Want to get more out of your RV? Subscribe to the Camping World YouTube channel, and never miss a video.
RV slide-outs have given otherwise compact RVs more interior living space since their invention in 1915. They completely change the look and feel of your RV interior, providing more space for cooking, lounging, and entertaining guests.
But what do you do if your RV slide-outs don’t retract when you’re packing up camp?
Lubricating your slide regularly is one way to avoid this issue, but there is a way to operate RV slide-outs manually. The procedure varies based on the type of slide your RV is built with, so understanding that is your first step.
RV manufacturers use different slide-out manufacturers in their builds. While there are more than these three RV slide types, these are the most common:
Check your RV owner’s manual to familiarize yourself with your RV’s slide type(s).
Most slides have a method of manual retraction. This is essential if your slide gets stuck fully out or halfway between full extension and complete retraction. The one potential exception is RVs with full-wall slide-outs that require a large motor capable of producing enough force to move a slide that weighs several thousand pounds.
If your slide is stuck and you can’t diagnose and remedy the issue, manually retracting it is your best bet, as it will allow you to drive safely to a service location for an expert diagnosis.
Before you begin:
If your RV is built with cable slides, you’ll need these tools to operate the slide manually:
The extension should come with your RV, but you’ll need them if you can’t locate yours. Consult your owner’s manual to ensure you have the proper drill adapter and extension.
With those tools accessible, here’s your manual retraction process:
The motor is best accessed from inside your RV or travel trailer. It’s usually located on top of the slide-out in the center with cables and pulleys attached. You may need to remove the interior fascia to gain access.
If you’re in warranty, remove the fascia; technicians will replace it once you take your RV to a service center. Or you can use that extension to try to operate the motor without removing the fascia.
You’ll need to flex that extension up and over the fascia if you haven’t removed it.
Retract until the seal is flush with your RV’s exterior wall.
The good news is that you’ll only need a standard writing pen for this slide type. If your RV is equipped with a Schwintek slide (also known as a worm gear slide), here’s your manual retraction process:
It could be in an underneath storage compartment or inside your coach. When your slide-out is extending, the control box counts motor revolutions to keep the slide-out in timing and ensure that both ends extend equally and together.
Read the instructions on the control box and follow them. Instructions can be found in your owner’s manual as well.
Red and green lights should start flashing.
Your slide-out should come in so you can get to a dealer to figure out the issue with your electronic control box. There’s little to no risk in overriding this control box to retract your slide. It should not be done to extend your slide, however.
If you’ve determined your RV features a rack and pinion slide-out, here’s how to manually retract an electric through-frame slide:
*This removes the potential for electric backfeed that could damage the slide-out system.
*Don’t overcrank, as it can damage the slide-out.
You’ll need to slide underneath your RV to gain access. In the worst case, you may need to cut a hole in your RV’s underbelly to access the actuator motor.
RV slideouts are excellent amenities for increasing your RV’s interior space. But a stuck slide-out must be remedied ASAP. Use these manual retraction tips to secure your slide-out room before safely driving to a Camping World Service Center for a complete diagnosis.
Do you have any questions about manual slide operation or slide-out troubleshooting? Let us know in the comments below!
By: Tucker BallisterTitle: How To Manually Operate RV SlideoutsSourced From: blog.campingworld.com/rv-basics/maintenance/how-to-manually-operate-rv-slideouts/Published Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2022 18:00:16 +0000