Having a slide out in your RV is a great way to add interior living space once you have set up camp. If you are unfamiliar, a slide out is simply a section of the RV that can be ‘pushed out’ once the RV is parked. This enables the RV to still fit on the roads when in motion, but it can feel much bigger inside while you are camping. Once a feature only found on luxury RV’s, slide out are now commonplace in larger trailers and motorhomes.
If you have purchased an RV that contains a slide out, the following five tips might be helpful to you during your upcoming vacations.
#1 – Regular Maintenance is Crucial
A slide out is a moving part of your RV – therefore it needs at least periodic maintenance. Anything that moves always has the capability to wear out over time, and you want to make sure your slide out lasts for as long as possible. Follow the manufacturers recommendations on caring for your slide out, and make sure you keep up with that schedule as the years go by.
#2 – Make Sure You Have Room!
This is something of a basic tip, but it is incredibly important nonetheless. Before you push the button to activate your slide out and open up your RV, you need to make sure that you actually have room to do so. Is there a post near the RV that might be in the way, or maybe a tree? Take a quick walk around the RV just to be sure, and only open it up when you know you are clear.
#3 – Watch the Weight
When you slide out is extended, it is hanging over the side of the RV – meaning it shouldn’t have to bear too much weight from the inside. Of course the slide outs are designed to be used, so you can feel free to move about your RV without a problem, but don’t go placing extremely heavy items in the slide out section while you are camping. You aren’t going to knock the slide out clean off the RV with some heavy stuff inside, but you could potentially do damage to the mechanisms underneath, which would mean costly repairs later on.
#4 – Critical Seals
Having the ability to open and close a slide out is great – unless the seals that keep the water out of your RV while the slide is open fail. If the seals go bad, you could have water inside your RV in a hurry, and that is obviously a serious problem. Pay particular attention to this part of your rig and make sure you are caring for the seals on an ongoing basis. You don’t want to be out on a trip only to get caught in a downpour and realize the seals on your rig have cracked or split. This is truly a case where a little bit of maintenance can save you a lot of money down the line.
#5 – Get Professional Help
When you notice that you are having trouble with your slide out, the best thing you can do is get professional help in a timely manner. While you might be able to handle some of the other repair work on your RV all on your own, it is unlikely that you will have the tools and experience to manage the slide out properly. Since this is such an important, and large, piece of your RV, leave the major repair work to a trained pro.