Slide Out Topper Adjustment

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The Johnstons

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Aug 28, 2006
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Owasso, OK
We recently pulled our Double Tree Mobile Suites for the first time.? We have Slide-out toppers by A&E (dometic).? During wind gust we experienced the topper on our super slide blowing up. Can the tension on these toppers be adjusted?? Thanks for any help.?
8)

Jeff and Nancy
"Our Best Life Now"
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Slide toppers do billow up in strong winds and to some extent that is a feature - it dumps water and debris from them. Whether yours is unusually loose cannot be judged from description alone.

You may be able to add tension by winding the roller tube an additional turn. The torsion spring in the roller is very strong and this is not for the faint of heart. If it gets away from you, injury is more than a slight possibility.  What brand of topper do you have - the common A&E variety? 
 

The Johnstons

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Joined
Aug 28, 2006
Posts
19
Location
Owasso, OK
RV Roamer said:
Slide toppers do billow up in strong winds and to some extent that is a feature - it dumps water and debris from them. Whether yours is unusually loose cannot be judged from description alone.

You may be able to add tension by winding the roller tube an additional turn. The torsion spring in the roller is very strong and this is not for the faint of heart. If it gets away from you, injury is more than a slight possibility.? What brand of topper do you have - the common A&E variety??

Thanks for your response Gary.  Based on my observation of the topper it would appear that the the billowing was excessive.  The topper billow looked to be allowing about 16" of the fabric to be blown up.  The visual view and sound appeared extreme.  I believe the brand of topper is A&E.  Based on your instruction it sounds like the topper torsion spring acts much like a spring on a overhead door.  I have never adjusted a torsion spring.  It sounds like due to the safety issue a service center should be contracted to make the adjustment. Do you have any additional thoughts?


Thanks Jeff
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Yeah, 16 inches sounds excessive.

The torsion spring is inside the roller tube, just like a window shade.  You have to disconnect one end of the fabric or the other and wind the tube tighter, then re-connect the fabric.  It's not like a patio or window awning where you can disconnect an arm and use that to add a turn or two. The slide topper doesnt have "arms" to use for leverage.

Yes, I would suggest a service center if you aren't somewhat familiar with these mechanisms. If I were near by I would be willing to show/help you, but explaining how to do it safely is another matter. It's not so much that it is difficult as it is requiring extreme caution. Experience and a demonstration by someone who has done it helps a lot.

  Here is a write up by a guy who replaced his awning fabric. At the point where he put in the new fabric, you would roll the tube an extra turn. H emakes it sound easy but the tube is under tremendous pressure and an "Ooops!" could be dangerous.
Slide topper procedure:
"I took some electrical tape and wrapped it around the handles on the rollers to protect them from scaring. Then I took a pair of Vice Grip pliers that have rounded jaws and fastened them to the end of the "T" shaped handle making sure that I put the pliers on the right way. So they would grip against the tension. I turned the spring tension back until the material was loose and fastened the Vice Grips with two heavy duty cable ties to the mounting rods on the slide out. This held the roller bar in place with the tension off the toppers. I removed the two screws in the gutters along side the roof and slid the topper material out. ....  After I reinstalled the new topper material I carefully cut the cable ties and let the roller wind the material around it using the Vice Grips for leverage. I checked to make sure it was straight and evenly distributed on the width and put new stainless steel screws in the gutter holes and took the Vice Grips and electrical tape off the handle."

I've done a similar procedure where I inserted a pair of screw driver blades into the slots on the awning and used them as handles to roll it against the tension, alternating the two so that one was always holding the pressure while I repositioned the other for the next 1/4 turn.
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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2 yrs ago I replaced our DR slide awning the same way that Gary indicated.  I'd never done one before.  It is much easier should you have a 2nd party assisting.  Up and down the ladder is a pain for me.  However it's not that big a job, but one to be, as said before, cautious and careful.  Good luck on your venture.
 

The Johnstons

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Joined
Aug 28, 2006
Posts
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Location
Owasso, OK
Thanks for the information.  With your information I will take a look at taking on this project myself.  I appreciate the words of caution concerning the danger of injury.  Thanks again for sharing your experience. 

Jeff
 
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