We were going to stay three nights at the Grand Canyon but a severe weather storm was moving in. If we didn’t leave in the morning we would have to stay for another two nights and we were concerned about the amount of snow that was in the forecast. We decided we would get up early, check the weather and then make our decision. We didn’t know how we were going to get the snow off the slide-toppers so we could bring in the slides. You might be asking what are slide-toppers? Slide-toppers are similar to an awning but they move with the slides. They protect the top of the motorhome’s slide from weather, debris, and mildew.
We woke up to more snow than expected. We were surprised as the weather report had originally said it wasn’t going to start snowing until later in the morning. Instead, it had snowed overnight and it was still snowing, but there was going to be a break late in the morning. If we wanted to leave we had to leave then.
There was so much snow on the slide-toppers. How were we going to get it off? We didn’t think we could bring the slides in with that much snow and neither one of us was going to climb on the motorhome roof and sweep it off. We finally decided our only option was to bring in one slide slowly and see what happened to the snow.
We started with the back driver slide. We brought the slide in a little and then back out. The snow was sliding right off, the slide-topper was rolling up and the slide was coming in with no issues. We proceeded with the front driver slide. Everything worked great for that slide also. We were thrilled.
We then tried to bring in the passenger front slide but the slide-topper wasn’t rolling up. Oh no, this meant we couldn’t bring in the slide which meant we couldn’t leave. Our motorhome is 13 feet tall so even with the ladder it was impossible to see the top of the slide-toppers. Other RV owners were packing up and leaving so we knew we had to figure this out quickly.
Penguin thought that the mechanism that rolls up the slide-topper might be frozen. Luckily a few weeks before, he had mentioned to me that a hair dryer could be useful in snowy conditions. I grabbed my hair dryer, held onto the ladder and Penguin climbed up. Using the hair dryer he warmed up the mechanism. After a few minutes we tried to bring in the slide but it still didn’t work. What was preventing the slide-topper from rolling up? Penguin got back on the ladder and reached as high as he possibly could on top of the slide-topper and then he felt ice. Oh no.
The day before had been sunny and the passenger-side slide was in the sun so the snow on the slide-topper had melted and then froze to ice overnight. The driver-side slides were in the shade so the snow never had a chance to melt. Now we knew that ice was our problem but we didn’t know how much ice we had. Turned out there was thick ice on the entire length of the passenger slide-topper.
It was getting late in the morning and the break in the storm was here. We had to get this ice off the slide-topper now. Penguin heated the slide-topper from underneath with the blow dryer. After a few minutes he used hand to try and pry the ice from the slide-topper. He got a small chunk off! He heated the slide-topper again from underneath but this time he used the end of the broom stick to slowly pry a larger piece off. Yes! He got a big chunk. We moved the ladder to the middle of the slide and he repeated this process. More large chunks came lose. We moved to the other end of the slide and following the same process he finally got all of the ice off the slide-topper. This was the moment of truth. I pressed the button and the slide started moving in and the slide-topper rolled up. We had gotten the last slide in after about an hour of monkeying with the slides. By this time the roads had been cleared and the break in the storm was still here. We were off! It was very stressful and nerve wracking trying to get that last slide in before the storm hit but we did it and we learned a lot.
Our original plan was to stay two nights in Flagstaff so we could adventure around Sedona but the storm was going to hit Flagstaff with even more snow. We decided to continue on and we will have to visit Sedona another time.