GoCampingAmerica.com | Posted March 1st, 2021

RVing 101: Is an RV with Slide Outs Right for You?

Happy Camper Blog

If you’re in the market for a new (or used) RV, there are a lot of factors to consider such as your budget as well as the size and type of vehicle (towable or motorized) you want. Another decision you’ll need to make is whether you want your rig to have slide outs, those moveable panels that expand to give you more living space when your RV is parked.

While it may seem to be an easy decision to want the capability to expand your living space in your RV, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, an RV with slide outs will typically cost more. Plus, slide outs, which use either electronic or hydraulic systems to operate, require regular maintenance so you’ll need to be prepared to take on those tasks, which include:

  • Cleaning and lubricating the rubber seals and regularly inspecting the roof of the slide outs for signs of wear or damage and to clear off any leaves, dirt or other debris.
  • Monitoring fluid levels if your If your RV’s slide outs operate on a hydraulic system.
  • Ensuring that the 12V battery both types of slide outs need to operate is in good working order.
  • Paying close attention to how well your slide outs are operating. If you’re having trouble opening or closing them or if they start to make unusual sounds, it’s time to have them checked out by a professional.

Another factor that will help you determine if you should buy a model with slide outs is how you plan to use your RV. If you usually just take short weekend trips where you spend most of your time outdoors, you may not want to bother with operating and maintaining slide outs. However, for longer stays, slide outs are the ideal way to expand your living and storage space while you’re parked at your campground.

When you think about it, slide outs are pretty ingenious. When they’re closed, they keep your RV at a legal width for traveling on the highways, but when you open them up you literally expand your options for enjoying your campsite. Just remember, when you make your reservations, be sure to book an RV site that’s wide enough to comfortably accommodate your slide outs. To find a campground and learn about all the different site options you have, just go to GoCampingAmerica.com and enter your destination.

Here’s a fun bit of trivia. While mechanically-operated slide outs have been around for more than 30 years, the concept of slide outs actually dates back to 1915 when an inventor named Gustav Bretteville used a Model T Ford Runabout to create what he called an “Automobile Telescoping Apartment.” Priced at $100, the four-foot-square box was installed on the back of the vehicle where it telescoped out to create a sleeping area and kitchen. When compared to today’s versatile slide out options, it’s easy to see what a long way we’ve come!