'll get a quote from my dealer this week and will post it. Hope I can get a similar deal like Eric got but I doubt it...probably looking in the range of $1,500 CDN for both but the thought of having to clean the top of the slide outs each time I think makes them worth it. We too camp in wooded areas and there are pine needles, spruce needles, tree sap and all that good stuff that can ruin the rubber seal.
We are in southern Ontario and we camp in the same kind of conditions. I really like if we have a long day of rain or a down pour...the slides are a little more protected and less likely that rain will get back into the TT.

We paid $800.00 (including tax) for our super slide. So I think your dealership is quoting a fair price. Still check around though.
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:06 PM   #11
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but the thought of having to clean the top of the slide outs each time I think makes them worth it.
Not trying to talk you out of anything, but you will still have to check and most likely clean the slides off every trip. I've talked to guys who have actually had small tree branches under their toppers, not to mention acorns and other sharp things you don't want sucked under the sweep seal.

Heck, I was sad when the dealer wouldn't recommend one. Although I quickly spent the money on extra tv's and such.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:39 PM   #12
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I paid $485 for just the slide topper (installed myself). It was a Carefree of Colorado unit. I found a large difference just in the three dealers I checked near me. The one I went with didn't charge me truck freight. Everyone else wanted to.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:25 PM   #13
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Saw my dealer this afternoon and the service manager will get back to me with a price (it will be $1,500+ CAD). However, talking with other RV'ers, many have made the same point that dawniewest has made above....that you still have to at least get up there and check to make sure that nothing has been blown under the topper. So my thinking is, heck, if I have to check anyway, might as well clean it off at the same time and spend the $$ on other options. The only + I can see for me at this time is that a topper would help prevent leaks during major downpours - but then again, a properly cared for slideout and seal should not leak ( at least in theory). Once I get my price I will let you know of our decision but right now, I tend to lean towards dawniewest's thinking.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:35 PM   #14
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On my fourth 5th wheel that has had slides & never installed any toppers on any of them. Out here you see them more on motorhomes & not that much on TT or 5th wheels.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:49 PM   #15
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For those who do not have toppers, do you walk on the roof every time you close them to clean the top of the slides or do you use a step ladder?

I hesitate on having to walk on the rubber roof all the time for fear of accelerating wear and tear.
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:56 PM   #16
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Once I get my price I will let you know of our decision but right now, I tend to lean towards dawniewest's thinking.
AHHH Decisions, decisions, decisions....

There is no wrong answer on this subject. It's really a matter of personal preference. I would have never got them, but the people I camp with talked me into it. The ones in my group without them wished they had them. I knew this when going in to deal for my TT and that's why I was able to get them at cost. As I mentioned earlier, I am glad I did.

I personally don't check my tops every time, but I do watch all the leaves and such roll off of the toppers when I close the tops.

One thing to keep in mind, that you don't have them on delivery of your TT and you could all ways get them installed at a later date.

There are basically two different manufactures for these.. Colorado and Dometic. I have the Dometic Elite. The Elite have a metal part that wraps around the topper when it is closed to protect the material and they look a little nicer. The price difference wasn't that much more then the dometic deluxe.

What I might suggest, is do some research on-line for prices. I think with shipping I found them for about 800.00 USD. If you have your on-line prices handy, you might get the dealer to work out a good price. The slides are 7' and 14'. Not sure what that would be in metric, but I think you will need inches and feet to order.

I am very handy, but I did not want to drill any screws in my new trailer, which is why I had negotiated them in the deal.

Anyways, have fun with you decision and all the other ones that you will soon have to make!
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:15 PM   #17
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Depending the size of your topper required, the shipping kills you. The length on my slide a standard UPS carrier won't ship. These have to be transported in via truck. I'm in Canada so it probably is different, plus our $$ isn't that great right now.
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:09 AM   #18
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I'm expecting a pretty stiff sticker price so I might wait and see how much hassle not having them is and then, as suggested by Eric, get them installed at a later date. I would rather spend the two grand on some other stuff that will really make a difference in our camping comfort.
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:51 PM   #19
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For those who do not have toppers, do you walk on the roof every time you close them to clean the top of the slides or do you use a step ladder?

I hesitate on having to walk on the rubber roof all the time for fear of accelerating wear and tear.
I only get on mine to wash it. I bought an extendable soft bristle brush to wash the outside with, that just happens to make the perfect slide sweeper. I also bought a nice adjustable step ladder, it is a little heavy, but it's come in so handy, it's worth lugging it around.
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Old 11-11-2014, 02:39 PM   #20
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I'm with you there dawniewest....we will get a light step ladder and I already have the extendable soft brush from having had a truck camper before. I certainly don't want to walk on the roof every time we pack up. Haven't heard from the dealer yet but wife and I decided that we will not get them this year. We'll go without and see and if we find a need for them, then we will get them.
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