Are RV Slide Toppers Worth It?


No matter how big or small, RVs are only as good as their accessories, add-ons, and gadgets. And while slide toppers seem like a thoroughly unsexy addition to your RV, they play an important role in keeping your vehicle in top condition as well as keeping you dry and happy. There is nothing like the freedom of hitting the open road in an RV. Who knew that camping adventures could be so luxurious? 

RV slide toppers are a practical solution for keeping your slide-out debris-free, and they give great protection against moisture build-up and sun exposure. Because the slide-out is an area that can be malfunction prone, it is worth investing in a slide topper to help extend the life of your RV. 

RV Slide Toppers

Since there are so many options for RV additions, some of which can really break the bank, it is important to know what you are getting into before buying. Keep reading to find out just what slide toppers do, whether they are worth the money, and how you can best maximize your RV for a long life of adventure and fun. 

Are RV Slide Toppers Worth It? 

RVs are a great way to travel in comfort and class, but they can be a headache when unexpected breakdowns occur, and repairs can be costly. This is why slide toppers are absolutely a worthwhile addition to your RV. 

Several factors make slide toppers a worthwhile addition to your RV, many of which have to do with maintaining the function of your RV or preventing catastrophic breakdowns. 

Slide Toppers Prevent Moisture Build-up

When you use your slide-out, any water from rain or dew will develop on the top of your RV, and this can become problematic when you retract your slide out, as that water can get trapped in the interior of your RV, causing all sorts of issues. 

Slide toppers are an ingenious solution to water build-up, as they provide a protective layer on top of your slide out to keep out any water. 

Slide Toppers Protect Against Sun Exposure

Depending on where you’re camping, the sun can become a formidable foe for RVs. Direct sunlight can cook a camper or RV, causing the RV to become uncomfortably hot or even damage the siding. 

Slide toppers act as an effective sunshade against harsh light and heat, naturally cooling your RV as well as protecting it from harmful UV rays. 

Slide Toppers Repel Debris 

If you camp in the wilderness in your RV, you will experience a ton of natural debris from trees that, if left unattended, can accumulate on the roof of your slide out. 

Pine needles, sticks, acorns, and leaves are just some of the bits that can get stuck in your slide-out mechanism and damage the whole operation. Slide toppers are designed to prevent debris from getting stuck on your slide-out roof. 

Slide toppers Protect the Seal of Your Slide-Out

Maintaining a good seal on your slide-out is crucial for extending the life of your RV. If the elements or debris compromises your slide-out seal, the repairs to fix such a problem can be massive. 

Saving yourself the hassle of repairs plus giving you the peace of mind of knowing you are protected from damage is one of the great benefits of investing in a slide topper.

Slide Toppers Prevent Slide-Outs from Sticking

Nothing could be worse than packing up to leave a great vacation and having your slide-out fail to retract, causing a host of problems and delaying your travel. Slide-outs can get stuck for several reasons, which is why slide toppers were invented! Having a slide topper is the most effective way to prevent slide-outs from getting stuck. 

All of these factors point to why slide toppers are a great addition to your RV. The only possible drawback of installing a slide topper is that the fabric may flap in the wind, which can be annoying and, in extreme cases, cause the topper to rip off. But this is a small price to pay for the protection that a slide topper offers. 

RVs are a significant investment, and it’s a good idea to take preventative measures against wear and tear. Slide toppers are one of the best ways to keep your RV moving in great condition and are well worth the money. 

How to extend your Slide-out lifetime?

RVs are designed to withstand the elements, giving you the freedom to travel to deserts, woods, or even cold weather climates to enjoy the rugged beauty of the great outdoors. While they can be prone to breakdowns, RVs are naturally quite resilient and usually have a robust life span. 

Slide toppers are an accessory that can absolutely extend the life of your RV, but they are not necessary for RV travel. Since most RVs do not come equipped with a slide topper, you can expect manufacturers to have designed their RVs to withstand a good amount of damage common in outdoor adventures. 

If you opt to forgo a slide topper, there are a few good habits you should think about to help maintain the condition of your RV.

Sweep Off the Roof of Your Slide-Out Before Retracting

This is a must for anyone camping near trees or in wet conditions. The roof of your slide-out should be totally clear of any foreign objects, as well as pools of water and dirt or grime, to ensure that your seal is unbroken and your slide-out can smoothly close. 

Park Your RV in a Shaded Area

Minimizing direct exposure to the sun is important for many reasons. Sunlight will increase the temperature of your RV, and depending on your location, can turn a nice stay into a sweaty mess. 

Parking in a fully shaded area will also limit your exposure to UV rays that are harmful to human skin as well as RV siding. 

Keep your Slide-Out Lubricated

You will want to ensure routine maintenance to your slide out to make sure that it functions properly. One thing that can help protect your RV from damage is to lubricate the slide-out with WD-40 or another lubricant to ensure smooth and easy retracting and prevent rust. 

Slide toppers are recommended for anyone trying to protect their RV, but they are unnecessary for its operation. Certain folks will not find the $300 price tag worth it, especially if you are already used to maintaining and upkeep on your slide-out. If you are okay with climbing on top of your RV to sweep or towel off the roof of your slide out, then do not worry about spending the money on slide toppers. 

Conclusion 

Keeping your RV in good working condition is crucial if you plan on taking many long trips (which of course you are, why else would you buy an RV?!). Slide toppers are a great way to help keep your slide-outs in proper condition. These can be a problem area on your RV if they are not cared for properly. 

While not being necessary for the function of an RV, slide toppers are definitely worth the money. Slide toppers seem like relatively minor pieces, but they will give residual benefits long after they are installed by keeping the elements outside of your cabin and preventing debris from messing up anything important. Think about upgrading your RV with some much-needed protection with slide toppers to promote the longevity of your mobile hotel.

Martin

As an independent traveler, I try to share my positive and negative observations about van life as well as tips and tricks to make your life on the road easier. I travel and work in my old RV and would greatly appreciate a coffee from you if you find my content useful.

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