Check Factory Slide Topper Mounts
Since I bought my RL in ’12, I have a routine where, during winterizing, I try to replace all the things that broke during my few outings during the camping season. This year, while I was replacing all my slide topper fabric, I re-noticed (from previous procrastination) that the dining room slide topper frame stuck out from the slider room face 1” further in the rear than in the front. Checking the other two slide toppers, I found that about ¾” between the frame and slide room face to be the standard - so my mission was to determine what was wrong with the rear.
During my inspection, I was “surprised” to find that none of the slide toppers, as installed by Redwood, were “clipped-in” to the bottom channel of the mounting brackets during installation. The toppers were actually just hanging on the top of the mounting brackets and depending on 2 small screws tapped into the top channel of thin aluminum brackets for stability.
To fix, I had to extend the slide, then unwind the remaining topper material on the roller by hand to achieve slack - and then clamped a filter wrench to the roller to keep it from winding that additional slack back up. Next, I reached under the topper material slack and using a 5/16” nut driver, removed the 2 screws holding the topper frame down to the top of the bracket on both ends. With an assistant on the other end, we lifted the topper frame w/roller right out of the brackets and supported by hand (not very heavy). Then, with the assistant, we tilted the lower frame into the matching lower channel on both brackets before dropping the top of the frame back into the top mounting channel. Finally, I replaced the two mounting screws in each bracket.
The above description worked the same for the shorter bedroom slide.
More challenging was the Kitchen slide topper because the longer topper uses a third bracket in the middle of the slide. To reach these mounting screws, the slide topper material must have its four stop screws removed and material pulled halfway back toward rear of the trailer - exposing the topper frame’s middle mounting screws which must be removed. Again, with an assistant on the other end, we lifted the topper frame right out of the brackets and supported by hand (not very heavy). Then, we tilted the lower frame into the matching lower channel on all three brackets before dropping the top of the frame back into the top mounting channel. Then we replaced the two mounting screws in each bracket. Next, we pulled the slide topper material back up to the front and reinstalled the 4 stop screws.
With an assistant, the entire correction took 3 hours. It’s disappointing that after all this time I’m continuing to find shortcuts taken by the Redwood assembly line. In this case, the only explanation for having all three mis-mounted is that by “hanging” the toppers without “mounting” into the brackets, perhaps only one person is needed to install the toppers and send it down the line.
I’ve camped in some pretty high winds - including next to the ocean when the remnants of a hurricane came in. It’s amazing they were only noisy and not blown out of those brackets during the last few years.
I regret getting carried away with my zeal to fix the issue (been there??) that I didn't stop to take photos, but If you have the optional factory slide toppers, check if your lower topper frame is locked into the bottom channel of each mounting bracket or just sitting on top of it like mine were.
Mike & Pam '12 36RL, Kodiak Discs, 17.5" G114s H-Rated, SRE4000 w/HD Shackles, Joy Rider Shocks, Flex Air, 5.5 Onan, W&D, DW, 4 Scare Lights, (2) 6V Trojan T-145s; Progressive EMS-HW50C, Winegard DTV Sat, Sony/Denon 4K Home Theater, WiFiRanger EliteAC Pack, weBoost 4G-X Cell Booster.
2020 RAM 3500 Limited CC, LB, 4x4, DRW, Cummins HO, AISIN, 4.10, Curt A30 w/OEM Prep, Transfer Flow 70gal Aux Tank/Toolbox.