Wednesday, October 27, 2021


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.



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Dick Burgman
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year 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.

1 year 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. 

1 year 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
1 year 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!

1 year 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.

1 year 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
1 year ago

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

Bob Amoroso
1 year ago

Well I thought every RV is/was just like mine (Winnebago). If the Slide fails I have two bypass rods that I can attached under the slide and manually crank the slide in (or out) if needed. I also have turnbuckles on the inside to anchor the slide to the floor so it will not slide out on it’s own while in motion.

Marie Dalzell
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Amoroso

We have a tool to bring ours in if that happens too. Bob, do you like your Winnebago? It’s on our short list.

Gladys Rees
1 year ago

Well, our RV is and been in the shop since May because of this very reason. We bought a 2021 forest river in April and took our grand children camping in May , to my horror as I was fixing supper and they were sitting at the table all of a sudden the side started coming in. I started yelling at there pawpaw to see if he was fooling around with the internet outside the RV. He wasn’t. Forest River has had this to happen to quite a few of these RV’s and they don’t know what is causing it. Needless to say I’m terrified of riding in it now, when we get it back!!

Tom Macfarlane
1 year ago
Reply to  Gladys Rees

Yowzers! Brand new, used it once, and been in the shop for how many months? No pride in craftsmanship, that’s for sure. (But we already knew that).

1 year ago

Ikes! Can’t even see via the sideview mirror with the driver’s side slide extended, even a little bit. Probably a mechanical problem here. And hopefully no harm done on the trip to get it fixed!

1 year ago

Our Leisure, Canadian-made, came with a slide lock that we use when traveling any distance.

Al Schubert
1 year ago

As far as bringing in a slide that won’t retract. I have bought two cable pullers to pull it in, if that possibility happens. As I have had several times had problems with the slide not going in or out.

Neal Davis
1 year ago

We were in Seward, Alaska last summer, staying at a small RV park/campground when a motorhome arrived with its bedroom slide fully extended, but with straps securing it. Apparently their slide mechanism had failed and they were to meet a roving/mobile RV mechanic at our campground. Thankfully, the slide was repaired and functional a couple of days later. We discussed their situation and concluded that we would stay in place if the slide refused to retract when we were preparing to leave somewhere. However, that would depend on there being availability, putting us at the mercy of the campground.

1 year ago

We had a slideout malfunction while near Yellowstone a few years ago, the motor was not secured properly, causing the gear packs to misalign. Heard a big bang when some teeth broke off. Got it retracted by alternating between pushing by hand and running the motor. Found a new gear pack in Sturgis SD. Used a 55 gal trash barrel under the slideout to get the weight off the gear pack, changed it in under an hour. The campground manager came by in her golf cart while I was working- “We can get that trash can out of your way.” Told her no thanks, I’m using it just now…

1 year ago

Most slides (at least in our experience) have a manual override. It’s not easy and it requires the right tools but you might be able to get it in using the override. On multiple slide units, sometimes you can switch motors between slides to get both closed. We have moved our coach with slides out in an emergency situation (the unit directly behind us was burning…and had a propane tank), but I don’t think we would ever take it on the road without all slides in and secured in some fashion.

Eric Ramey
1 year ago

I feel bad for this RV’er. 1-In most RV’s there would be bells, whistles and alarms going off because the slide is not in. 2-This has to be nerve racking to he has to ride the right side of the lane in order not to cross over. 3-All of the “what if’s” that are going through his mind.

I keep a roll of reflective caution tape in my tool bay just in case something happens and I need to clearly mark something. If this were me I would gently tape caution tape all around the slide to warn others.

Ed K
1 year ago

Thankfully I don’t have slides and never will.

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago
Reply to  Ed K

I used to say that too, with our old 97 Nash. We upgraded to a 2012 Arctic Fox with one slide. It’s like moving from a tent to the Taj Mahal. We had the factory show us how to pull the slide in with a socket wrench.

Tom B
1 year ago

You do what you have to. First I would try to get it in as far as possible by me pushing on it while DW presses the switch. I’m sure we could get it most the way in. I’d wedge stuff behind it so it ant move, or even try cargo straps to hold it in place until I could find a shop. Remember when you’ve done your best you got to say “that ain’t going anywhere…”