Are RV Slide Out Supports Necessary?

What Are RV Slide Out Supports?

RV slide out supports are basically long jacks that are placed under an RV’s slide out. They are meant to help support it and help keep it from getting overly weighed down when there is weight in the slide out. They are also supposed to help stabilize the entire RV or trailer.

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The idea of using slide out supports makes sense at first since RV slide outs sometimes called pop-outs are getting bigger and bigger every year. But are they really necessary or even ok to use?

Are RV Slide Out Supports Necessary?

The short answer is no, RV slide out supports are not necessary. In fact, they aren’t even recommended.

There are a number of reasons why you don’t want to use slide out supports or jacks, the biggest being that they simply aren’t made to need them.

See Also: What Is The Best RV Stabilizer System?

RV slide outs are amazing, they can make your RV living space much larger than the traditional 8 feet and they somehow survive being sat or walked around in over and over again.

Even large super RV slide outs are built to hang in the air and don't need support.

RV manufacturers know the slide outs are going to be dealing with the weight of multiple people at any given time, and they’ve accounted for that in the design on the slide outs. They’re made to hang in the air and to take lots of weight and movement.

Most slide outs actually need the force of gravity on them to seal properly. That’s why you will hear people who use slide out supports complain about their slide out leaking at times. It’s because the slide out is slightly lifted and unable to seal. This makes it easier for water to leak in from the top of the slide.

When Are RV Slide Out Supports Ok?

While RV slide out supports are not recommended for most RVs, especially new ones there are some older RVs that may benefit from using them.

RV tip outs were the very first version of an RV slide out made. They started showing up in the late 70’s early 80’s. They were basically boards that you folded out and then covered with canvas. Like tents that folded out from an RV. These aren’t very complicated and a style that could possibly benefit from a slide out stabilizer. That being said there aren’t very many old RV’s with tip outs left.

See Also: How To Stabilize Your RV, Fifth Wheel, Travel Trailer

Electric slide outs similar to what we know today started becoming popular in the ’90s. The design wasn’t quite as good as what we have today, and an old RV with a slide out might also benefit from a slide out stabilizer, but it shouldn’t be necessary.

What Can Happen If I Use Slide Out Supports On My RV?

The worst that can happen is the stabilizers lift the slide out too much and damage the moving parts used to move the slide out. It can really throw things out of wack. Some manufacturers and dealers will even void a warranty on slides if they know that you’ve been using a stabilizer on it.

Another thing that can happen that I’ve already talked a little bit about is the stabilize can cause the slide out to not seal properly. This may cause water to leak in which can damage the entire RV in the long run. It will also let in bugs and dust which isn’t something anybody wants.

If I’m Going To Use RV Slide Out Supports What’s The Best Way To Do It

If you’re still sold on the idea of slide out stabilizers or you have a really old RV with a slide out that just needs some help then there are some guidelines you should follow.

First off make sure your RV is level before putting the slide out. Never use a slide out stabilizer to get your RV level, it needs to be level before you set it up.

See Also: How We Level Our Trailer With Andersen Levelers 3604

The best thing to do is to wait for a few days before setting up the stabilizer. This will allow your RV to settle.

When you put out the slide out stabilizer check the ground. If it’s soft and sandy you’re going to want to put a board or something underneath the stabilizer so it doesn’t sink. Put the stabilizer against the metal support part of the slide out. Don’t put it against the wooden floor.

Extent the RV slide out stabilizer just enough so it barely touches the slide out when there is no weight in it. This is all the support you can safely put on a slide out.

Make sure you check the stabilizer regularity, especially after storms. Your RV may sink a little over time and you don’t want the slide out stabilizer to end up lifting the slide out because the RV moved.

Have any more questions about RV slide out supports? Leave a comment below.

by Jenni
Jenni grew up in a small town in Idaho. With a family that loves camping, she has been towing trailers since a very young age.

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