Saturday, September 30, 2023


RV’s retracted slide room blocks bedroom. OK to extend it partially?

Dear Dave,
When traveling and pulling into an overnight stop we have no access to the bedroom without putting out the slide. I was told both that it was okay to put the slide out just a bit to have access to the bedroom, and that it was not okay to do this and that the slide has to be fully extended. Can you tell me which is true? Sleeping on the L-shaped sofa is very uncomfortable for a 70-year-old lady like me! —Sharon, 2021 Forest River Wildwood 22RBS

Dear Sharon,
Looking at the floorplan on a few RV Trader sale sites I can see the L-shaped slide room blocks the door to the front bedroom when the slide is retracted. This is a poor design, in my opinion. This design was most likely one from a designer that does not camp much—which I think happens quite often in the RV industry!

My first question would be, “Why not extend the slide all the way?” It may be that you don’t have enough room to extend it due to a pole or tree. Or maybe you’re overnighting in a parking lot. Or, maybe it doesn’t work and needs to be extended and retracted manually.

You can extend slide room slightly

In any case, it looks like your slide room mechanism is a through-the-frame type with either a rack and pinion, or piston type. These both have a rod under the room, one each side, that pushes the room in and out. Technically, you can extend it slightly without doing any damage to the room or mechanism, as it will be supported by the rollers underneath and the bars.

Why you may not want to extend slide room partially

However, the reason I believe some have told you that you can’t do this is due to the seals around the room and having a gap when not fully extended. Most RV manufacturers have a bulb seal on the inside flange of the room and the inside wall. When the room is fully extended, the inside flange of the room presses against the wall and seals the perimeter. When fully retracted, the seal of the outer flange presses against the outer sidewall and seals it.

Typically there is a flap or squeegee-type seal on the perimeter of the opening that wipes off moisture as the room comes in. However, some do not have this. If you extend the room only partially, there is either just the flap to seal the room, or nothing at all and just a large gap. This would mean wind, rain, dust, and flying insects would be able to get inside the rig.

If you do need to only extend the room slightly, I would recommend inserting an insulation around the perimeter, which could be as simple as swim noodles.

 You might also enjoy this from Dave 

Slide room works, then doesn’t, then works, then doesn’t…

Dear Dave,
When extending or retracting my RV’s slides, the power cuts out and the slides stop… then it comes on again. I checked the box and it shows one green light and two red. Is there a way to fix this? Thanks for your help. —Michelle, 2017 Gulf Stream Conquest

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Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”

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Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. He has been in the RV Industry since 1983 and conducts over 15 seminars at RV shows throughout the country.


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Dan M
1 month ago

Even with the slide all the way in or out the seal still isn’t perfect. You can see daylight in the corners and if the weather outside is hot or cold enough you can easily feel the drafts. I found that the 1″ foam strips meant for sealing around a window air conditioner are the perfect size to fill the gap. They fit snugly between the trim on the slide and the wall and in the gap between the slide and the floor. It makes a significant difference in how much the AC or heat have to run and also cuts down on the bugs sneaking into my rig.

Ed G
1 month ago

I bought a Adirondack back in ’07 and had a awning put on over the slide out and never had a problem. The sad thing is the Adirondack 27FB floor plan can no longer be found on modern version. It is the best of the best floor plan, with the slide in you can go to bedroom and bathroom access the fridge and sink. Out you have access to a large pantry. The problem is there is more storage than you think, when I cleaned for a trade in filled 10 27 gal storage tubs as well as more that would not fit in one. Also before going to camp site put 10 bags of eucalyptus in bathroom area and down center as well a full fresh water tank. Pulled with a 1500 till ’13 then a 2500 and never had it weighed!!!!

Laura Martin
2 months ago

I’m in the market for a new TT. The first thing I look for is can I use the bedroom and bathroom if the slide isn’t out. If not I’m not interested.

Jim Johnson
2 months ago

I regularly condition all the exterior seals and wipers with the slides fully extended. But I realize I have never conditioned the interior bulb seals which require pulling in the slides. Mostly because it is near impossible to move through our TT with the slides in (we do have access to the bed, bath and one refrigerator if we needed to overnight in a parking lot). How important is it to condition these interior seals that are never subjected to direct sunlight?

2 months ago

You should have mentioned another reason not to partially open a slide – when it’s a Schwintek slide. That would be very bad.

Bob M
2 months ago

Best thing is not buy an RV that doesn’t have access to the Bedroom or bathroom with the slide in. Then maybe RV manufactures would build RVs the way we want. They don’t care as long as they reel in the money.

Bob P
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob M

It’s always best to inspect the proposed purchase both in the travel as well as the open position. I’m not a betting person but I doubt if very many people do this and this is where these questions come from. “Oh I never saw it closed up”. Truck parking spaces in rest areas and truck stops are 10’ wide. RV’s are 8’-8.5’ wide in the travel position but 11’-12’ wide with the slide extended. If you’re planning on extending your slide in these areas you better be in an end spot for room to extend.

Tommy Molnar
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob P

I would guess it’s the first-time buyers who fail to see these problems. Bedroom and bathroom access come to mind.

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