I have read a lot of reasons why people don’t like jack supports under slide outs. I agree with most of the reasons why the jacks can hurt, but have never found any info on cable slide supports. My camper is 40 feet, with the front two slides being BAL Accu-Slide cable and chain driven for the living room. Seeing as how it will not be coming in and out, ever, do you think it should be supported? The camper has an aluminum frame, but I am still scared about putting weight in those slides because of some water damage around them. Any help would be great. Thank you. —Lenny, 2013 Forest River Cardinal 3800
This is a discussion/argument that can get as interesting as Ford vs. Chevy or Democrat vs. Republican… Well, maybe not that intense! I do not know of any RV manufacturers that have slide room supports as standard equipment, and have not heard of any that recommend them. However, you will find quite a number available as aftermarket products.
I personally don’t think most slide rooms need support. The only way they can cause damage or hurt the camper is if the supports actually raise the room higher than the designed mechanism. This would put stress on the rack and pinion or rails and cause misalignment and damage further on. Your model has the cables, pulleys, and gears above the inside of the room, so I don’t see damage that could occur.
The pro slide room support argument
If you Google search Slide Room Support, you will see many companies that offer an aftermarket slide support mechanism and several forums that support the idea of support. Some claim the room and the sidewall are not built with enough structural integrity to withstand the weight. You indicated a similar fear as the camper has an aluminum frame, which is partially true. Most have a steel foundation with outriggers going around the perimeter and aluminum framework in the walls. They are designed to withstand not only the weight of the room with furnishings but also occupants.
Take a tour through any campground in the U.S. Even though you will find many of the units have one or more slide rooms, very few, if any, have supports. The only ones I have found are older models that typically have wood-framed walls with limited structural integrity.
One good argument for slide room support is stability of the room. Over the years, several manufactures have recommended bringing the room in during severe weather conditions or with wind over 25 mph. I guess the room bouncing around is an issue if the mechanism isn’t strong enough to hold it in place. If the room moving when getting in and out of the sofa or dinette is an issue, I would suggest supports. And again, the only way you can cause any harm is if the support raises the room and applies pressure and stress on the mechanism or sidewall.
You might also enjoy this from Dave
How do I clean my RV’s slideout top without getting on the roof?
How do I clean the top of the slideout without getting on the roof? —Deborah, 2022 Sunseeker
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”
Read more from Dave here.
HAVE A QUESTION FOR DAVE?
We have a popular forum for Ask Dave. Please be as brief as possible. Attach a photo or two if it might help Dave with his response. Click to visit Dave’s forum. Or send your inquiries to him using the form below.
I dont think there is a wrong answer. It depends on the construction of your rig. I would not support my slide outs if parked for a year or more at a time but with some lighter weight TT slides, maybe if I was parked for an extended period, like Jim Johnson, I would.
Liveload versus deadload is the question, kind if like wind adding live load, bring them in.
Dance party, support them. Arts and crafts, maybe not. No wrong answer.
I think slide supports are just an ‘invented’ need pushed by companies looking for yet another revenue source. Put a little scare in the slide owning customer and VOILA, a sale.
Our cable drive dining / living area slide room is around 12 feet wide and nearly 4 feet deep. The floor is a single piece of wrapped particle board with no support other than the edges of the room. Unsupported, there is a lot of sway and bounce. If that floor cracks, it will quickly fail and drop the room’s contents to the ground. If we have dinner guests, between furniture and 4 people, there could easily be half a ton or more on that floor.
The room is fully retracted (and therefore supported) when the RV is stored. The RV is stationary and occupied for roughly 6 continuous months each winter (south Texas). I put an 8 foot 4X4 between two support jacks in the middle of the exposed floor bottom. The 4X4 is snug against the bottom without actually raising the room. Bounce and flex is all but eliminated.
Sounds like your support is well thought out and would get my vote.