Slide-outs are a great feature on recreational vehicles that can provide extra space and comfort. Unfortunately, sometimes slides don’t stay properly closed or they won’t slide back in. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry – there’s usually an easy fix! In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common reasons why an RV slide won’t go in and provide helpful tips on how to get it back in place.
Table of Contents
What is a slide out?
The mechanism is usually powered by a motor or hydraulic cylinders, and it will slide in and out on tracks. When retracted, the slide creates a tight seal with the surrounding walls so that it is secure and airtight. 
Types of slide-outs
The first step to understanding how to fix an issue with your slide-out is to know what type of RV slide you have. The two major types are hydraulic and mechanical, both having their pros and cons.
Hydraulic slides use a hydraulic actuator which pulls the slide in or out using fluid pressure. This type is relatively maintenance-free and lasts a long time, but the cost of repair can be high. Mechanical slides are operated by screws or motors which pull the slide in or out using gears and pulleys, but it may require regular lubrication to keep properly. 
How do slide outs function?
Slide outs, or slide-outs as they are also called, are a common feature of recreational vehicles (RVs) that add living space when extended. When you press the button to extend your RV’s slide-outs, an electric motor drives a series of rollers along a track inside the walls of the vehicle. As the rollers move, the walls literally slide out from inside the main body of the vehicle in a smooth and controlled way.
When you press the button again, the motor reverses direction and retracts the slide-out back into its original position – or at least that’s what should happen. If your RV’s slide-outs won’t retract back in, then you have a problem that needs to be investigated and fixed. 
Troubleshooting Your RV Slide
If your RV’s slide is not going in, the first thing you should do is check the batteries. It may be that they are low or need to be replaced altogether. Make sure to use deep-cycle batteries that are rated for RVs and double check the connections to ensure they are secure. 
Another possibility is that the fuse has blown. To check this, locate the fuse box in your RV and take a look at it. If you see a blown fuse, replace it with one of the same amperage rating. 
If the above steps still don’t solve your problem, then you may need to check the JST connector. This is a small wiring harness that connects the motor and slide controller. If the connection isn’t secure, it can cause problems with the operation of your RV slide. To check this, remove the cover from around the slide motor and inspect the wiring. If any of the wires are frayed, replace them as needed. 
If your RV has been stored outside or somewhere with lots of animals, then it’s possible that the wiring for the slide has been chewed on by a critter. To fix this, you’ll need to get new wiring and have it installed. Make sure to use wire rated for outdoor use and check all connections before powering up your RV. 
The issue may be related to your RV’s switch. If the switch isn’t engaging properly, then it could be causing problems with the movement of your slide. You’ll need to open up the switch and inspect it for any signs of wear or damage. If you find anything wrong, then you should replace the switch as soon as possible. 
This could be a branch or other debris that is blocking the movement of your slide. Clear out any obstacles and see if that solves the problem. 
Slide Out Misalignment
It’s possible that your slide has become misaligned and this is preventing it from moving in. To fix this, you’ll need to adjust the draw bar angle of your RV until it lines up correctly. This can be done by hand but make sure to check with a professional if you’re unsure how to do so. 
If your slide is leaking hydraulic fluid, then it won’t be able to move in or out. To fix this, you’ll need to locate the source of the leak and repair it as soon as possible. This may require replacing a seal or some other component, so make sure to consult an expert if needed. 
Slide Out Locks
If you have locks on your slide, make sure they are not engaged when trying to move the slide. If they are, then it will prevent the slide from going in. Unlock them and try again to see if that solves the problem. 
If all else fails, use the manual override to move your slide in or out. This should only be used as a last resort and you should make sure to have it serviced by an expert once you’re able to get the slide moving again. 
Diagnosing The Cause Of A Stuck RV Slide-Out Section
Perform A Visual Inspection
If your RV slide-out is stuck and won’t move in or out, the first thing you should do is perform a visual inspection. If you can see any obvious damage to the mechanism, such as bent rails, broken gears or warped tracks, it will point to a mechanical issue that needs to be addressed.
