The sticky 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,
Lately my larger slideout really moans and has a hard time retracting. Sometimes my wife I are pulling on the slider’s walls the best we can or pushing to get it out perfectly straight. It’s scary to the point I panic on whether the slide will complete its retraction. Taking in the larger slide seems better than if we pull in the small slide first. Better weight distribution I think. In case the slide doesn’t come in one of these days, what can we do? A manual ratchet somewhere? Should I have my mechanic adjust something or lube something? —Ken

Dear Ken,
In your particular case, the issue you’re experiencing is probably from one or more of three things. First, you probably have what is called a rack and pinion slideout system with the gears and slide rails underneath the room. Since the room is going in and out cockeyed, I would think that either a shear bolt has snapped in the bar crossing between the two sides, or a weld has broken in the same area on the rack.

Another thing is the slide mechanism could be in need of adjustment and lubrication. Lastly, it may be possible that something is jamming the room, most likely from underneath. It can be something as simple as a shoe or pet toy, a broken slide roller, or swollen wood from a leak. In these cases, it may be best to have a technician have a look.

Some slide mechanisms have an easy way to ratchet them in. Others have a small switch on the motor that unlocks the gears and allows the room to be slid in manually. You need to reference the owner’s packet for your coach to see what you have. If there’s nothing there, go to the slideout motor and look for identification there. Once you have the make, model and serial number (if there is one) from it, you can go online to look up the company and get in touch with them directly. Some companies like Lippert Components and Power Gear have a lot of their technical manuals available online.



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Richard Russell
Richard Russell

FYI – our 2015 Tiffin Allegro driver side slide quit last summer and it is a hydraulic slide; NO emergency procedure in the printed documentation provided by Tiffin. We had a 2003 Seabreeze we traded 2 years ago and it had a crank for such situations. We traded thinking our warranty and extended warranty would cover this issue? It was repaired after we returned from the Midwest, fortunately with the slide stored! Talking with the dealer, company and service techs about a method to store said hydraulic slide in the future we need release the hydraulic pressure by pulling some… Read more »

Donald Schneider
Donald Schneider

Chris, I had a similar problem with my Galley slide out dragging in both directions. It turns out that the slide topper was binding at the top of the slideout. One bracket is bent so the topper drags against the slide. My temporary solution was to buy 4 furniture slide buttons from Walmart and double stick them to the slide between the topper. I cant afford to replace the topper yet at $600 AND DO watch the slide operation from OUTSIDE each time we extend or retract it. Thank you