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Old 01-07-2017, 08:38 AM   #1
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Looking at campers with slides and concerns

Johnnybgood asked these questions in another post ( A Winter Project - Slide Opening, Frame Repair (Picture heavy)) and we can answer them here to get better responses from other slide camper owners.


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybgood View Post
John, more newbie questions.......

so based on your experience with slides, would you purchase another camper with a slide?

My wife would like to get a larger camper and she likes the extra space a slide affords. You've eased my mind about the workings of them, but I'm concerned about the water tightness of them.

It's probably on the forum here somewhere, but what was the cause of your water leak that lead to your floor repair? I know you said it sat for quite a while with the slide open before you bought it and I've seen numerous campers for sale (not in person) that have/had water damage around the slide

Also, what happens when you pack up from a trip in the rain? Does the slider roof not hold enough water to be a concern? I'm guessing you need to keep a ladder handy and brush the debris off if you don't have a topper?
Hi John,

These are all great questions! Let me answer some from our experiences. .

Quote:
so based on your experience with slides, would you purchase another camper with a slide?
YES, absolutely in a heartbeat.... Like anything, there are pro's and con's and personal preferences. I myself "use" to shy away from slide campers until I finally bought one. Now I'm a "convert"

Yes, there is more to a slide and there is for sure, a lot more learning of things on the camper when you have a slide. But, the benefits far outweigh the negatives in our case. The added room inside the camper is amazing. That extra 2 to 2 1/2 feet extra width is unbelievable in the amount of space you have. It changes the entire inside dynamics of the camper. It enlarges the walking and usable space inside, even with only 2 people.

Quote:
It's probably on the forum here somewhere, but what was the cause of your water leak that lead to your floor repair? I know you said it sat for quite a while with the slide open before you bought it and I've seen numerous campers for sale (not in person) that have/had water damage around the slide
Slide floor rot... Yes, that is a "potential" problem until you understand how it happened and how to make sure it does not happen. See these 2 posts for details and pics

2004 & Older Slide Floors. Something you should check.

Slide Floor Water Damage

The slide floor rot problem was caused by a manufacturing method at the time used by many camper builders. Those methods have evolved over the years and many have changed their ways and some have not. After reviewing those posts, if you have questions, ask away.

A common question on camping forums is, "Is it OK to leave the slide open when the camper is not used?" This comes up often on seasonal sites where the owners only come on weekends or monthly and leave the slide open when they are gone for days and weeks on end.

Having had slide water issues I'll answer the question like this. The slide systems are made to be extended out while camping, but they are also longevity concerns on leaving them open when there is not a really good reason. They are by design, a little more fragile than the rest of the camper. If I had our camper on a seasonal site, when we left to come home for the week, I would push the button, take 60 seconds and bring the slide in. Why? Why leave it open?

The slide seals, the slide roof topper if it has one, are all exposed to the UV sun, leaves, pine needles etc and it is dying a slow sun death or other natural means when exposed. When we camp "in" the camper for 60 days a year and the slide is out, that is very little exposure than 365 days a year. Every thing will last longer not exposed to the sun and the outside elements. This also reduces the chances of water infiltration. Yes, they are built to take the weather but they only have a useful life based on exposure. Why burn the majority of the exposure life when the camper is "not" being used?

Quote:
Also, what happens when you pack up from a trip in the rain? Does the slider roof not hold enough water to be a concern? I'm guessing you need to keep a ladder handy and brush the debris off if you don't have a topper?
Good question.

Some campers have slide toppers, a mini awning over the slide. This helps in keeping water and sun off the top of the slide room. They do a good job, but over time the sun bakes the awning and it needs replacing just like the main awning. That said, a topper is a good investment in my view. When heavy leaves and sticks come down the topper can be covered with them. As the slide comes in, a person outside with a broom brushes off the mess from getting rolled up. When heavy rains come, the awning gets filled with water. Some tip the camper up or down to let it run of before retracting, others just retract slow and let it go, splash. And in some cases, under very high winds, the awning waffles in the wind to the point you can't sleep. Some owners in these extreme cases just retract the slide to stop the billowing of the topper.

