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RV Owners Beware: Are Slide-Out Supports a Must Have?

What Are RV Slide Out Supports?

RV slide out supports are long jacks that are placed under an RV’s slide out.

Their purpose is to add support to an RV slide out for stabilization and to prevent sagging

Here’s an example of some of the most popular RV slidout supports used today.

EAZ LIFT Camco Heavy Duty Slide Out Support

Camco Eaz-Lift Camper/RV Slide Out Supports - Features Adjustable...

Check Price at Amazon

At first, using slide out supports makes sense. Especially since RV slide outs, sometimes called pop-outs, are getting bigger and bigger every year.

Even the RV furniture is getting larger and heavier. Trends are going from a classic couch to sectionals and recliners that way a lot more.

But are they really necessary or even ok to use?

Related Product: Add snap on SnapPad Rubber RV Jack Feet (click to view on Amazon) to your RV stabilizers to add grip and eliminate the need for RV blocks. 

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 few reasons you don’t want to use slide out supports or jacks. The biggest being they simply aren’t made to use them.

See Also: The Secret To An Unshakable RV: Top RV Stabilizers Reviewed

RV slide outs are amazing. They can make your RV living space much wider than the maximum 8 feet and they somehow survive being sat or walked around in repeatedly.

Even large super RV slide outs are built to hang in the air and don't need support.
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, 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 sometimes hear people who use slide out supports complain about their slide out leaking.

It’s because the slide out is being lifted by the support, which makes it unable to seal. Not being able to seal means water can 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 70s and early 80s.

They were basically boards that you folded out and then covered with canvas. Like tents that folded out from an RV.

The older designs aren’t complicated, they could benefit from a slide out stabilizer. That being said, there aren’t very many old RVs with tip outs left.

See Also: 4 Easy Ways To Add Stabilization To An RV, Trailer, Or Van

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 now, 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 them.

Another thing that can happen that I’ve already talked a bit about is the stabilizer 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, 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: Best RV Wheel Chocks (Plastic, Rubber, Metal, X-Chock)

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.

2 thoughts on “RV Owners Beware: Are Slide-Out Supports a Must Have?”

  1. We have a newer travel trailer, 2019, that we purchased new. It has two slide-outs, on the drivers side. From the first time that we used it, we have had considerable motion in the trailer, even to the point that when someone moves in the bed, you feel the rocking in the living area. We even have to level the trailer with the slide-out side up a little because when we open the slide-outs, that side drops. If we level the trailer before the slide-outs are extended, the trailer is then not level. We have read many articles regarding the supports, but we don’t know any other way to stabilize the trailer and eliminate the “rocking”. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Gail,

      We had a similar problem with our travel trailer. It had a huge mega slide on one side and we found that the trailer would drop about 1/4 of an inch when the slide was out. We eventually just adjusted our leveler so the slide side was up a little higher when leveling our trailer.

      I don’t think there’s any way to fix the slide out weighing down the trailer even with slide out supports since they are not made to lift the slide out in any way. It’s just something you have to plan for.

      As for the rocking. There is always going to be some motion in any camper trailer, especially a long one with lots of slides. But there are a few things you can add to help stop the rocking as much as possible.

      You can check out this article here (click to view) to help you find some options that fit your travel trailer and camping style. Some stabilizers require more work than others so it really depends on how much set up you are willing to do. We are huge fans of X-chocks which are something you can read about in the linked to article.


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