I was taking a deeper look into 5th wheels that have built in RV slides. They really do make a difference in living space, so I felt it imperative to find out as much as possible about maintaining an rv slide.
Well, I’ve discovered that rv manufacturers really didn’t get into the business of adding slides until about 7 to 10 years ago. Now they are definitely the rage. No doubt about that. I’ve seen some older units that pre-date about 1996 and they are small without the feature of an rv slide.
I’ve also read that you may need to replace the seals in the slide about every seven years. This has controversy as salespeople will tell you that they will last forever. That I cannot believe! But what I did find out that was unanimous was you do have to maintain them.
First and foremost, if you use your slides and you don’t have some sort of awning that unrolls over the top of the slide while it is extended, you will need to ensure you clear all the stuff that can land on the top. This will be a fast track to ruining your rv slide if you are not vigilant in this area.
Next, I did find out that you need to make sure you fully extend the slide mechanism in the full open or full closed position while in use. I’ve heard that it puts pressure on the seals if you do not properly open or close them.
I have read issues with motors on slides, but again, I’m guessing as I don’t have experience. I do know if there are any mechanical parts that should be greased, then they should be greased.
Finally, from experiences of other friends who own rv slide units, using a rubber rejuvenator once per year on the seals can extend the life of the seals. I know from my own vehicles for this to be true. Seals will last for many years if you care for them.
Oh, and apparently replacing them in a certified repair shop isn’t too hard or too expense. That’s good to know. Again, I’m recalling what I’ve heard from vendors as I couldn’t find anyone who as of yet has had to repair a rv slide.
So, as far as I can see, there is very little downside to having rv slide units on your 5th wheel or motorhome. Just tons of upside! I’d love to hear your comments about what you’ve encountered with your rv slides.