Bottom Of Slide Bowing Out: How To Fix a Sagging Slide Out

Slides are complicated electronic and hydraulic devices where anything can go wrong. They are great to have in an RV as they expand your living space. But when something goes wrong, you lose that extra space you have become accustomed to having.

The problem of a bowing slide may not be mechanical. Sometimes it can be water sourced and that takes time to track down. Then some dealers are not very helpful as they say a different source is the problem and to repair that source, is going to cost you a lot of money.

To learn more about this issue, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you have an easier time fixing your slide-out. Dealers can fix these problems but sometimes they either do not want to or they do not find the problem.

Bottom Of The Slide Bows Out


This may not be a mechanical problem. The bowing will affect the hydraulics and other mechanical parts, but those parts are the victims here and not the source. When your slide-out bows you have to look up.

It seems that when this situation arises, it is a matter of whether the upper seal has gone bad or got a hole. Those faults can and will let the water in. Then the water follows the easiest path and ends up on your slide-out floor.

From there, the water damages the flooring causing all the problems. The fix is to remove the top and side seals, re-caulk them and then put the seals back into place.

On top of that, you may need to sand the floor to get that bow out. If the linoleum is not applied properly, you may have to lift those flooring tiles and check to see if the water damaged anything underneath the floor.

In many cases, the dealer may not think to look in these spots and charge you for expensive repairs that are not the source of the problem. That is if they are not honest dealers and think you have lots of money to burn.

How do You Fix a Sagging Slide-Out?


The first step is to take measurements. You want to measure from the side wall on the coach to the outside edge of the slide-out. Do this at the top and the bottom of the slide. If the measurements are not exactly the same, then you have some sag to correct.

What you have to be cautious about here is that some newer RVs come with a tilted slide on purpose. This is called a rain aid and is meant to help the water flow away from the coach.

Step two is to test the slide. You want to run it out and back in to see if the brake holding the arms has slipped. If it has, then you need a mechanical fix to get that brake or brake back in its proper place.

But before you do that, try running the slide-out back and forth a few times to see if the brakes will reset themselves and fix the slide. If not, then you have some heavy-duty work ahead of you.

Step three, if those are not the sources for the sag, check your adjustment hardware. Those bolts are not always the strongest and they can snap on you. They usually snap when you put too much weight on the slide.

Replacing the bolts with stronger ones should fix the sag. This replacement may have to be done by the dealer or a qualified RV repair shop.

Step four has you making the adjustments yourself. Normally, if you are under warranty you need an approved and qualified mechanic to handle this task. If you do it, you could lose your warranty protection.

But before you do the adjustment, learn how the system works first as it is easy to make a mistake. If you make a mistake, just watch your repair bill go a lot higher in many cases.

Step Five authorizes you to use slide-out supports. If you want to avoid the problem of sagging or help your repair last longer, then this is a good option. The more support your slide-out gets the longer it lasts.

You can make your own supports using lag bolts, washers, nuts, and 2 x 4s. It takes about 10 to 20 minutes to do if you have all the right tools.

1. How to fix a horizontal sag

- Loosen the carriage bolts on each bracket located at the end of the slide-out guide tubes.

- Position the room horizontally by pushing on the outside, sidewall, or by using a prying device inserted into the opening between the slide-out room and coach.

- Once the sag is corrected, tighten the carriage bolts to secure the positioning.

2. How to fix a vertical sag

- Loosen the carriage bolts on each bracket located at the end of the slide-out guide tubes.

- Loosen the jam nut.

- Turn the vertical adjustment bolt up or down to position your room height and correct the sag.

- Once you’ve got the desired vertical position, tighten the jam nut and carriage bolts.

*** instructions for both options are taken from this website-

How Much Does It Cost To Fix a Slide-Out on a Camper?


There are a lot of factors involved in getting an accurate price tag for slide-out repairs. One is the honesty of the dealer or mechanic doing the work. Often, they see the RV and figure that you can afford expensive repairs so they either elevate the price or they create repairs to justify the high cost.

You really have to be careful with the dealers or mechanics you work with. The estimate will give you a clue, especially if the cost is over $2000. Now some repairs may cost over $2000 but not always.

Generally, and this depends on the next factor, your cost will depend on the parts that are broken. This cost for repairs can be between $500 to $2000. This seems to be the honest rate.

The third and fourth factors for your total bill will be how much the mechanic, etc., charges for parts and their labor. Some will charge more than others and not do very good work. Others will charge less and do great work or vice versa for both scenarios.

But budget between the $500 and $2000 range to be on the safe side. Then pick your mechanic well. Sometimes you do not have a choice in dealers and you have to deal with what they charge and any sloppy work done.

The way to beat those costs is to diagnose the problem yourself and do the work yourself or hire a friend to do it. Then you will be out for the cost of parts and a case of beer.

Should I Stabilize My Slide-Out?


Many people use stabilizers for their slide-outs. These devices do help prevent the trailer or RV from rocking. They also protect different components from wear and tear. That saves you on repair bills or delays them for a few years.

However, there is some risk to using slide-out stabilizers, and most RV makers and owners recommend against using them. The problem is that the stabilizers will hold the slide-out in place when a tire goes flat or your RV or trailer sinks.

Once that happens, your slide is ruined. If you are going to use a stabilizer for your slide-out then you should put blocks under your RV’s or trailer’s frame. Those blocks will keep the trailer at the right level if the tire loses air, etc.

It is going to be your choice on this issue but if you use a stabilizer, use bricks as well.

How To Make a Stabilizer

How-To-Make a-Stabilizer

You will need long enough 2 x 4s, eye bolts, tie-down straps and nuts, washers, and bolts. All you do is cut the boards to size, with 45-degree angle cuts. Then drill your holes for the eye bolts and the lag bolts.

The lag bolts will need to go through the connecting pieces of the 2 x 4s and then add the washers and nuts. The eye bolts just need to sink into the wood far enough so that they will not pull out when you attach the tie down.

That are just the basic instructions.

Some Final Words

Fixing the bow or other problems in your slide-out may take good preventive medicine. Using stabilizers may help a lot and they will extend the life of your slide.

But, you need to watch those seals as well. They can ruin at any time and let the water in which in turn, damages your slide-out flooring or mechanisms. Watch those seals so you do not get a bow in your slide-out.

Then do proper maintenance to keep the hardware, etc., in good shape. Watch how much weight you put on the slide-out as well.

Leave a Comment: