The Ultimate Guide to RV Slide Outs

 / By Lazydays - Technical RV Tips
Learn more about RV slide outs, maintenance, and repairs.

RV slide outs, also known as slides, are room extenders that can enhance the living space of your rig. They are common in motorhomes, campers, fifth wheels, toy haulers, and virtually all types of RVs for sale today. While RV slides weren’t part of the first RVs on the road decades ago, they are now common and many campers expect to see slide outs on their RV. Get the lowdown on RV slide outs and tips for keeping yours working properly if you have them on your RV.

How Does an RV Slide Out Work?

RV slide outs work by changing from an extended to retracted position depending on whether your RV is set up for camping or driving. They are typically operated through an electrical system on your RV’s control center, where the push of a button can retract or expand the slide. There are also hydraulic or manual mechanical RV slide outs.

Depending on the type of slides you have, your slide out will likely work by using a pump, electricity, or elbow grease to push or pull the slide out along its tracks. Slide outs are built to evenly distribute weight and maneuver smoothly. Inside your RV, the slide out generally has furniture or other features that, when expanded, offer added interior space to your RV.

When you’re getting ready to drive or you’re on the road, your RV slide should be in the retracted position so that your rig is as aerodynamic as possible. Under no circumstances should you drive your RV with your slide out extended, doing so can be dangerous for you and others on the road. You should only extend your RV slide out when you’re ready to camp, which is when you can open the slide to extend your RV’s interior space. Depending on the location of your slide, extending the slide add space to the kitchen, living room, bedroom, or even to the bathroom.

Keeping Things Moving with RV Slide Out Tips

Like other areas of your RV, maintenance is important to keep your slides functioning properly. There are several systems working together to help your slides operate correctly, and our expert RV slide out maintenance can help ensure everything continues to work at its best.

There are some routine steps you should take regularly to ensure your RV slide outs are working properly. This DIY RV slide out maintenance should include:

  • Inspecting the tracks when the slide out is extended.
  • Regularly inspecting your RV slide out seal when extended and retracted.
  • Listening to your RV slide out while it is opening or closing for any changes in its sounds.
  • Lubricate the RV slide out if it is making strange noises.
  • Inside the RV, inspect the area around the slide out to ensure there are no gaps when extended.
  • Ensure there is nothing to block the slide out from extending or retracting.

With regular care paid to your RV slide out, it will continue extending the interior space of your RV for many adventures to come.

What is My RV Slide Out Weight Limit?

RV slides are designed to support the weight of the furniture and RV components included in them. If your RV slide out has a couch attached, don’t hesitate to enjoy the couch, dining area, or whatever other furniture may be part of the slide! After all, these sturdy slides are built to withstand regular use which includes the RVer taking advantage of the extended living area in their RV.

Unless your manual says otherwise, most RV and camper slide outs do not need additional support underneath them. It may look like your RV slide is floating in the air, but it is designed and housed with additional support in mind, so it is stronger than you think. Most RV slide outs have a weight capacity of anywhere from 600 to 1500 lbs, and larger RVs may have even higher weight capacities.

How to Repair RV Slide Outs

If you ever encounter any issues with your RV slide out, contact our team at Lazydays RV for expert RV service. We can help repair, maintain, replace, and troubleshoot any issues with your RV slide outs.

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