RV Slide Out Guide – The Pros & Cons Of RV Slideouts

rv-living-room-slide-out-open.jpg All it takes is a walk through an RV equipped with multiple slide out room extensions and you’ll be ready to sign on the dotted line and make one your own.

The feeling of openness and the ability to have more than one person standing in the RV’s living room at a time will dismiss that closed-in feeling instantly.

A bedroom slideout is probably the most desired slideout of all because the bedrooms inside RVs are notorious for being cramped.

Having lived full time in RVs for over 3 years, the extra space provided with multiple slideouts really makes the difference between simply existing and living comfortably.

rv-bedroom-tight-space.jpgHowever, as with all things, there are some trade-offs when you choose a super deluxe model RV with huge wall expansions.  For instance, there are some times where the slideouts create more problems than they’re worth!

 

For Starters:

  • If you spend most of your RV time parked, then a slide out is the greatest invention to come down the pike.
  • On the other hand, if you’re more mobile, driving down the road every day or so, then there are a number of reasons to give slideouts a second thought.

 

Using Slide-Outs When Parked Temporarily

Many people who like to spend the night in a Walmart parking lot (or someplace similar) go by the theory that making yourself look like you’ve taken root is a bad idea.  They believe you should leave your slideouts retracted during those times that you’re parked temporarily.

WARNING:  Not All Walmarts Allow Overnight Parking

I can see their point, but I tend to disagree.  Many RVs are rendered pretty much useless when the walls are sucked it.  With barely the ability to get from one end to the other, you might as well open out your bed roll on the pavement if you can’t open things up inside the RV!

Ease of operation makes opening and closing a slideout simply a matter of pressing a switch in most cases.  I just don’t see what the big deal is about using slideouts — no matter how long you’re parked!  Open up and be comfortable, if you ask me.

 

A Funny Story…

I will say that you’ll draw more attention to yourself when you have a 37-foot fifth wheel all stretched out in the parking lot of the local truck stop though.

A few years back we spent the night at the Travel Centers of America truck stop in Albert Lee, Minnesota.  We ate in their restaurant then retired to our triple slide RV home, which we had opened up to its full glory.

To minimize our sprawl we parked our second car (a small Ford Festiva) under our living room slideout.

rv-travel-trailer-slideouts.jpgBy about 10 p.m. the local Constable was knocking on our door politely asking just how long we planned on staying there.  Keep in mind, there were about 7-8 other rigs spending the night in the parking lot too.  But ours was obviously the biggest and consumed the most space.

After we assured him that we would be gone by 6 a.m., we got a good night’s sleep.  We knew full well that we could button up shop in about 5 minutes time and be gone in the morning.  It really looked worse than it was.

We had to open up the slide-out just to function inside our RV trailer.  But not to worry, those parked close by without slideouts were able to quietly go about their business without any interference from us.

 

Before You Open Up The Slide Outs

fleetwood-rv-slideout.jpg When you have slideouts, you need to check each campsite before you sign up to stay there.

You need to know if there might be a tree that will block the slideout, or a post that might be in the way (like that post which holds the utility hookups).

There are many RV campgrounds from the pre-slideout era.  Some simply can’t accommodate what amounts to a double wide rig.


RV Slideout Maintenance Issues

rv-slide-out-switch.jpg You should also consider the mechanics of slideout room extensions.  They are not always trouble free. There’s a lot to be said about the more gadgets one has, the more things will fail.  Pounding down rough roads and enduring many highway miles… things like that take their toll on RV slideouts.

It doesn’t matter if yours is a slideout that extends with electric screw type extenders, or one that is pushed in and out by hydraulic rams — even those that have electric gear motors that follow a track can — and will — fail at one time or another.

Many slideouts will have manual ways to retract the slide, while others can leave yo
u stuck with your walls out.  That’s not a good spot to be in if you’re on someone else’s property and they’re anxious for you to leave!

Things don’t stay new forever.  As your RV ages, the slides may start to bind.  Things get out of adjustment.  Motors lose some of their power.  For whatever reason, there were many times I had to take out the hand crank and bring in the slide that last inch or so by hand.

Did you know that slideouts are the leading source of RV water leaks?  As the rubber seals around the perimeter age and get stiff, they can allow rain water to seep in.  With the slideout either in or out, you’re relying on a rubber seal to keep the water out.

My experience with slideouts confirms the fact that as the slideout gets older, things will twist, warp, and otherwise get out of shape.  Cracks may develop, hardware and mechanical devices may fail, and adjustments will have to be made.  Things will get stiff and need lubrication.

I’ve seen RVs that have the complete kitchen mounted in a slideout — with gas and water and waste lines made in a way that will allow them to go in and out when you set up camp.  That’s not my idea of a good solid method of construction — too many moving parts.

Lately, a number of luxury motorhomes have been designed with super large slideouts that take up practically the whole side of the RV.  Call me old fashioned, but I question the long term structural integrity of such a design.  They look great inside, but how long will they hold up?

motorhome-slideout-in-living-room.jpg motorhome-slide-out-tight-squeeze.jpg rv-slideouts-in-tight-squeeze.jpg
motorhome-slideout-out-roomy.jpg

 

 

Are Slideouts In Your Future?

Each individual is different in terms of what they consider acceptable.

If you don’t mind a little hands-on effort on your part, and the extra space inside your RV is high on your wish list, then an RV with slideouts might be just the thing for you.

Be sure to give it some thought ahead of time though, because all that extra space will probably require some attention later on down the road.  There is trade-off, no matter how you look at it.

In my opinion, slideouts are nice — but only if you stop a lot and for long periods of time. Otherwise, they tend to cramp the interior space of your RV quite a bit while you’re driving.

Curtis Carper

I’ve been involved in RVing for over 40 yrs -- including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking at home, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller, you've got a good idea of who I am.

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Fun From Around the Web

  • Don

    Ha anyone run across the problem of exposed wood at the bottom of the side of the slide out absorbing water?

  • Don

    Ha anyone run across the problem of exposed wood at the bottom of the side of the slide out absorbing water?

    • Curtis

      Don, I had to completely gut a 14′ slideout once to rebuild it from the frame up due to water leakage on one end. That’s the main reason my enthusiasm for slideouts is nil.

    • Curtis

      Don, I had to completely gut a 14′ slideout once to rebuild it from the frame up due to water leakage on one end. That’s the main reason my enthusiasm for slideouts is nil.

  • Benny

    My gasket surrounding my 12′ slide out pulled away from the frame work above it. Water got in and down along the sides when it was closed up for the season. I found it this week and have started making an effort to start drying it out. The seal pulled away as I closed it up yesterday. I called my insurance company to see if they can help but I dont know anything about that yet. My trailer is made by Keystone, model is a Sprinter, 36′ bhs 2001.

    • Donnaldavis

      At least you had a seal.  We have a 2011 Kropf Park Model and have just gone through alot of rain.  Water in the belly of the camper.  Found out the dealer never installed a seal.  Screwed metal to metal and caulked.  Kropf won’t cover.  Told us to file on our insurance!

      • Curtis

        Donnaldavis, If Kropf won’t help you filing with your insurance may do some good.  No way of knowing how the manufacturer want’s it sealed, they all have their own methods.

  • Renardortiz

    i have a 2000 dutchman with a small 6 sofa slide out….crank type…..when i crank the slide in, it seals flush at the bottom but about one inch from being flush at the top. is there an adjustment or something i can tighten up. it’s a new trailer for me, only had about 2 months…not fimilar with slide outs.

    • Curtis

      Renardortiz, First make sure you have cranked the slide in as far as it will go. Some will make contact top or bottom but still need an extra turn or 2 to get it properly seated. Adjustments can be made (generally speaking) but without having your RV in front of me to see there is not much I can because there are many types and brands, all with a different way of doing the same thing.

  • Scott

    I have a 96 30′ Jayco and while extending the electric slideout, it went out. It is operated by a switch on the wall. I flip the switch off and on….nothing! Any thoughts???? thanx!

    Scott

    • Curtis

      Scott, first thought would be to check the fuse, both to make sure it hasn’t blown and to make sure you have power to it. Next would be to check for power at the switch, then check for power at the motor.

  • Blackman

    Our 14′ slideout on a 2006 Arctic Fox, is dragging on the carpet a little bit. I have adjusted the slotted carrier plates to the higest level, still the slideout is dragging some. Any ideas on fixing this. The slideout will go out about 38″, quite deep.

    • Curtis

      Blackman, Not knowing how your particular slideout is constructed I can only generalize by saying that after a few years anything that is spread out over a 14′ span is likely to sag and make contact where it shouldn’t. Quite possibly there is no cure. Just another down side to slideouts.

  • Robinlee Meyers

    I am having the same problem I hear the braker poping when I retract Going out is no problem.

    • Curtis

      Robin, It sounds like excessive drag might be the problem. Coming back in it overloads the motor and the breaker starts popping.

  • Mtkeg

    Absolutely great article- enjoyed reading! We just bought a 2011 StarCraft EXP 237 CKS and with the one year warranty and cosidering it has the power slide kitchen/couch- I have already started researching short cuts to expanding and retracting in power failures. Your story just hits home the thought of prevention.

