RV slide out problems plague us all at some point, but if you practice proper RV slide maintenance, you’ll be fine. I’m sure we all remember the days before slides, when what you got was all the space that was available to you. Nowadays, you can get slide outs on everything from campers and travel trailers to the largest 5th wheels and motorhomes.
Obviously, there is a great appeal in getting an RV with a slide, but it also comes with a big downside: mechanical, electrical, and just plain operational issues that can ruin a day trip, or an entire month of full time living. On that note, lets talk about..
RV Slide Out Problems: Seal Maintenance & Replacement
One of the most common RV slide issues is water leaks. Everybody knows just how much damage a slight water leak can cause to your motorhome, so ensuring a proper seal around your slideouts is paramount! Over time, the seals on your slide can warp, dry up and crack, and just plain fall off. It’s important to keep them hydrated using the proper RV slide out rubber seal conditioner and protectant.
If you haven’t clicked the link above, I suggest doing so to learn more about how easy it is to maintain the rubber on your RV slides and prevent future RV slide out problems. In addition to preventing water from getting into your RV, slide out seals also protect you from natures critters that would just love to enter your home and spend the night with you in bed. If that doesn’t scare you into keeping your seals maintained, then I don’t know what will!
RV Slide Out Motor & Track Problems
So you got your seals in shape, but now you have to worry about your motor, and keeping the slide out track properly lubricated.
Whether your slide has a gear driven electric motor, or a hydraulic system, you are bound to run into issues at some point.
Think about this for a second. You have a room, weighing potentially thousands of pounds, sliding in and out on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis! Imagine how much strain this puts on your slide motor over time. Now think about how much you drive, where you drive, and what you drive on. Dirt, sand, and mud can all find its way into your slide mechanism and really gunk things up, especially if you’re using a greasy lubricant that attracts dirt like a magnet.
I recommend getting a can of spray on dry lubricant for your RV slide outs. In particular, I recommend picking up a few cans of Liquid Wrench RV Slide Lubricant. It is specially designed to provide the lubrication your slide needs, without the greasy residue that seems to attract problems. Check out the previous link for a quick article and video about the Liquid Wrench product and how it works so well.
With the pre-emptive information out of the way, it’s time to dive into some troubleshooting steps. If you haven’t been conditioning your slide seals and lubricating your track, you may have a stuck slide on your hands. In fact, if you landed on this article, you may have a stuck slide right now and just want to know what to do. Well, read on…
RV Slide Out Repair: How to Fix a Stuck RV Slide
First, make sure to check that your RV has ample battery power to operate the slide. You may just need some power to get things going again. In addition, check your circuit breaker for a trip or a blown fuse.
Instead of writing about it, it’s easier to watch a video. Check out this great one from RV With Tito:
Takeway: Learn how to manually operate your slide, and test it BEFORE you have a problem!
Unfortunately, if you’re in a pinch, I can’t fix your slide out problem by guessing all of the problems. So, try to find a way to manually retract it, and get yourself to an RV dealership or maintenance shop for a professional opinion.
-RV Must Haves