Regular room slide maintenance can prevent operational problems on the road
Slides, slide outs, slide rooms, are one in the same. They are those nifty RV features that turn small spaces into larger ones.
Often, however, they act up, usually due to preventive maintenance. Slides require maintenance and occasional adjustment. RV owners should have a little knowledge about their workings just in case of a malfunction.
Slide maintenance is important.Some RVers fail to realize that slides can be closed manually. Somewhere in your rig is a crake used to manually open and close slides. Look on a wall in the basement or other storage areas of your RV.
Early versions of slides were hydraulically operated so operating mechanisms required a lot of space. This type of slide cannot be pushed back in manually without releasing the hydraulic pressure. The motor and pump are located under the slide. Also, between the coach battery and the control solenoid on the pump motor is a heavy duty battery cable. A fusible link is located near the pump with this cable. It is a smaller gauge wire that will self destruct in case the pump motor overloads.
A good rubber seal
lubercant helps prevent
problems.Electrical problems top the list of reasons slides fail. See if the fusible link burned out or look for corrosion at the battery or the solenoid terminals. Clean the cables and connections annually to eliminate problems while on the road. It is also a good idea to lubricate the extended hydraulic ram with a heavy duty silicone lubricant.
Use a portable battery booster to provide temporary power to close a stuck slide. Have someone crawl under the slide and locate the pump motor. Attach the red booster box cable to the cable connection on the solenoid connected to the cable leading to the battery. Then connect the black clamp to a clean frame mount. Be sure that the cables do not bind as the slide is pulled in, and that the red clamp does not hit any metal.
Newer slides have electrically operated gear track or screw mechanism. Most gear driven units have a single electric motor operating a mechanism that have a mechanical disconnect allowing the drive to be disengaged so that the slide can be pushed back in.
With the slide extended, crawl under the slide and locate the operating motor and the disconnect lever. If these units fail the problem is usually a fuse or a circuit/overload protector. The fuse should be marked in the coach fuse panel that is under the hood on gas units or in the bin area near your batteries on diesel coaches. It is not located in the circuit breaker panel inside the RV.
All slides require regular maintenance of the rubber sealing gaskets and wipers. Protect-All Slide-Out Rubber Seal Treatment is a popular foam lube that is spread on all rubber components. That should be done every 60 days to keep the rubber from drying out.
The tracks and gear slide mechanism should be lubricated with something like Protect-All Dry Lube. It is an orange liquid for visibility, but dries leaving a lubricant that will not attract dust and dirt. It also is a rust inhibitor that will maintain the integrity of the track surfaces.