    Thanks again and you really write a great piece!

    Mike K

  • Davendianne7

    We have a cedar creek 37 ft. slide has worked fine for 5 yrs. we’re full timers so it’s out most of the tme. recently we went on a trip and now when we put the large slide out, it doesn’t seal on the top like it did. we got a new battery as the switch used to make a clicking sound when it was out, It all hydraulic .. is there any way to adjust it so the top seals like it used to? BTW seals fine when in the in position. Dianne

    • Curtis

      Davendianne7, generally there are adjustments available under the slideout that will allow you to set some tilt to the slideout. I say generally because every manufacturer does it differently so good luck figuring out what will help. Check your rubber seal all the way around to make sure it isn’t folding over causing the bottom to seal up before the top does. If you have the ability to hand crank it out the last few inches maybe that will seal it up too. As they age, drag can become a problem.

  • Debbie

    Very helpful information. We are new RVers. We just bought a 2001 37′ Holiday Rambler with a slideout in the living and kitchen area. We have spent the weekend in it in really rainy weather. We moved once during the weekend. When we went to slide out again at the final RV Park, there was water on the floor where the slide out had tucked in when moving. Is this normal or a sign of bad things?

    • Curtis

      Debbie, I’m not completely sure I understand the “tucked in” part of your question. If water was pooled on top of the slideout at the time you retracted it, something that is highly possible if it had been raining heavily, when you moved that trapped water likely ran off the top of the slideout ending up on the floor inside your RV. I would suggest checking the top of the slideout the next time you retract during or after a heavy rain.

  • terry

    curtis,
    I have a dutchman 37′, 2007. The slide is coming in, but is cranking up to the ceiling before it gets all the way in. This is preventing me from pulling the electric slide all the way in. please help.

    • Curtis

      Terry, If I understand the problem correctly the slide is tipping up as it comes in. This can usually be adjusted at the brackets located at the outer edge of the slideout where the mechanism attaches to the slideout. If the distance between the bottom of the slideout and the mechanism is too small the slideout will tip up as it comes in. Of course this is somewhat of a generalization as I can’t see your specific situation from here. I hope this helps.

  • Lennartzb

    Curtis, We recently purchased an ’08 Oak Ridge by Woodland Park 8 1/2 foot park model with 3 slide outs which are always out.. It is permanently set up at a campground. I understand that I need to regularly inspect and lubricate the rubber seals. Some people have recommended I install close fitting aluminum awnings over the slide outs to prevent or reduce the likelihood of leaks. Any thoughts?

    • Curtis

      Lennartzb, I tried finding a picture on line of your rig with the slideouts, no luck. Being a park model, I would think it’s designed to have the slideouts out all the time, and hopefully it’s designed to avoid leakage by design. I really don’t feel qualified to make a suggestion without at least seeing something comparable. My general thought would be if it has a sloped roof with an overhang, water is likely to run off without a problem.

  • Cmcgraw

    Have a 2007 Damon challenger with a slide out in the living area. While camping we messed up and left the safety bar on the slide (the one that holds the slide in place while driving) when we started to let the slide out. It popped the awning bar off the slide awning and bent it. We tried attaching it back to the slide but now the slide will not go out correctly. The awning will not allow the slide to go out. Any ideas.

    • Curtis

      Cmcgraw, Not much I can say without seeing the problem up close. Do be aware that rewinding awnings all contain husky springs that can hurt you badly if you attempt to disassemble something you’re not familiar with.

  • Ke4d

    Fulltimed for 10 years in a double slide pusher. Often don’t put the slides out when stopped for an overnight. No problem at all. Had six class As non slide before this one and would never have another rig without slides. No problems, no issues. Lots more room. Never had an issue in a campground either, just have to make sure to not park the big slide next to the power pole.

  • Marilyn

    Hello Curtis: Enjoyed your article. I have one question that maybe beneficial to more than just me. We have met RVers that have had problems with their slides not being able to retract with no convenient assistance. We have a 2004 Damon Intruder and would like to know where the manuel crank is incase we ever need to bring our slides in because of electrical failure.

  • Lesley

    We have a slideout that literally moved outward about 2 FEET at the top (kind-of-teetered) while my husband was driving down the freeway. What could cause something like this?

    • Curtis

      Lesley, Sadly yes I can see that happening. Most slideouts are only physically attached to the RV at the bottom outward edge. If the slideout is not stowed all the way in, or happens to wander out a few inches while driving, the bottom edge can become a tipping point. That’s why most manufacturers include locking devices of some sort inside to keep the slideout stowed securely to the wall.

    • Arnie

      have 5th wheel camper and slide out leak off  and backs out alittle

  • Srobison1949

    Do slide outs need to be greased with anything.

  • Curtis

    Srobinson, Most manufacturers recommend not greasing or lubricating the slides. If you do they will collect grit and dirt and that will make matters worse by far.

    • Tommy033107

      I would agree unless you do what I did. I had my RV with slideout open 50 feet from the ocean in Northern California for 6 months. The tracks and rails rusted and the slide would not come in. I had to wire brush it with a drill for hours and hours then WD 40 it before it would move again.

      Salt water/air is a killer as I was not the only one this happened to at that RV park.

  • Kscarson74

    what does the tool look like that you use to manually crank the side in with? The battery is dead and I don’t know what to look for. Is there a web site? They do not make our trailer any more, so I can’t find what I am looking for.

    • Curtis

      Kscarson, This can vary from one rig to another. Most of the time it is a simple crank that accesses the drive motor system. Bedroom slides often are manually cranked in from inside and living room slides through a hole on the lower outside. Hard to tell what yours is without being there. If you can’t figure it out the best suggestion would be to charge the battery and do it electrically.

  • Dgward

    We have a slide out and it has a canopy over it .. Is it wise to leave it out in the rain or should we bring it in.. I am afraid that the rain will blow in under the canopy and cause the slide out to leak. Any comments on this.

    • Curtis

      Dgward, If the canopy you refer to is the kind that is mounted to the top of the slideout and rolls in and out with the slideout by all means you can leave the slideout extended during rain. The canopy is more to prevent leaves and trash from accumulating on top of the slideout than to shed water. The slideout itself will allow water to run off assuming the seals are doing their job properly.

      • Dgward

        Thank you so much for the information.

  • eddie

    What is the manual brake release rocker switch?

    • Curtis

      Eddie,  Sorry, I’ve never run into that term.  Must be something specific to your particular RV.  I’ve never seen an electrical braking system on a slideout.  It must be something new.

  • Anabea

    My family and I (we have 3 kids, 16,13 and 10 year olds) want to rent an RV to visit Yosemite in CA. We´ve never driven an RV. Is it a good idea to rent an RV with Slide outs? What are important things to consider when we rent the RV. Do you recomenda any renting place in San Francisco?

    • Curtis

      Anabea, When it comes to renting, long term durability or maintenance issues belong to the outfit that is renting it to you.  If your comfortable with the process of extending and retracting the slideouts the extra space is a great plus.  Do make sure you thoroughly understand the process before you leave the dealers lot.  You will be on the hook for any damage you cause due to lack of experience.  The most important thing to consider when renting an RV is “Are you at ease driving something much larger than the family sedan”? I’m in Minnesota, not much help as to dealers in San Francisco.  

  • François

    I JUST BOUGHT A 29 FT  PREMIER TRAILER WITH TWO SLIDES-OUT FACING EACH OTHER IN THE BACK.
    I READ IN OWNERS’S MANUAL THAT I CAN’T USE THEM IL NOT EXTENDED.
    THIS IS DISAPOINTHING AND BRINGS ME BACK TO THE SITUATION ABOVE,  , RARE PLACES TO PARK. 

  • Barbaracharlie

    we have bought a 1991 travel trailer with a slide out for the couch glendale model how do you work the slide we just have to move it once.

    • Curtis

      Barbaracharlie, Sorry, there are as many different ways to operate slideouts as there are manufactures.  No way of knowing without seeing it in front of me.  

  • Dmjc

    we have a 37′ coachman somerset, 2002, the slides have been working fine, all of the sudden one stopped, cant get it to go out, and a few days later the other one wont come in. no noise from the motors or anything. we have checked fuses, breakers, cant take it anywhere to have checked with the slide stuck out. 

    • Curtis

      Dmjc, Most slideouts have a way to mechanically override a failed retractor.  If yours is of the electric screw type there is a way to put a wrench on the end of it and hand screw it in.  It takes time and isn’t convenient but it will get the job done.  Some kinds are easier with a supplied hand crank that lets you do it from the outside.  

  • Donnaldavis

    We have a 2011 Kropf Park Model.  Leaked around the three slides within 1st 3 months.  Supposedly repaired.  Just went through Hurricane.  Water pouring from belly of camper.  Discovered slides not sealed.  Metal to Metal.  No foam seal.  Kropf refuses to help. Says we broke the seal when moving. What is proper way to seal slides?

  • Pfichter47

    2003 discovery with 3 slides, while driving one of the slides comes out some.  Does the motor lock it in, could it be weak or need to be replaced?

