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Old 11-28-2021, 05:04 PM   #1
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How unlevel can I be and still safely extend my slides?

This is not a question about should you level before or after putting your slides out, and this is not a question about how to level, or where to put your torpedo level to see if you are level.

My question is specifically how unlevel, front to back or side to side, can you be and still extend and retract your slides without fear of doing damage to the slide.

If I am, say, 3 inches higher in the front of the trailer than the rear, is that too high to safely extend the slides? If I'm, say, 2 inches off from side-to-side, is that too much to safely extend the slides?

This question stems from pulling into rest areas for a quick lunch and wanting to extend a slide, or pulling into an overnight parking situation and not wanting to unhook and go through the leveling process but still wanting to extend the slides.

Your thoughts and comments will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 11-28-2021, 05:23 PM   #2
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I wouldn't think it would be a issue other then if something would happen and it wouldn't come back in then you'd be there trying to figure it out instead of a campground. I'd be worried if the camper was on really uneven ground kind of twisting the structure but most rest stops seem pretty level.
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Old 11-28-2021, 05:25 PM   #3
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I personally want mine level all time. but if you look around camper dealers lots, most are not level. Good question for a dependable dealer to answer.
I keep a separate leveling jack just for that inch or two (max) support. Just dont forget you used it. Its a loaded question with many solutions. Boards under tires etc,,etc.
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Old 11-28-2021, 06:47 PM   #4
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It probably depends on the slide mechanism and size. I'd guess the ability to handle off-level varies. So opening it unlevel is a bit of a crap shoot. The problem I see is that if damage occurs, you might be stuck in that rest stop or have a hefty repair bill.

That said, I've had my "super slide" (3-6 deep and 11 feet long) out with the front up or down 3-4" a few times in a pinch. It has to go out 18" to access the fridge in my RV so goes out a bit in grocery store parking lots. It groans a bit so doing so makes me nervous. I try to avoid doing this.

Left-right is likely not a problem. This does not "torque" the slide like a fore/aft unlevel does. It mostly adds to the motor load going in or out. Mine does not groan or make any untoward noise when the tilt is side to side.
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Old 11-28-2021, 07:32 PM   #5
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I have a Lippert through frame electric slide mechanism on my single slide and have to date had no issues extending or retracting when in Rest Areas, etc.

This mechanism has a certain amount of "float" in it so binding doesn't seem to be an issue.

I'd worry more about extending, when not level, when I plan on staying a while and having things roll off the dinette table
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Old 11-28-2021, 10:43 PM   #6
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The answer for you depends on your RV's length or wheelbase. 3" off front-rear on a 24' RV is going to be a lot more tilt than on a 45' RV. Me with a 20' wheelbase, 1 degree maximum in any axis and I prefer to be within 0.5 degrees.

If you have an RV fridge and it's reasonably new, and mounted sideways, the spec is usually a maximum of +/- 3 degrees for the front-back of the RV and 6 degrees left-right. I'd never run my fridge while stationary at more than 2 degrees.

Extending a slide in a rest area may get it whacked by a truck if you or they are not careful.

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Old 11-28-2021, 10:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hclarkx
It probably depends on the slide mechanism and size. I'd guess the ability to handle off-level varies. So opening it unlevel is a bit of a crap shoot. The problem I see is that if damage occurs, you might be stuck in that rest stop or have a hefty repair bill.
Right. I have SlimRack electric slides so the rack floats. But if I had Schwintek where the rack is solidly screwed to the side of the coach I'd be very wary of running it off-level. It could be susceptible to the motor disengaging from the metal rack on one side, the motors getting out of sync, whatever.

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Old 11-29-2021, 12:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NXR View Post
The answer for you depends on your RV's length or wheelbase. 3" off front-rear on a 24' RV is going to be a lot more tilt than on a 45' RV. Me with a 20' wheelbase, 1 degree maximum in any axis and I prefer to be within 0.5 degrees.

If you have an RV fridge and it's reasonably new, and mounted sideways, the spec is usually a maximum of +/- 3 degrees for the front-back of the RV and 6 degrees left-right. I'd never run my fridge while stationary at more than 2 degrees.

Extending a slide in a rest area may get it whacked by a truck if you or they are not careful.

Ray
The newer 12vdc Danfoss compressor RV fridges nullify the +/- 3° tilt issue. The slide however is another issue but I would think if you are within the same limits as a absorption refrigerator you would be fine to extend or retract the slide.
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Old 11-29-2021, 08:27 AM   #9
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I don't think "un-level" in it self is an issue.
The issue is extending the slides without the trailer firmly supported by the jacks or leveling system. If the frame is planted firmly on the ground then it doesn't matter that much.
If the frame is not, then that causes twisting and racking of the frame, which to me personally, I wouldn't do.
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Old 11-29-2021, 08:41 AM   #10
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Most side manufacturers specify to level the R/V before extending/retracting slides.
Having had slides in R/Vs for 30+ years, I'd believe that statement to be mostly a CYA type of statement.

We have never had any issues at an overnight stay, rest area or anywhere else extending the slide without leveling. With that said, we have always parked level enough our absorption refrigerator would work so we were not tremendously unlevel either.

Having said all that... have you ever gone to a R/V dealers lot where 90% of the units are parked at many different angles/levels and watched them open/close the slides? I've seen them open/close slides during the course of a day bunches of times showing a unit and the R/V was nowhere close to level. Never seemed to bother anything and wouldn't bother me. Unless you ordered new from the factory, your own unit may have went through this repeatedly while on the lot and you probably never gave it a second thought till just now!
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