RV Slide Outs: Your Comprehensive Guide With Maintenance Tips

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RV slide-outs are a popular feature among RVers. They provide extra space inside the RV and make it easier to move around. However, they also require maintenance to keep them in good condition. This blog post will discuss the basics of RV slides and give you some tips for keeping them in good shape.

RV slide out

What Is An RV Slide Out?

RV slide-outs are a type of RV living space extending outward from the RV. They are typically used in bunk beds, dinettes, or sofas because they provide extra room inside the RV and make it easier to move around. Slides may also include other features like tables, chairs, or cabinets, depending on the RV model and manufacturer.

RV slides have become more popular over time due to their many benefits like increased interior space, greater storage capacity, and easier access when needed during travel or at campgrounds. Slides are also known as RV pull-outs or RV living room extensions because they extend outward from their main body.

How Do RV Slide Outs Work?

How Do RV Slide Outs Work?

RV slide-outs work by using a system of tracks, rollers, and gears that allow the living space to be extended outward from the RV. An electric motor or hydraulic pump typically powers this system. The RV’s chassis must be designed to support the weight of the extended slide-out living space.

RV slides are a popular feature among RVers because they provide extra space inside the RV and make it easier to move around. However, they also require maintenance to keep them in good condition.

Different Types of Slide Outs

There are three main types of RV slides:

Electric/ Motor-Driven:

  • This type of RV slide-out is the most common and uses electric motors to power the extension system.

Hydraulic Systems:

  • Hydraulic slides use a hydraulic pump to power the extension system.


  • This type of RV slide-out uses human power to extend or retract the living space.

Maintenance Tips

person doing maintenance

It is super important to maintain them regularly to keep your RV Slides working properly and avoid costly repairs. RV Slides require maintenance for them to keep them in tip-top shape, but it doesn’t have to be difficult! RV owners can follow these tips:

Clean the RV slides once every six months or so. Use a soft brush and water with mild soap if necessary. Do not use abrasive cleaners like bleach or ammonia because these chemicals can cause damage to the RV’s exterior finish.

Check RV slide-outs for rust and corrosion at least once per year. Use a soft brush with water to remove debris from the tracks, rollers, gears, etc. If there are signs of wear on these parts, replace them immediately. Be sure to check all rubber seals for damage regularly.

Lubricate the RV slide-out system at least once a year. This can be done by using a spray lubricant or silicone grease on all moving parts. Proper lubrication is key to keeping all metal parts moving with ease.

*Never drive without making sure that the slide-out is in a fully retracted position and that the slide is flush with the RV wall.

These simple tips will help keep your RV slides in good condition and working properly for years to come!

How Often Should You Perform Maintenance?

RV slide Maintenance schedule

RV slide-outs should be cleaned every six months and checked for rust and corrosion at least yearly. Lubricating the RV slide-out system should also be done once a year.

Items and Products to Assist In Maintenance

– RV Slide Out Cleaner

– RV Slide Out Lubricant

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– RV Slide Out Track Cleaner

– RV Chassis Jacks or Stands (to support the weight of the RV)

-Rubber Seal Conditioner

What If Something Breaks or Goes Wrong? How to Repair Your RV Slide Out

RV Slide out damage/ repair

If something breaks or goes wrong with your RV slide-out, don’t worry! RV slide-out repairs are typically not too difficult and can be done by following these steps:

– Locate the problem. This may be a broken gear, track, roller, etc.

– Remove the damaged part and replace it with a new

It is best to follow manufacturer directions. Be sure to consult with your manual for the best possible practices.

You may also opt to have the repairs done by a professional. This option is generally preferred, and most service centers offer some warranty on the work that they provide. Be sure to ask about their policies before proceeding with RV slide-out repairs.

Research your service options to find and contact reputable technician in your area. RV service centers can be found by looking at RV magazines or the internet.


Is There A Weight Limit For Your RV Slide Out?

RV slide-outs are designed to support the weight of the RV and its contents. However, if you find it sagging or not extending as far outwards when extended, then there may be a problem with overloading your RV’s chassis. The best way to find out the specified weight limits for your RV is to consult with the RV manufacturer.

How Far Do RV Slides Extend out?

RV slides typically extend anywhere from one foot to eight feet. RV owners should consult with their RV manufacturer for specific information regarding the maximum amount of extension possible with each slide-out system.