    • Curtis

      Pfichter47, The motor isn’t meant to be a lock to keep the slides in.  Without additional mechanical locks of some sort it isn’t uncommon for a slide to creep out a bit while driving.  If it’s on a small amount of movement sucking it back in every now and then isn’t a big deal.  Ideally you might look into something to keep the slide from moving.  Just don’t forget to release any locks before you extend the slideout as it will surly damage something.

  • Regional

    I have a Hi Line Park Model with a manual slide out.  No crank, just pull out or push back in.  Takes a couple of people to do this job.  I am told by the dealer that it is ok to leave the slide out all winter.  Is this recommended. 

    • Curtis

      Regional, If the dealer says it’s ok it sounds reasonable to me.  Park models aren’t designed to be moved all that much so it doesn’t make sense to fold them up.  If they haven’t leaked in rain all summer, they’ll likely no leak in the winter unless ice dams up and causes a problem.

  • Randy Schmidt

    We have a 2004 Damon Challenger and the slides will not operate. I checked the lock switch.  2 slides, neither will work.  Where do I start.

    • Curtis

      Randy, Since both slideouts are not working I would check their common source of power.  It’s likely lack of electricity is the problem.

  • Tom Vilneff

    have 2 slide outs 1 in the bedroom and a large 1 in the  living area.Bedroom one moves larger one wont move.Can you helpus?

    • Curtis

      Tom Vilneff, The best I can offer is check fuses, check for electrical power to the motor if you have a motor driven system.  Is the drive trying to pull it in but it won’t move? Then check for the source of the binding.  There are too many variable to try accurate troubleshooting over the internet.

      • charlotte

        Just wondering.  Our electric slideout quit working and I was told you have to have the battery in order for it to work, even if it’s plugged into an electric source.  Why does it have to have the battery?

        • Curtis

          Charlotte,  The battery serves a couple purposes and should always be installed when you use 12v items in your RV.  To some extent it regulates the voltage but more importantly when a heavy load is applied to the 12v system the battery can handle it where the converter may not.  Not only may the slideout not function you may also damage the converter by overloading it.

  • Tommyjames0055

    HELP towing down the hwy. in a 10 in central Arizona I had a hugh section of fiber glass exterior rip off from the wind at 65 and simi’s blasting by me at 75+to 80 mph.  How do I fix this ripped off fiberblass section ? I am on a strict budget and have basic handy man skills.

    Tommy

    • Curtis

      Tommyjames0055, Nothing about this is going to be cheap or easy.  Not enough information for me to really judge your problem.  If it’s an older unit you can get sheet fiberglass panels at Home Depot and fashion a repair, assuming your siding is flat panel fiberglass.  It won’t look like original, but it will keep the weather out and maintain the integrity of the RV.  Remember you are the only one your aiming to satisfy as to how it looks.

  • jaycoand

    My slide out has leaked, and want to remove sides to expose amount of rot.  How hard is this to do, what steps are needed, etc. 

  • Curtis

    Jaycoand, It’s hard to say because every brand of RV builds their slideouts differently.  Some are wood frame while others are aluminum.  Some use styrofoam insulation others use fiberglass.  I would hope you have at least some experience with home repair before you tackle such a project. My own slideout rebuild was a wood framed unit and I disassembled the leaky wall from the inside replacing what rotted wood I encountered along the way.  Much of it was savable after opening the wall and drying everything out.  Of course the most important part is finding and curing the source of the water penetration.

  • Censming

    I have a 2007 30′ pilgrim with 10′ slideout…Everything was woring great until I parked it away for the winter in my large storage garage..When I went to put out slideout it made a popping noise every few seconds while extending…nothing looked out of place but sounded horrable…any ideas what could be wrong..

    • Curtis

      Censming, I have to read between the lines a bit here.  Your RV was parked for the winter… But it’s still very much winter, at least here in Minnesota.  If you tried to extend or retract  your slideout when the RV is unheated and basically in cold storage all kinds of nasty things could happen to gaskets and seals around the perimeter of the slideout.  I hope you started the furnace and warmed it thoroughly before attempting to move the slideout.  Even that isn’t a guarantee because you can’t warm up the outside world.  Cold raises all kinds of havoc on rubber and plastic when you try to move it.  Just another reason I don’t have slideouts. 

  • Brian K

    Curtis, I just bought a 2002 Palomino lite, 27 footer with slide out for cofa.  Well, first night after I brought it home , it poured with driving rain all night.  next day there was wet spot on carpet under where slide out track comes in camper.  I figured seal leak made water wick down the side into camper.  Also, the back bedroom floor seems to be spongy under the window, so I will have to pull back vinyl and let it dry out, with tarp on roof for rest of winter tile spring.  Does this sound like a good plan, using tarp to keep water from coming in the camper until it gets warmer so I can try to caulk up windows, etc…?  Pls advise, thanks!

    • Curtis

      Brian K, Sounds reasonable to me.  If you can, place a fan pointed toward the wet spots to help expedite the drying process.  I always cover my RV with a heavy duty plastic tarp for the winter. Snow always seems to find a way to let water get into them during cold weather storage.

  • Moe laflamme

    I have a NUWA Hitchicker with 3 slideouts.  Two of them do not seat evenly, with the top being out further than bottom.  I can slide a piece of paper between the seal at the top, so I suspect this is the cause of my leaks.  How difficult is it to adjust this so it seats evenly when closed?  Thanks

  • Moe

    Curtis, to add to previous post, the only adjustment I found was 2 large bolts welded at the top to the slide frame with two nuts on either side of the bracket.  I can see where if I loosen the bottom one and tighten the top one the slide will go up, but does this just raise it all up or will it bring the top of the slid in so it seats evenly when closed?  Also, I wonder what this does to the slide when it’s open, does it have the opposite effect on the inside seals?  I would appreciate your thoughts, afraid to try it.

    The only other thing I could imagine is a possible adjustment underneath for the square ram itself, where the angle of the square ram could go up or down. 

  • Curtis

    Moe, I’m familiar with that type of adjustment arrangement but it’s been about 10 years since I owned the 5th wheel trailer that was set up that way.  Yes, those nuts do adjust the angle and should be how you would correct your issue but I don’t remember which way to go on adjusting them.  Also the trailer I had was 10 years old at the time and the adjustment really didn’t cure the problem as the electric retractor wasn’t powerful enough anymore to snug up the seal.  I ended up using the hand crank to bring in the slideout that last 1/2 inch to seal everything up.   As the RV ages keeping everything in adjustment gets harder and harder.

  • Moe

    Thanks Curtis.  I will give it a try today if I can loosen the bolts.  I am also thinking of extending the range a tad by adjusting the stop a little, it’s hydraulic and seems strong enough.  I can see the stop for closing it but haven’t determined if there is a stop for opening.  Will let you know how I do, and again thanks.

  • Lenasimpson

    very knowledgeable

  • Lenasimpson

    need help curtis trying to figure out how to remove the slide out of my travel trailer, to make repairs on the floor where we have had a waterleak. I have a 2003 Wanderer Glidelite with 1 slide out and 2 popout canopies. One  on each end

  • Curtis

    Lenasimpson, I’m afraid that’s more than I can advise over the internet.  My expertise is more general in nature than specific to certain makes and models.  Without seeing your trailer I would have no idea where to start.  Removing a slide out  will require more equipment than the normal home owner would usually have on hand.  An over head hoist, a fork lift, you will need substantial weight carrying capacity to do such a job.  I rebuilt the slide out on my 5th wheel by stripping out the damaged area from the inside.  Removing the slide out  is more than I would consider myself.

  • Jjllldel

    have a motorhome with a single slide. going out works fine. try to pull it in and it won’t shut off
    . comes in but the motor keeps trying to work. is it the switch or something else.
    jim

  • Curtis

    Jjllldel, Your question gets a definite “Maybe”.  There’s quite a few variable here.  Is your mechanism hydraulic or electric?  Does it have internal limit switches or something separate from the mechanism? Is the main control switch bad or sticky?  All things I can’t determine from here.  Most slideouts I’ve dealt with stop when you let go of the switch.  Odds are you’re on the right track but if there is an electronic control board involved it could be a number of things

  • chuck

    I have a fifthwheel the is premently located on a lot. It is is Florida and we stay in it during the winter. I noticed some people leave the out all year long and others bring thm in when not is use. which do you recomend.

  • Curtis

    chuck, Six one, half a dozen of the other.  I live for 2-1/2 yrs in a 5th wheel and never retracted the slikeouts until I moved.  The key is to get a good seal around the slideout, either with it out or with it in.  As long as water can’t migrate inside is shouldn’t matter.

  • Tbishop9786

    i have a 1995 dutchman classic 31 ft pull behind and i am trying to find the slide out seals on the main chassis and the actual slide out. the seals have been removed so not sure what im looking for any help in finding them

  • Curtis

    Tbishop9786, Though I have no idea what was around your slideout originally here’s a link that may help you find something that will work.  http://tiny.cc/8r2pcw
    The point of the seal is squish between the flange that surrounds the slideout and the wall of the trailer to keepout rain water from getting in.  There should be a seal behind the interior trim flange which seals when the slideout is extended and another on the inside of the exterior trim flange for when the slideout is stowed.