In some cases, the slide-out may simply be stuck due to a lack of lubrication. Dirt, grime and dust can build up on the tracks and prevent the slide-out from functioning properly. 
Check The Circuit Breaker Or Fuse Box
Your RV slide-out operates on a motor, which is powered by an electrical circuit. If the power to the slide-out has been cut off due to a blown fuse or tripped breaker, this will cause it to become stuck.
If a fuse has blown, replace it with the same size fuse.
If your RV has a circuit breaker, make sure that it is not tripped. Reset the breaker if necessary. If the breaker trips again after being reset, this could indicate an electrical issue that needs to be serviced by a professional. 
Check The Battery Connections & Battery Charge
If your RV’s slide-out will not move even after ensuring that the circuit breaker or fuse box is in working order, it could be a problem with the battery. Check the connections on the battery and make sure that they are clean and secure. If necessary, give them a quick wipe down with a clean cloth to remove any dirt or dust.
It is also worth checking the battery charge. If the battery is low, it may not have enough power to operate the slide-out motor. Make sure that your battery is fully charged before attempting to move the slide-out again. 
Check The Wiring Leading From The Battery To The Slide-Out Mechanism
Another potential cause of a stuck slide-out is faulty wiring. Check the wires leading from the battery to the slide-out mechanism and make sure that they are securely attached. Look for any signs of fraying, rust or corrosion on the wires and replace them if necessary. 
Check The JST Connector
The JST connector on your RV’s slide-out is responsible for delivering power to the slide-out motor. If this connection becomes loose or corroded, it can cause the slide-out to become stuck. Inspect the JST connector and make sure that all of the pins are clean and securely attached. If necessary, give them a quick wipe down with a clean cloth and make sure that they are firmly in place. 
A Damaged Or Worn Out Activation Switch
The activation switch is responsible for controlling the slide-out mechanism.
Check the activation switch and make sure that it is in good working condition. Make sure that all of the connections are secure and free of corrosion. 
Will my slide-out work without a battery?
No, your RV slide-out will not work without a battery. Most motorhomes and trailers have an on/off switch that is activated when the RV is connected to shore power or a generator. This switch turns off the 12-volt power supply to your slide mechanisms and prevents them from operating while the RV is unplugged.
The 12-volt battery provides power to the slide-out when your RV is not connected to a power source. Without this battery, you will not be able to extend or retract your slide-outs. So it’s important to make sure that you keep your battery charged and check its connections regularly in order to ensure that your slide-outs will be able to function properly. 
Should you store your RV with slides in or out?
When it comes to storing your RV, the decision of whether to leave the slides in or out often comes down to personal preference. Each option has its own pros and cons.
Leaving the slides in can provide a more secure feeling when you’re away from your RV since there’s no open space for potential thieves to access. Additionally, leaving the slides in can help keep your RV warm in cold weather or cool in hot weather. On the other hand, leaving the slides in can cause moisture buildup and potentially lead to mold or mildew.
Leaving the slides out gives you more space to move around inside your RV which is great for larger groups. It also allows you to take advantage of nature’s elements for cooling, heating and natural light. The downside is that leaving the slides out can leave your RV vulnerable to theft or weather damage. 
How do you lubricate your slide out?
Fortunately, lubricating the slide is a relatively easy process.
The first step is to locate the motorized gear reducer that powers the slide in and out. For most models, this will be located at either end of the slide.
Once you have located the gear reducer, you will need to apply a lubricant. Many manufacturers recommend using lithium-based grease. This is often sold in aerosol cans and can be sprayed directly onto the slide arms and gear reducer assembly. Make sure to use a generous amount of lubricant and don’t forget to wipe away any excess.
Once the slide is lubricated, it’s time to test it out. Turn on the motor and gradually move the slide in and out a few times. If you feel any resistance or catch points, stop and apply more grease until it moves smoothly again. 
Should you level your RV with slides out?
