What can be done about a leaky slideout?

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gary-736Dear Gary,
We recently purchased a 2004 coach. From the moment we got it the slideout has leaked so bad that the wood trim around the interior of the slideout has all been removed due to mold, and the laminate on the dinette table is all buckled. My husband tried to put some sealant on the top of the slideout but it didn’t work. This is the first RV we have owned with a slideout and we are just beside ourselves.

Do you have any suggestions on how to fix the slideout and where we would go to get replacement trim? We tried the dealership that we purchased it from that claimed to have a “rigorous leak detection test before release to a buyer” and they told us it “just happens.” So any advice on where we would start would be great! We just want to enjoy RVing without the “money pit” effect we currently have. —Chris A.

Dear Chris,
I’m sorry to hear about your slideout leak. Water intrusion is indeed the number one maintenance consideration with any RV and, as you’ve found out, can be quite difficult to rectify.

It’s important to locate the actual entrance point of the water. Assuming the leak is at the slideout and not coming from a point above it, there are four possible locations along the room.


The first thing would be to check the integrity of the slideout seals on both sides, the top and the bottom of the slideout. Remember, it must remain leak-free in two positions: with the room retracted and extended. Another procedure is to have the slideout mechanism checked for proper operation. Ensure the slide moves in and out evenly without it “crab-walking” its way in or out. It’s quite possible that it’s time to replace all the seals on the slideout. 

Was there any warranty offered when you purchased the coach? It’s apparent your dealer isn’t willing to accommodate you in any way without charging you. But check your warranty or other guarantees that may have been included in the purchase. You may have recourse there.

It’s paramount a certified RV service tech inspect and rectify that leak as quickly as possible. Unattended, the leak will only get worse and more structural damage is likely. I wish I had better news, but barring any structural deficiencies in the room itself, it’s apparent the seals have failed and that they are in need of replacing.  

Read more from Gary Bunzer at the RVdoctor.com. See Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.

##RVT855

 

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Mike Sherman
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Mike Sherman

I had a similar problem and could not find the port of entry. After installing a topper (awning over the top) problem solved.

David
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David

We had our Rv in twice. The first time it took 3 weeks and they caulked all over the exterior (sloppily) resulting in no change. Last year, I insisted the three slideouts seals be replaced. 5 weeks later it was done telling me they tested it for three days; result no leaks. Two slideouts out of three didn’t leak. The third one still leaks a steady stream down the floor. Any suggestions??