  • Wiseonedr

    We have a 5th Wheel Prowler and we are living full time in the RV – We were at one campground for 4 years and just moved the other day. We parked and got it level and went to  slide out the slider and it won’t go out all the way . . . . . Its making a clicking sound . . . .  Any advice – someone in the new park said it might be one of the batteries but don’t want to put out the funds if thats not it. . . . ..  any advice out there!!!  :)

    • Curtis

      Wiseonedr, Hook up the trailer cord to your pickup.  If the trailer battery is dead the truck power should give you enough juice to make it work.  If that’s the case I recommend replacing the bad battery in the trailer because the power converter will continue to charge the bad battery or if you remove the bad battery the converter will supply too much voltage to the trailer which will cause other failures.

  • Dloringer

    I am looking for a manual slide crank for a 1999 Kit Companion 5th-wheel.  Can you tell me where I can buy one.

    • Curtis

      Dloringer, The best I could find is the remnants of Kit Manufacturing is now operating under the name: 
      http://extremewarrior.com/   You might be able to find a manual crank through them.  Otherwise I’d make a visit to the RV dealers in your area and see if they have something that will work for you.

  • Stevewhite07

    we want to move our c-class ahead 3 feet and wonder if we have to pull the slide out in. we have been set up and parked for several days. feeling lazy about taking down all we have on that side. full-timers with stuff. by the way the area is completely flat. any comments

  • Curtis

    Stevewhite07, The best I can say is if it was me, I’d probably do it.  Beyond that, use your own discretion.

  • Fulltimejimcat

    Curtis:

    The fiberglass on the bottom corners of the motorhome where the bed slideout is has started cracking. I think that the cracking has been caused by the motorhome not being level. I put screws in the fiberglass to keep the cracks from spreading but that didn’t help. I now have additional cracks on each side. What is the best solution to fix this problem. I think that the motorhome body is out of whack as the corners of where the slideout goes inside the motorhome has a gap. Can you advise me what I should do. The fiberglass has started to seperate at the location of the cracks.

    Thank you.

    Jim Sullivan

  • Curtis

    Fulltimejimcat, I drive a shuttle bus equipped with a wheel chair ramp that has the same problem.  When you cut a big square hole in the side of a fiberglass body you develop stress cracks at the corners of that great big hole.  The only repair I can think of is to reinforce the corners where the cracks are developing and refiberglass the crack.  I won’t guarantee that will stop the problem, it didn’t with the shuttle bus I drive.  It will be an ongoing aggravation as the RV ages.  Another good reason I won’t buy another RV with slideouts.  

  • Curtis

    Clydebutt, Sorry, but without seeing how it’s constructed there’s not much I can tell you.  Check for binding or possibly mechanical failure if only one side of the mechanism is working.  

  • Gmorgan8

    We are setting up an RV permenately in at a Campground.  The slideout will be out.  How should we set the slide out up?   Put cinder blocks on the corners?????

    • Curtis

      Gmorgan8, Slideouts are designed with enough support in their existing frame to carry the load they are rated for.  Unless you plan on jacking up the RV (assuming it’s a trailer), removing the wheels and setting in on pillars of cinder blocks I wouldn’t add any additional support.  Slideouts are less likely to leak when they are stowed.  During the off season I would recommend  retracting the slideout when the RV isn’t going to be used for a period of time.  That’s hard to do if you’ve set it up on cider blocks. 

  • Rusty

     Curtis,  I was so pleased to find your website.  I was looking for informatin on slide out issues as we recently purchased a 2004 Cedar Creek 27 ft LFKS travel trailer, with a 153 inch slide out, which we know very little about slide outs.  It does not have a slide out cover,which I think would be a good investment.  Do they really give good protection.  Our trailer will be parked in a campground several months a year and we would like to leave the slide out all the time.  We appreciate all replys.  This trailer had not been used in the past 5 years.  Is there anything we should put on the slide out rubber edges.  We did spray some WDforty on the slide out tracks.  Thanks again for your info.  Rusty!

    • Curtis

      Rusty, Sounds like you’re on the right track.  The slide out cover will protect you from from driving rain.  The WD forty won’t hurt anything though if there is no sign of any other lubrication on the tracks I’d avoid grease as it will attract dirt that might cause binding later on.  

      • Rusty

        Curtis, Yes, I did have concern about dirt attracting on the slide-out track.  The tracks actually looked like they had some rust on them, probably from sitting for 5 years.  The slide seems to work ok.  Does make some noise, which the people we purchased the trailer from said is normal. 
         Does the silde-out work off the electricity when trailer is hooked up to electricity?   Or does is work off the battery?  After reading some of other post it seemed to me the slide out works off the battery.  I really do not know much about this stuff (I am a woman) and rely on my husband for this stuff, but he told me the slide works on electricity when hooked up.  Would you please clarify this.  Thank you again for your reply,  Rusty!

        • Curtis

          Rusty, When you’re plugged in the voltage converter is converting 110VAC to 12VDC which charges the battery and supplies12VDC electricity supplementing the battery.  The slide out motors are 12VDC and operate off the battery but when the RV is plugged in what is being drained off the battery is being replaced at the same time.  If the rust is pretty much a light brown coating you have nothing to worry about.  If the rust is so heavy it’s compromising the quality of the gear teeth and how they mesh, then you have a problem.

  • Alistair

    Hi Curtis, I am in the UK and have a Georgieboy pursuit 1998. The leveling jacks are not working right now and I am waiting for a replacement part from the US. I have a lounge area slide-out and I am worried about extending it while my Jacks are out of commission as it says in the slide-out handbook not to operate slide unless jacks are down. In your experience will it cause any problems to operate the slide-out without jacks down? I hope you can help on this as you are right, there isn’t much room with the slide in.
    Thanks
    Alistair

    • Curtis

      Alistair, If the RV is designed to have the jacks down when extending the slide, as per the manual, I’d have to go with what the factory says.  The weight of the slideout may be more than the suspension of the RV can handle.  It might put you in an unsafe condition with that much weight off the side of the rig unsupported.  I just have no way of knowing for sure.

  • Cheri North

    Curtis thanks for u web site could u answer a question i have a 31 ft coachman 2011 with superslide and slide for my queen size bed dont travel far and usually camp for a week do the slides need any type of stablizers Thanks Cheri
    /

    • Curtis

      Cheri North, Not unless they came with it from the factory (Probably Not) It will do just fine without any additional support.

  • Lake Lady, Texas

    Hi, Curtis. just discovered your site. I’m remodeling my RV (ca.2004 Fleetwood Mallard), “permanently” parked. I removed the built in dinette and couch, both located in the slideout. Flooring is OSB, which is not real surprise, but apparently the screwed in furniture was keeping the flooring straight.
    The approx 3′ width x 12′ length of the slideout floor sags in the middle; a very pronounced sag in the center of the entire 12′ length.
    How should I attempt to remedy this?
    Thanks so much!

    • Curtis

      Lake Lady, If it is just the OSB sagging and the framing seems OK, I’d probably just lay another layer of plywood over the OSB. If the floor framing is sagging there may have been too much weight on the slideout and you might have to beef up the framing before you lay down new plywood. The additional layer of plywood should help add strength to the floor too. It’s always easier to add material than it is to destroy what’s there with thoughts of replacing existing structure.

      • Lake Lady

        Thanks so much! I had thought of doing an overlay, as around all the edges seem strong and stable, but glad for someone “in the know” to advise it might be okay. I’ll have someone local look at the framing. Best of luck.

      • Lake Lady

        Curtis, my neighbor seems to think that “beefing up” might be okay in the form of a 2×6 placed diagonally under the floor, supported by concrete blocks. I haven’t yet looked underneath, so haven’t a clue. I did read recently that caution must be taken not to jack up the slide out floor above the RV floor. What say you?

        • Curtis

          Lake Lady, Ya, that will hold the floor up I guess. It really doesn’t cure anything and if you’re the least bit concerned about resell value it’s not a fix but a way to get by.

          • Lake Lady

            Again, thank you, Curtis. It will be my goal, then, to block up the slide (I’ve removed all the weight I had on it) to prevent further sag; then add the inside plywood if still indicated. Again, I thank you so much!

            ________________________________

  • crewsing

    have a 1998 camper with slide….slide will not go out….the box is located in the kitchen area where the slide comes in….any suggestions on how to get to the box

    • Curtis

      crewsing, Most slideouts have a manual method of overriding failed systems. If ‘yours has electric screw actuators I think you use a socket and ratchet at the motor to override. Others have a handle that works outside to override.

  • Ratzpac

    I have a 2010 Titanium and the slide on the right side just clicks when trying to extend. It is a much lighter click than when you bring it in. It is in now but will not extend. Just clicks. I am clicked off.

    • Curtis

      Ratzpac, I don’t know the specifics of your RV but here are some hints that might help. Generally when you hear a clicking there is a relay or solenoid involved that isn’t passing the signal onto the actuator. The reason could be a number of things. Sometimes the relay is part of a circuit board that has failed. Sometimes a stand alone relay may not have voltage going toward the actuator but does have voltage to energize the relay. Could be a blown fuse, could be a bad relay. If the actuator motor has failed there will still be voltage going to it, but it still won’t work. Then there is the simplest item that all too often gets over looked. Is there a slideout lock system that is preventing it from going out?