When your RV slides are out, it is important to make sure that your RV is level. This helps to ensure the slide will stay in position and will not move unexpectedly. The best way to do this is by using a leveling device such as Lynx Levelers or another brand of levelers designed specifically for RVs. 
How To Manually Close A Stuck RV Slide-Out?
If the slide-out has become stuck and cannot be opened or closed, you can try manually closing it. To do this, turn off the power to the RV by unplugging it from shore power or turning off the circuit breaker in your RV. Then, locate the manual override for your particular brand of slide-out mechanism. This is usually a metal rod located on the outside of the RV, near where the slide-outs are located. Turn this rod clockwise to manually close your RV slide-out. 
How do I reset my RV slide out?
If your RV slide out is stuck, the first step is to reset it. This can be done by manually disengaging the motor and then engaging it again. You’ll also want to check for any obstructions or debris in the track that may be hindering its movement. If your slide out has an electric switch, make sure it’s switched to the “in” position.
Why won’t my slide out come in?
If your slide out won’t come in, it could be due to a few different things. First, check the electric switch and make sure it’s switched to the “in” position. If this doesn’t work, then you may need to reset the motor by manually disengaging and re-engaging it. It’s also possible that debris or an obstruction could be blocking its movement. Make sure to clear out any debris or obstructions from the track before attempting to reset the motor.
How do you resync a camper slide?
Resyncing a camper slide involves manually disengaging and engaging the motor. To do this, you’ll need to locate the electric switch and move it to the “off” position. Then, remove any debris from the track that may be blocking its movement. Finally, re-engage the motor by switching it back to the “on” position. Your slide should now be resynced and ready to use.
Can RV slides be moved manually?
Yes, RV slides can be moved manually. This is generally done by disengaging the motor and then pushing or pulling on the slide to move it. This method should only be used as a last resort and if done improperly could lead to damage to your RV. If you are having trouble with your slide out not moving in or out, try resetting the motor or clearing any obstructions before attempting to move it manually.
Can you drive an RV with the slide out?
No, you should never drive an RV with the slide out extended. This could cause damage to both the RV and the slide out mechanism. When traveling, always make sure to retract your slide outs before driving. If you are storing your RV for an extended period of time, it is also recommended that you keep all slides retracted to reduce the amount of wear and tear on them.
How much does it cost to fix a slide out on a camper?
The cost of repairing a slide out on a camper depends on the type and extent of the damage. Generally, minor repairs such as lubricating the tracks or replacing a worn seal can be done for under $100. However, more extensive repairs such as replacing an electric motor or entire track assembly can cost up to several thousand dollars. It’s also important to note that many RV manufacturers offer warranties on slide out components, so be sure to check with them before attempting any repairs.
Do RV slide outs break?
Yes, RV slide outs can break. They are subject to wear and tear over time due to normal use, as well as exposure to the elements. Common issues include rusting tracks, worn seals, and broken electric motors. Make sure to regularly inspect your slide out for any signs of damage and address any problems that arise immediately in order to prevent further damage.
Does a slide out run off of battery?
No, a slide out does not run off of battery. It is powered by an electric motor, usually from the RV’s main power source. This means that in order for it to operate, your RV must be plugged into a 120-volt power source or have its generator running. If you are traveling and don’t have access to a power source, you can use the manual crank to open and close the slide.
Useful Video: How to Prevent a Wet RV Slide Out Floor – UPDATED
If you have an RV slide that is stuck or won’t go back into the wall, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot and fix the problem. First, inspect the slide from outside and inside for signs of damage. Check any visible electrical wires and connections for corrosion or fraying. Make sure all hardware is properly tightened. Finally, inspect the tracks and moveable parts of the slide, lubricating them if necessary. If these steps do not resolve the issue, contact a professional to help assess and repair it.
Taking care of your RV slide is essential to keeping your recreational vehicle in good condition and maintaining a safe environment during travel. Following this simple guide can help you ensure that your slide always functions properly so you can go wherever the open road takes you.