Here at TerryTown RV Superstore, we hear all sorts of questions about the best ways to set up RVs, which after-market products are suitable for specific models, and every question under the sun about maintenance. Let’s address the question that has probably passed through every customer’s head at least once: Do RV slides need support when extended?
For those of you looking for the simple answer:
Though the idea of having an unsupported area of flooring just hanging out past the supported chassis of your RV may seem unstable and may potentially cause damage, we assure you that’s not the case! Simply put, the RV industry has done an excellent job of creating slides that will hold the weight of you and those inside the RV without any problems.
Typically, RV slide outs are built to hold a great deal of weight since many come with sofas, chairs, dinettes, kitchen appliances, bunk beds, and other heavy features that weigh enough on their own. They certainly can withstand the weight of you and a few other people, or else RV manufacturers would not put couches or beds in slide outs! Chances are, you’d end up exceeding your gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) before you were to overburden your slide outs.
Before you decide to stick it to the man and use slide stabilizers anyway, there are some things to consider.
RVs settle. The position in which your RV is set up initially may not be the position you will find it in in a day or two. Even if the rig is perfectly level, pavement can expand and stabilizer jacks can sink into the dirt a bit, resulting in a lower position than what your RV was originally set up in. If you aren’t keeping an eagle eye on slide out stabilizers, the sinking will cause the support to push up the slide rails, resulting in some disastrous and expensive damage.
RVs wiggle and bounce. Unless you can assure that you tiptoe and stay in the exact perfect center of balance in your RV, moving around your rig will cause bouncing and wiggling. It happens! If your slides are set up with a support, this movement can also cause the supports to shift and cause damage.
Tires lose air. This is especially true if you’re planning on setting up for an extended period of time. Tire pressure naturally fluctuates somewhat, and the added pressure and movement on the wheels can cause tires to lose a bit of air over time. Like the last points made, the loss of height can cause damage when the slide outs begin to lower onto the stabilizers.
Resulting damage can cause you to void warranties. For all those rebels out there, just consider that ignoring our warnings can cause you to lose your warranties. Going against manufacturers’ recommendations will result in voiding your RV’s manufacturer’s warranty. What’s more, if you choose to invest in TerryTown RV’s extended warranty programs, adding unnecessary slide supports may cause you to void that coverage as well. Even if you think you’re the most careful RVer out there, and haven’t had any trouble with slide supports in the past, things happen, and you won’t want to be left without warranty coverage as a result.
Although this cannot be said about every aspect of your RV, this is definitely one of those instances where we can confidently say that if RV slide outs truly needed supports while in the ‘out’ position, manufacturer’s would definitely include them. There’s just no way they could get around something like that, especially if it’s a maintenance and safety issue. If a company was selling RVs that had saggy slide outs that caused thousands of dollars in damage, do you really think they’d still be in business?
If you absolutely insist on using supports, make sure they are set up to only have enough pressure to keep the slide outs from bouncing, and no more than that. They should not sit completely supporting the weight of the slide out, just enough to support it in case of any sagging (which we confidently think won’t happen!). Be sure to check the position of the stabilizers often, and adjust them to ensure that damage isn’t happening. Easier yet, just don’t use slide out stabilizers!
As much as we would appreciate your business in our service department fixing up your bent slide outs, we care more about you avoiding damage altogether and having to spend the big bucks to fix something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place! We aren’t here to shame you and your choices—it’s your RV! Although we firmly believe that RV slides do not need support when extended, we’d be happy to fix up your RV in case of an accident! Hey, it happens!
If you’re looking to upgrade from an older model RV with less slide out support, come on down and browse our huge selection of new and used RVs for sale in Grand Rapids! TerryTown RV is your leading West Michigan RV dealer, and can get you a new top-of-the-line travel trailer, fifth wheel, toy hauler, or park model trailer for the lowest price in the nation! And if something happens to your slides, our expert certified RV technicians will be more than happy to take a look!
What is your take on slide-out stabilizers? We’d like to hear your opinions and experiences with them! As always, check your manufacturer’s manual, or give us a call now to find out what the best course of action should be!