Don’t Get Stuck! Learn How to Lubricate RV Slide Outs Like a Pro

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Introducing our latest blog post that will have you gliding smoothly through your RV adventures! Today, we’re diving into the world of lubricating RV slide outs. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just starting out, maintaining your slide outs is essential for seamless operation. So, buckle up and get ready to learn the expert tips and tricks to keep your RV slide outs running like a well-oiled machine. So, how to lubricate RV slide outs?

Types of RV Slide-outs

Rack and Pinion

This sliding system is the earliest and has undergone the most testing. If properly maintained, they can hold up big, heavy slides and are quite dependable. The conventional arrangement consists of a rack—a rack that extends below your slider—with a toothed metal track that is moved in and out by a gear—a gear that is spun by a motor.

There are several more recent systems. One has the track on the slide’s side, and the other has the tracks concealed inside the RV so that nothing is visible on the slide. These rack and pinion system variations use roughly the same mechanical process.


Kitchens and living rooms are where hydraulic slides are most frequently employed. A hydraulic pump and pressurized line, rather than an electric motor, will often operate the hydraulic system, which is typically just a rack and pinion system.

The slider is moved in and out using this system’s motorized hydraulic pump, which is powered by valves and hydraulic fluid. potentially while this system can move more quickly than electric sliders, it can also be more complex and potentially malfunction as a result of parts that are overheating or wearing out.

On big, heavy slides, the hydraulics are also quite effective. This system now includes additional components. In some circumstances, the hydraulic system for the slide may be linked to a portion of the landing gear, which could cause issues with one to have an impact on the other.

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The cable and pulley system is represented by stainless steel cables that normally run along the borders of your slider. The pulleys will be positioned at the top of your slider, and cables will be run around them and out to the slider’s edges. They will be secured to the slide there.

Although they are lightweight, cable slides are excellent at supporting large, deep drops. They are frequently utilized in fifth-wheel and smaller travel trailers. The system is the most dependable and does not frequently have corrosion issues.


The distinctive metal track with worm gear grooves running the length of it makes the system simple to identify. Actually, it’s a different kind of rack and pinion system, and newer RVs tend to have it more frequently. Smaller, lighter slides are designed for these systems. This system is believed to have the benefit of self-regulation.

Schwintech sliders can be harmed by carrying additional weight; they work best for shifting lighter loads and shallow sliders, like sofas or dressers. Worm gears and rails located on the top and bottom are used in this design to allow the reel to go in and out.

By keeping these components well-lubricated, you can reduce the chance that the sliders will get misaligned, deformed, or jam. A dry slide lubricant is a useful thing to utilize. This is a dry powder spray that leaves a dry coating on your gears and tracks.

How to Lubricate RV Slide Outs

How to Lubricate RV Slide Outs

1. Examine the Slide Components

Check your slide out components quickly before you start. Pay close attention to the following:

  • Broken components
  • Missing screws
  • Used cable
  • Mechanical leak
  • Pulley is broken or loose
  • Prolonged trail
  • Electrical connection is faulty or loose

The slider can also be used to control the slider’s expansion and contraction. Keep an ear out for any odd noises, such as grinding or hissing.

2. Clean the Slide

As you move, the slider’s parts may come into contact with debris and other impurities. Clean these components, such as cables, brackets, and any contact gears, using a moist rag before lubricating. Sweeping the roof to get rid of any debris from the top of your slide might be a part of this cleanup.

The rubber seals around the slide, which are essential for weatherproofing your RV, should also be inspected and cleaned. A particular rubber gasket cleaning is needed for these.

3. Lubricate the Slide

The pieces you just cleaned and any other moving parts should then be lubricated. Depending on the system you have, you might need to enlarge your slide in order to access all the required elements. Use only high-quality RV slide lube, which will lubricate without drawing dirt.

Almost all slides have a mechanism that slides certain parts of your RV in or out using rollers. For a smooth operation, it is crucial to keep them greased. Your choice of lubricant is crucial because many manufacturers do not advise using oil-based lubricants.

Again, a dry lubricant is preferable for rollers as it will prevent moisture and debris off the roller. You should be aware that different lubrication locations are used by different manufacturers.

Spray the lubricant evenly and lightly. Avoid using too much and smearing extra on your RV’s surface. You can alternatively spray the lubricant on a rag first, then wipe the slider components down to prevent overspray.

Depending on where and how frequently you use your RV, many manufacturers advise cleaning and lubricating your slider at least twice a year and sometimes more. For information on all the precise components you must clean and lubricate, as well as how frequently, for your individual model of RV, make sure to consult your owner’s manual.

Winding Up

In conclusion, knowing how to lubricate RV slide outs properly is essential for any RV owner. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure smooth and trouble-free operation of your slide outs, preventing them from getting stuck or causing damage. Regular maintenance and lubrication will not only extend the lifespan of your slide outs but also enhance your overall RV experience. So, don’t wait until you encounter problems – take the time to learn how to lubricate your RV slide outs like a pro and enjoy hassle-free travels.

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