Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. Today he discusses a squeaking slide room.
There is a loud noise (squeaking) coming from the slide out when retracting, but not so much going out. I’ve “heard” that WD-40 is not the best lubricant for slides. Is there a better option? —Carol
The only slide mechanism manufacturer that I know recommends WD-40 is HWH Corporation, and that is only for the arm assembly and then wipe it off. The squeaking could be coming from a number of things and some slide mechanism manufacturers do have some lubrication recommendations.
The first thing I would suggest is to make sure the rig is level and secured with some type of jacks. If your rig is not level and secure, the frame/floor will twist and move as the slide comes in and out, which also means the wall will twist and invariably the square box of the slide room will have resistance.
When I was at Winnebago Industries, we researched several slide mechanisms and conducted more than 14,000 extensions and retractions to see what the worst case scenario was. One of the biggest issues was the unit not being level and secure. I also think Winnebago has some of the best structure in the industry, so other units could have the same or worse issues.
Most slide rooms are free floating and move back and forth on rollers or a glide shoe underneath. It is important to inspect the rollers to make sure nothing is broken or binding. I would also recommend conditioning the seal surrounding the slide room to reduce resistance and provide a superior seal. However, I doubt that is causing your squeaking issue. You can use either the ProtectAll All Surface Care or the Slide-Out Rubber Seal Treatment.
Identify type of slide mechanism
Next you will need to identify the type of slide mechanism to get the proper lubrication recommendation. The Schwintek slide mechanism recommends cleaning the rails and lubricating the gears in the motor with CRC Silicone spray. Keep in mind these are on both sides up and down.
If your slide mechanism is a gear driven with a drive shaft gear and rack and pinion rail, these typically require a spray silicone at the drive shaft only, not the rack. Lippert is the largest manufacturer of slide mechanisms as they have purchased Kwikee, Power Gear, Schwintek, and now also Tiffin, and even have their own. Some are electric, others are hydraulic. So it’s important to identify what mechanism you have for the specific recommendations. You can find all their models at www.LCI1.com and go to the slide room section.
It could also be out of adjustment, alignment, or the motors not synced. Again, we would need to identify the type of mechanism to troubleshoot further.
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