Slide-outs are a fantastic option for many RV enthusiasts looking for a more spacious motorhome experience, as they add much-needed elbowroom and comfort to sometimes-cramped coaches. However, long travels and bumpy roads can wreak havoc on the mechanical elements of your RV slide-outs, and they’ll need some extra attention to ensure they provide you with the most trouble-free service possible. Read on to learn more about preventative measures you can take to protect your RV slide-outs and seals.

IMG_3897Seal maintenance

It may come as a surprise to learn that slide-outs are the leading cause of water leaks in RVs. This often happens when the slide’s rubber seals age and dry out, which then allows water to seep through the cracks. This damage can be caused by extreme temperatures or exposure to ultra violet rays, and once the seals have begun to rot, the rubber will have to be completely replaced.

In order to help keep the slide-out seals from prematurely decaying, be sure to use a rubber seal conditioner or a silicone spray at least once every eight weeks to treat the seals and prevent cracking. There are a variety of products on the market that help extend the life of your RV slide-outs by providing UV protection and preventing deterioration which can be purchased online.

Mechanical maintenance

In addition to conditioning the seals, the metal parts of your RV’s slide-outs also need special protective measures to avoid leaving you stuck with your slides extended. The mechanisms which allow the extension to move in and out may be compromised by rust or corrosion, causing difficulties when extending or retracting the slide-out. One of the easiest ways to help protect and lubricate the metal parts of the assembly is with a dry lube made specifically for slide-outs. Using one of these products will not only lubricate rusty part, but will also protect them from the elements for as much as a year, ensuring your mechanism stays clean and runs smoothly.

When looking for a product to use on your slide-out, it’s important to avoid thick, oily lubricants, as they can collect sand, dust, and dirt as you drive, which can cause added difficulty. Using a “dry” lubricant will help displace moisture and prevent corrosion without gumming up the moving parts, keeping your slide-out working like new. Even though the product can keep your slide-out rust free for months at a time, it’s important to re-lubricate the mechanism about once per month to make sure it can still move in and out properly. Simply apply to your slide rams and wipe off the excess with a soft rag.

Keeping up with both of these major parts of your RV slide-outs will not only keep your motorhome in great shape, but will also help ensure you’re never stuck at a campsite for a few extra days because your slides won’t retract. Maintain My RV can help you keep up with your slide-out maintenance in a timely fashion with the use of our online maintenance schedules and logs to ensure your motorhome runs like new for years to come.

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