Your slide outs are an integral part of your RV as they give you the space you need when using your rig. To keep them in good working order, there's some maintenance you’ll want to perform on a regular basis on the seals of the slides. Regular maintenance can avoid your slide outs from getting stuck in either the in or out position, making it difficult to move around inside the RV or tow it down the road. Here's some great information on maintaining RV slide-out seals!
If you’ve heard a cracking or popping sound when extending your slide outs, especially after it’s been sitting for a while, it means your seals are sticking and/or drying out! There are seals on both the inside and the outside of the slide outs to help keep you dry and comfortable. The exterior seals keep the rain out, and the interior seals keep the heat and cool air in! If these start to crack due to being pulled on when sticking, you will get leaks and end up an unhappy camper. Using a seal conditioner about every 8-12 weeks is recommended to avoid drying and cracking. Once they begin to wear and show damage they are no longer working to their fullest capacity. We recommend using Thetford Premium RV Slide-Out Rubber Seal Conditioner.
Start with your slide out fully retracted. This will make sure the seals that actually seal it while it's extended are as accessible as possible. On the inside, if you feel around the top and sides of the slide, you will be able to locate the rubber seal. Spray your Thetford seal conditioner on the top and side seals and allow to dry. No wiping needed!!!
Now you want to extend your slide out so that you can get to the outside seals that keep water out while the slide out is retracted. The seals on the outside are a bit easier to see. You’ll want to get a ladder so you can reach the seals on the top. Again, using your Thetford conditioner, spray all the way around the side and top seals. It can become difficult at the top to reach all the way to the middle of the slide, but get as far in as you can. Coating the outer seals keeps them from sticking to the exterior and having chunks ripped out of the rubber as the slide is moved in and out. It's also going to help give you a coating that will repel water to help ensure there are no leaks.
With this quick, easy maintenance, your RV slide-out seals should remain in good working order to keep you dry and comfortable while on the road. Take care of the seals and they'll take care of you!
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