      • Ratzpac

        Appreciate your help. I would think if the fuse is blown it would not try to activate at all. But I will check. It just seems like it is getting power but is just clicking. Thanks again for your help. Ratz

        • Curtis

          Ratzpac, I was thinking there might be a second higher amperage power source, separately fused, supplying the actuator while light duty wiring is all that’s needed for the relay. Admittedly I’m just pulling ideas out of the air not knowing exactly how your RV is wired.

          • Ratzpac

            Well guess what just happened. I went under to the motor and turned it counter clockwise like if you were doing it by hand. Low and behold it started working. It must work like the drive gear on a starter. The gear was just not engaging. Must have got out of sinc or something. Anyway working for now. You have been a great help. Tanks. Ratz

          • Curtis

            Ratzpac, More often than not it’s the simple things that are the problem. Could have been the brushes on the motor landed between winding’s too. All it takes is another person’s input to get your thinker to try different ideas. Glad to help.

          • Ratzpac

            Well my problem is not totally cured after all. It continues to hang up and click after shutting.. I can get it to operate by turning the motor counter clockwise a few turns and then it works. But every time I put it in it will not go back out. Could it be an adjustment problem? Ratz

          • Curtis

            Ratzpac, There could be limit switches inside the actuator, I just don’t remember. It’s been a few years since I’ve had an RV with a slideout but I have been inside a screw type actuator once way back when. About all I can remember is it wasn’t very complicated and once I got the cover off the motor housing I quickly got it running again. Approach with caution and you may fix your issue too. Worse case you have a dead section on the armature of the motor but I doubt that because the motor would skip a beat when it did run.

  • Buster

    Hi Curtis, we have a 04 Dutchman fifth wheel when we open the slide it sounds like the rubber is causing a drag. Is there anything we can do to lubricate the rubber? Or do you thin it may be something else? Thanks so much

    • Curtis

      Buster, If it only “sounds” like rubber dragging but actually the slideout seems to be going in and out OK I’d leave it be. Rubber that’s sealing good may squeak or make noise when it’s moved. If you lubricate it with anything you will have a dirt magnet that will look awful in short order. Plus it may not seal as well.

  • 2Wills

    We have a 1999 National and one roller on one end of our gear slide will not roll, like it’s flat on one side. Slide drags with no more adjustment available. Is there a fix and where do we start.

    • Curtis

      2Wills, Knowing that National is no longer in business I surprised myself by finding a source for those slideout rollers in a matter of minutes. http://tiny.cc/6118gw This link will take you to a forum where if you scroll down to the forth entry you will find all the information you need.
      We were the manufacturer for National RV rollers. We do have parts in stock. The part that national used was the 0027. the 0026 is used by Fleetwood
      We have a 40.00 minimum and the rollers are 15.00 each in small quantities. We take all credit cards. My contact info is below

      Thanks

      Jesse Alexander
      317-898-5313
      Fax 317-897-8317
      E mail jesse@alexanderscrew.com

  • steve

    I am re-framing the floor of my 2004 terry quantum. The slide is the type that sits flush with the main floor. My question is; how far do I inset the framing for the ramp system? Ididnt get a good measurement when i took everything apart because there was pretty much nothing left to measure.
    thanks-Steve

    • Curtis

      Steve, Sorry but you know more than I do about the framing for your specific RV.

  • lorrie

    We just purchased a new 2011 Coachmen Northridge. We are permanently set up at a campground. The first weekend it rained, the kitchen tip out leaked and the entire bottom of the tip out carpet was saturated. There is only a fridge and stove in the tip out. Service came out and “sealed” everything. Just had some more torrential rain and it leaked in exactly the same place. I am calling them on Monday but I am so sad that this new trailer leaks. How long before the mold sets in? Do I just keep calling the service dept?

    • Curtis

      Lorrie, Both mold and rot will set in quickly if it’s left wet for any length of time. Bingo on why I will never buy another RV with a slideout. Too many problems.

  • Jim

    I have a 2005 Lorado and ran the slideout to the out position , now it won’t come back in. The motor is running but it’s not pulling it in.

    • Curtis

      Jim, sounds like a linkage or gearing problem. If you can see that the motor is turning but the mechanism isn’t moving where it connects at the motor you may have sheared a pin. Not knowing exactly how your system is set up you might have a gearing problem of some linkage has come apart. Have someone work the switch while you trace the mechanics of it from the motor.

  • Dianne

    I have a 2007 26′ Gulf Stream which has a dining/sofa slide. We have it parked underneath a carport out of the weather. We have had the slide partially out for months just enough to walk through. We just went out to get it ready for a trip and the slide is stuck. We can see the the motor is on the top side of the slide but there is only about 2 inches of access and no other way to get to the motor. We cannot figure out how to do a manual override to get it open or closed. We have it hooked up to electricity but does the battery have to be charged also for it to operate? We have checked the only fuses we can find and they are all fine. Please help!

    • Curtis

      Dianne, Yes it is likely the battery must be charged as well. The slideout mechanism is a pretty heavy electrical draw and might not get enough amperage with only the power cord. Also if you hear the motor trying but the slide isn’t moving the seals may be stuck around the wall of the slideout. Leaving the slideout partially extended isn’t a good plan. The perimeter seals need to seat properly and partially extending means you’re likely to have water infiltration and maybe rodent infiltration as well. Refer to your manual for how you can retract manually. I don’t have access to specific makes and model information.

  • Skooper

    Hi there, Found your Board while doing research. I recently purchased a 2003 Homestead 5th wheel. I have noticed while showering, that under the shower area, the floor feels mushy. is there a way to find out if there is an issue that I need to be concerned about? Or is this normal? I am a female who went slightly crazy and bought a camper, with no clue how to camp or maintain an RV. Any help is appreciated!

    • Curtis

      Skooper, There’s nothing normal about a mushy floor, it sounds like you have some water damage. Time to do some investigating to see how bad it is.

      • Skooper

        If there IS water damage under the shower, it was there when I bought it. I have only had it for 6 weeks! How do I find out and do I have any recourse at this point? You say to do some investigating but I have no clue who to ask or how to investigate. Can you suggest anything? Thanks for any help!

  • jcoop

    I agree that slideouts make a world of difference!! BUT, we just purchased a used 2007 Fleetwood pop up trailer. When the top is down and latched, it appears that the dinette slideout is a little low. The aluminut edging at the top of slideout shows and the bottom edge is a little lower than the rest of the trailer. Should it be adjusted and if so, how?? Thanks for any help!!

    • Curtis

      jcoop, Sorry but there are so many different configurations I would have no idea how yours is setup unless it was here in front of me.

  • Will

    Help Maybe? The bottom of our slide is covered with what looks like a tarp material.. but prolly is something specifically for this purpose? Anyway. looks like a rogue dog or other animal wanted to tear it.. and got some of it ripped off. the subfloor is now visible when you look at the slide from underneath when its extended out. Any ideas on what to use to patch this?

    • Curtis

      Will, Any sheet plastic will do. The thicker the better.

  • tuggerme

    Hi Curtis! We have a 1991 Prairie Schooner with a Dewald hydraulic motor for the slide outs. It quit working and I have replaced the solenoid switch, still no luck. I can’t find any information on the motor since it’s not being made any longer. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Curtis

      tuggerme, Power Gear,
      http://www.powergearus.com/ comes up as a source for Dewald hydraulic equipment when I did a search. Maybe they can help you.

  • Scott

    Is replace the roof on a slideout the same as replaing the main roof

    • Curtis

      Scott, The material can be the same but sometimes it’s different. Also the actual task may be a bit more difficult because of the close quarters where the slideout roof enters the RV.

  • Chris

    Good day Curtis, I have a 2005 990 artic fox slide in truck camper and my slide is just a little off from sealing in front when closed. my question… is there a way to adjust so that the front and back seal at the same time? Thank you, Chris

    • Curtis

      Chris, On slide outs I’ve had in the past there are adjustments on the mechanism that allow you to adjust the tilt somewhat. I can’t say how your’s is set up without being able to see it. Look for large adjusting bolts with locking nuts that are placed at the end of the carriage the slide out is mounted to..

  • Lisa

    the lights suddenly stopped working in our slide – one over the table and one over the couch – any suggestions on what happened?

    • Curtis

      Lisa, It may be a simple as a popped circuit breaker. Check there first. Then confirm the problem isn’t bulb related. Last you may have a wiring problem caused by the slide moving in and out and damaging the wiring.

  • Southern Gal

    Curtis- we purchased a “lightly” used Coachman 297RKS. It had been parked under one of those garage type shelters with the slide out open, as they used it for times when work required overnight stay @office. We opened the slide out (dining room bench/table and LR couch area). It went out and back in with only 1 problem. The “tarp” that covers slide out in the open position did not roll back up when slide out went in. What would you suggest ?

