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3100 slide out topper

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catsaplenty

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3100 slide out topper
« on: August 03, 2018, 01:32:10 am »
The slide out on my 2017 3100 had started acting hincky about going out sometimes. Usually if I just brought it in a little and then finished going out, it would work.   Then the day came when it didn't want to go out right at all.  Big U-turn in the travels to go to Elkhart to have this and the rest of the list taken care of.  The issue, it turned out, was the slide topper.  The explanation was that the topper had started to bow which was creating the issue for the slide coming out.  I am bringing this up here since it sounds like this is not just an issue for me though I have not noticed it on the forum.  I also do not know (and didn't think to ask) if the change to the Swintech slide out in 2017 had required a change to the topper.  It seems to be limited to the 3100 model and occurs there because of how big this slide out is and therefore how long the topper is with only supports on each end.

The fix was to add an additional piece in the middle.  This mounts on the slide below the topper and supports the middle as well as holding the retracted topper out from the side slightly.  The support has is own roller that will spin as the topper material unfurls. 

To my mind the solution (like many things) has good and bad parts.  Of course the obvious good is that the slide out works again and the support arm should prevent further bowing.  On the other hand, it means the metal cover for the topper can not come down all the way and wrap around the material.  The top of the roll will remain protected but part of the material will be exposed.  It also means that the material will rub on this roller every time it goes in and out.  I am guessing that over time this will cause  the material to wear out faster at that location, but of course I have no clue what time frame that might be and may not be enough to make it noticeable.  The other question for me is what it will do over time to have created a kind of air channel when driving.  Because the metal cover can not close down it leaves a noticeable channel for air to run under the metal and above the material as you drive down the road. 

So my PSA is multipurpose.  Those of you with the 3100, know that this bowing and the subsequent drag on the slide out operation is a possibility.  Know that there is a "fix" but that the fix has other considerations.  . Hopefully this is another area that will be getting some design attention to see if there is a better way to handle the topper on the 3100 model.  I am happy they had an option they could use to fix this.  I don't know if others of you have had this particular fix applied.  It is another area that it would seem I am not the only one who would have been (or will be) faced with the issue.

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Free2RV

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Re: 3100 slide out topper
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2018, 06:11:40 am »
Catsaplenty,

With the issues you have been having and not seeing others posting about them, you are probably starting to wonder if it is only you...but you can relax, it is not just you!!!  We have noticed the same problem with the slideout awning on our 3100.  On a recent trip, I was standing outside the unit watching the slide as Susie was running it out and noticed that the slideout awning appeared to be binding as it unrolled.  I also noted that it appeared to be bowed in against the side of the slideout.  I contacted Dave and he met with Doug to look at the pictures of the awning that we had sent to them (which would have been in mid-July before you arrived there with your unit).  Dave said that they were unaware of any problems with the awning and asked us to keep an eye on it.  He said that they were going to keep looking into it and if we were passing through Elkhart to stop so they could see it themselves.  I have since waxed the side of the slideout under where the awning was touching it and that has helped the unrolling process, but we are glad to know that someone else has noticed the same condition.  If you could post a picture of the closed slideout showing the new bracket they installed we would appreciate it.  If you want to do it through a PM that would be fine.

Good luck with everything they are working on for you.

Gary and Susie

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catsaplenty

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Re: 3100 slide out topper
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2018, 04:31:01 pm »
Thanks Gary and Susie.  Yes I had started wondering.  Don't get me wrong - still think Phoenix was the best choice for an RV.  But beating my head against a wall sometimes.  Afraid Elkhart is not on my way to any place so it is kind of a major change to my plans and travel budget when I give up and go there.   I am holding still for a bit over a week and of course it is raining just to make it all up right!.  I will get some pictures on here as soon as I can.

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bftownes

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Re: 3100 slide out topper
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2018, 06:52:15 pm »
CATSAPLENTY,

I had the pleasure of meeting you during my visit to Elkhart and you were describing the problem.  We were standing outside your motorhome and you came out and asked if I had any questions.

Safe travels.

Barry T

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jam4travel

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Re: 3100 slide out topper
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2018, 09:18:12 pm »
CATSAPLENTY,

I read your post with much interest.  I'm currently having a P.C. 3100 built, and assume I might end up with the same problem as you.  However, my first concern is for some odd reason P.C. put a slide out topper on my unit without the metal guard-not acceptable.  I'm not sure if this was intentional or what.  I'll need to get this issue resolved.  I did take the time to look for other possible slide out topper supports that might allow your topper with the metal guard to close more completely.

