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How Do We Stop The Slide Outs On Our RV From Leaking?

by Kathy Bryan
(Leeville, Louisiana USA)

Our 2005 Montana has had several leaks since we purchased it used. The slide with the sofa and dining table is the worst area. However, recently the kitchen slide has started leaking and we found the carpet under the TV/fireplace area to be wet. I have used sealing putty on the largest slide (living/dining area) and it seemed to work, until recently. Now the leaks seem worse than before. Is there anything else I can do?

ANSWER: Greetings Kathy thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

Kathy I am going to have to generalize on my answer, as based on your description, I am not really sure where the water is coming in from and I am not really sure what you put the putty on. There are several area on a slide that could allow water to get into your trailer.

If there are any cracks in the slideout itself that could allow moisture to get in. If any of your slides have windows in them, the window seals could allow water to leak into your RV. If your RV is not correctly leveled and the weather seals on your slideout are dried out, cracked or not making proper contact with the slide out, this could also cause leaking.

Some of these problems mentioned above could be corrected by you and other problems may require taking your RV in and having it looked at by an RV Technician.

You state that you now have two slideouts leaking. If the slideouts that are leaking are both located on the same side of the trailer then it could very well be a leveling issue. If they are on opposite sides of the trailer, it could very well be that the weather seals on the slides need to be replaced. Below are some steps you should take to try to diagnose the problem with your leaky slides.

1. The first thing I would do is make sure that the trailer is level. If you are too far off of level, water could bypass a bad seal on the slide out and leak into the interior of the trailer.

2. With the slide out open inspect the seals where the slide out closes into the side of the trailer. You are looking for any cracks, gaps or dry rotting of the seals. If the seals are dry brittle or have gaps, the slide out seals will have to be replaced.

The weather seals on slide outs get damaged and cracked due to excessive exposure to heat, ultra violet rays and freezing temperatures. This could allow moisture to enter into the living quarters of your trailer causing damage to its contents. This could be an even bigger problem if the trailer is not completely level. Which reminds me if you are not already doing so you need to use some Slide Out Rubber Seal Conditioner once every two months to treat the slide out seals to prevent them from cracking and degrading prematurely.

3. I don't know if your RV is equipped with a Slide Topper Awningicon or not, but if it isn't I would suggest that you get them installed on all of your slide outs. These awnings prevent excessive dirt, debris and rain water from accumulating on the top of the slide out. When you have excessive debris on the top of your slide out it can damage the slide out seals as well as bring all of that dirt and debris into the RV when you close the slide out.

As I said earlier there could be other problems with your slide-outs that you may not be able to repair yourself, these are just some of the simple things I could think of based on what you have described.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

Comments for How Do We Stop The Slide Outs On Our RV From Leaking?

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Slide floor getting wet and rotting
by: Murf

I have a 2011 Mobil Suite 38 foot. The bottom of the slide is rotting out but no sign of water in side the unit. How can this happen?

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2011 26 tbss wildwood slideout leaks when closed
by: Anonymous

Hi
We have purchased a 2011 tbss and it is the 2nd yr when we come to open it after the winter, it has water on the floor area. Its coming in only on the bottom we looked at the seals everything looks fine. ughhh mold was growing on the carpet.
Anybody think they know what the problem might be? nothing on the ceiling.

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Steele Rubber Products
by: Anonymous

Steele Rubber Products has stuff for slideouts and other stuff. Anyone seen their stuff yet? steelerubber.com/rv

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Seal Leaks
by: Crossbow

Seems to me that allot of people don't understand how the seals work by the discussion of their problem. The outside rounded part of the rubber is the actual seal when the slide is CLOSED. Not when it is open. It does actually nothing for the slide when it is open. The rubber flaps that rub against the slide as it opens and closes helps a little to keep the rain out when it is open but only slightly. The main seal when the slide is open is on the inside rim of the around the room of the slide. The slide must be fully open with the slide pressing firmly and evenly around the entire opening for it to seal good. If your slide is not level and tilting, or only pressing firmly on the top or worse, the bottom, the slide will not seal good.

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slide-out leaks
by: Mike B.

My RV is level and rubber seals are soft. My problem is that rubbers seals which come together on the inner corners leave openings where they meet and through which daylight and water can easily penetrate, especially when rain is hard and wind-blown. What is available on the market which is pliable and malleable which can be pressed into those corner spaces when rain is expected?

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slideout leak
by: Darrell Thurman

Joe, TX:

See my comment below for a potential solution to your problem. The extended plastic fix has nearly stopped the leak.

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5th wheel slideout water leak
by: joe tx

I have ck slideout top to bottom rubber seals ok only concern where roof meets the outside wall does water enter and goes down inside the wall to the bottom getting the carpet wet thank you


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Slide leaks when on wet road
by: John

I'm the second owner of 2006 5th wheel Wildcat. Slide leaks along the floor by the couch (just behind the back wheel)and leaves wet carpet so apparently the wheel is splashing water past the seal. Found a bulge in seal on bottom and a small gap in flashing in this area. I straightened out bulge and calked the gaps. Anybody had this issue ands have any other suggested fixes?

