Should You Bring Your Slide-Out In When You Leave Your Camper Parked For A While?
I always thought I was doing my travel trailer a favor by leaving the slide-out alone when we left it at the lake in Minnesota. We have a spot at our family cabin where we park our camper and use it during the summer. It's nice to have our own personal space, and we do take the camper out for trips during the summer to different places.
Sometimes it might be a month or more before we will leave the camper at the cabin. Until now, I've been leaving the slide-out "out" or extended because I thought it would save wear and tear on the mechanism. Today I found out from a friend a horror story that happened to someone who was doing what I've been doing.
They left their slide-out extended all year long. They returned one time and found that it had leaked terribly in the recent rain. The seal had failed. They also noticed that the slide-out was starting to sag, and the roof of it was actually bowing a little.
It turns out, you're not supposed to leave them out for more than a couple of weeks. Especially if you're leaving it unattended. The seals are more likely to fail when left out. There really isn't much of a seal there to begin with if you look closely.
Also, the weight of it extended can cause it to sag. Have you ever seen a camper with slide-outs that have support jacks under them? It's probably because it was left out for an extended period of time.
The other thing to consider is that rodents and pests' favorite place to enter your camper is by using the slideout. It's like a highway for the little destructive pests.
So if you think you're saving wear and tear by leaving the slideout extended, don't. Hopefully, I learned my lesson in time and will be retracting it each time I leave.
I was also searching for some helpful videos for tips on RV slides and this one from Keystone RV Center had some great maintenance tips you should check out!