    • Curtis

      Southern Gal, First run the slide out open so there is no slack in the fabric. The reason being there is a whoop— (another name for donkey) spring under tension inside that awning tube. If there is slack in the fabric it could rewind unexpectedly and do serious damage to any fingers in the way. Next get a ladder and inspect everything up close. Look for dirt, branches, debris that might prevent the fabric from rewinding. You can flush everything clean with a garden hose if it’s possible. I don’t believe there is any kind of ratcheting or direction changing device on slideout retracting covers. If you unbolt it to inspect closer it is very likely it will rewind with force and hurt you or do damage. I highly recommend you have someone who knows what they are doing do any disassembly if that is required. Though slideout covers are smaller in size they are built similar to your main awning. The spring in your main awning is very, very dangerous but slideout covers can hurt you as well.

  • jamie.earl79

    Curtis…I have an 06 Fleetwood mallard with the double slide out. The small slideout on the back works just fine however the large slideout in the main living area goes out and comes in but the part of the trailer that is fixed just above the slide has sagge a little somehow making it impossible for the tubing of the slideout to go underneath the main frame like it normally should when completely retracted. I’m wondering if a little water damage may be the culprit. Any ideas on how to get it to lift up where it should so I can slide it out/in as it should?

  • Curtis

    jamie.earl79, If the part that is sagging is basically a piece of trim it should be easy enough to remove and remount it so that it isn’t sagging. If you’re saying the frame of the trailer spanning the opening that contains the slideout has sagged you may have some serious structural problems. Without seeing it in person I can only guess what has caused the problem. You may have to reinforce the whole opening with a length of angle iron. You might have an RV dealer look at it and get their input. They may know of a simple fix.

  • Griffon’s Mom

    Curtis, we have a Rockwood Signature Ultra light 31ft with two slideouts(livingroom and bed room, we have awning covers over the slideouts. We are parked seasonally for the first time and plan to Winter camp. do you have any suggestions for covering the slideouts to avoid any damage to the awning covers and reduce any addition weight on the slideouts? we do plan to cover with a tarp on the roof and backside of the camper but we do need axcess to the doorside.
    Griffon’s Mom

    • Curtis

      Griffon’s Mom, By winter camp I’m assuming you will be in the snow belt and are concerned about snow accumulation. I would tarp over the extended slideouts as well. Water is most likely to get in around the slideout seals which would be better protected with a tarp. I don’t think the weight will be a problem for the awning covers because there is likely enough slack to let them settle down onto the slideout roof. It would be a good idea to support the slideout with say a stack or two of cement blocks so it doesn’t sag under the weight of snow. I wouldn’t let snow buildup very deep on it either. This isn’t the best scenario, but it should prevent damage. Just another reason why I don’t like slideouts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carriesthirtyone Carrie Henry Martin

    We have a ‘newer’ Dutchmen Lite with a slide (not sure of exact year). Slide will pull in at at the bottom, but not the top. We were able to get it in by me pushing the IN button while my husband was pulling the top in manually. Are there two motors in it? Could it be as simple as a fuse?

    • Curtis

      Carrie Henry Martin, As slideouts age, and it doesn’t take many years, they come out of adjustment, the motors get tired, and the seals start to drag. Guaranteed it’s not as simple as a fuse but you may be able to adjust the tilt of the slide to compensate. Odds are the days of it being as easy as pushing the button are coming to a close.

  • Jeff

    I have a slide that is below my bed and the rails are not accessible.
    How would I do lube and/or clean? Remove floor under bed? Access from outside?
    I’m hearing noises that concern me
    Thanks,

    • Curtis

      Jeff, Possibly. If it looks like there’s a removable panel that would be the place to start.

      • Jeff

        Curtis:
        That was where the rails were. Fleetwood had placed a 1/4″ plywood panel supported around the edges and at two places across the span with 1″ x 1″ material. Sadly the cross members both had knots in them and one of them broke under the load. When it did it got in the way of the metal slider frame and the noise I heard was the wood hitting the metal frame. Anyway, ended up replacing one of the 1″ x 1″ cross members with a 1″ x 2″ board and lubed the slider while I had it exposed.

        When I return home from this trip I will likely open the area and do more reinforcing. Also, I was not able to easily see what was at the exterior wall of the MH where the slider protrudes. I assume there are some wheels or glides…. will want to inspect and lube them. Getting to them may require removing the head of the bed and that is too big a project while traveling.

        Thanks for your input… While I suspected the location, it was good to get your input before I started tearing things apart.

        • Curtis

          Jeff, Great news you found the problem. Though from here my input is more an educated guess, sometimes it’s enough to give confidence to proceed cautiously. I’m a heavy believer in measure twice, or more… before making that first cut.

  • Sue

    Hi Curtis, I have an 2006 Monaco Knight that has a bedroom slide and a full wall slide, I have had issues with both of them, recently I had the rubber gaskets replaced on both slides and had the floor replaced on the bedroom slide, I noticed yesterday that I have about a 5-6 inch crack on the outside wall starting from the corner of the slide. Any recommendations?

    • Curtis

      Sue, Sounds like you may have a structural problem. I’d have a dealer check it out and get their input on what to do. If it’s only a hairline cracking of the gel coat, it is probably cosmetic but if you have an actual crack through the fiberglass panel the slideout may be wracking or flexing causing the problem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dawnell.templen Dawnell Templen

    Hi Curtis, I recently bought a 1998 Cardinal 5th wheel. I have looked all over the internet for a manual and can’t find one. Do you have any idea where I could get one? Thanks
    Dawn

    • Curtis

      Dawnell, You did look everywhere, I ran across your name a number of times inquiring on forums. Actually the manual isn’t all that important as most RV manuals are more or less just a collection of booklets that came with the various appliances and equipment installed in your RV. If you need information on a specific appliance just get the make and model number off the item and inquire with the manufacturer of that particular appliance. You’ll find that all the major manufacturers usually have detailed parts information and possibly even some trouble shooting help. They may even be able to supply you with the original owner’s manual for that item, though odds are you won’t need it.

  • irv kodimer

    Just purchased my first quad slide 2009 Tiffin Phaeton. Your valuable advise on slide extension is appreciated. I was particularly interested in the comment that one should be aware of utility posts, trees, other obstacles when deploying the slides. I was wondering if one could deploy the slide part of the way out to avoid these obstacles. I have an HWH system so I presume the mechanism is hydraulic . What I do now is to hold the buttons in to extend the slide. Could I merely release the button and stop the slide extension.? Does this do any harm to the slide motor or slide mechanism if one were to do this ?

    • Curtis

      irv kodimer, No, partially extending the slide won’t do any harm to the motor or mechanism. The only problem with this plan is the weather. With the slideout only partially extended the seals around the perimeter of the slideout don’t make proper contact. If it starts to rain much more than a light sprinkle you will very likely have water leaking into the RV.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.hill.927 Bob Hill

    Hi Curtis

    I hope you can set me on the right path,I have a 92 Coachman Prestige 360 DS FW 5th wheel.
    It has 2 slide-out on the same side one has dinning area the other has sofa area thay are the same size.The center of them is all the electrical stuff i was going to replace the switches and thats when i ran in to trouble now i can’t get them to work,I have the same kind of switches but the wiring seem to be different I used a 12volt test light and 3 of the wires are hot the instructions only show 2 wires. I have noticed that it was rewired at sometime before i owned it. I could use so advice. Bob

    • Curtis

      Bob Hill, Sorry, there are as many different configurations as there are makes and models of RVs. I wouldn’t have a clue how it’s wired from here.

  • Kevin Neale Sr

    Hi Curtis, I’m 100% disabled and my significant other Joyce is now filing for SSDI. We both need a wider RV to live in. I have my eye on a 1995? model full slide out and there has been leaks on the top of the slide. Recently they were patched and new carpet placed over the interior area of the slide making it impossible to draw back in, plus not knowing if the slide out will retract and open.
    So the only thing I can do is to move the unit while the full slide is extended and hope for the best. If we do purchase it, I will need to install a slide out cover for the full length of the slide out. I could use canvas but I’m thinking glazed painted sheet metal to do the job.
    The furnace is also shot. It is a Duo therm and they don’t make them anymore to fit the existing space, which means cutting new holes or installing a tall and narrow furnace on the covered screen porch and utilize the existing vent lines. I have been told that all the other appliances still work.
    Curtis this will be our new home. Please advise. Kevin. Please use my email address to let me know. Thank you in advance.

    • Curtis

      evin Neals Sr, The best I can advise is RUN! And don’t look back! I’ll respond further in an email as you request.

      • Kevin Neale Sr

        Thank you Curtis. I will be waiting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sandra.winslowcorvus Sandra Ivette Winslow Corvus

    .

    hi i have a 1997 wanderer by thor glide lite 230 FB how do you open the slide out. please help i can’t find switch. If there is one.

    • Curtis

      Sandra, Sorry but not being there I have no way of knowing. Every make and model is different, I’d have to look for it too.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sandra.winslowcorvus Sandra Ivette Winslow Corvus

        i have looked for one. the owners manual the manual mentioned a hydraulic. I did notice a hydralic arm on each side. is there a lock i can release.

        • Curtis

          Sandra, Sorry, same answer. If I can’t see it I can’t determine how it works. There’s just too many variables. I recommend you have an RV dealer near you figure it out for you. If you know someone who is familiar with RV’s maybe they can figure it out for you. It’s just not a problem that can be solved over the internet.

