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Motorhome slides provide all sorts of convenience, including easy storage space and more room to enjoy your camping adventures. However, many RV owners aren’t sure if they should store the vehicle with the slides inside or outside. Some people offer special support bars, while others suggest storing them inward. So, how should you store your RV slides?
Store an RV with the slides in to prevent them from wearing the hinges and joints, inviting corrosion or rust, and causing the RV to be unlevel. There are support bars you can install to store the RV slides out, but many people claim they can cause long-term damage, so they’re not worth the risk.
In this post, we’ll cover a handful of reasons why you should always store your RV with the slides in, how long you can leave them out when camping or storing the vehicle, and whether or not you should move the RV with the slides pulled out. Enjoy!
Why Should You Store an RV With the Slides In?
You should store an RV with the slides in because it protects all of the components from breaking down too quickly. It also preserves your RV’s wheels for a long time since uneven weight balance can cause the slides to shift over one of two wheels more than the others. Furthermore, it keeps the seals lubricated, preventing cracks.
Here are four in-depth explanations for why you should store the slides in on your RV:
- Storing the RV with the slides out causes the excess weight to wear down the joints of the slides. The slides are designed to handle a bit of weight from your stored supplies, but they can’t handle long-term stress over a long period of time. Always move your supplies toward the center of the RV and pull the slides inward before storing them.
- Uneven weight distribution can put more pressure on your tires, causing them to flatten or lose air. RV tires already have to handle thousands of pounds around the clock. The slides will add extra weight to some of the tires more than others, which makes them push against the ground and wear down quicker.
- Open slides can cause rust and corrosion from rain and sunshine. Bish’s RV recommends storing the RV with its slides in because it won’t let the rain or snow puddle under the seals. This method will keep them in good condition, stopping countless problems down the road.
- Closing the slides prevents the seals from cracking from excess dryness. RV slide seals shouldn’t be exposed for too long because they’ll wither away. Dryness will make them crack, especially if it’s hot and dry wherever you store it.
While you might be tempted to leave the slides out, you’ll be risking your RV’s longevity. Repairs can be expensive and tedious, so it’s always a good idea to pull in the slides before storing them. If you’re worried about leaving the slides out for a long time during a camping trip, read on to learn how long they’ll last when pulled out.
Related Articles: How Much Weight Can an RV Slide-Out Take? Are RV Slide Toppers Worth It?
How Long Can You Leave RV Slides Out?
You can leave RV slides out for about a month before they start experiencing long-term damage. Keep in mind that this estimate doesn’t include uneven weight distribution. For the best results, pull the slides in and move the supplies around every few days to keep them lasting for a long time.
So, what else should you know about leaving the RV slides out?
- Never leave your RV slides out for longer than a month. According to Everything About RVing, it’s a good habit to pull the slides in after a month or so. Anything longer than a handful of weeks will lead to the previously mentioned issues. Furthermore, you should consider driving the motorhome around the block to keep the engine moving.
- Close them periodically if you’re parked in a spot for an extended time. Long camping trips are quite fun, so you wouldn’t want to ruin them with RV slide problems. Slide them into the RV for a few hours (or days if possible) every week or so if you’ll be gone for a long time.
- Inspect the seals every month if you intend to leave the slides out several times throughout a long RV trip. Some RV slide seals require lubrication. Check the manufacturer’s guide to know if you need to use any. Some handbooks will also show you the recommended lubricant.
Driving and storing an RV go hand in hand. Before you drive your RV with its slides out for storage or travel, review some of the suggestions below.
Can You Move an RV With the Slides Out?
You can’t move an RV with the slides out because they can bump something, rock too much, or tear a hinge. Any of these issues can cause incredibly expensive damage that will take a long time in the repair shop to fix. Never move your RV when the slides are out, even if it’s only a few feet to bring it to a storage space. It’s not worth the risk!
Despite their massive size, heavy-duty materials, and convenience, RV slide-outs aren’t the most durable part of the vehicle. They hang off the edges, making themselves susceptible to breaking if someone drives or stores them incorrectly.
The best way to prevent damage to your RV slides is to make it a habit to never turn on the engine until they’re all the way in. Don’t even put the keys in the ignition! The key doesn’t go in until the slides are in; When the keys are out, the slides are out! This simple rule will keep your RV slides in good condition for many years to come.
Now that you know you should always store an RV with the slides in, you don’t have to worry about wearing down the joints or ruining the vehicle. RV slides are fun and very useful, so it’s important to store the motorhome properly to prevent them from needing expensive repairs or replacements.
Here are some of my favorite van life essentials:
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you’re experiencing your life on the road. Here are some tools and gadgets I use on a daily basis that made my van life a lot easier. I hope you’ll also find them as useful as me. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to purchase any of them, I’ll earn a commission.
But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I use and recommend to everyone, even my closest friends and family.
Kitchen: I’m cooking a lot and I’ve finally found my perfect cookware set: The Magma Cookware 10 Pcs that you can nests and store in less than 1/2 cubic foot of cabinet space is really handy. Since I’m also spending a lot of time working at my desk, I use my favorite coffee mug from Yeti. For more, check my list of kitchen accessories I can’t live without.
Outdoor: Even though I’m spending a lot of time in my van working, I do enjoy getting out and explore my ever-changing neighborhood. This sometimes requires me to take my portable solar battery with me. And when I just want to chill outside and take a nap, I use the Winner Outfitters Hammock.
Clean/Tidy: Space is precious and therefore I used these heavy-duty storage bins from Homs to store my material. They’re robust and you can stack them together. Regarding showering, I like to use this portable solar shower from Advanced Elements when it’s hot outside.
To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations about van life, check out this resource that I made for you!