They have many names, pull outs, tip outs, bump outs, extension rooms, but are probably most commonly referred to as slide outs. No matter their name, a slide out gives much more usable space to get comfy during an outdoor adventure. Slide-outs are a moving piece of the RV and though they are made to make life easier they do need some care.

Making sure you are correctly using the slide outs in an RV is important to their functionality and length of use before needing repair or maintenance. The first thing you want to do when setting up camp before pushing out the slide outs is to ensure your RV is level. After the RV is level check to make sure all latches are released. Next look around the RV for any obstructions that might not give ample clearance for the slide out to be opened up. Now check the interior of the RV for throw rugs, open cabinets, and doors that could get in the way of the moving slide out area. ( It is not uncommon for a cabinet door to get taken off because the RV operator forgot to close a cabinet before operating the slide out.) Lastly check the edges of the slide out to make sure the edge seals are not sticking. Now you should be ready to push the slide out button.

If the slide out does not move upon pushing the button, don’t panic. The first thing you want to do for a slide out that doesn’t move is to check if it is getting power in the moving mechanism. You can do this by checking the circuit breaker for a blown fuse. First check the breaker or fuse panel, if everything checks out there check the battery compartment and the wiring harness near the motor that drives the slide mechanism.

If the motor sounds like it is straining to work and the lights dim when the slide out button is pushed, voltage is low or the mechanisms are binding. Look at the bottom of the mechanism to see if there are any corroded, broken or damaged parts.

If you have checked everything that could possibly be wrong and are still stumped look to see if there is a manual override. This is designed as a backup to operate the slide out system in mechanical failure. Usually a manual override in a hydraulic system will require the pressure to be released in the ram by opening up the valve and then either pushing or pulling the slide out room open or closed. Simple mechanical systems will have a hand crank, but the motor may need to be removed to turn the gears. If the slide out is on a cable system there will be an adapter to set up a drill to act as the motor. To discover what type of slide out system your RV has and how to manually override the motor look in the owner’s manual.

When renting an RV with slide outs make sure that you are familiar with how the slide out system is operated by asking someone on the rental team. They will be happy to show you the ins and outs of the particular RV you will be renting if you are not familiar and answer any questions you may have.

For more tips on RV camping or information on RV rental please feel free to browse our website or contact us anytime. NW Adventure Rentals has a luxurious fleets of motorhomes and travel trailers, conveniently located in the Pacific Northwest at our Seattle location! Let us help you have a great outdoor vacation!

Image By Variomobil (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons