As with most things in RVing, you ask 5 people a question about “is such and such worth it?” and you’ll get a 1/2 dozen or more answers. One of these is “Are slide toppers (awnings over top of the slides) worth it?”. For me, the answer is a resounding YES.
- I rarely, if ever, have to worry what I park under because I know the slide topper will keep the top of my slide clean.
- The extra work/maintenance is minimal.
- They help keep the sun from beating down on the top of the slide.
- A side benefit is that they quiet down our bedrooms in the rain since both have slides – the rain hits the slide topper instead of the top of the slide.
I have watched forums over the last few years and it seems that when the question is asked, you get 3 basic answers:
- By far, this is the most common: I have had them and I will always have them.
- In second place: I’ve never had them and here’s why I won’t. (extra work, extra maintenance, concerns about flapping in the wind and water pooling from friends/other RVers that have had them)
- A distant third place: I had them, they flapped in the wind and I’ll never have them again.
As I listed above, the benefits are numerous and far outweigh the negatives. If you like camping in the woods and under trees, they save much work. Without them, you need to inspect the top of your slide before bringing it in (for our camper with 4-slides, it’s a convenience that is worth it).
For the folks who regularly camp in windy areas and unprotected areas often – the flapping may be an issue. Things can be done to combat it, but you’re one of the few who have a legitimate argument against not having them.
Thanks. I am looking for something that will keep the toppers tight, especially when it rains, to prevent the rain from pooling on the topper. Any ideas?
It's my understanding that the slide toppers themselves should have a tension adjustment. I haven't played with it, though.
I've read everything from using a beach ball under them to air mattress to PVC contraption. I think there may be ready made products like the RV Awning Airwedge (http://www.awningairwedge.com/).
I personally don't worry about it and just let the water run off when I run the slide in. I've learned to carefully listen as my wife is on the inside and runs the slides in. 🙂 I've gotten close to getting an unexpected shower a time or three!