Take a look at the following URL link on Amazon for another style of a dometic slide out topper support, maybe this would work better for you.  Although you would still have the issue of possible addition wear on the awning fabric.  "https://www.amazon.com/Dometic-Awning-Cradle-Support/dp/B001FC8SJC/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533345898&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=dometic+slide+topper+support"

John
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 09:22:38 pm by jam4travel »

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catsaplenty

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Re: 3100 slide out topper
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2018, 07:54:46 pm »
Thanks John.  Since they already installed the arm from Dometic I will be hoping it all holds together.  Trying mostly to see if others had seen this and to let folks know about the situation before they land in that spot.

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2travel

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Re: 3100 slide out topper
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2018, 09:02:41 am »
No metal cover on slide out topper?  I noticed after 4 years of ownership and rotting fabric I have none and was told by Factory they order metal covered ones for coaches with full body paint but not for those with lower paint.  Bad news.  Lesson I learned is be more observant and overtreat cover with armor all in hopes of getting more than 4 years out of the replacement.  400 dollar repair
2travel

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catsaplenty

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Re: 3100 slide out topper
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2018, 08:08:01 pm »
2travel- I had been trying to remember if that wasn't what Earl said long ago when I first talked to him.   Something about the metal then went with the color of the RV.  I guess that was a limited number of colors - I have a silver coach and the cover is black.  Since I opted for the full body pain tI never had to ask about why I couldn't option in one with a cover even without the paint. 

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catsaplenty

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Re: 3100 slide out topper-pics
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2018, 08:48:01 am »
Finally got pictures.  (Assuming I can get them posted)   A couple angles of the brace while the slide is out.  With the slide in, a picture to show how the metal case stops - the materiel part rests on the brace.  Again an assumption on my part that all the wiggles and bounces as I drive is going to cause wear on the material there.  Also a shot from the end with the slide closed to show the gaps created because the metal can not finish wrapping around the cover - the whole thing sits out from the body slightly.    Time will tell.  But it was a way to allow the slide out to work again.  Perhaps the "best" solution would be to find a topper built with a sturdy enough core so that it doesn't sag.  I have no clue what the core of this one is but it wasn't strong enough. And my attention on the topper to get pictures - after a year and a half I see pin holes already.  I would have expected better on that too. 

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Free2RV

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Re: 3100 slide out topper
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2018, 03:56:30 pm »
Thanks for the pictures​ showing the new roller bracket.  So far ours does not appear to be sagging, just a lot of pressure against the slide out wall as it unrolls.  Good luck with it.
Gary

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catsaplenty

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Re: 3100 slide out topper
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2018, 09:08:26 am »
Hi folks - one update on the new roller.  After staying a week in Vermont, when I closed up the slide, pieces and parts from the trees stuck to the roller as the topper passed over it.  I thought it just might be dampness from the dew causing them to stick.  But those pieces remained attached to the roller despite travelling interstate speeds to RI and then 5 days later to  CT.  They were still there after I put the slide out and only began to disperse after a gully washer.   I would include that  on my list of long term concerns as I am guessing each time the topper rolls over the bits and pieces it is more chances to damage the topper.  And no - I don't carry a tall ladder so I could get up and clean off the roller each time I move the slide (and shouldn't have to).  Just something to add to your pondering as to your best approach.  Still the best solution in my mind would be for the topper mechanism to be constructed of sturdy enough material so it could support its own weight and perform the task for which it was designed.  Sagging would, to my mind, indicate this is not a high enough quality construction. Hopefully PC is talking to Dometic. 

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donc13

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Re: 3100 slide out topper
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2018, 01:38:13 pm »
I have no idea how tall you are, but would think a check before closing the slid and a quick sweep of the roller with a typical full size broom would take care of the twig issue.  If you travel alone, perhaps a fellow camper from a nearby site could assist you by using the broom to brush away twigs while you close the slide.

They do make brooms just to sweep toppers and topper awnings, but they do require a ladder.

---
Don and Patti

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: 3100 slide out topper
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2018, 07:55:11 am »
The same has always applied to "any" type of RV awning, topper, main, or individual window ones.  Make sure there is no debris on them prior to closure.  If applicable, clean while being closed.
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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ragoodsp

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Re: 3100 slide out topper
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2018, 09:18:56 am »
CatsPlenty….I feel your pain but Ron D. is completely correct in that all of these new awnings are being made far more light weight as manufacturers attempt to lighten coaches as much as possible to meet consumers desires for higher MPG's.  Rollers and the mechanism that extends and retracts the awnings are not engineered to roll up twigs and debris.  Without cleaning the awning before retracting you will tear the material and of course if wet you will have mildew and ultimately rot of the awning fabric.  On my 3100 main awning I began to notice a little sag in the center (they are long awnings) and placed a support in the center and that solved the issue.  Good luck
Ron Goodspeed