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RV Slide out systems require 12 Volt DC electricity from your RV Batteries to operate so check the voltage of your battery and charge if/as needed BEFORE any troubleshooting.

If there is no response when you operate the slide out switch, check for blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. It could be in the ‘house’ fuse/breaker panel, around the battery compartment or in the power line at the motor.

There two basic types of RV slide out systems, hydraulic and mechanical.

Hydraulic RV slide out mechanisms use a motor-driven hydraulic pump to actuate a hydraulic ram which pushes out or pulls in the slide out. The direction is controlled by a combination of valves.

In addition to electrical problems outlined above, hydraulic slides can fail due to low hydraulic fluid level, fluid leaks and defective valves.

There are two basic types of mechanical RV slide out systems, screw-jack and rack and pinion.

The screw jack slide out systems generally utilize the same components used in fifth wheel landing gear only placed horizontally.

Rack and Pinion RV Slide Out System

Rack and Pinion RV Slide Out System

Rack and pinion slide out system manufacturers use different configurations but the graphic shows generally how they work.

In addition to electrical problems, mechanical slide out systems will fail due to broken shear pins, gears and clutches.

If the slide out moves slow or jerks when moving, check for binding around the wall and ceiling the slide out passes through. Look for any objects that don’t belong there. Using caution not to cut yourself, run your fingers around the inner and outer seals, between the slide and the RVs wall opening, top and sides. NYJim says he’s seen tree branches and other items… a fishing pole, a wet tightly rolled T-Shirt, beer cans, used fireworks displays, and a “lost” Winegard TV Antenna… lodged between the top of the slide and the opposing wall, causing the whole room to come to a stand-still!

If there is no obvious reason for the binding it’s probably time to contact an RV repair center. It could be the slide out is out of adjustment and needs re-aligned.

Most slide out systems provide a way to manually operate the slide out if problems arise.

For hydraulic systems this usually requires relieving pressure in the hydraulic ram and physically pushing the slide out… ask some friends to help you.

Mechanical slide out systems usually provide a hand crank but you may have to remove the motor first. Make sure you have the the proper crank handle.

Your owners manual should provide the specific procedure for you slide out.  If you don’t have a manual, contact the RV manufacture or slide out component manufacturer for that information.  If that is not possible then it would be worth the expense to have an RV tech show you how to do it.  And you should know how before you need to do it.

Slide out systems require 12 Volt DC electricity from your RV Batteries to operate so check the voltage of your battery and charge if/as needed BEFORE any troubleshooting.

If there is no response when you operate the slide out switch, check for blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. It could be in the ‘house’ fuse/breaker panel, around the battery compartment or in the power line at the motor.

There two basic types of slide out mechanisms, hydraulic and mechanical.

Hydraulic mechanisms use a motor-driven hydraulic pump to actuate a hydraulic ram which pushes out or pulls in the slide out. The direction is controlled by a combination of valves.

In addition to electrical problems outlined above, hydraulic slides can fail due to low hydraulic fluid level, fluid leaks and defective valves.

There are two basic types of mechanical slide out mechanisms, screw-jack and rack and pinion.

The screw jack systems generally utilize the same components used in fifth wheel landing gear only placed horizontally.,/p>

Rack and pinion system manufacturers use different configurations but the graphic shows generally how they work.

In addition to electrical problems, mechanical slide out systems will fail due to broken shear pins, gears and clutches.

If the slide moves slow or jerks when moving, check for binding around the wall and ceiling the slide out passes through. Look for any objects that don’t belong there. Using caution not to cut yourself, run your fingers around the inner and outer seals, between the slide and the RVs wall opening, top and sides. NYJim says he’s seen tree branches and other items… a fishing pole, a wet tightly rolled T-Shirt, beer cans, used fireworks displays, and a “lost” Winegard TV Antenna… lodged between the top of the slide and the opposing wall, causing the whole room to come to a stand-still!

It’s also possible that a drawer or cabinet door has opened during travel and is lodged in the slide out.  It happened to us!  Always listen for unusual noise and watch for erratic movement whenever you operate your slide outs.

If there is no obvious reason for the binding it’s probably time to contact an RV repair center. It could be the slide out is out of adjustment and needs re-aligned.

Most slide out systems provide a way to manually operate the slide out if problems arise.

For hydraulic systems this usually requires relieving pressure in the hydraulic ram and physically pushing the slide out… ask some friends to help you.

Mechanical slide out systems usually provide a hand crank but you may have to remove the motor first. Make sure you have the the proper crank handle.

Your owners manual should provide the specific procedure for you slide out.  If you don’t have a manual, contact the RV manufacture or slide out component manufacturer for that information.  If that is not possible then it would be worth the expense to have an RV tech show you how to do it.  And you should know how before you need to do it.

