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