Slides, or pop-outs, are abundant on most of today’s motor coaches and trailers. Depending on the RV make, model, size and floor plan will normally dictate the number of slides. There may be one or there may be multi. There are small slides and there are full wall ones. Additionally there are varying depths usually from about 12” to 36” or more.
So, how many is enough? More may not always be better While bigger and more may provide additional interior space, it may have trade-offs. Let’s look at some of the other considerations one should take into account, for each choice.
Multi (3 or 4) deep slides may provide very little livability when faced with overnight stops where slide deployment is not possible. Access to the bathroom may be awkward for larger people during travel times. The vehicle will be heavier than those with less or no slides. Generally, for most multi-slide units, slides on one side must be deployed to attain a reasonable comfort level.
Single side slides (1 or 2) may he slightly less livable when faced with overnight stops where slide deployment is not possible. Access to the bathroom may be awkward for larger people during travel times. The vehicle will be heavier than those without slides.
Non-Slide units provide the same space in all circumstances. Generally they can boondock in locations that slide types would not and also have more parking choices when in the same place. Their weight is generally much lower than a slide equipped unit of the same make and basic model.
But, all the new class A units and fifth wheel trailers seem to be multi-slide. Do they even make two or no slide coaches anymore? Well, the answer to that is yes, however only in some makes and models.
Slides also tend to make basement access more challenging, not only overhanging it, but reducing the door and storage height also. Passenger side slides protrude into the area that generally is covered with the patio awning, thus reducing the canopied space. Additionally the awning material, if overhung the slide, may be subject to wear from contact with the slide top and corners.
So, what about full wall slides? Generally these are available on some large class A coaches. While they do provide an abundance of interior space, they do have some disadvantages. You will note that the full wall slide is always on the driver side of the vehicle, as is normally, the AquaHot or similar hydronic boiler. However, by regulation, the fuel fired boiler can not be mounted and exhausted beneath a slide. Therefore, full wall slide units have the hydronic burner exhaust, you guessed it, right in the patio area. So if you are planning to sit beneath your awning with friends, perhaps enjoying an outside television, you better make sure the fueled portion of the burner is in the off position. Additionally, slides, and particularly large slides such as full wall, increase the vehicle weight and possibly the weight distribution.
Now, you may think I’m an advocate for less or no slides, but this is not the case. In fact, I have a four slide unit currently. It is just that various designs and options often involve some form of trade-off. The difficult thing, may be to get the right balance, that is to get the one you want, providing you can accept any trade-offs that may come with it.
On Thursday, April 15th we will be looking at a new innovation in coach slide-outs, the 5 slide. Don” t miss it.
So, how many slides do you have, or want?
Just Counting Slides – Lug_Nut – Peter Mercer