Your RV may be equipped with Slide outs. To keep them in top shape and from becoming misaligned, a lot of experienced RV users turn to slide out supports. These supports work hard to keep you from experiencing any unaccounted for and unexpected repairs. But are they worth it?
Are RV Slide Out Supports Necessary? Slide out supports are designed to carry the weight of your extended slide out for long periods of time. Their purpose is to keep those sections of your RV from twisting, bending or receiving damage from bumps that happen. To some people they are very necessary.
To find out how necessary these slide out supports are, just continue to read our article. We explore the issue so you can make a wise decision on whether they are necessary for you or not.
It seems that the majority opinion on this issue side with the unnecessary side of the debate. In recent years, some manufacturers have beefed up the rails and tracks immensely. That means those rails are strong enough to handle daily RV life with the slides out.
One reason why the majority do not side with the necessity of slide out supports is that the ground under them may shift, causing the support to settle. This in turn would or could damage the slide out rails.
What also makes slide out supports unnecessary is that the manufactures have figured in the weight of the slide out when extended and built their rails to accommodate that weight without needing extra support.
Another point of view is that if slide out supports were worth it, the makers of RVs would make their slide outs compatible with supports. Then most RV owner’s manuals state that the use of slide out supports are not recommended and unnecessary.
What you need to be aware of are the salesmen, representatives of different camping companies that sell RV supplies, etc., A lot of these people are not well informed and may give you the wrong information or they do it on purpose in order to make a sale.
While RV experience opinion is dead set against using slide out supports, you still need top know how to use them properly. If you feel like going against the grain and support your slide out externally.
The first step is to wait about 24 to 48 hours before you attach the slide out supports. The reason for this is that your RV will settle during that time and the settling process will change the slide outs position.
If you do not wait and put the supports on when you first move the slide out into position, you can damage your slide out, giving you the very problem you hope to avoid. Once you have waited the allotted time, only put enough pressure from the supports onto the slide out to remove any bounce you may feel.
Never over tighten them. After you have done all of that, make regular checks to make sure there is no undo pressure placed on the support. You can also read your owner’s manual to get their directions and guidance on how to handle slide out supports.
These come in a variety of sizes in order to meet your slide out needs. Not all slide outs are made the same, and some for campers and trailers may be a bit weaker than those made for Class A RVs. So you have a good selection of support jacks to choose from.
The one exception to the argument against using support jacks is if you intend to stay in one spot for along period of time and keep your slide out extended the whole time. In this case it may make sense to use support jacks because of the damage daily life will cause to slide outs if they are not fully supported.
The thing to be aware of is that support jacks are not designed to handle or hold a lot of weight. They are for support only not for load bearing duties. If you are going to use support jacks in a permanent or semi-permanent situation then you have to make sure your RV or trailer does not wobble a lot.
If it does, then the support jacks may stop the slide out from moving and cause some damage to it. Before you use the support jacks, you should consider your lifestyle inside your RV before purchasing them.
Cord support or slide out wire support are not always made with longevity or durability in mind. They may be one of the cheaply made parts on your RV or trailer. These cord supports are made of plastic usually and they are designed like a hinge.
Their duty is to keep your slide out wires from getting cut or damaged. If you have trouble with yours and your wires are hanging loose, then it may have broken or fallen off. This is an easy fix, and many RV owners do it themselves in their own creative fashion.
One RV owner fixed his with zip ties. Another did it using a wide rubber fan belt. Just attach the rubber belt where the hinge was. You can use nuts and bolts or screws. The rubber of the belt with flex and act as the hinge.
A little research and you should be able to find a good do it yourself fix that will help you solve this issue in no time and without costing you a lot of money
While the majority of the RV world, including manufacturers are against the use of slide out support jacks, in certain conditions you could use them safely. Most owner’s manuals say not to use them and never recommend that you do.
If you do, follow the rules of proper use to make sure you do not cause the problem you are trying to avoid. Also, do not use them if you are doing a lot of camping in a variety of campgrounds throughout your RV vacation.
Pick your use time wisely.