Sunday, October 17, 2021


Out-of-kilter RV slideout

By Chris Dougherty
Chris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. Here is a letter he received from a reader while he was serving as’s technical editor.

Dear Chris,
I have a 2011 Keystone Cougar 5th wheel. My main slide out started coming together about four inches sooner at the top than at the bottom. It does close all the way but then tries to come off the floor on the bottom. Can it be adjusted? But the bigger question is: What caused this? —Jim C.

Dear Jim,
Thanks for writing in. Frankly, it depends on the make and model of the slide mechanism on how to adjust it. I have seen many of these in this condition, and it does put excessive stress on the box.

You have told me that it is a 2011 model with a gear-driven mechanism. Underneath the box are two tubes with teeth mounted on them that interact with gears mounted to the coach … a rack and pinion system. At the slide box end of the tubes are brackets that adjust the room up and down and left to right.

Additionally, the room moves on nylon slides mounted to the floor.

While I can’t say what caused the slide to come out of adjustment, there are a number of possibilities. The shaking of the room on the mechanism going down the road is sometimes enough to throw it out of alignment. Other causes include items being jammed in the room’s path, water damage causing rot or swelling of the floor or box, nylon slides become dislodged, or a larger structural issue.

I recommend you find a certified technician to take a look at it and make the appropriate adjustments.

##RVT786 ##RVDT1305


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1 year ago

Let me make a wild guess— Lippert/Schwintek slide mechanism?? Amazing you have not had a problem since 2011.

M. Will
1 year ago

You would think that another possible cause for some of these slide problems is an owner not using the slide in a level condition. That would be alot of weight that is not being distributed to the top and bottom of the slide evenly. Just a thought.

Bob Doak
4 years ago

I also have a cougar slideout that is out of whack like that. I was told by a dealer that instead of the floor and wall being 90 degree angle it was manufactured more like an 88 degree angle and there was not enough adjustment in the mechanism to keep it from riseing 2 inches when the slidout was fully sealled As a consequence I am putting wooden wedges under the slide out to keep the slide from bouncing around while I travel down the road. My other option is to leave the botton open about 3 inches. Poor manufacturing.

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