If you are thinking of going camping in your RV, there is a high chance you will need to figure out how to adjust the camper slide out at one point or another.

Your RV may be a rough and tough vehicle, but it is not invulnerable to mechanical issues and damages. Hence, from time to time, it will need adjustments.

The easiest way to adjust the camper slide out is to make sure no debris is preventing it from coming out. The slide out may use an electric motor, a hydraulic pump or a tip-out to move. Make sure that these systems are intact or you won’t be able to adjust the camper slide out properly.

In this guide, we can help you figure out the right way to adjust the height, cables, and rollers of your slide out and what are some common issues that may be preventing it from sliding out.

As a camper myself, I have been in various situations where my camper slid out and refused to cooperate. Over the years, I have consulted various people, watched hundreds of YouTube videos, and even engaged in some trial-and-error myself to get my camper working the right way. I would now like to share my knowledge with you.



What is a Slide Out in a Camper?

If you go to a camp and see a few RVs, you will notice that there are not many such vehicles that do not have a slide out.

Slide outs were engineered in the 1990sn by Mahlon Miller and have since then offered a lot of flexibility and space for campers.

A slide out is a section of an RV that can be slid partially in and out of the RV, while remaining enclosed at all times. These mechanisms are controlled by electrical motors, cables, or hydraulics and can vary in size anywhere from three to 15 feet.

Once you are parked, they can be easily slid out. You can detract them quickly when it is time for you to drive.

Using Common Sense When Operating a Slide Out

Having a slide out is very helpful but you need to make sure you can use it when visiting a campground. It is important that you call ahead and ask the camping authorities if slide outs are allowed since they can increase the pitch size.

If the campground allows slide outs, it is important you check your surrounding environment before moving the slide out. Make sure there are no obstacles in your path and you won’t hit any furniture, barbecue grills, power lines, or even people when releasing the slide out.

Make sure you retract the slide out when you are on the move or it can cause serious accidents.

Adjusting the Camper Slide Out

Your company that made your RV may have a service manual that can help you to make your slide out adjustments. If that doesn’t help, here are some common ways to adjust the slide out.

Adjusting the Height of the Slide Out

When it comes to adjusting the height of the camper slide out, there are some RV owners who believe that only the manufacturers are able to adjust the height of the slide out. However, there is a way you can adjust the height, too.

All you need is some simple tools like a wrench and a measuring tape.

Step # 1: Measuring the Slide Out

The first step is to go out of the camper to measure both sides of the slide out and see how much gap there is. Deploy the slide out mechanism and then take down the measurements again.

Step # 2: Making Sure that the Sides are Equal

Even the slightest misalignment between the two sides can result in issues like a leaking or a damaged slide out.  Ensure that both sides are equal in length when you deploy them.

Step # 3: Loosening the Jam Nut

Once you have measured the slide outs, use a wrench so that you can loosen the jam nuts on the moving side of the slide out. Make sure that the bolts are where they should be and don’t remove them.

Step # 4: Repeat

Keep deploying the slide out and loosening and tightening the jam nuts. Check the height of your slide out as you lower it until the sides are flush.

Once this is done, you will see that no side is on the slope and both are leveled equally.

Adjusting the RV Slide Out Back on Track

Check your slide out to see if it is sitting on the track perfectly. If it is not, you will need to adjust it.

Step #1: Checking the Motor

If your slide out is misaligned or not moving on the track as it should, you need to check the motor, since the problem may be due to a problem with the motor and not the track.

Step # 2: Tightening the Bolts and Wire

Take off the casing door from the motor to expose the wiring and bolt. If these bolts are loose, you need to tighten them. If there are any loose wire connections, tighten them as well.

Step # 3: Refilling the Lubricant

Make sure to refill the lubricant chamber to ensure the slide out is slick and moves on the track the right way.

