RV Slide Out is Crooked: Troubleshooting 20 Common Problems

Slide outs add extra space and help make RV life more enjoyable. Especially when you get one of the most popular slide out features- the bedroom. But slide outs can add to your RV headaches if you are not careful

Troubleshooting RV Slide Out Problems: One main problem with slide outs is that they may get out of alignment. The good news here is that each slide can be adjusted separately. All you have to do to fix it is take your RV to a dealer and let them make an adjustment.

To learn more about troubleshooting slide outs, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about since you may be facing these same situations when you go out in your RV

How to Fix an RV Slide Out

One of the first things you need to so when you are having slide out problems is to check the simplest items to fix first. After all, you may find that your problem is only a loose nut, bolt or wire. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars at the dealership you can fix these simple problems yourself.

Also, you should check to see if any debris, dirt or other objects have blocked your slide out from operating like it should. Again, you can save a lot if you do this fix yourself.

Finally, you should check your lubrication spots see if there are any leaks, including water leaks through seals, to see if that is the problem.

Troubleshooting Common RV Slide Problems

Trouble shooting common problems is not that difficult. Sometimes, you may only need to spray a little slide out spray on the rails to get your slide outs moving normally once again.

Other times, you may only need a screwdriver or a small wrench to tighten up nuts, bolts, and screws. On top of that, checking your seals take no tools at all. You can apply sealant with a caulking gun to close up any cracks, loose spots or holes until you get the chance to replace those faulty seals.

If you have a hydraulic powered system you should be careful how you fix it. Even if it is a common problem, you may want a tech qualified in hydraulics to handle your issue.

Camper Slide Out Binding

To fix this little problem you should first check to see if your RV or camper is level. If it isn’t then this may be the source of your binding problem. Then if your camper is level, then go inside and move any rugs that may be in the way and close all cabinet and other doors.

After that, check your power supply to see if enough electricity is getting to the motor. Also, if your chassis is bent, that will cause your camper slide out to bind. On top of that, check the openings your slide out is going through. There may be a problem there.

Check to see if you have a manual over ride option you can use just in case.

RV Slide Dragging on Floor

It may seem odd but some slide outs are designed to slide on the factory installed carpet. If you remove that carpet and replace it with vinyl flooring then the slide out may drag across the floor.

To solve this issue, you can remove some of the carpet and replace it with slide out slickers. Or you can shim your slide out slides with thing, 1/4” thick, aluminum flat stock. With the latter method you can interchange the metal and thickness to fit your situation.

There are a lot of do it yourself options out there that will help you correct this problem without spending a lot of money at the repair shop.

RV Slide Goes in But Not Out

There are several sources for this problem. One of them may be that the electrical gears are not aligned properly. Or there may be an electrical connection problem that doesn't perform the moving out task .

If your RV is equipped with a hydraulic system, it may be that the pressure in the lines is gone. That loss of pressure may be due to a leak in the pump or the lines. In either case, you should have a qualified tech look at the problem and get the problem fixed.

The good news is that when this happens your rig should have a manual over ride system to let you get the slide out in its proper positions,

RV Slide will Not Go all the Way Out

Most RV problems can be solved by looking for simple obstacles or obstructions first. If this problem is happening to your kitchen slide out then you may have some plumbing lines or other kitchen equipment in the way.

Or if the kitchen is not the problem, check to make sure you have enough battery or generator power to handle the task. When you run out of juice, your slide out will stop moving.

Also, your slides may be out of line or broken. If that is the case good do it yourself handymen can fix that problem with ease. Other sources could be that the slide has dropped down and cannot move beyond that point. You would have to raise the slide out backup to get it working again.

RV Slide not Coming in (Retracting)

When this situation takes place and before you move to the manual over ride system, check the control switch to see if it is working properly. Then check to see if you have enough power to the pump. If you do not get any power at the pump then you need to replace the switch.

But if the pump is running and your slide out is not moving in, then there maybe a problem at your retract valve. If it is broken or damaged, just unscrew it and replace it with a new one.