  • Sean Tavarez

    Where can I get a hardware kit to build my own slide out? All I can seem to find is the actuator motor, switches for electrical but nothing on the slide tracks needed to hold and support the slide out. Is there a one stop shop to get the necessary A-Z parts needed to complete a home made slide out? Thank you

  • Craig Jurey

    Hi Curtis, I bought a 2005 Coachman from my uncle that i have been doing a lot of repairs on, It has a double slide and when i went to close it, it is not sealing up all the way at the top, It seams like it is hanging up as if it is a little too high. Is this a matter of adjusting the outer brackets to a lower position?
    Craig

    • Curtis

      Craig, Best I can say is “Could be?” Yes there are usually adjustments for tilting on some slide outs though here again every manufacturer does it differently. I’ve only had marginal success making that adjustment and have found that often as RV’s age the only way to get the slide to suck up tight to the RV is to use the hand crank for that last inch or so.

  • crystal

    help i have a terry rv and the slide out room move out from the bottom yet seems to be stuck up top on the canopy or something is there a lock or something im missing

    • Curtis

      Crystal, Sorry but from here I would have no way of telling. Every manufacturer does it differently.

  • julie john

    Hi Curtis, our slide out when closed is not lining up right it did!! It is like it is leaning to the right top left corner is out about an inch. It is almost tilting to the right. what can we do????

    • Curtis

      Julie John, If your slideout is operated on a geared track there is a chance one side has skipped a tooth or two causing it to come in crocked. When extended does it straighten out so both sides are flush against the interior wall? If it is a purely hydraulic system maybe one side has developed a drag causing the other side to come in faster. As I’ve mentioned before when slideouts age they often become problematic. Maybe you can even it up by using the hand crank to retract it that last inch or so. Without seeing the problem about all I can offer is educated guesses.

  • Cheryl Carpenter

    I have a 1986 Corsair Tipout TV travel trailer. Just bought it 6 months ago and now decided to buy a new one. My issue is that the slideout has been out for many years as I know the previous owner did not put it in during the winter months. We now have to move the trailer off our site so the new one can be delivered. Do you know how I can get the slide to move inward so I can move the trailer. Someone wants to buy it but if I cannot get the slide to close ill probably have to saw it off. Im not even sure if it is crank as I don’t know how to check and see if it is that. Thanks for your help
    Cheryl C

    • Curtis

      Cheryl, It sounds to me that you need to find someone where you are that is familiar with RV’s. There’s nothing I can do from here to help, but sawing it off isn’t the answer. Being an ’86, (old), it may be the type of extensions that are hinged at the floor and just tip manually into the trailer. There may not be any hardware or mechanism involved. I have no way of knowing without looking at it so I urge you to recruit someone near you that can help you figure it out.

  • Cheryl Carpenter

    Wow Curtis thanks for the quick response. I will see if someone in the park can give me some assistance but thank you very much for all your input

  • Terri

    I have a 2012 Forest River Surveyor and noticed that the large living room slide is rubbing underneath the slide and chewing up the wood underneath. Could you please tell me what to do so it doesn’t chew up the wood under the slide when we let it in and out?

    • Curtis

      Terri, Your slide may need adjustment then again it may be starting to sag in the middle. If it is the edge of the slide there may be a problem with a roller. These are just some ideas because from here I have no idea how it’s constructed or what might be going on.

    • bsmi021b

      Depending on how much you have used the coach it could be a bad roller (all slides have some kind of roller system under the box to assist it sliding in and out) or the box itself is damaged and will need to be repaired. Either way i would suggest taking it back to the dealer.

  • Linda Vickers Thomas

    I have a 2012 Cruiser RV Fun Finder Xtra 276. Is there a way to manually retract the slide?

    • bsmi021b

      The papers that came with your coach should have the information as to which type of slide it was made with, and also what to do when and if you retract the slide using the manual method, that being said NOT ALL SLIDES can be closed in a manual method, if you can not find your manuals contact your dealer or rv manufacturer.

  • Beverly George

    We have a 2007 Coachman Freelander and we need the print DN13929 for the slide-out over ride so we can manual get the slide back in

    • Curtis

      Beverly, Sorry but I don’t have access to brand/model specific information. Only general knowledge.

  • Regina Clark

    I can not seem to find out anywhere if you can leave my trailer parked with the slideout part of the way out/in? Is that ok or bad? Our bathroom is not accessible unless the slide is out and I am just trying to pack. I don’t want to have problems if it rains…Please help. Thank you

    • Curtis

      Regina, I*t’s preferable to leave it with the slideout completely in or completely out. Part way doesn’t allow the seals to seat properly and rain is likely to get in.

    • bsmi021b

      I am very surprised your manuals did not say something, NO you can not leave your slide only part way open for any long amount of time! Ok why all slide no matter who builds it only seals when fully in or out never in between, and also most slide today need to wall for strength and it also only gets this while fully in or out. So it is good you asked and even though you feel it is a pain to do for a short time (while loading or unloading) i would highly suggest putting fully out while do this.

  • Dean Brehm

    Hi Curtis, I have a 2011 Forest River with 3 slides. Today I noticed that when turning right, my large left kitchen slide tips out. the bottom I still where it should be, but the top looks to be 2-3 feet out. I stopped and while inside the rig, I can push the top of the slide out, tipping the whole slide. I haven’t seen that before in the 2 years I’ve used. it.

    Any thoughts sir.

    • Curtis

      Dean, Something’s not right. I’m afraid I don’t know how your slide is put together but if you can’t find something broken or unhooked I’d sure figure some way to lock it down for travel. Maybe some kind of bar that jams between the interior wall and the lip of the slide up high so the top can’t tilt out.

      • Dean Brehm

        Thanks so much for your quick response. I was thinking the same thing, but thought I’d ask the question. Thank you sir.

        • bsmi021b

          I can only assume you mean a motor home and not a trailer, ether way get it fixed as something broke and is not right! Slides are made in many different styles so have the dealer or forest river look at it for your safety and others.

  • Ken

    I have a 2010 Keystone Passport Ultra lite. The slide out has 2.35′” x about .103″ thick flat wiper seals on both inside and outside completely around the slide. The ones on the front of the slide (inside and outside) came unstuck at the top and are tore. When I measure the gap on the slide the front gap is about 3/8″ and the gap on the back is about 3/4″. obvious the slide is not centered in the opening which is a factory defect and can’t be fixed. So now I’m in search of new seals. They factory installed seals lasted about 6 cycles of slide, so I will be replacing them quite often. Main question I’ve searched everywhere and I can’t find any flat 2.35″ x .103 thick seals. I can easily go wider like 2.50 and the thickness can also vary, but still can’t find anything. Any suggestions on who might have wiper seals?

    • Curtis

      Ken, I would probably look at maybe a big box home center, auto parts store, or an RV dealer to find something that will work but may not be what was there originally. Searching for seals on the internet may work too.

    • bsmi021b

      First thing is take it back to the dealer or better yet keystone as all slided can be move up/down/right/left, as for the seal once the slide is fixed it should not rip the seal, also who ever fixes the slide can replace the seal, and if you send some time on the internet (could not quickly find the link) you can find the seals, look for foam seals and you will find them, you will have to purchase a roll of it (just letting you know) .

  • Chuck

    I have a 1996 Jayco Eagle 5th wheel and having problem with slide out. Power from switch to Control Sensor is good. When slide out motor wires are connected and depressing the switch to move the slide out in or out, it will not move and immediately blows fuses. Disconnect motor wires and it does not blow fuses when hitting slide out button. Slide out will move in and out when testing motor directly to battery and under load. Motor has been taken to an electrical motor shop and they assure me it is fine. Have replaced wall switch and 2 control sensors. Any ideas what the culprit might be?

    • Curtis

      Chuck, Sounds like a short in the wiring going to the motor. I’d look for something pinched or pulled apart probably around the wiring within the slideout itself. Likely the mechanism caught the wiring somewhere and shorted it.

      • Chuck

        Thank you for such a speedy response. I had an RV Tech check it out again on Monday. All electrical seems good, no short(s) found, amperage and voltage good. He still contends that it must be in the motor. Guess I will take it back to the motor shop for the 3rd time and see if they can help. I appreciate your input sir. Chuck

  • Allan

    Hi Curtis, I have a 1999 Montana and I noticed the the cables that pull the slide in and out are frayed any idea how to fix this myself or do I need to have a professional do it.

    • Curtis

      Allan, I have no idea if the cable is make and model specific (special attachment points) of if it is generic cable that you can purchase at a home center. Likewise I have no idea if any special tools or methods are involved. If the project looks to be beyond your abilities, it probably is.

  • Michael Hayes

    Hello sir! I have a 2004 Terry Dakota and the slide out is pinching the seal on one side! The slide out is favoring to one side, i need to adjust it! can you help me out?

    • Curtis

      Michael, Not really, can’t advise what I can’t see. Too many different methods of slide extension and retraction.

      • Michael Hayes

        I fully understand. I have searched everywhere and really found nothing! i am just going to take it and let a tech fix it. I thank you for responding!

  • J & C

    Hello,

    My in-laws have a 2002 whispering pine by TL Industries with one electric and one manual slide out. We do not have the owners manual and have not been able to locate one. We have a very hard time every year retracting the manual slide out in the bedroom, any tips or ideas of how to retract? It does not appear to have a manual crank either, there are two handles on the side and we need a few people to try and get it back in.

