Friday, June 2, 2023


RV travels the highway with slideout extended. Dangerous?

When we saw this photo, we cringed. How can this be safe? How can this be legal?

We wondered why anyone would travel this way. Isn’t this dangerous? The slide is only about halfway out. Will it continue to extend?

One woman noted this had happened to her. “Our slide motor broke a tooth off a gear and then the slide just slid out as we rounded a corner. Luckily we were not on the highway and could pull over. We put 2×4’s on four corners inside until we got to a safe place.”

Another wrote: “I realize this isn’t very safe, but maybe, just maybe he’s trying to get to a place to have it fixed?”

Another person suggested that perhaps the RVer was headed to a repair shop. Another one noted “Hope he doesn’t go through a toll plaza.” Yet another one speculated, “I wonder if maybe they couldn’t get it to pull in all the way and decided to just go with it.”

Heaven knows this is something that most RVers with slideouts have worried about or even experienced. It’s not uncommon to hear about an RVer who realized an hour before checkout time that his or her slide wouldn’t retract. And they couldn’t stay because the park was booked solid for later that day, and that included their own site.

What would you do? Would you drive with a slide partially extended to get to another campsite or a repair shop in such a situation? We invite your comments.


Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


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Stefan trestyn
1 year ago

To the people that read the article and commented that is the reason they would never have slides. I have a question, Do you have tires? I ask because sometimes they go flat

John Koenig
1 year ago

Happened to me several years ago. While I was bringing the main slide in, it STOPPED about 4″ shy of being fully closed. I called a local mobile RV service provider. He determined that one (or both) electronic control modules weren’t working. He spent another 30+ minutes and talking with Lippert who finally told us that NEITHER of the control modules were available! I spoke with someone at Dynamax who told me it would be safe to drive it back to the factory (~ 1100 miles) BUT, that it would NOT be “weatherproof” (it was summertime). Fortunately I had good weather all the way and, the factory had the necessary part. It was, however, unnerving. In RVing (like the rest of life) feces occurs.

1 year ago

You do… What ya gotta do….

Jim ransdell
1 year ago

I had that happen with a Thor venetian. I stayed put till I could work it out. I worked with my dealer service mgr. He finally came up with a solution that fixed the problem. I wasn’t going to risk more damage to slides.( I was in a dry camp at the time) it took a few days.

Gene Bjerke
1 year ago

Another reason not to have slides.

Bob Weinfurt
1 year ago
Reply to  Gene Bjerke

Yup, it’s just another costly thing to have to maintain/repair.

Neal Davis
1 year ago

We were in Alaska at a wonderfully small campground outside Seward and a motorhome came into the campground one day with a bedroom slide fully extended and with lots of straps attached to the slide. Apparently their slide had stuck in the extended position and they were able to travel from their previous destination to this one without major incident. They were awaiting the arrival of a mobile RV technician. We departed the campground before the RV was fixed, but we think that the problem was rectified eventually.

1 year ago

Jayco, at least back in 2015, must have realized the slide out issue as they installed manual cranks to retract ours in an emergency. I strongly recommend that when reviewing your new RV you have them demonstrate those cranking mechanisms. All of them.

1 year ago
Reply to  Ray

I can’t recall owning an RV with slides that did not have an emergency manual slideout retraction process. I see the unit in the picture is a Winnebago/Itasca model. Both Winnie DP’s I had, that were sister models to the Meridian, came with a manual winch and emergency retraction procedure.

Ed K
1 year ago

One reason I will never have slides.

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago

In this picture, the slide is not that far out. If they could guarantee that it wouldn’t come out any farther, they’re good to go, far as I can tell. Worst case scenario, get a Wide Load sign and hang it on the back. 🙂

Last edited 1 year ago by Tommy Molnar
1 year ago

Our slide out motor broke on a cross country trip, and this happened to us as well. We didnt have enough time to get into a repair facility so an rv park tech cut us some pieces of 2 x 4 and we bought some slide out stabilizers and made it back to the east coast without issue.. although with continuous monitoring. The slide was still able to used by pushing it in and out manually; quite easily actually,

Bill Braniff
1 year ago

Depends how far out it was and the total width of the vehicle. T factor trailers are always on the road with over width loads. If they were doing it so it was more convenient to get to the bathroom, then they should change their vacations to hotel stays. More than likely it was a mechanical failure. I would try to find an area I could park in while trying to get it repaired. It would be illegal to take on the road if it went over a specific width without a wide load permit.

Dick Burgman
2 years ago

We had to travel about 30 miles with a slide out. We tried everything and called everyone we could but no one would come out to help. Everyone said we had to bring it to them. We got plenty of looks and several people pull up beside us and point. We just shock our head and said OK.

Joni Boulware
2 years ago

We could not get a slide in at a KOA on the day we were to leave. As all spaces were taken for the night, the campground owner insisted that we drive out of the space with the slide out to a dry camp area. We were skeptical as there were tight turns and didn’t think he could really force us to do that. With Tiffin’s phone help, and trying various sequences we managed to get it in so we could move. There was an intermittent relay problem which a mobile mechanic resolved.
It still made us nervous the rest of the trip that it would happen again. Slides are still worth it!

David Barnett
2 years ago

This happened to me once after experiencing a tire blowout. The shredded tire tore off a couple of hydraulic lines for my stabilizer, and the loss of hydraulic pressure allowed my slide out to migrate out a few inches. I crimped the open hydraulic line with a pair of vice grips, and ran the slide back in.

2 years ago

On a winding mountain road I had a slideout creep out on me (about four inches) and it was probably 30 minutes before I noticed it. It happens and looking at the picture the slide is not fully extended. 

Bob p
1 year ago

My second 5th wheel, a Carrilite by Carriage had locks built into the inside when the slide was in, I thought that was very good. I was sorry to see that one go.

2 years ago

Maybe they can’t move around in the RV with the slide fully closed. Definately not a GOOD reason, but we can give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re on the way to a repair shop.

Robert N. Cordy
2 years ago

I’ve done this. Once. We stopped at a roadside rest area and bumped the dinette slide out 6 inches or so for convenience sake. We finished lunch, turned off the lights and water pump, closed the door, put up the steps and went on down the road. Oops! A glance in the rear view mirror revealed my omission. A good lesson learned!

2 years ago

Years ago we had our slide move out a few inches. Took a while (an RV repair was no help) to figure out my husband had bumped the lock thus unlocking it. I had to go online to find out where it was to lock it. Then we built a box around it so that could not happen again.

The RV service tech said slides don’t come with a lock. After we got it fixed, I took a copy of the information about it and where it was located to him. He still told me they don’t exist.

2 years ago

When people ask if my RV has slide-outs, my standard response is “No, that’s just something else that will break”. I’ve replaced my electric stairs gearbox and motor after two years of use. With my luck, the whole slide-out would fall out on the highway and if there was more than one, they all would fall out at the same time. And I’m sure it would make the game “What the hell was that noise?!?” much more complicated.

Gene Bjerke
2 years ago

I am glad our rig doesn’t have slides. They seem to be more trouble than they are worth,

Rick K
1 year ago
Reply to  Gene Bjerke

I feel the same way. I think we’re the minority.

1 year ago
Reply to  Rick K

I’m with you. I like our 17′ Casita with no slides. Big enough for two and we do most of our living outside when we are camping anyway.

1 year ago
Reply to  Rick K

Yes, we definitely seem to be in the minority. As far as I’m concerned, the simpler, the better.

Marilyn G
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeanne

Thumbs up with simpler the better and taking advantage of the outdoors!

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