RV Slide Out Is Crooked? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

An RV has some of the amenities of home as you traverse the road. Because while “roughing it” might sound fun, it really is not as fun as you would think. Being able to easily cook a hot meal or even take a hot shower can really amplify the camping/traveling experience.

That is where the slide out comes in handy. An RV slide out can create extra space at a moment’s notice, bringing about a greater level of convenience. Unfortunately, the slide out can have issues, like becoming crooked. You can either adjust the slides individually yourself or take it to your dealership to have them take care of it.

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What is an RV Slide Out?

Depending on the model of RV, there may be a feature known as a slide out. The slide out expands so that you can get a little bit of extra space and function when you need it. Until that time comes, it stays compacted to maximize space otherwise.

The slide out can also be somewhat fickle. They are on aligned tracks and when they come off track, you might not be able to open, close, or otherwise move the slide out. Knowing the common issues with your slide out and how to fix them can make a world of difference, especially when you are out and above in your RV.

How to Fix a Crooked RV Slide Out

The good news is that you can fix a lot of problems pretty easily. Besides, it could be one of a number of things, so knowing how to implement a fix in short order can be invaluable. This is your quick guide for getting that RV slide out fixed.

Step 1: Start Simple

When it comes to fixing an RV slide out, the best thing to do is start simple. More often than not, one of the simplest explanations is the right one. That means checking to see if there is a loose bolt, wire, or nut.

By going for the simplest fix, you can eliminate potential problems and save yourself a ton of money in the process. After all, just taking it to your dealership is not only a waste of money but a waste of time when you can make a quick fix yourself.

Step 2: Look for Debris or Blockages

Because the RV slide out operates on tracks, it is all too easy for those tracks to get thrown out of alignment. The most common reason for stuck or malfunctioning tracks is due to dirt and other debris that can get stuck in the tracks.

Give the tracks a once over and wipe them out. Then try the RV slide out again to see if it is moving normally. Even if this doesn’t solve the issue, you can at least eliminate one other potential problem from the list of potential problems.

Step 3: Check Lubrication

One of the last quick, easy DIY fixes is to check the lubrication of the tracks. Sometimes they can become dirty and dry, making it difficult for the slide out to traverse the tracks. In addition to cleaning the tracks, you should make sure that they are lubricated.

Not only that, check for any potential leaks around the seals. From time to time, the seals can crack or leak, allowing water through. That can also jam up the tracks, keeping your slide out from doing just that.

Common RV Slide Out Issues (Including Being Crooked)

The RV slide out is a handy addition to your RV. That said, it is all too easy to run into a problem or two along the way. There are more than a few common issues plaguing the RV slide out. Thankfully, this is how to identify them and how to fix the problem.

RV Slide Drags on the Floor

Depending on your slide out design, it can slide out in any number of positions. In this instance, it would slide out on the carpeting. But if you replace that carpet with, say, vinyl flooring the slide may drag across the flooring.

Use slide stickers if you replace the carpet with other flooring. You can also use ¼-inch thick aluminum flat stock shims. With the latter, you can at least change up the thickness to fit your specific situation. Whatever you choose, it should make opening the slide out a bit easier without potentially damaging the new flooring that you put in.

RV Slide Out Goes In, Not Out

It can be entirely possible that the slide out is crooked on the tracks. Remember that the tracks can be somewhat fickle, leaving you with a stuck RV slide out and a plethora of different potential problems staring you down.

If the slide out is not misaligned, it could come down to an electrical issue. More often than not, the electrical gears are misaligned. If it isn’t that, then it will be another issue, likely with the hydraulic system.

A loss of pressure in the hydraulic system can come from a leak somewhere in the lines or pump. Either way, you will need to have a qualified technician take a look at the problem.

RV Slide Goes Part of the Way

You may also find that you RV slide only goes part of the way out but not all of the way. For the most part, this is an issue with alignment or a simple obstruction. Depending on where the slide is, you may have to contend with something like kitchen equipment or plumbing lines.

Start by checking the tracks first. Clear out any dirt or obstructions as that can jam the slide out and keep it from moving. If that isn’t the issue, then you may have a broken track. These aren’t easy to fix; you will need a professional to take care of this issue. The last issue is that you may not have the generator or battery power to get the job done. Should you run out of power, the slide will just stop moving.

RV Slide Not Retracting

Perhaps you got your RV slide all the way out and it is time to pack things up. You go to retract the slide, but it just won’t go. Alignment could also be an issue here (misaligning the tracks is kind of easy to do and is more than likely the issue with the majority of slide problems).

Failure to retract can also be part of the electrical. Maybe there is a broken wire or loose connection. Whenever alignment is not the issue, wiring can play a major role. Check to ensure that all of your connections are secure.

Finally, check out the control switch. Make sure that it is working properly and that it is getting the power that it needs. Should you not get power to the pump, then it is probably that you will need to replace the switch.

RV Slide Clicking

When you go to pull out or retract your RV slide, you might hear a clicking noise. The most likely explanation is that your battery is either low on charge or dead. Even if you are plugged into some sort of outside power source, RV slides need a fully-charged battery in order to do the job.

If it isn’t the battery, you could be looking at stripped gears, a blown relay, or even a shear pin that has been broken. Each of these will prevent you from sliding the RV slide either out or in. The bad news is if it is one of these, the costs are expensive. Hopefully, you have a warranty that covers these repairs as they can get well over $500.

RV Slide Leans

Depending on what manufacturer you have, the slide out may be designed so that it closes at the top first. This is a defense against rain, water, and any other potential liquid issues. It also gives the appearance that the slide is leaning.

The good news is that, for the most part, this will resolve itself when you pull the slide out all the way. Either that, or they may have gotten knocked off track (another alignment issue!) and just need to be tweaked back into place.

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The Simplest Solution When Your RV Slide is Out of Alignment

The good news is that you can easily adjust the RV slide so that it is back in alignment again. You just have to find two nuts on the underside of the slide out: the jam nut and the lock nut. These can come loose from time to time and just need to be adjusted to bring the slide out back into alignment.

The bad news is that it takes a little time and tweaking. Tighten these nuts a little bit at a time; going too far can keep the slide out from being in alignment. Tighten a little and then test your slide out again. Keep going until you find just the right level and your slide out should be properly aligned once again.

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Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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