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Ask Dave: There’s a crack near my RV’s fiberglass slide. How do I fix it?

Dear Dave,
While washing my camper I noticed a crack on the upper left-hand corner of my living room slide. This slide is not that big and only has a couch in it. Is this something I should be concerned about? —Phil, 2019 Coachmen Chaparral 381RD

Dear Phil,
Since the unit is only a few years old, I would get in touch with the manufacturer to get the crack in the slide documented, as most have a 3-, 5-, or 10-year structural warranty. This looks to be somewhat of a structure issue. Typically there would be an aluminum framework around the perimeter of the opening in the sidewall, but it is possible that a weld has weakened or broken and allowed the components to shift. It might not be much more than a cosmetic crack in the fiberglass from the sharp point at the corner, but I would want to investigate further.

Make sure the crack in the slide is not just cosmetic

The only way to tell for sure is to cut away the fiberglass and look at the framework, which is not an easy job. I believe if you just do a fiberglass repair, it will come back, and who knows how much longer it will get?

If the RV manufacturer will not participate, you can try to do a cosmetic fix and watch it closely. I would drill a small hole at each end of the crack to try and stop it from spreading. Then take a pick or small Dremel tool and clean the crack leaving a little groove to be able to get some fiberglass repair or resin in the crack. Then apply a fiberglass patch mat, which might help keep it from shifting. It could be the corner had a sharp or unclean cut in the fiberglass. That would mean it already had a slight crack and the shifting going down the road made it “take off.”

I would also recommend leveling and securing the rig before bringing the unit in and out. If not, even a fairly lightweight slide room will cause the rig to shift somewhat and the sidewall to twist. Watch the crack closely and monitor where it is migrating to.


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Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”

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