Thanks to slide-outs, recreational vehicles can be much larger than they appear. Many modern RVs come equipped with one or more slide-outs that help increase interior space. But while you take advantage of all that roominess, it’s important to remember that slide-outs require regular maintenance and care to continue operating smoothly for years to come.
Learn about the types of slide-outs
There are two major types of slide-outs: hydraulic and electric. Maintenance is similar, but not equal, depending on the type. Both RV slide-outs are powered by a 12-volt battery. The electric type uses an electric motor as well as potentially a number of gears. The hydraulic type uses a pump that sends hydraulic fluid through lines and valves to move the slides in and out. This is very powerful yet less complex, which is why it’s less prone to issues.
Inspect the seals
Your RV slide-outs have seals — small pieces of round rubber on the edges of the slide that stop debris and other outside elements from entering the interior. Clean these once or twice a year and inspect them for signs of wear or damage. If you tend to camp in hot areas, your slide-out seals may get dry, which can lead to water leaks and cause the rubber to wear more quickly. You can use a seal conditioner to increase the seal life. If the seal is beyond saving, bring your trailer to RVs of West Texas to get it replaced by a qualified professional.
Clean the mechanism
Clean the slide-out mechanism as well using a soft cloth or damp rag to remove grime and surface dust. You can also use a compressed air duster on the tracks. Do this before storing the slide-out, especially if it’s been out for a while. Remember to never power wash a hydraulic slide-out since this could cause serious damage to the mechanism.
Lubricate the mechanism
All slide-out mechanics require routine lubrication. Avoid thick lubricants, as these can accumulate dust or sand. Generally, dry silicone lubricants are preferred, but some manufacturers may recommend a light grease, so make sure to consult your owner’s manual first. In fact, you should always do this while your RV is under warranty to avoid voiding it.
Check the roof
Most slide-outs have roofs that look like awnings designed to catch dirt and other debris. Maintaining these is just like maintaining any other awning: clean off any leaves, twigs, dirt, and any other undesired elements before pulling the slide-out back in. This is important to prevent items from getting stuck in the slide-out track. While you’re up there, check for signs of damage or excessive wear. Tears may allow water to get in your RV, so you’ll want to get those repaired as soon as possible.
Keep an ear out
When operating your slide-outs, keep an ear out for any abnormal noises. A little squeaking is normal when moving the slide in or out, but if the slide-out begins making any noises that are out of the ordinary, you should get it inspected by a qualified professional. The same goes for visual inspections. If parts of your slide-out don’t pass the eye test, contact RVs of West Texas for assistance.
Check fluid levels
If you have a hydraulic slide-out, check the fluid levels from time to time. If everything is going well, those levels should not change. Any reduction in fluid level could indicate an issue that you’ll want to get addressed if you wish to continue having a functioning slide-out.
Slide-outs are an exceptional addition to any trailer but do require regular care. Preventative maintenance is the best method for ensuring your slide-outs continue to operate as smoothly as when they were new. If your slide-outs need repairs or you would like to leave maintenance to the professionals, bring your trailer for service at RVs of West Texas in Baird, Texas.