How Long Do RV Slides Last?

RV slide-outs are designed to last for many years with proper maintenance. However, if they are not properly taken care of, they may start to show signs of wear and tear after a few years. Keeping up with the recommended and regular maintenance schedule is important to ensure that your RV slide-outs last as long as possible.

Can You Use awnings With RV Slide Outs?

RV Awning

Most RV slide-out systems are designed to work with awnings. However, it is best to consult with the RV manufacturer to ensure that your specific RV model is compatible with awnings.

What Causes RV Slide Outs To Stick?

There can be many reasons why RV slide-outs may stick. One reason could be that the RV is parked on an incline or slope. It is best to level your RV before extending any RV slide-outs. Another cause may be that obstructions prevent the RV slide-out from fully retracting inwards, such as dirt, leaves, branches, etc. This can also cause a problem when trying to extend the RV slide-out. Be sure to keep your RV area free of any obstructions that may interfere with the proper functioning of your RV slide-outs.

*Consider purchasing Slide toppers from your local RV manufacturer or service center. This will help to prevent RV slide-outs from sticking.

Should You Get an RV With a Slide Out? Pros and Cons

Here are some pros and cons of owning an RV with a slide-out:


RV Slide Out interior= more space

More Space: RV slide-outs provide RV owners with more living space. RV’s that do not have RV slide-outs typically feel very cramped and closed in on all sides. RVs with RV slide-outs give RV owners the ability to extend their living quarters when parked at a campsite or other destination by opening up the side of their RV and creating more space.

Easier Access To RV: RV slide-outs also make it easier for RV owners to access their RV. With the RV slide-out extended, there is more room to move around and get inside the RV. This can be very helpful when loading or unloading the RV with luggage, groceries, or camping gear. RV slide-outs can also be helpful for RV owners who may have mobility issues when trying to get in and out of their RVs due to the extra space that RV slide-outs provide.

-More layout options for your RV: RV slide-outs give RV owners more layout options for their RV. With an RV slide-out, you can configure your RV to have either one large living space or two separate living spaces. This gives RV owners more flexibility when designing their RV interior.


Possible RV slide damage

-Increased Weight: Heavier slide-outs add extra weight to an RV. This can cause the RV’s chassis to sag and create other issues for the RV owner if not addressed properly by adding more support to handle the additional weight of the RV slide.

-Increased Cost: RV slide-outs are more expensive than RVs without them. If an RV owner wants to purchase an RV with a slide-out, they should expect to pay more for that RV than an RV without a slide-out.

For more information on purchasing an RV, check out this article!

-Slower To Set Up: RV slide-outs can take longer to set up than RVs without them. This is because the RV owner needs to open up the side of the RV to extend the RV slide-out.

Can be Prone To Malfunction: RV slides are mechanical systems, and as such, they can be prone to malfunctioning. If an RV owner does not keep up with the recommended maintenance schedule for their RV slide-outs, then there is a greater chance that those RV slide-outs will malfunction and need to be repaired or replaced. RV owners should plan on budgeting more money for RV slide-out maintenance than they would RV’s without RV slide-outs due to the extra mechanical parts associated with RV slide-outs.

-Uneven weight distribution: RV slides can create an uneven weight distribution on the RV. This can cause problems with how the RV handles while driving and affect the RV’s tires over time.

-Possible leaks: RV slide-outs can also cause RVs to leak. When the RV slide-out is extended, it creates more surface area for water and other elements to penetrate the RV. If an RV owner does not properly seal their RV slide-out when retracting it back into the RV, water and other debris can get inside the RV and cause damage.

-Can Be Noisier: RV slides can be noisier than RVs without them. This is because when the RV slide-out is extended, it creates more movement and noise inside the RV.

man and woman sitting on chair

-Possible pest problems: RV slide-outs can also cause pest problems for RV owners. When the RV owner extends their RV slide-out, it creates a more open area for bugs and other pests to enter into the RV. This can be a problem if the RV owner does not take proper precautions to prevent pests from entering their RV.


Now that you’ve read our comprehensive guide to RV slide-outs, as well as some handy maintenance tips, you should feel confident in your ability to use and maintain this feature on your RV safely. Remember always to practice safe habits when using your slide-outs, both during regular and seasonal storage. Have fun out there!

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