5 Must Know Slide Out Tips


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.

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If you have purchased an RV that contains a slide out, the following five tips might be helpful to you during your upcoming vacations.

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5 Must Know Slide Out Tips#1 – Regular Maintenance is Crucial

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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.

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#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.

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Campfire#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.

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Comments 28

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    1. Yes, use a spray on lubricant. NOT wd40. Something that sprays on and the carrier fluid evaporates and leaves the oil film behind.

  1. Go to Camping World or to service of your dealer. They will point you to the right products to keep the slide working. Keep the rubber covering where it meets the RV clean and coated. One suggestion…when you are opening or closing…after fully open or fully closed, continue to hold the button for a count of 5 seconds to be sure it moved evenly. If you see a track on your slideout be sure there is no debris caught.

    1. Check to see if there is too much weight in storage, if it a bedroom slide make sure there isn’t too much weight stored under the bed. Empty the storage area try the slide if it works then you know you had too much weight there, if not then you need to make sure the slides are in sync with the rails. Hope this helps.

      1. THERE COULD BE A PIECE OF DEBRIE ON THE ROOF OF THE SLIDEOUT. WE ONCE HAD A PIECE OF TREE BRANCH ON THE ROOF, SO THEREAFTER, WE WOULD GET THE LADDER OUT AND MAKE SURE IT WAS CLEAR.

  2. Our front slide out makes a terrible noise when we slide it in or out, also a couple of times I’ve seen little slivers of metal on the floor when we slide it out! My husband is a procrastinator !! Help

    1. obviously you’re experiencing metal on metal contact, once you see the shavings easy repair is already out of the question, time for a pro or soon the slide will not open, or worse not close..

    1. NO !!! Slide out stabilizers can actually cause damage. If your trailer settles even a little bit and the stabilizers don’t settle at the same rate/distance they can “Rack” the mechanism. Most manufacturers recommend NOT using them.

    2. NO!!!! THE SLIDEOUTS ARE BALANCED BY THE MFG. TO COMPLETELY SEAL SO WATER DOESN’T ENTER YOUR RIG. IF YOU PUT STABILIZERS UNDER THEM, YOU COULD “BREAK THE SEAL”. PLUS THE WEIGHT OF THE STABILIZERS IS MORE WEIGHT FOR YOUR VEHICLE TO PULL.

    1. Does your trailer become off-level after the slide is open? Ours pulls on the slide side and makes the trailer off-level. We’re wondering if we should set the trailer slightly off-level on the opposite side of the the slide to compensate for the “pull” from the weight of the slide???

        1. SOMETIMES THAT IS TOUGH TO DO BECAUSE THE SLIDEOUT IS OVER THE WHEELS AND THEN YOU HAVE TO CRAWL UNDER THE SLIDEOUT TO PUT BOARDS, ETC UNDER THE WHEELS, AND I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND MOVING THE CAMPER WITH THE SLIDEOUTS EXTENDED.

    1. I would recommend a graphite based lubricant. It is suspended in a liquid that will evaporate after being applied, therefore it will not attract dirt and clog the gears. The geaphite that remains is a great lubricant.

  3. Good tip that works well for the seals. Take an old sock, fill it with baby powder and use it to “Dust” the seals leaving a good coating of powder on the seals. This will keep them from sticking to each other and to the siding. Will really help prevent tears and won’t collect dust and/or debris.

  4. With every slide fully extended, measure the slides to see just how far that each slide comes out from your camper. Get a small stick, a broom stick for example, and cut the stick exactly the length of the slide that comes out the farthest. Then measure your other slides and mark their length with a Sharpie pen on the stick. That way, you can walk around your camper, placing the stick on your camper side to double check all clearances before extending them, if need be.

    1. YOU CAN MEASURE THE DEPTH OF YOUR SLIDEOUTS FROM INSIDE. OURS ARE 40 INCHES DEEP WHICH EQUALS ME WITH MY ARMS EXTENDED TO EACH SIDE FROM FINGERTIP TO FINGERTIP. SINCE I AM NOT THE GREATEST BACKERUPPER, MY FRIEND WOULD DO THE BACKING AND I WOULD STAND NEXT TO THE ELECTRIC BOX (SHORE POWER SUPPLY) AND EXTEND MY ARMS WITH ONE ALMOST TOUCHING THE ELECTRIC BOX. HE WOULD BACK OUR RIG IN AND ALMOST TOUCH MY FINGERTIPS ON MY RIGHT ARM…..WORKED GREAT.

  5. Help!!! All the white rubber/plastic around my outside camper doors and windows are turning black!!! I’ve used everything I can think of and nothing works. Cleansers soften the black but not remove it completely. Then the black just comes back. Any suggestions? Thanks

  6. I would NOT recommend having any work done at Lazydays. We had slide issues. It was out of sync & creeping out going down the road. They replaced some parts & fixed that problem but now we have an obnoxious loud rattle in the wall on each end of the slide. Worried they didn’t assemble it correctly! Tried to get it in right away but were told we had to wait 2 1/2 mos for the next available appt., even though it’s on them! We’re headed to California for a month & if it quits working they will be on the hook. Fed up with their shoddy work!

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