by Rhonda (E Texas)
Question: We are new to this and have a 2006 Fleetwood Discovery 39′. The full side slide is never level with the main area of the coach, is this normal?
Answer: You should check with Fleetwood, and/or maybe consult your owner’s manual or brochure. The slide operation varies across different brands and models and floorplans of RVs. Some slideouts are raised from the level of the main floor, some are relatively flush. It really depends on your floor plan and model.
If something is out of alignment, you want to have it repaired as soon as possible, to avoid further damage to the slide or other components of your RV. So we suggest you contact Fleetwood to get the specific right answer for your motorhome.
Battery Powered RV Slideouts
Question: I have a 1999 Sandpiper with two slide-outs. Why do I have to slide them out using the battery when I have access to electricity?
Answer: You posed an interesting question so I did some investigation and have confirmed what I thought: that RV slide-out rooms are powered by a 12-Volt electrical motor. This is true whether the slide-out is electric or hydraulic.
In the electrical slide-out, the motor directly does the work of moving the slide out room. In the hydraulic slide-out, the 12-Volt motor powers the hydraulic pump that then provides the pressure to move the slide in or out.
On my rig that is the way the engineers designed the system. I think most, if not all, RV slide-outs are 12-Volt systems. Some might even be 24-volt systems but I have not come across any definitive mention of this.
Answer: I believe, that the cranking power of the battery is needed because the 110 to 12-volt converter would not have the amperage needed to energize the 12-volt system for that long. So the motors are tied into the battery and not on the normal 12-volt system. A diode is probably in line to keep the voltage spikes out of the rest of the system.
Question: I have a Jazz by Thor fifth wheel and I need to know how much the kitchen & living room slide outs weigh. If anyone knows the answer to my question, please let me know.
Answer: We suggest you contact the manufacturer to see if they can provide you with specifics for your particular model of RV. We are also posting your question in case someone has an answer. As a frame of reference, it might be helpful to know why you are asking.
Resources on RV Weight and Towing:
Slide Out Topper
by Conway (Duncan, SC)
Question: I recently had a topper installed over my slide out which is 154″ wide. Rain water collects in the topper and weights it down. What can I do to stop this?
One solution is to place something under the awning topper to keep it from sagging when water accumulates on it. We’ve heard of some innovative ideas like using balloons, an inflated beach ball, foam rubber wedges, swimming noodles, etc.
Another thing you could do after a hard rain is to close and open the slide to get the water off the topper.
You may also want to make sure the tension is adjusted correctly. It might help to try to wind the awning topper tighter. You will have to contact the manufacturer to see if you can do this.
A few years ago we saw, in a magazine, a homemade PVC frame that would slide under the topper to keep it from sagging down onto the top of the slide. It was a simple thing which also provided a small amount of slope to keep water from accumulating on the topper and slide roof. We’ve tried to search online for the article, but have not been successful. We probably read it in a magazine from one of our RV Clubs.
In any case, here is an example of what we are trying to describe. Let’s assume your slide out topper is 154 inches long x 36 inches deep by 5 inches high. You could make a PVC frame that is 150 inches long x 36
inches deep. The height would vary depending on whether the topper has a slope or is flat. If it has a slope then the height in the back would be 5 inches and the height in the front would be the height of the topper where it attaches to the slide out. If the topper has no slope then I would make one end of the frame slightly taller than the other to create a slope. Since the slide out is almost 13 feet long I would add supports every 3 feet. If you do not glue the parts together you can easily store the frame when traveling.
Another idea I’ve read about (see page 17 of this link – http://www.beaveramb.org/PDF/BeaverTalesSummer%202012WEB.pdf) is to make a series of holes in the fabric where you know that water accumulates and let it drain onto the top of the slide out. The holes were 1/8 inch in diameter and there were 20 or 30 of these small holes. The theory is that the awning topper is only there to keep out debris and dirt not to keep water off the top of the slide out.
We probably would not do this if it were our RV, especially if it were new. However, it is a lot easier than constantly having to get up on a ladder to slide something under the awning, not to mention having to remember to take it down before you retract the slide – very important!
Let us know what you come up with. Other suggestions welcome and appreciated.
SlideOut Button Monaco Fifth Wheel
Question: I cannot locate slide out buttons on a 2005 Monaco Coach 5th wheel, Manufacturer McKenzie Lakota. Monaco is 30′, has two slide outs, front and rear.
Answer: We are posting your question in case anyone else can help. We suggest you look around for a Monaco/Lakota forum or owner’s group, although we just keep coming up with motorhome forums.
So let’s see if someone pipes up with some help.
The slideouts on our motorhome are hydraulic and operate via a key and button located near the dashboard for the front slide, and in a cabinet in the bedroom for the bedroom slide. And they only operate when our ignition is on. With a fifth wheel, things are likely to be quite different.
Look around in all cabinets inside the fifth wheel and hopefully you will find the control panel.
Input on fifth wheel slide-outs would be appreciated!
Slide Out on Campers
by Bonnie (Clearwater, FL)
Question: Should you leave your slide out extended if permanently parked? Or should you bring it in each time you leave the campsite?
Answer: You don’t say for how long you are leaving the campsite. And that would make the difference for us personally. If we are parked for a long time in one place and are living in the RV, then naturally we leave the slides out. We might pull them in if there is a forecast for unusually bad weather (high wind, hail, snow, ice). But once that threat is over, they would be back out.
If we are storing the RV and will not be staying in it, we pull the slides in.
Answer 1: A sticking slide out could be caused by many things. Obstructions, bent or broken parts or alignment problems. In addition if the slide out is hydraulic you could have a pressure imbalance or you could be low on hydraulic fluid. It may be best to take the RV to an RV technician for repairs.
Answer 2: My slide out has stuck on one side when trying to close. The left side works but the right side sticks about 6 inches coming in.
Answer 3: We have a Holiday Rambler with slide. It will not come in at top and will not go out at top for a good seal. We do not have the jack brace from factory for a stable tight seal. Can we use a turnbuckle with a wood block on each to do this and get a tight seal? Thank you for any help. Ray
Answer 4: Been camping for many years. It’s ok to leave slideouts out. That’s what there made for, however make sure that all slides are well greased an don’t forget to oil the seals. WD40 works wonders. Happy Camping…
Jill Miller is the founder of Your RV Lifestyle. Trading corporate America for the open road, Jill, along with her partner Jose, began their RV journey, making an unconventional start by wintering in New Jersey. A natural adventurer, she was motivated by a desire to explore the USA and beyond, embracing the varied landscapes, communities, and cultures across the country.
For Jill, the allure of RV living was not about material accumulation, but rather the pursuit of an adventurous, fulfilling lifestyle. A lover of golf, bicycling, hiking, and line dancing, she has carried her passions across the country, engaging with them in diverse settings. Jill’s commitment to the RV lifestyle came after years of careful research, numerous consultations with RV owners, and personal trials, including living in a rental RV.