img_06731Slides started showing up in the early ’90’s, but many non-slide coaches were still being purchased.  Today, it would seem that all, or certainly the vast majority of coaches sold, are slide equipped.  There are still coaches offered that do not have slides.  Many entertainer conversions are without slides.  I recently saw a new Prevost conversion that was produced by a converter called “Outlaw” that had no slides.  It wasn’t made as an entertainer’s ride, but a normal conversion with the usual interior look.




So, what would life without slides be like?  It is surprising how roomy one feels.  I went into the “Outlaw” conversion at an RV show in RiverBend, in LaBelle, Florida.  Of course it didn’t look or feel anywhere as large as the many multi-slide rigs that are so common today, but it still felt roomy.  I guess to really appreciate its interior layout you have to realize, this is the size of the RV when camped, or on the road.  The “or on the road” is the big difference here when compared to the multi-slide.

All multi-slide rigs are somewhat awkward within the interior while the slides are retracted.  Some are worse than others, but generally, the more and the deeper the slides, the more cramped they are.  The full wall slide may have a slight advantage here when compared to the double same-slide.  They only have two wall points when brought inside instead of four. 

img_06751There are some advantages found in the no slide configurations.  Less weight is quite apparent as the framing and mechanism used in a slide adds a considerable amount of weight.  This weight reduction may well contribute to better ride, handling, and perhaps fuel mileage.  Storage space is also saved as there is no slide mechanism or additional framing support found on a no-slide rig.  Access to that storage is also far easier as no bending beneath an extended slide is required.  Alleviating the slides and related components also reduces the regular maintenance, and in general, leaves less to go wrong.   Of course, there is a substantial savings on the capital outlay, whether you buy a used rig or a new conversion.  Slides on conversions cost somewhere in the 40k range, each. 

What about overnight stops in rest centers, truck stops, Walmart, etc?  Often insufficient space is available to allow slide deployment.  In some cases it may be frowned upon as it looks like you are camping there.  So, when faced with this type of overnight event, the living quarters within a multi-slide coach are usually less than ideal.  On the flip side of the coin, the non-slide rig, being especially built and furnished for such, provides the full living environment that is found in camp. 

A friend of mine has an older Foretravel coach.  One night, I found myself sitting in his salon, along with five others, sharing an after dinner drink.  There was more than adequate room for us all to sit and converse.  It was not until someone commented on the fact that the coach had no slides that I became aware that, in fact, it did not.  I guess it was the sizing and placement of the furniture and fixtures that made it feel equal to that of a slide equipped unit.  If you have not experienced this, try going in one and judge for yourself.  It may surprise you, it did me.

Well, non-slide models are not for everybody, but may well suit a person or family that wishes to travel a lot, urban boondock, or just plain save money.  So, for those that might be shopping for a used coach, don’t necessarily turn your back on a non-slide rig.  It may just be the best coach you ever had.

With Another Slide of The Story     –     Lug_Nut      –       Peter Mercer

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  1. Tim. I think anything is do’able and replacing a sofa is not very expensive. The issue is more about finding the right one that will fit. Thank you for commenting and best of luck with your soon-to-be new adventure.

  2. Tim

    We’re considering buying our first rig. We like the advantages of a shorter class A, like a 34 footer, to fit in campsites and are mulling this slide or no slide issue. Went to Tampa supershow and got to be in a couple no slides and they seem fine to me. Of course, I spent three years on a fast attack sub.

    A manufacturer names Foretravel out of Texas seems to produce no slide vehicles of a high quality and there are many used ones that are reasonably priced. We may end up getting one as we are going to use it for camping and maybe two week trips over the next several years, we have a six year old child but may want to bring another family of three with us. How easy and expensive is it to put say a better sleeper couch and to replace a chair with a jackknife couch?

  3. David, There is much to be said about smaller rigs today. I can not say I’ve ever thought of deploying a slide partially, not sure how that would work. I’m sure one would not want to do that on a rainy night as the slide seals only seal fully in or fully out. Thank you for your kind words and for your participation and input on this topic.

  4. David

    Having 31′ class a w/ 2 slides, the only interior slide gives me some privacy from distraction, and makes for great multi people entertaining. As for SP or Walmarts just a partial opening really doesn’t like look a full blown site. Having a smaller
    length negotiating tighter grounds aren’t to tough. Just some of my expiriences.
    Always enjoy your input LUG_NUT

  5. Bluebird Bob, Yes I think it is a matter of choice and lifestyle. Thanks for sharing your experience with your rig with us and for your input.

  6. Bluebird Bob

    We have an 84 96″ Bluebird with no slides. The Bird slides didn’t start till 91.
    I looked long and hard to find a good no slide bird.
    We have lived in ours now for 7 years and travel.
    I wouldn’t want the 102″ wide rigs and don’t want any slides.
    We do just fine without the extra weight.

  7. Lug_Nut

    Larry McIntosh, Actually, I believe Newmar was making slide units then and even prior to ’94. Yours had to be one of vey few full body paint. Thanks for your input.

  8. I have had a 1994, 32 Monaco Dynasty, 230hp, 6 speed Allison since new. I have never been cramped or been sorry that I did not have a slide. They did not make any slides at that time, and mine is 96″ wide. I realize that most people like slides for the room, but I can get into any campsite, and it handles great. It has no squeaks, looks like new . Full body paint, 8 air bags, 8 gas shocks. To bad they don’t make them this size anymore. Larry

  9. Mike, Great input. Trading your ’07 four slide for a non-slide, will probably not be easy. That is unless you go for that new Outlaw Prevost I saw. I agree with you fully on making sure what the livability is in a multi-slide model when all are retracted. There are some that are near, not managable. Thank you for your comments on this topic.

