The Ultimate RV Slide Out Guide – Read This First

There are a lot of things to think about when purchasing an RV – how big of a rig do you need? Will you use it mostly for short trips or longer journeys? Do you want a slide out?

Slide outs can be a huge improvement – they give you more room to move around. However, some people are uncertain about purchasing an RV with a slide out, or about using slide outs on occasion, because they worry about taking up too much room with their rig, or about how long it will take to set up and take down the slide out. Contrary to fears, slide outs are easy to set up, but there are a few things to consider about motorhome slide outs. 

Photo: Pixabay

Should you get an RV slide out?

If you tend to camp in one spot for a long time, you may want to consider an RV or camper slide out. However, if you tend to spend just one or two nights before driving again, you may not want to set up an RV slide out each night. The number of people you’ll be traveling with is also a factor – an entire family may want more room than just one or two people on the road. Bedroom slide outs are the most popular, because bedrooms in RVs are notoriously small and can be cramped.

Before you open your slide out

If you do want to set up your slide out, check the campsite before you reserve it to make sure there’s plenty of room for you. Ask or look online to see if there are trees, utility posts, or other obstructions that might block your RV slideout from extending. 

Photo: Pixabay

RV Slide Out Repair

Keep in mind that while RV slide outs make your rig much more comfortable and convenient, they also come with a whole new set of maintenence issues. The mechanics of sliding a room in and out that weighs over a thousand pounds is an amazing feat that requires some extra attention. Watch the vertical stance of the slide as it moves to make sure its stable – it should not tip in or out as it is extended and retracted. Poor stability can damage your floor and affect the RV slide out rubber seal. 

Sealing slide outs is another challenge, especially when they’re extended. RV slide outs are a major source of water leaks, especially as the RV slide out rubber seal ages and stiffens. You’ll need to make sure you keep the rubber seal in good shape and well softened so it doesn’t crack and allow water in.  

If your slide out does fail at some point, many motorhomes have a manual override that allows you to retract the slide and head somewhere for repairs. However, some do not – leaving you with the sides out and requiring you to find an RV repair company that will come to you to fix the problem or get you to their shop. As the RV gets older, you may also find the motor losing some power. 

Slide outs can be a huge factor in having a comfortable and roomy motorhome, just keep in mind that they may require some extra maintenance as well.

See How Much You Can Make Renting Your RV
  • Select Your RV Type Below

What do you think?