80 Responses to “RV Slide Out Operation and Troubleshooting”

  • When you are new to RVing it is typical to be intimidated by their large size. There are a few who never really get used to it but most do and it doesn’t take all that long. Practicing turning and backing in a large empty lot helps a lot. There are also RV driving schools and the people who have attended say they’re a great confidence builder.

    As for narrow RVs with slideouts… not likely to happen. There is a trend to smaller lighter towables but adding slideouts to them would defeat any weight saved by making them smaller.

  • In ’06 we bought a new ’07 discovery, A Big Lemon. No help from fletwood or dealer in Medford, OR. We have put about 5000 miles on it. We are finally getting the electical system fixed with the new and improved regulator that fleetwood changed to in ’07 because the ones that was installed were defected, and caused us to have to replace all six batteries. Fleetwood sent one of the old type regulators to the repair shop and of course it died also. Now we are having trouble with the large sideout. Our RV has been in the shop all summer and is still there in November. There is no
    help from Fleetwood. The drivers side window has separated. I got the answer, sorry we do not honor former Fleetwood manufactrer warrantees I know there is a Federal Lemon law for RV’s, that I am going to look into. I am not the only one out there that has concerns. The first thing that failed were the brakes, not installed properly. It was a scarry ride. One would think the company who bought out Fleetwood and kept the Fleetwood name would be happy to help former customers.

  • you did not say anything about how to fix a slide that will not lock at the bottom.

  • kathy heine:

    i have a 1986 36ft comfort aire fifth wheel that needs some adjustments on the slide out ..where might i find the information on how to adjust it..it still works ,just getting wore out and could use a little tweeking

  • wayne tumlin:

    i have a 2000 33ft companion 5th wheel. the slide works perfect but i have no lights. theirs 2 wires going to slide 1 has a plugin which works. the other is going to the lights i assume but their is no power on it. i have checked the breakers all good but the dc fuses hav no power. can u help me?

  • jeff greene:

    did you ever get information on how to adjust the slide out?

  • morris:

    I want to find out how to adjust my dewalt system on my 98 damon challenger as I have bent the rollers twice and it goes in and out at an angle

  • I’ve heard of Dewalt power tools but I have not heard the name associated with RVs. Can you explain in more specifics what your trouble is.

  • robert lacey:

    I have a 1996 hitch hiker travel trailer with one slide I hear the slide motor but no movement which bolts are the hauling lock nuts

  • Harold Muxlow, Sr:

    hydraulic Slide out problems are no fun. Our 07 Winnebago 38′ has now had 3 major incidents. The culprit has always been leaking then the reservoir runs dry (without you knowing) and getting air in the lines. Plus, one time a solenoid blew apart and had to limp in 300 miles to a dealer. HWH, the company who built the system have so many problems with their junk you have to get on a 2 week waiting list just to get a call back for tech support.
    Winnebago would be smart to use another sub-contractor for their hydraulics, one who can make a good product that will not break down every time you use the coach. These problems reflect on Winnebago who builds an outstanding coach.

    Replacement parts take minimum 2 weeks to get and you can only use their parts because they have made special fitting sizes so you cannot use after market, custom parts.

    Winnebago should really use a different parts supplier.

  • Tom:

    Stuck in the woods. Cannot retract my drivers side slide. Fuse is ok, in panel in front drivers side . How can I bring it in manually need pics . 2006 tiffin phaeton. Thanks

  • Call Tiffin Customer Support.

  • roy:

    have new 2014 sierra 356saqb, large slide sticks 1/2 way in while retracting and travels up on inside! not do all the time. dealer saying just needs seals lubricated and will not do anymore and is dragging in the top seal forcing it up in air on the indide about 8 inches and then gets stuck. if u step on slide it will rock down back to the floor and come in ok. Is this seal thing true?

  • Roy,

    Your slide doesn’t seem to be working properly, whatever the cause. There are many different slide mechanisms and they all operate somewhat differently. It’s not possible for me to give you specific advice. Here is some basic advise.

    Has the dealer lubed the seals? If so, and it’s still not working right, take it back and make them fix it.

    Contact Forrest River customer service for their help in putting pressure on the dealer the do the job properly.

    Find another dealer that is willing to do the repair.

    Take video and/or photos of the problem to document what is happening. You can show it to the repair tech to help him diagnose the problem but having the video/photos will also get it on record for future warrantee claims if needed.

    I found this form http://www.forestriverforums.com/forums there may be others. Asking other owners is the best way to get answers. Most likely at least a few other owners have had the same problem and can offer specific advice.

  • caravanfinanceloans.com.au:

    I agree with Steven. If you are still under warranty, ask your insurance company’s assistance. For sure they know the answers. Or, if you want to do it your way, join RV communities (such as forestriverforum) and ask the experts.

    Just my two cents ;)

  • Jack Wilbourne:

    The slide o my 33 ft Motor home will barely move out but once exstnded will retrack just fine, what could be wrong?