Also, check your wiring to make sure there are no loose connections or broken wires and connections. Wiring can be the main source of your problem.

RV Slide not Closing all the Way

This situation appears in a variety of ways. But if the top is closing and the bottom isn’t, or vice versa, then you have a sensitive adjustment problem that may be beyond your capabilities to fix.

If you do it yourself, you run the risk of damaging your floor or ceiling when the slide out eventually closes all the way. A simple fix may be to use a little silicone on the gears, rollers or seals to make sure the slide out can slide smoothing.

A little carnuba wax on the walls may solve your problem as well. It will depend on the nature of the problem if you want to use those latter creative ways.

Camper Slide Just Clicks

The first source for this situation is that your battery may not be fully charged. Even if you are plugged into an outside power source, most slides need a fully charged battery to work.

Other issues that may cause this problem is that the gears maybe stripped, a shear pin may be broken or you may have a blown relay. All of these problems should not stop you from manually sliding the slide out in and out.

Then if it is a broken gear in the motor, it may cost you about $800 to fix, depending on your dealer or repair shop. Hopefully, your warranty is still valid and you are covered. If not you may want to try to fix it yourself.

Camper Slide Jumping

There are some slide outs that have this problem and it comes when the drive gears jump the rack gears. There are adjustable slides that can be altered and timing adjusted as directed by the manuals.

But the issue is that the drive gears are too far from the rack gears for that fix to be effective. What you need to do in this case is check the long round shaft that connects the two types of gears. It will pass through some end brackets.

Once you get that far, you should see two black nylon bushings, placed inside steel guide plates plates. If they are broken or damaged, they need to be replaced to stop the problem.

RV Slide Leaking When Closed

Usually when this happens you have a water leak. The seals or gaskets may have become damaged, cracked or improperly installed. If there is too much silicone caulk in one location, that may be the source of the leak.

If not, you may want to try using slide toppers to help direct water away from the seals. Replacing the seals is an option or you can use a self leveling sealant to make sure the problem goes away and does not return.

In addition to that, you may just need to go to your RV repair shop and have them replace the seal and apply the right sealant to fix the problem. This is not a serious problem to handle and you should be able to do it yourself without hassle.

RV Slide Leaking When Open

The main culprit in this case may be your seals. If they are in bad shape, you will either need to repair them with sealant or have them replaced. But if you have windows in the slide out, it may be that the seals around those windows have gone bad.

Then , of course, if your RV or trailer is not level, you could be sending extra water your faulty seal’s way contributing to the leaks you see. Good sealant or replacement seals should handle this situation with ease.

On the other hand, a more serious source is that you may have crack in the side out somewhere that is letting the water in. This will be a more expensive fix, although you can do it temporarily and wait till you get home to deal with it.

RV Slide Leaning

On some slide outs the manufacturer has designed the section so that it will close at the top first. The reason for this is that the top of the slide out is your first defense against water, rain and other liquid issues.

This design may look like it is leaning but you just have to close your side out all the way to straighten out the look. Also, your slides may need adjusting as one of them or all of them have been knocked out of whack during your travels and many bumps you go over.

Then check to make sure your RV is level. Sometimes that will contribute to the leaning look or tilt the slide outs a little.

RV Slide not Level

This problem may be caused by the fact that your RV is not level. An out of level RV will throw your slide outs out of true level and make them harder to operate. Just do not use stabilizing jacks to level your rig. These jacks are not made to handle the weight of your vehicle or side outs.

If your RV leans after your side out is extended, then you may not have settled your RV correctly. If you put your levelers on soft ground, they may have sunk a little bit making let your RV lean and tilting your slide out.

Make sure you are on hard, or firm level ground before leveling your RV.

RV Slide Motor not Working

The bad news is that one of your slide out motors may have died. The good news is that the failure is due to a faulty wire or connection which caused a short and tripped a breaker. The latter may not be the case if you have 2 motors on your slide out and one is still working.

To size up the situation, you should get down to the motor and use a multimeter to see if any power is getting through. The motor and breakers, etc. Need to be turn on at this time. Just don’t get shocked.

