Getting a new RV with slide-outs is great because Slide outs are an awesome addition to trailer life. You simply press a button and your living space is enlarged and it feels like the Elbow Room Fairy has paid your travel trailer a personal visit. It’s like upgrading from a regular hotel room to a suite with a jacuzzi tub. However as time passes wear, sag, twist, warp, and bind might make that slide-out seem a little harder to use and maintain. Many things can affect the operation of your slide outs: water leaking past the rubber seals, or perhaps the trailer has been parked for an extended period with the slide-outs fully extended, or the trailer wasn’t leveled properly, or maybe your slide-out contains the entire kitchen with water and gas installed in it and the weight is a lot for that slide out mechanism.
Here are some of the ways to alleviate slide-out sag and extend the life of your slide out mechanism. Make sure the slide-outs are closed when not in use, ensure everything is lubed properly and regularly, inspect the rubber seals for wear and cracking and condition them so that rainwater and dew stays where it’s supposed to….outside. And, finally, if you find yourself parked in a semi-permanent location give some thought to installing a set of support jacks under the slide-outs.
These inexpensive supports can really help make life a little easier, simply level the trailer, extend the slide-outs and install support jack under the slide-outs. Then, make sure that you verify that the slide out is still level. The last thing you want to do is over-extend the support and make the slide out higher than the trailer because that can cause rain to come in around the slide. Now, to better understand how this works, just imagine you’re holding a 10lb dumbell in your hand with your arm extended out full length. It doesn’t take very long for you to feel that weight getting heavier, well that’s what your trailer “feels” when you leave the slide-out extended for a good amount of time. The jacks are simple to install and pay for themselves by reducing the wear to your slide-out tracks and extension/retraction gear whether it’s electric or hydraulic.
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