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How RV slide outs work

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By following the tips below, you can help ensure that your RV slide-out continues working correctly for years.

It is common to find people asking what RV slide-outs are. These are sections of your RV that extend outward to provide more interior space. Most people think slide-outs are a relatively new invention, but they have been around for quite some time. The first slide-out was created in the early 1950s by Winnebago, and since then, its popularity has grown exponentially. Nowadays, almost all RVs come standard with two or more slide-outs.

They work through hydraulic capabilities, motors, tracks, and gears, that allow the RV to slide out to move in and out as needed. When you are ready to bring in your RV slide, simply push a button (or turn a knob), and the entire process is automated. The motors will work for you, moving the slide-out back into its original position.

What are the types of RV slide outs
There are three types of RV slide-outs, and each one works differently.  But at the end of the day,  they all serve the same purpose: to give you more space inside your RV. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages, so itis essential to know the difference before you make a decision about which one is right for you. Below are brief descriptions of each, along with how they work.

1. Hydraulic slide outs
This is one of the most common types of RV slide-outs and the oldest type of slide-out currently in use. They work by using a hydraulic pump that is located beneath the floor of the RV. This pump is connected to a series of hoses that run to each corner of the slide-out. The pump starts running when you activate the slide-out and sends hydraulic fluid to the hoses. This fluid then goes to a cylinder at each corner of the slide-out. The cylinders are what extend and retract the slide-out.

2. Electric motor slide outs
This is another common type of RV slide-out, and it is become increasingly popular in recent years. Electric motor slide-outs work by using a motor that is located beneath the floor of the RV. This motor is connected to a series of gears that are in turn connected to the tracks that the slide-out runs on. The engine starts running and turns the gears when you activate the slide-out. This action moves the slide-out along the tracks and extends or retracts it as needed.

3. Rack and pinion slide outs
The rack and pinion type of RV slide-out is the newest type on the market. They work by using a motor that is located beneath the floor of the RV. This motor is connected to a rack and pinion system that is in turn connected to the tracks that the slide-out runs on. When you activate the slide-out, the motor starts running and turns the rack and pinion system. This action moves the slide-out along the tracks and extends or retracts it as needed.

How to maintain RV slide out
Maintaining your RV slide-out is essential if you want it to continue working correctly for years. You don't require complex tools or knowledge to maintain your RV slide-out. Following a few simple tips can keep your slide-out working like new. Below are a few tips on how to do just that;

1. Inspect the sealant around the slide-out regularly
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your RV slide-out is to inspect the sealant around it regularly. This sealant keeps water and other elements from getting into your RV, so it must remain in good condition. If you notice any cracks or gaps in the sealant, be sure to repair them as soon as possible.

2. Clean the tracks regularly
Another essential maintenance tip is to regularly clean the tracks that your RV slide-out runs on. These tracks can get dirty and grimy over time, which can eventually cause the slide-out to stick or not operate smoothly. To clean the tracks, simply use a rag and some soapy water. Wipe down the tracks, being sure to get all of the dirt and grime off.

3. Lubricate the slide-out mechanism regularly
Another essential maintenance tip is to lubricate the slide-out mechanism regularly. This will help keep it working smoothly and prevent any potential problems. To lubricate the mechanism, simply apply a light coat of WD-40 or another similar product. Be sure to do this at least once a year or more often if you notice the slide-out starting to stick or not operating as smoothly as it should.

4. Keep your RV’s interior aisles clear
If you have an RV with slide-outs, keeping the interior aisles clear is essential. This will help prevent you from accidentally damaging the slide-outs while moving around inside your RV. For example,  if you have a slide-out on the driver’s side, keep the aisle on that side of the RV clear.

5. Be careful when opening and closing doors
Another important tip is to be careful when opening and closing doors. This is especially important if you have a slide-out near a door. You could accidentally damage the slide-out when opening or closing the door if you are not careful.

6. Avoid slide-out stabilizers
One final maintenance tip is to avoid using slide-out stabilizers. These devices are designed to help keep the slide-out from moving around while it is extended, but they can do more harm than good. This is because they put stress on the slide-out mechanism, which can eventually lead to problems. If you must use stabilizers, be sure to remove them as soon as the slide-out is retracted.

By following the tips above, you can help ensure that your RV slide-out continues working correctly for years.

In conclusion
RV slide-outs are a great addition to any RV, but they need to be appropriately maintained to continue working correctly. By understanding how they work and rv slide out adjustment needs, you can utilize them properly. 


Photo by Matthew LeJune on Unsplash

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