Adjusting the RV Slide Cables

There are three main slide out systems used in RV: hydraulic, electric motor, and cable. In some cases, these cables may be taken out of alignment. Here is how you can fix them:

Step #1: Checking the Slide Out System Sticker

Most slide outs come with a system sticker. Find it and review the instructions printed on it. The information is color-coded so it is easy to follow it. Read it carefully.

Step #2: Marking the Position

Mark the position of the nut using a permanent mark. When adjusting the nut, make sure you keep count of the turns.

Step #3: Asking for Help

Make sure that you are able to do the adjustments yourself. Handling cables is a complex process and they are often located in hard-to-access places that only expert mechanics can handle. It might be a good idea to take your camper to a garage to get it fixed or ask a friend for help.

Adjusting the RV Slide Out Rollers

This process is also quite complicated since rollers are also located in hard-to-reach places. If you are a beginner, you may not be able to fix this issue by yourself.

Step #1: Accessing the Rollers

In case of a kitchen slide out, the rollers are located under the kitchen cabinet. To access them, you will need to move the trash can.

Step # 2: Lifting the Section

Slide the section about two-thirds of the way so that you can work comfortably on the rollers. Use a pry bar to lift up the section.

Step #3: Lubricating the Rollers

With the help of a mirror, check out the rollers and lubricate them the right way.

Step # 4: Trimming the Cabinet

It is also a good idea to cut off the bottom of the cabinet so that your rollers can roll easily and the section does not rub against the tiles when moving in and out.

Keep in mind that the rollers may not have an adjustment nut that you can work with.

Common Camper Slide Out Issues

As a machine, your camper slide out will fall prey to various issues over time:

A Crooked Slide Out

Although they can increase your living space while camping, RV campers can become vulnerable to several issues. One common issue is that the slide out can go crooked over time.

The main reason for that is that the steel bars that support the slide out become worn down and bent over time. Since the bars are steel, they are also susceptible to rust and corrosion, which can exacerbate slide out problems.

The best way to prevent crooked camper slide out is to ensure that the slide out track and gears remain adequately lubricated and remain clean. This will prevent rust or debris accumulation which is the major cause of a crooked slide out.

A Faulty Motor

A lot of the time, the problem lies not with the slide out but with the motor. When the motor of the slide out stops running, you won’t be able to move the slide out. If your slide out is showing resistance while opening, this can be due to the motor being overloaded and needing more power. This can cause an overload and make your circuit trip.

Failure with the Valve, Pump, and Hydraulic Line

In a hydraulic slide out system, rams and actuators are responsible for moving the slide outs. If these components fail, then your slide out will not move.

Damaged Drive Pins

The gear system of your camper has drive pins. If the system is under a lot of strain, it can cause the pin to become damaged over time, which will result in issues with the camper slide out.

Electrical Issues

If your slide out is not moving, it could be due to a stuck trigger button. This button may be disconnected from the circuit that controls the slide out mechanism. Check the connection to make sure it is tight and then try again.

If the trigger button is fine, then the problem may be with the electrical system itself. There may be a blown fuse or a tripped breaker that has resulted in a power cut off from the motor. You can use an electric tester to find where the wire is connected to the slide out and make sure the electric current is flowing at the terminal.

If no fuse or breaker is tripped, this means there is a deeper problem. It is a good idea to visit a garage so that a skilful mechanic can take a look at your slide out mechanism.

Can You Adjust a Camper Slide Out Easily?

It is not always possible to fix a camper slide out easily. RVs are complex machines with complex mechanisms, and if you don’t know what you are doing, you can end up doing irreparable harm to your RV.

Before setting out to camp, it is a good idea to get a mechanic to check your RV to make sure all systems are gone and there are no mechanical issues that can cause you problems in the long run.


Anthony Day

Anthony Day

Hi, my name is Anthony, and RVs are what I'm passionate about. I bought my first RV when I was 21, and I've been hooked ever since. I'll guide you on how they work, how they can be used in different environments, and how they fit into our everyday lives.

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