  • Evie:

    We have a 2013 Dutchmen travel trailer, our slide makes a awful noise when moving in and out, it seems to open and close fully just sounds like its rubbing on wood or something, what could be wrong?

  • As long as you are sure the slide is operating properly then I would not worry. Slideouts have a rubber gasket that acts kind of like a squeegee to keep the slide mostly weather sealed as it moves in and out. My guess is that gasket is what you are hearing. But to be sure you should check with your trusted RV tech.

  • butch lankford:

    we are having trouble with the fluid leaking around the seal in a small slide on our camper. It is a 2008 Keystone Hornet. We can get absolutely NO help from CAMPING WORLD where we purchased it from, and was told to either replace or repack the seal. Do you think that this is the way to go with the repair? It was initially set up long term for about 5 years, without the slides being moved in or out. We have just recently started moving it from place to place and not we have this problem. Thank you so much for taking the time to get back to me.

  • Butch,

    I am assuming you are referring to hydraulic fluid leaking from the ram. If the leak is a slow leak then you may want to give the seal a little time to soften up and re-seal. Operate the slide several times over a few days and see if it is still leaking.

    If the slow leak persists or the leak is really bad then it’s time to consider a repair. I’m not an expert on hydraulics but I what think haveing the ram repaired will be cheaper than purchasing a new one but in a throw-a-way world I may wrong. So get a price for both.

    If you can remove the ram yourself you can save that labor fee plus you can take the part to a hydraulics specialty shop for expert repair and/or advice.

    I’m not advising you to do this but it’s something I would try. If the leak is bad enough that it drains your reservoir over a short period of time I would add some power steering or automatic transmission stop leak to refill the reservoir. You can get just the stop leak or you can get the hydraulic fluid with the stop leak as an additive. Which you use would be determined by how low the reservoir is. If it half full the add the fluid with additive. If the reservoir just needs a top-off then just add the stop leak. Again this is not advise. I’m only telling you what I would do. If you try it let me know if it did or did not work.

    The best advice I can give you is to talk with a hydraulic specialist and be more specific about the the nature of the leak. Be sure to tell him the camper slide has not been operated for several years.

  • Gerry:

    back bedroom slide (hydraulic) just quit on me. the slide seemed to hang up a bit and just quit. 38 foot forrest river sandpiper. no clicking (dead) when using switch, which usually engages both front (which is working fine) and back slides. no signs of leaking. could it be a breaker popped – if so, where look?

  • The first, obvious, place to look is your RV’s fuse/breaker panel. If you don’t see a blown fuse or tripped breaker their then there may be a fuse/breaker near the motor for the slide. IF you can contact the manufacturer’s help/customer service they may be able to give you advice.

  • kelly grose:

    Hope someone can help. We just bought a new 27ft travel trailer, however the seller just put a new battery in it. The slide out works great, however nothing else will work on the battery. We changed the fuses and that did not work. Please help

  • Call the seller and ask him for suggestions.

    Look for a main shutoff switch somewhere close to the battery or power distribution panel.

  • Gary:

    Can anybody tell me if there is a manual override for the slideout on 2002 wildcat by forest river? Also: any suggestions to troubleshoot why it won’t operate? Already checked fuses. Everything else (electrical) works fine.
    any links to tell me how to extended and closed manualy also there is anything between the battery to the motor and switches I missed?

  • Michael:

    Message for Kelly. Look for a DC disconnect switch, it needs to be in the on position. Our DC disconnect switch is located near our water hookup area on our camper. We have to insert an orange plastic key to turn it on. This will help run some of the lights and the ignitor if u have a fridge that runs off LP.

  • gale:

    We had two blowouts on both rear tires on our 1999 carri-lite fifth wheel. Damaged both sides under the wheel wells.
    Now there the electric button that runs on both electricity snd battery does not work. We can only open manually. Any suggestions on where to start to repair?

  • I’m not convinced the blowout damage and the slideout problem are related… they could be but unless one of the blowouts broke the wires (you should be able to see that) the I can see a relationship.

    As with all electrical problems, start by checking the fuse. It is the easiest to check and almost always the problem. Next, check to see if you have power the the switch. If you don’t have power to the switch then there is a break in the wire from the fuse to the switch. If you do have power the check for power to the motor. If you don’t have power to the motor then there is a break in the wire from the switch to the motor. If you have power to the motor but the motor doesn’t run then it is an issue with the motor.

  • jeff:

    06 coachmen captiva. rear bed slide is coming apart from rear wall. what is the maker of this slide? it mounts vertical and has scissor arms on the side. looking for pictures of this construction.

  • Kim:

    I have a 2007 Forest River Sierra 321BHT Travel Trailer. One of the sliders in the back bedrooms wont come out and had to be hand cranked out. Does anyone have an idea how we can fix this

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