Some campers have no slide topper, like mine. Ours did not come with one, and I never made it "yet" to adding one. I even have parts of it, not complete, but parts to add on. So since 2007 I have been dealing without the topper. Anytime before bringing the slide in after a campout, I have a step ladder I use and get up there and look. It depends on what we camped under as to what will be up there. Pine cones, twigs, pine needles, leaves are all up there. I have a telescoping brush and squeegee I use to clean it off. I also have "slide rags" old house terry towels I dry wipe the roof and ends down before retracting. I'm sort of anal about keeping our camper in great shape so I baby the slide and clean it all off before bringing it in. If not all that "stuff" will get into your slide seals and soon, leaks will happen.

Breaking camp in the rain, we have done this before without that much issue. Now granted if there is a monsoon rain, well we just wait before bringing in the slide. Once we are in the sprinkle stages, the wife is inside, I'm outside and I wipe down the roof and side quick and she brings it in. It is not really a problem for us.

There is a learning education on slides. One of the best places to start to learn, right here on the forum with asking questions and how others deal with it. I'm sure others deal with their slide different then we do, and that's OK.

Some manufacturers build their slides different. Some lift up off the floor when they retract, some don't, they scrub the floor. Some slide are considered flush floor, (usually larger slides) , some are 6" off the floor on smaller slides. Some slides are built better than others and the mechanical mechanisms are different to pull them in and out. If you are buying a new camper, the way to build a slide has changed a lot over the years. Most, are all better ways. They keep improving to cut down on warranty repairs.

Hope this all helps. Ask away for more

John
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:25 AM   #2
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Would we buy another camper with a slide?
It does give a lot more room, but there are drawbacks. If we were only using it for vacation type trips probably not. For wintering in a warmer climate, yes I need the space. Setting up, taking down, pulling over at a rest stop are all so much easier without a slide. But once you're set up the extra space is nice. As always with RVs everything is a compromise.
We do have slide toppers. I for sure would NOT get the topper on the one in the bedroom again! It's over the wardrobe, and on a windy night we have to bring the slide in or the flapping keeps us awake. The large one out in the living area flaps but it's far enough away that it's not a bother. If it's REALLY windy Steve runs a ratchet strap over it to hold it down. Yes, we clean them off before bringing in the slide. Our roof is walkable, and there's a built in ladder, so it's not a problem. Steve just takes a broom up there and sweeps. As for closing, when they're wet the built in squeegees do a fantastic job of drying them as they come in. We don't bother to dry the sides at all.
If you do get slides check which areas are inaccessible with the slides in. We chose our model partly because we can get to the entire kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom with both slides in.
Hope this helps more than confuses!
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:13 PM   #3
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Ok, I'll add my $0.02 for what it's worth.

When looking at trailers with slides, also pay close attention to the floor plan with the slides are IN.
With the slides IN
> Can you get to the bathroom.
> Can you access / fill the refrigerator.
> Can you get to the dinette.

If the floor plan supports all three things, it makes it more convenient for packing to take a trip and also stopping on the road to eat lunch or use the bathroom.

Both JohnB and Tweety provide excellent advice and info.

Personally, I would get toppers on all slides, but that's just me because I'm naturally lazy and don't want to climb up on the roof to clean off the slide roof before bringing it in.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-10-2017, 02:56 PM   #4
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Thank you all for the great advice.......very informative.

A camper with a slide is probably not in my immediate future. The wife and I still work, so we take a lot of 2 night trips and not sure I'd want to mess with it for such a short trip (main reason we sold the pop-up).

I could see it happening when we retire and camp different places a week or so at a time.
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Old 01-10-2017, 04:19 PM   #5
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I bought my '07 with the idea that three of us would be in it...which has been the case quite a bit. I have found that when I take it out myself, it's way too big for just me. Being able to have some space from other people in the slide trailer is quite nice.

I've always really really liked the 2653 floorplan, although it does feel much smaller than when I was a kid. I think it's still perfect for just me, without feeling too cramped.
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