Tuesday, October 3, 2023


How to clean and lubricate your RV’s slide-outs, and how often to do it

Cleaning and lubricating your RV’s slide-outs is an important maintenance task that helps ensure smooth and trouble-free operation.

Here’s a step-by-step guide and a video on how to clean and lubricate your RV slide-outs.

Materials needed:

  • Mild soap or RV slide-out cleaner
  • Water
  • Soft bristle brush or sponge
  • Clean, dry cloths
  • Slide-out lubricant (dry or dry silicone-based)
  • Rubber seal conditioner (if applicable)
  • Protective gloves

Cleaning your RV’s slide-out

Prepare the area: Park your RV on a level surface and make sure the slide-outs are fully retracted before you begin.

Mix the cleaning solution: Prepare a mixture of mild soap or RV slide-out cleaner and water in a bucket. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution ratios.

Clean the exterior: Using a soft bristle brush or sponge, gently scrub the exterior surfaces of the slide-outs to remove dirt, grime, and debris. Pay attention to corners, edges, and any crevices.

Rinse thoroughly: Rinse the slide-outs thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue. Make sure no cleaning solution is left behind, as it could attract more dirt.

Dry the surface: Use clean, dry cloths to thoroughly dry the slide-outs. Ensuring that the surfaces are dry will prevent water spots and help the lubricant adhere properly.

Lubricating your RV’s slide-out

Choose the right lubricant: Select a lubricant specifically designed for slide-outs. Dry lubricants or dry silicone-based lubricants are often recommended because they don’t attract dirt and won’t gum up over time.

Make sure to read your RV’s owner’s manual for the correct lubricant to use.

Extend the slide-outs: Slowly extend the slide-outs to their fully open position. This will expose the moving parts that require lubrication.

Lubricate moving parts: Apply the chosen lubricant to the moving parts of the slide-outs, including the slide rails, gears, rollers, and any other mechanisms that enable the slide-outs to move smoothly.

Work the slide-outs: After applying the lubricant, retract and extend the slide-outs a few times to distribute the lubricant evenly and ensure smooth movement.

Wipe excess lubricant: Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any excess lubricant that may have accumulated on the surfaces. This prevents dirt from sticking to the excess lubricant.

Rubber seals: If your slide-outs have rubber seals, consider using a rubber seal conditioner to keep the seals supple and prevent them from drying out and cracking.

Retract the slide-outs: Once you’ve lubricated the moving parts and wiped away excess lubricant, retract the slide-outs back to their closed position.

Maintenance schedule

Clean and lubricate your RV slide-outs at least twice a year: before the start of the camping season and after its conclusion.

Cleaning side rails with a brush

If you notice any signs of sticking, uneven movement, or noise during operation, consider performing maintenance more frequently.

The wrong lubricant applied caused damage to the railing system.

Properly maintaining your RV slide-outs ensures their longevity and smooth operation, and helps prevent costly repairs down the road. Always refer to your RV manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for cleaning and maintenance, as specific instructions may vary based on your RV’s make and model.

Please follow us on YouTube, and see our published articles on RVtravel.com and other social media pages.

Thank you,


Dustin Simpson
Dustin Simpsonhttps://calrvspecialists.com/
I have worn many hats in the RV industry through the years. From an RV Technician, Warranty Administrator, Parts Administrator, Parts Manager, Service Manager and now Business Owner. I have even been deemed an RV Expert by the California court system, working on behalf of the customers, dealers, and manufacturers. My repair facility has been servicing customers at the same location since 2003. What sets us apart from the dealerships is we are here to fix and maintain what you have, and not sell you a new one. Whether you own a million-dollar unit or an entry level, my message to you will be the same, it needs to be maintained.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Neal Davis
25 days ago

Thank you, Dustin! Thankfully our slide-outs are manipulated by a different system, not Schwintek. Either way, thank you for the reminder to maintain the slide mechanisms and the seals.

29 days ago

John you are exactly right!! Owners please read your manual don’t always trust you tube etc per lippert schwintec systems only need to be kept clean soap and water rinse and dry same for most seals.

29 days ago

I’d run from anyone suggesting to lube a Schwintek like system. This article reeks of a general lack of knowledge. Read your owners manual. Call Lippert and see what they have to say about it. The same people who are telling you to lube the racks are probably advising to condition the silicone seals. These same people probably would tell you to tighten your BAL Norco cable slide cables to guitar string tensions. Anything said by this site I’d look at with great scrutiny.

29 days ago

those things are a piece of {bleeped}! They’re nothing but problems and the drive chain is only the beginning. They compromise structural integrity and they’re heavy. There’s a REASON why Airstream doesn’t have them.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.