    • Curtis

      J&C, Sorry, but once again without being able to see it I have no idea what type of mechanistic is on it. So many RV manufacturers went bankrupt during the recession odds of coming up with an owner’s manual is slim. I don’t know if that brand is still in business or not. Best you can do is go to an RV dealer and have them look it over and possibly tell you the proper way to retract it.

    • bsmi021b

      I am going to take an educated guess here since it is a park model that the “manual slide out” is not a “slide out” but what is called a tip out and was manufactured to be put out once on site and left out. This is the way with most that i am aware of. There are newer park models that do have power slides 2008 and newer, but older than that still used tip outs, and you are correct it takes to men and a boy to get them in. I hope this helps but it will not solve the issue, but then there is the question if it is a tip out why are you closing it all the time?

  • Mark Zingale

    Hello, we have had a 19B nash and artic fox for a total of 15 yrs. between the two. We would like a trailer with a slide out, but not too much bigger than the 19B. We are leery of lightweights because we take ours on some bumpy rides in Co. The Nash line starts their slideouts @ 23′ the artic fox @ 24′. Anybody out their make a sturdy small trailer with a slideout? Thanks, Mark

    • Curtis

      Mark, Though I’m not current on every make of trailer, generally rough terrain is not a good place for slide outs. Alignment is a constant battle, even on good roads. Having experienced problems of my own with past RV’s, I choose to avoid them all together.

  • Susan Ramsey

    Curtis, I have a ’06 Fleetwood Wilderness Ax6 5th wheel, 37 ft w/ 4 slide outs. The kitchen slide (fully equipped) blows air in during the winter. Even the drinks/canned goods in the pantry are colder than what’s in the frig. I even taped weather plastic up & covered w/ heavy blankets to no avail (the interior). I installed insulated skirting & that didn’t help either. No service reps can find the problem! Being a full time RV’er I practically froze last winter & now dreading this upcoming one. They’ve checked all the seals & say they are all in excellent condition. I’ve given up on Camping World fixing this & am now at a loss. Any suggestions would be appreciated! (Fleetwood no longer has a 5th wheel tech dept)

    • Curtis

      Susan, Being a full timer I suggest moving to warmer climates. It’s almost guaranteed that as slideout’s age there’s going to be air leaks. That’s one of many reasons I don’t own an RV with slideouts.

      • Susan Ramsey

        Thank you Curtis. Unfortunately moving is not an option at this time but thanks for your reply! RV Service called me back & is thinking it’s a lack of insulation in this specific slide. Thankfully warranty will cover it!

        • bsmi021b

          Susan i do not know your coach but any of my experience with fleetwood and your last statement is right on the money (lack of insulation) up until the last few years on mid level and up coaches have enough insulation in the slides to not feel the cold in colder times. I had a 2003 cedar creek and now own a 2010 cedar creek and the difference between the two as far as warmth in the slides is like night and day, and it is nothing but insulation. Many people who use their coaches in the winter in skiing locals will make up a insulation kit just for the slides so maybe you can do that, if you go to lowes or home depot they have the foam sheets that can be cut and then put on with velcro and it should help alot.
          As for not having slides i will completely disagree with Curtis as so much as today most if not all people require slides in their coach and when you trade a coach in today without a slide it will be a huge hit in the value, i have been told over $1000 per missing slide ( it depends on length and model) so as much as they are more maintenance the are required today with what people want.

  • john

    Hi Curtis
    I have 2000 four winds WINDSPORT 36 … i have a question for you
    i have a bedroom slideout.. the slide out bar and railing (maybe its called mechanism) its around 12 to 15 inches above floor level. i need to somehow lowered to floor level.. how can i do that?

    • Curtis

      John, Sorry but without seeing what you have I have no idea how to or if it’s possible.

      • john

        hi again Curtis
        is there anyway to cancel the slide (taking the system out of its place and make the actual slide not work and make it stable?

        • Curtis

          John, Again, without seeing what you are dealing with I can’t make any suggestions.

  • Jloomis3

    LOT-EK designed an award winning shipping container home with multiple slideouts in 2003 (http://www.lot-ek.com/MDU-Mobile-Dwelling-Unit). My question for you is what sources for slideout assemblies might be available if I were the general contractor? The unit would be in a semi-permanent location, moved only when required. Then it would be moved as would a standard 40′ shipping container.

  • bsmi021b

    Curtis
    i like you’re input and option as it is for slides in RV’s but i have to respectfully
    disagree with a lot of your points. point 1 would be to not suggest to someone
    buying a new coach today to NOT purchase it with a slide, there are many
    reasons as to why that same buyer NEEDS to purchase that same coach with a
    slide, One being resale, today it is almost required to have two slides just to
    be able to have a dealer even think of giving and kind of decent trade value as
    all dealers i have spoken to all around the country say it about the same
    (without slides it is too hard to sell!) so as to reason #two and you do agree
    here is the extra room, to most people square footage has no equal, that is the
    main reason why i sold my 2003 and purchased my 2010, there was not one thing
    wrong with it except for room, so i went from two slides to three slides and
    will never look back.

    Now you could not be more correct as to the fact of maintenance
    yes slides will cost you to own them, but as go the case with anything you own,
    if you own a base car or the best luxury car which one cost more to maintain
    well we both know the luxury model, so here is the same thing, but where it
    goes bad is that way too many people out there either do nothing or do the wrong
    thing when it comes to maintaining their coach. People need to realize weather
    it is your car, your house (if new or updated) your computer or your RV you
    need to maintain it and every one of the things i listed here take a totally difference
    kind and way to fix and maintain them, So with that being said more people need
    to (oh my god) READ THERE OWNERS MANUALS) the manufactures printed all the
    paper for a good reason and the first thing is for the owner to have idea what
    or how to do something with their new purchase (gee how many vcr clocks were
    set correctly) As for my time rving it has been for over 25 yrs., i was a
    mechanic of cars/trucks. Medium and heavy duty equipment so yes i have worked
    on a lot of things and was certified to do most of it, now i have a hand full
    of certificates for computers, and have done most if not all of the work on my
    home rebuiling most of it from the ground up, so yes i do speck from experience
    about a good amount of things ( not everything) But if more people would at
    least take the time to read the manuals, contact the service manager or the manufactures
    service department and get the list of things and materials to use to maintain
    their coach it would last and work much better and longer.

    • Curtis

      bsmi021b, I believe we each have the right to form our own opinions, I’m glad we agree on so many points concerning slide outs. I never expect to have everyone agree with me so I feel I fared better than many. I see your point on the importance of following the current trend as to maintaining resale value. My own experience having owned about a half dozen RV’s with slide outs and more than I can count without, I will stick to my guns and continue to avoid them for my stated reasons. They all will become a maintenance headache, it’s just a matter of time. Most will leak and structural damage will occur. This is just part of life when you feel the need to maximize square footage. My 93′ Pace Arrow Turbo Diesel still retains it’s original structural integrity and stain free interior due mostly to the fact that it is built like a tank, and is pre-slide out in vintage. I respect your opinion, and thank you for respecting mine. Thank you for commenting!

  • Estelle Seeley Harrison

    Curtis,six months ago bought 97 NuWa 5th wheel. Dealer said they fixed left side of slide out’s leak. But it still leaked.. .We have talked to them, tried everything we can think of to seal any leaks. Lost carpet and f much of left side slide’s floor boards. We are so stymied by where leak is originating from? ?? We sealed top/ windows / bottom/ under rubber seal on slide’s top/. Any suggestions? We live in our 5th wheel.

    • Curtis

      Estelle. Sorry I can’t be of much help. Your’s is the primary reason I don’t own an RV with slideouts. As they age things go out of alignment, and seals get stiff and gaps develop. Keeping rain on the outside becomes a constant battle. Best I can suggest is check all seals around the slideout, both those that seal when it retracted and those that seal when it is extended. If you find them hard and not flexible is it likely water is getting in. Replacing them may help, but I won’t guarantee it will cure the problem. Always have your slideouts either fully extended or fully retracted. Anything in between will leak. When all else fails, trade it in for something without slideouts.

      • Estelle Seeley Harrison

        Oh, Curtis, I wish we had your ‘slide out wisdom’— prior to paying an arm & leg for this unit! Thanks so much for helping us all! God bless… Estelle & Billy

        • Curtis

          Estelle, I too was in the same situation 15 years ago and had to gut the slideout to repair the framework damage. Good Luck!

  • Gilbert West

    I’ve got a 2004 coachmen royal delux 34′ 3 slide out. 1 slide out will not retrack, hit the switch moved about 1 inch now switch wont work like there’s no power, check all the fuses, there ok, how do I get the room back in? has 2 slide rails I think.

    • Curtis

      Gilbert, checking the fuses only tells you that the fuse is not blowen. It does not tell you if there is electricity there or not you need to get a voltmeter multi meter and confirm that you actually have voltage at the drive motor for the slide out. if you do have voltage at the motor then there is a problem with the motor. If not you need to trace back to where you do have power. The switch, the fuse, ect.