  10. mike cianci

    great subject as i am currently looking to trade my 07 4 slide motorhome for a non slide. the only options for me are used prevosts or class C’s which for my fulltiming purposes won’t work. does anyone know of a good size class A that is new and has no slides? let me know if you find one. as a single person, for me, slides are not really necessary (although i thought they were when i started fulltiming, but priorities change on the road!) also if i knock myself out bagging my head one more time on a slide or having to bend on my hands and knees to get to the cargo bins, i may have to give up RVing!! the other problem is that mainly older coaches had no slides and banks are not financing old motorhomes (prevosts included with exceptions). so in todays market, when purchasing a rv, be sure if you really want or need slides before you buy. and check livability of the rig with the slides in (mine is thank goodness). just my experiences.
    mike cianci

  11. Ron, I think multi-slides are ideal for extended stays and may certainly be far more applicable if that is the intent. But, if one is doing a point A to point B once a year for a 6 month stay, look at a multi-slide 5th wheel. More bang for the buck.
    Size may be an issue. I, on the other hand, have never found size or slides an issue. I have a 45′ four slide, do about 15,000 miles per year. I do not, however, seem to stop or camp at state parks or provincial either. This is mainly due to height and width bush clearance. In my experience, a coach or trailer can get very scratched up navigating some of the ways into these camps use to access the sites. I know this is not the case always, but, that’s been my trek. Thanks for your input.

  12. Ron Butler

    I whole-heartily agree with you about the closed up aspect of multi-slide units. We have been through some that you can’t even get to the head without the slide-outs being extended!

    The other point that I think is important is that the multi-slide units won’t fit in many of the national and state parks. Since we love to use those parks, that was a very important consideration for us. I may be overstating this, but it seems that the owners of these larger, multi-slide rigs are primarily those that travel from point A to point B and stay there for an extended time and then back to point A, or, they are the ones that have made “big rig” parks popular!! I don’t say that with any disrespect, just different travel and destination priorities!

    Good article.

  13. John Pelley, Interestingly you mentioned privacy. This was an issue that was not yet brought up. Perhaps you were thinking of the possible loss in privacy found in some full wall slides. I would be interested in hearing exactly the privacy issue you are referring to. Thanks for you comments on this topic.

  14. TAG, I agree with you on the more space with a multi-slide, however, that is only when they are deployed. There are cases, depending on one’s use, that insufficient outside area does not permit extending slides. In this scenario, the non-slid wins hands down. I have a four slide and would have a major adjustment if I were to go to a non-slide equipped unit. However, there are times when it would be a benefit. Thank you for your input.

  15. We have two slides in our RV which is our home. They give us plenty of room and privacy.

  16. TAG

    My wife and I travel somewhere almost every month except January. We have 3 children ranging in age from 4 to 11. Trust me, more floor space is better. Our rig is 40ft with 4 slides and I want to trade up to 45ft. I have often wished I could put put the kids in a travel trailer attached to the rear, just kidding of course.

  17. Sue, Great point on the window sizes. Things like overhead cupboard, over the windows, also reduces that open feeling. Thank you for your very fitting comments.

  18. John Shelton, I don’t know how many 96″ bodies are available with slides, at least that will limit your choice. As far as 92″, I don’t know if any with slides were ever built. I was originally skepical about 102″ years ago, but, it grows on you. Thanks for your input on this topic.

  19. Sue

    I have a Thor Residency with no slides, but big windows and an “L” shaped living area. I feel less cramped in it than in many coaches with slides but little windows. Less weight, more miles per!

  20. John Shelton

    Having spent a few years driving highway trucks with 102″ wide trailers, and 96″ trailers before that, my preference is MUCH toward the 96″ (or even 92 “) RVs – with slideouts making up the difference in floor space between these and the now more popular 102” ones. Although I have no fear of maneuvering the wider boxes, the narrower ones are “just more comfortable” to handle in close spaces and narrow highways. This is from the perspective of a 40+ year RVer (RVing years, not age) who has never yet owned a “widebody” RV nor an RV with slideouts. My next one will be 96″ maximum width with at least a single large or couple of modest sized slideouts.

    That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

  21. Lug_Nut

    Hi Art, The glass is always half full in my book. Thanks for the comment and your input.

  22. Lug_Nut

    Nick, Feeling crowded in a rig is not necessary confined to a non-slide coach as many have experienced. Your 96″ MCI is a good example when comparing one to the other. Your coach, however, is probably occupied by only 2 people the majority of time, and as you said, 8 years, no issue. Thank you for your comment on this topic.

  23. Art

    Good article Lug Nut!

    Is the glass half full or half empty?


  24. We have lived in our 96 inch wide no slide MCI bus conversion for 8 years and never felt cramped until recently. However, we are visiting my daugther and her family in northern Arizona right now, ans as our two granddaughters have gotten older, it feels a bit crowded when they stop over to visit.

  25. Brad, Your point is well made. I think there are many people that have never experienced a non-slide coach having bought a slide unit the first time around. Their idea of a non-slide is only imagining their unit unable to open. This, of course, is not at all reality as the non-slide is designed specifically so, giving far more space than one would think. Thanks for your experienced input on this topic.

  26. Brad Sears

    As the owners of an older Foretravel, we have no slides. Do we miss the extra room? No. Now this is only my opinion, that slides only add to floor space an give the illusion of bigger. If you need the floor space get a slide. But we weighed the facts. Slides add weight, drop storage space, and make as you stated Wallydocking a bit of a problem. We just completed almost 6 months and were never once asking orseves, “why did we not get slides with this coach”? The Kitty kat might have asked but we did not. Just our opinion.