Nowadays, almost every RV comes with a slide-out as an optional add-on. It can significantly increase the space in your RV. Although it is beneficial, some RV owners still decide to remove it for many good reasons.
If you are not a fan of this feature, the good news is that you can remove it. However, this is not as easy as many people think. If you make a mistake, you could damage your RV. That’s why you shouldn’t skip our guide.
Our RV slide out removal guide includes six simple steps:
- Step 1: Remove Everything Inside Your Slide Out
- Step 2: Remove the Internal Molding
- Step 3: Provide Support for the RV Slide Out
- Step 4: Release Your Slide Out
- Step 5: Move Your Slide Out Away
- Step 6: Re-engineer the RV
So, let’s explore how to remove an RV slide out!
Table of Contents
- 7 Easy Steps to Remove an RV Slide Out
- What Is an RV Slide Out?
- Pro Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
7 Easy Steps to Remove an RV Slide Out
What You Will Need
This project requires you to prepare some tools. In general, they are all basic repair tools that you can easily find at your local auto repair shop. Here are all the RV slide out removal tools you need:
- Phillips and Flat Drivers
- Regular Pliers
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Tape Measure
- Drill (With different bits)
- Utility Knife
Once you have prepared all the necessary tools, start the process. This project may take some time, depending on your qualifications and experience. Besides, you should ask for help from your friends.
Now, let’s get into the details.
Step 1: Remove Everything Inside Your Slide Out
Start by removing everything inside your RV slide-out to make it more convenient to remove. This includes removing furniture or interior decorations, such as beds, curtains, or anything else that might get in your way.
Also, make sure you have removed any plumbing or internal electrical connections in the slide-out.
For items that need to be reattached after you complete this project, you’ll need to memorize their locations. If this is a real problem for you, it is best to use tape to mark the location of your items.
Step 2: Remove the Internal Molding
Once you know the slide-out mechanism, remove the horseshoe fitting (the internal molding). Once the internal molding is released, pull your slide-out to its fullest extent. When it reaches the maximum point, it will drop inside the recess.
Step 3: Provide Support for the RV Slide Out
Before pulling the slide out, it is essential to use cinder blocks to provide needed support for the RV slide-out. In addition, you need to make sure they are sturdy enough to support the weight of the RV slide out. Put these cinder blocks carefully on the underside and not too far from your slide out.
You should not use axle stands or car jacks for this step. They may not be sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the slide-out.
Step 4: Release Your Slide Out
Once you’ve prepared the necessary support for the RV slide out, you are ready to release it from the fasteners. In most cases, they are pin-like features at the rams.
If you can’t access the fasteners, you need to check below the RV to ensure nothing stops you from pulling the RV slide out. Look for:
- Propane tank holders
- Belly pans
- Water tank holders
- Fuel tank holders
Step 5: Move Your Slide Out Away
At this point, you will need the help of family members or friends to avoid injuries.A slide-out often weighs more than a ton. Hence, you are unlikely to pull this feature yourself. Ideally, you would get the help of three other people.
Step 6: Re-engineer the RV
After removing this additional feature, you need to re-engineer your vehicle. This includes mounting the support beams in the correct position, fixing the floor, and so on. But, of course, you can also get creative in upgrading your RV.
If you don’t have the skills to do it correctly or the time to spend working on it, it’s best to use a dedicated service. Professionals can remove your slide out easily with specialized equipment.
Check out this video to better understand the project.
What Is an RV Slide Out?
In the late 90s, RV manufacturers began adding slide-outs to their basic models. It is a small slide-out unit that just slides a foot or so outwards. Later, the slide-out became an additional feature popular for RVs that can extend much further.
Manufacturers have received a lot of positive feedback about this additional feature. That is why most RVs come with at least one slide-out these days. Many people even consider it a necessary part of an RV instead of an add-on.
But, not all RVers are happy with it. That’s why many people want to find a way to remove it at all costs.
Pros & Cons
There is no denying that the RV slide-out is very helpful. However, it also brings some annoyance.
- Extra Space
Basically, the slide-out extends the RV’s sidewall for more interior living space. This feature is excellent for those who often go camping or spend a lot of time in their RV. What’s more, you can take advantage of this feature to get more storage space.
- Increase the Value of Your Camper
It is true to say that this additional feature would increase the RV value. So, this is very beneficial when you decide to sell your vehicle.
- They Are Heavy, Making Your RV Weigh More
The more slide-outs, the heavier your RV will be. This is not conducive to fuel economy. In addition, the additional weight increases the chance of “fishtailing” occurring.
- RVs With Slide Out Is More Expensive
RVs with slide-outs are significantly more expensive than regular RVs. If you avail of an extended warranty for your slide-outs, they will be 30% more expensive than regular models.
- Take More Space
The slides out are designed to increase your RV space when fully extended. However, they tend to take more space when towed back inside the RV. As a result, your vehicle will not be able to store as much cargo.
- Expensive Maintenance and Renovation
When the slide-outs are closed, they are prone to misalignment while traveling, resulting in their gaskets being damaged. You have to get help from a professional for severe damage, and RV slide out renovation can be very expensive.
1. Invite some friends to help you.
Do not try to do this project alone unless you’re as strong as Hulk. It is hazardous if you pull the RV slide out yourself without the help of others. It may look light and small, but it will most likely weigh more than a thousand pounds. So, you should invite at least 3 friends to help you.
Also, don’t forget to provide needed support for the RV slide-out with shims and blocks. Do not use car jacks or axle stands for this project.
2. Get professional help.
If this project is too complicated for you, the best thing is to bring your RV to a workshop or contact a reliable RV company. Please use professional services for your safety!
3. Regular maintenance.
As mentioned above, RV slide out renovation is very expensive. Therefore, you should perform regular maintenance instead of waiting until something breaks. Of course, hire a mechanic to do this for you.
You can find your RV maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. Alternatively, you can go on the Internet to find the owner’s manual and download it.
4. If you are absent-minded, just use masking tape.
Before removing the slide-out, use tape to mark each plumbing pipe or wire. Then, after completing the project, you can put everything back with ease.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Should I Do If My RV Slide-out is Crooked?
If your RV slide out is crooked, you can align it yourself at your house or a parking place. However, you need to be fully aware of how slide-out works before adjusting or aligning yourself.
If you’re not ready for that, you can always take it to a workshop or call a trusted professional.
2. How Much Does It Cost to Fix an RV Slide Out?
In general, fixing and upgrading RV slide-out is very expensive. In most cases, the general cost of RV slide-out repairs ranges from $500 to $1700.
3. How Long Do RV Slides Last?
An RV slide-out can last up to 10 years, as long as it is properly cared for and maintained regularly.
4. Are RV slide-outs a problem?
This additional feature is pulled out and in using an electric motor. So, if these motors fail, you have to manually pull the slide in and replace the motor.
Slide-outs are great, but there’s also nothing wrong with removing them. This gives your RV’s body a bit more rigidity without having to sacrifice weight. Removing your slide-out RV will become easy as pie if you stick to this guide.
Is this guide on how to remove an RV slide out helpful to you? Please share it with other RVers who want to remove a motorhome slide.