RV Slide Motor Clicking

When all you hear is clicking, your motor may have a few mechanical problems. If the battery is fully charged then electrical should not be the cause. When your motor is clicking and nothing is happening, it is possible that a gear is broken inside.

This can be a costly fix if you do not know how to fix motors yourself. Or you may have stripped a gear which is also just as serious. When this happens, you should take the issue to a qualified tech to make sure you get the right part and the right solution.

RV Slide out Keeps Blowing Fuse

One of the signs that comes with a blown fuse is that there may be a short in the wiring at some point. This may take some time to track down due to the amount of wiring slide outs have.

There also may be an internal fault in the controller. You may need to check both the 110 volt and 12 volt wires to make sure they have not frayed and are touching something that will cause the short. Replacing the wires is one solution here or replacing the controller is another. Just have a little patience while you track down the source.

RV Slide out Keeps Stopping

Off all the problems discussed here so far, this may be the easiest one to diagnosis and fix. When you get intermittent stops and starts, that usually means you have a loose connection somewhere.

Your job will be to track that loose connection down and tighten it up. But if that isn’t the source, it could be that you have an automatic resetting breaker attached to your slide out circuit.

If the battery is low, it will trip shutting off power to your slide out motor. After it cools off, it will reset and do it all over again.

RV Slide not Getting Power

This is usually an electrical issue which has a variety of issues that could be the source of the problem. First, your battery may not be powered up. Second, you are not plugged into an external power source.

Third, you can have a loose connection somewhere or a breaker has tripped. Check your power connections as a plug may have disconnected accidentally. Other than that, it would be hard to say why your motor is not getting any power.

RV Slide Popping Noise

The simple to solve problems when this happens is that your crank may be making the noise when it passes through the small hole it uses to move your slide out. Or it may be too much tension on the spring.

A more serious issue would be the tracking mechanism which may be hidden from your view. If that is the case you would need a trained tech to help you solve it. Slide outs are not always do it yourself friendly.

RV Slide Very Slow

This situation may be the result of only having one motor to handle the extension or retraction of the slide out. Another source may be that there is not enough lubricant on the rails.

A third possibility is that the rails are out of alignment and slightly binds the slide out mechanism as it moves. Applying a good lubricant should solve this issue without racking up a high repair bill. Also, check the springs to make sure there is not a lot of tension on them.

RV Slide Noise

If you have a track alignment issue, that may be one of the causes for the noise you hear. This fix would take a skilled technician to do as sometimes special equipment is needed to solve the problem

On the other hand, it may be something as simple as using the wrong grease or using too little lubrication. Finally, a worn mechanism may also produce this sound. Just make a routine check and if it is a misaligned rail or track, then you may need to call a repair man to help you get it fixed.

RV Slide out Operation and Maintenance

The operation of your slide out is not that difficult to do. Usually, all you have is one button to push and the system handles it all for you. The electrical version comes with gears and motors to make sure the operation is smooth and easy.

The hydraulic system uses a pump instead of a motor to make sure your slide out works as described. Regular maintenance on both can prevent a lot of issues throughout your ownership of your RV.

Doing much of the routine and simple maintenance tasks should save you a lot of money over the long haul. But you can’t skip doing it or else.

How to Maintain RV Slide outs Properly

Good lubrication is one way to maintain your slide out. This will help your slide out slide effortlessly and help cut down on binding issues. Another way to maintain your slide out is to regularly check your seals.

The seals can easily become damaged by debris and weather elements so you will want to keep your eye on those. Next, check for loose nuts, bolts, wires and even frayed wires to make sure everything is in tip top shape and ready to work.

If you want more tips to help you maintain your slide outs, just click this link. it is filled with 32 tips to help keep your slide out in top shape.

Some Final Words

When it comes to troubleshooting your RV’s slide outs or anything mechanical, always look for the simple problem first. If you do this, you can probably fix your problem quickly and save yourself a lot of money.

Most slide out problems are not that difficult to trace and then solve. There will be those that require the help of a professional technician to repair. The key would be to get to know your system and learn when the task is beyond your abilities to handle.

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