Monday, October 18, 2021


What to do about a leaky RV slideout


Dear RV Doctor:
gary-736We purchased a 2004 coach three months ago. From the moment we got it the slideout has leaked. It 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 did not work. This is the first RV we have owned with a slideout and we are just beside ourselves.

I am pregnant and my daughter is four; the last thing we need is mold around us. 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.

Slideout-Seal-damaged2It’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.

Slideout-Seal-bulb-sweepAnother 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. 

Follow Gary Bunzer at his blog, the RV Doctor.




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Earl Rentmeester
2 years ago

Forget about warrantes, all these factories do not know how to build an RV properly so the slide will not leak. I am a professional yacht builder and we deal with water all the time and have no leaks, anywhere. Purchase and install a slide out boot and end your issue for good. Go to this site:

5 years ago

Unfortunately , when you buy a pre owned coach there is usually no warranty .Unless, you purchase an extended warranty .Slide out and roof leaks are not usually covered under an extended warranty either . Seals and roof sealant are a routine maintenance item .I have had some success having seals covered by not mentioning a leak but would depend on your coverage. I see leaks all the time as I’m located in Fl.

Lee Ensminger
5 years ago

You should name the dealer. Sometimes a little public shaming on the Internet will get them to do things they should do anyway, but won’t…until they see their name out there as not taking care of their customer. Many people read Gary’s columns. They shouldn’t want that kind of negative exposure.

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