Frequently Asked Questions About Slideouts

 Slide Out Extensions
RV Slide Out

Slide-out Extensions
Once a high-end luxury item, slide-out room systems have become a common feature on today’s RVs. With a simple touch of a button, campers increase their living space. There are three basic types of slide-out systems: 12-volt DC electric-motor, high-pressure hydraulic and hybrid systems.

Whether motorized or manual, these systems have grown more reliable; however there are some good-to-know safety and service issues. The following information is to be used as a general guideline. As always, check your owner’s manual to address the specifics of your RV.


Q. I hear a grinding sound immediately after pressing the button. Is this normal?
A. Yes, it’s normal to hear a moaning sound as the piston shafts engage.

Q. What do I do if the room stops before it’s fully extended?
A. The piston shafts may need to be adjusted. Contact your dealer for service.

Q. I’m going to be camped for an extended period of time. Is it okay to leave my slide-out extended for a long duration?
A. Keep the extension in when the vehicle isn’t in use. If you’re full-timing or hunkered down in camp for awhile, bring it in and extend it again occasionally to keep the system lubricated.

Q. What preventative maintenance is required for my slide-out system?
A. Usually the only maintenance required for a hydraulic-system slide-out room is to keep the pump full of a high-quality, multi-purpose transmission fluid. For electrical systems, maintain a full-charge in the 12-volt battery and clean the battery terminals periodically. Mechanical system tubes should be kept clean of dirt and debris.

Q. Do I need supports beneath the slide-out extension?
A. No. Supports can potentially cause damage to the slide-out unit as well as to frame. To minimize rocking, consider using a tripod stabilizer instead.

Visual Inspections
Occasionally take the time to visually inspect your slide-out system. If you’re purchasing a new / pre-owned RV, include the following steps in your walk-around inspection:

Check the alignment of any wheels that might ride on the carpet or flooring, impeding proper clearance.

Check the seals when the slide is retracted and also when it’s extended. Using a flashlight, closely examine the seals when the slide is retracted. You shouldn’t see light or detect airflow.

Inspect the tires and beneath the slide-out area to ensure proper routing of wires or cables and to confirm that nothing rubs on the tires when the slide is retracted.

Safety Precautions for Engaging Slide-Out Rooms

Clear the room of people and loose objects
Check the exterior of the unit for clearance
Make sure the RV is level and the stabilizer jacks in place
Unlock all travel locking devices 
Engage the slide-out mechanism

This article was brought to you by Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service

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  490. Clifford Busenhart

    I have a 2008 Holiday Rambler Augusta B+ with 3 slides and the manual said nothing about manual operating the slides if they won’t work in a emergence.i can’t see any motor or mechanical parts to operate the slides.Need Help.

  491. Deb

    we brought our trailer home and the slideout woun,t open. We do not hear the moter when we hit the putton so we tryed manual and it will not open either. what do we do next? HELP

  492. John

    2003 montana 5th wheel. Slides stop start. Traced to 50 amp dc breaker. Changed beaker, problem still there. LCI lip sheet 0058 says may need to upgrade to Hi-Amp breaker due to voltage drop. Shows 80 amp. your thoughts?

  493. Dennis

    i have a 2005 36″ Dolphin LX with two slides, the Lounge slide got out of alignment by 1/2 to 1/4 inch, what way to adjust back to align properly??

  494. kristi

    Jack , sorry to hear the loss of your cat. Was it old enough, that maybe he/she just passed on of it’s own? Cats go off on their own when they are sick or dying.

  495. Jack

    Cat electricuted? Jack again. The tray style slideout gave my cat plenty of space at all times while the slide was in motion. I pulled her out without moving the slide again, so I know that there was always space for her . She would have run out of there if she was afraid. This is why I wonder if she was electricuted. I haul a late ’90s Falcon with a tray style hydraulic slide.

  496. Jack

    Our cat was under the bed of the slide out, right down in the mechanics, but we just never even thought of that. We didn’t hear anything, & when we finally found him, by reaching in under there, he was beside the motor…dead…
    He was without any physical wounds…is it possible that when the power went on he was electricuted?

  497. Bill

    Speaking of lubing your rubber seals on the slide out, I have been recommended to use “303” Aerospace Protectant. First off, it is made in USA!!! It is easy to spray on and doesn’t hurt the area around the rubber. I spray it on and let it set for about an hour, then rub the remaining liquid into the rubber. Good stuff and approved for all wheel finishes, tire care(lasts 4-10 times longer than other treatments), dash board, vinyl seats, fiberglass, plastic bumpers, plastic patio furniture, vinyl spa covers.
    Try it, You will like it!!

  498. RP

    I feel a person should keep an extra shear pin just in case.
    Also look to find out how to replace it before you need it.

  499. Ty

    This spring we bought our first camper with a slide out. Very good article. My question is, what about the top of the slide? I’ve seen a cover that looks like a window shade to keep leaves, dirt, and junk off of it. Is that a good idea? I’m guessing one should clean/check the top if you have been camping for a few days before you bring it in. Keep out those uninvited guests. Any advise would be appriciated.

  500. Glenn

    I have a Newmar with a bedroom slide that recently has decided not to come out. After traveling on a rather rough highway, I stopped to put out the slide for the night and the top was stuck in as the bottom came out. By the time I saw it happeningm the plywood covers beside the bed had popped loose. Now I have to stand on the bed and pusd the top out the first few inches as the bottom goes out. Does anyone know what would of caused tht top to start grabbing and how to solve the problem.

  501. Harf Overton

    You said “Make sure RV is level and stabilizer jacks in place.” We have a Holiday Rambler Endeavor (2007). Our manual says to: 1. Put out slides 2. Dump the air 3.Put down stabilizer jacks. Whose advice do I follow?
    Thank you,

  502. Ellen McClintick

    I’m 59 years old. I have bad knees, that no longer allow me to sit down gracefully. I tend to fall down. I also weigh 225 lbs. I’ve considered slide out supports to help with the repeated falling down of 225 lbs on the living room slide out. You said supports aren’t good. Please explain why? And what alternatives I might consider.

  503. RCFlyer

    Good article.

    I like to lube the slide seals a couple times a year with a good silicon rubber lube and use dry-lube on the extension mechanism at the same time.

    We have a lot of trees here in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s a good idea to check the top surface of your slides for desbris before you run them in. A good soft push broom is a nice tool for removing stuff if you need to.


  504. Bill

    That cat learned quickly. LOL

  505. Bill

    We purchased a “new to us” 2001 Coachman Leprechaun and have had problems a couple of times with the 12V slide extender and retraction. There is little information for trouble shooting this model in the Coachman manual so we have had to go by trial and error.
    Two times it would not even activate the motor while fully extended and once it started to slide out and stopped. After manually cranking the slide in, I tried opening it again and it went out and back in. Go figure!
    We now level the MMH, set parking brake, leave the engine running and turn the “storage switch” to the off position. this seems to have taken care of the problem. Either we have a drain on the coach batteries that drops the amperage to the motor or something , the motor, is wired to both sides of the “storage switch” as we can occasionally make it work with the switch on. All batteries are only 13 months old.
    I would appreciate any hints or corrective action to take. I am too old to be cranking that room in and out by hand.

  506. Steve Johnson

    Re: “Clear the room of people and loose objects”. That includes cats. We squshed ours because he had jumped up on the top when it was in. He was really trapped and squealing like crazy…scratched the devil out of us trying to free him. We finally did…he licked himself and climbed up on the dash to nap. We thought he’d be dead. He moves now when the slides are moved!