As with most components on an RV, the forces of gravity and acceleration can have a negative impact on the fit and function of an RV slide room, causing the seals to jostle and shift. Over time, you may notice gaps have developed in your RV slide out seal. This is completely normal due to repeated use and excessive pressure when braking, so there’s no need to call up a certified technician or ask for your money back!
Thankfully, you can easily fix a gap in an RV slide out seal by making minor adjustments to the front and rear slide arms. The amount of work is minimal, but the effect can be major. In this quick lesson, we walk you through the process of slide room seal troubleshooting, showing you how to check your slide room seal for gaps on all four sides and complete any tightening or loosening required to get it back where it belongs.
How to shore up your RV slide out seal
To help you counteract any gaps in your RV slide out seal and ensure your slide room lasts as long as possible and your hard earned money is put to good use, RV expert and RVCA Master Technician Steve Albright walks you through the quick and easy process of diagnosing and correcting any troublesome gaps along your slide room edges.
Demonstrating on our example vehicle, Steve begins the troubleshoot by showing you exactly where to find all of the adjustment points on a slide room’s front and rear slide arms. The RV slide out seal can be brought in or out and raised or lowered depending on which way you tighten or loosen the nuts and bolts on the slide room’s hydraulic arms. Each side of the room can be adjusted independently of the others.
If you’re unsure which of these adjustments your room needs, Steve can help! He shows you what happens when you turn a nut in one direction as opposed to the other, and teaches you about the importance of using small, incremental changes after first measuring to see whether or not your seals are equal on all sides.
For instance, if you have a gap on the top of your RV slide out seal, you’ll want to raise the room a little (or a lot!) to shore up that gap and prevent damaging moisture from getting into your RV’s cabin. When it comes to vertical adjustments, you can manipulate one side independently from the other. However, there are certain things you should be cautious of when doing this, which Steve demonstrates. This process can be time consuming, but it’s important that you slow down and make sure to get it right.
The same can also be done to lower the room, or to move it forward and backward along the sidewall. As mentioned before, minor and even major shifting left and right along the cabin is a natural phenomenon caused by braking and speeding up along the way to your destinations.
Other things to keep in mind
All RVs, whether motorhomes or fifth wheels, travel unique paths and terrain, so you’ll likely find that your RV slide room develops pressure spots that are different from those of another RV owner. With that in mind, Steve talks about the difference between a horizontal gap that forms in an RV slide out seal and a vertical gap, as well as the difference in causality between inboard and outboard gaps. He also explains why adjusting the front arm affects the back arm because of the traveling arm that runs the length of the slide room.
Via Steve’s expert guidance, you’ll learn how to properly adjust the hydraulic arms that bolster and maneuver your slide room by making the smallest of incremental changes, whether you need to elevate the room to take pressure off the bottom RV slide out seal or shift the room left or right to account for horizontal sliding.
Follow along as Steve demonstrates the best way to tweak the ram arms on your vehicle’s slide room to shore up the RV slide out seal, and you can guarantee your Lippert room stays in tip-top shape and lasts countless more miles into the future! For more information on slide room maintenance and upgrades we recommend you take a look through our archives, where you’ll discover an entire series on caring for your Lippert slide room. We love what the invention of the slide room has done for our RV travels, and we bet you will too. With a bit of time and some tender loving slide room care, your adventures will benefit massively!