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RV Leas
by: Bill

I fill your pain I have a 2013 RV Dutchman Kodiac 27 FT The large slide out has factory defect slideout is defective manufacture says sorry it is one week past warranty.anyway when do you notice the leaking?are you currently using it or is it parked? slideouts should be either all the way in or all the way out.after you dry the water out try running all the way out see if you could see any daylight also,take garden hose off the roof see what happens

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RV slide out leak
by: SLStone

We have a leak in our galley slide out that is in the ceiling of the cabinet. Can't figure out how water gets in there except maybe at the seam of the roof and front of the slide out. Never had leaks on the sides in our 2004 Fleetwood Southwind. We do have slide-out covers (just newly replaced). Any thoughts on where this water could come from?

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Leaking slideout roof
by: C.M. Rainwater


I bought a 2010 Keystone camper from Paw's Paw's Camper City in Picauyne MS. I also bought a seven year extended warranty at the time.

I have two slides on the RV and both are leaking. I called the dealer and told him that I purchased the warranty and could they send someone out to look at and repair it. I was informed they no longer have service men to go out and repair. So much for the warranty.

I also had the air conditioner to go out and had to purchase and get someone to put it in and Paw"s Paw's would not reimburse me. I will have to fix the leaks if I can or pay someone to do it. No more buying from this so call friendly dealer.

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RV Repairs
by: Anonymous

I have leaks in my trailer and to call a RV repairman is $100.00 for them to just pull out of their driveway and another $100.00 an hour or more to look at it. I live in mine full time and live paycheck to paycheck and cant afford that. If anyone knows of someone cheaper please contact me. SHERLLWILLIAMS12@GMAIL.COM. I live in Vancouver.Wa.Thanks.

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Slide out leak
by: Darrell Thurman

We have a 2011 Lance model 1985 trailer with a dining room slide out. The slide out leaked from day one. I took it back to the dealer while still under warranty, they filled the top of the rubber gasket on the trailer side (not slide out gasket) with caulk. Still leaked, back to the dealer again, more caulk, still leaks.

Out of warranty now so I am trying to fix the problem myself. I have the topper above the slideout so some water is being shed but the topper does not entirely cover the sides of the slideout (topper should be a few inches wider).

I figured out a way to extend the topper on each end by about 3 inches by adding some stiff plastic material at each end. That slowed down the leak but did not eliminate it entirely. After reading several of the comments on this forum I have concluded that probably the best solution is to just not "level" the trailer but slope it just enough for rain to run to the rear of the trailer and off the slide out flat roof.

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leaking motor home
by: Anonymous

Wee have a Scottsdale motor home by newmar.we have a leak under our slide.the rubber seal has slipped in when we moved.when we get a driving rain we have a wet floor.we are replacing the rubber seal,and no its of a cheap item.

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Slide out leaks
by: CAP

Just purchased a used 2006 5th wheel, an Innsbruck model. the heavy outside seal on the slide keeps pulling away from the metal, despite re-fitting, everytime I slide the slide in and out. the sides of the seal are staying in place fairly well. I get a small amount of wet carpet in the rear corner of the slide. doesn't saturate the carpet, but a 3-4 inch length area, from the edge of the slide out opening toward the back is wet, out onto the floor only about an inch or so. I also noted that the inner seal of the slide does not meet the wall of the trailer at this area, but the front of the slide does, as well as the top. Begginning to think my "good deal" was a big headache! I've got an older, '93 30 ft travel trailer, no slides,and no leaks! Now, everyonoe I talk to, has issues with the slides on their trailers!

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tip
by: bill a

Don't use WD40, use a silicone lubricant.

I had a 2005 Fleetwood Prowler, I gave it to my daughter it has never leaked when I owned it and still no leaks. She uses it year around in storms, not level just make sure you keep the top slides clean. I just purchased a 2013 it rained last night now it has a leak Dutchman Kodiac 27ft shower doors don't seem right, I have to put a stick in doors to keep them from the doors in the kitchen all has broken latches, the bedroom vents all rusted, the bathroom door gets jammed when you try to bring in the slides. I haven't even gone camping now afraid to use this rig. I should of bought another Prowler.

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Don't level your RV.
by: Bill Adams

I never "level" my RV. I make sure the front is an inch or so higher than "level".

This gives my flat slide out roofs a bit of pitch so the rain runs off the back of them, and prevents pooling.

An inch or two is not going to be noticed, when walking around.

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slide outs leaking
by: Bill Forrest

I gave up on service shop repairs and took our motorhome back to the Rexhall Factory. they took the slideouts out of the RV. Added material behind the seals to give them more pressure on the slideouts. Corrected the out of square hole for the bedroom slide and that ended the leaks. No more in the last 8 years :)

Bill Forrest

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Slide Leaks Are Very Common
by: Jerry Patton

As a Mechanical Engineer with decades of experience, it is my opinion that the basic design of slides is pretty bad.

I have a Diesel Pusher with a 14ft slide and it has always leaked. The flat top of a slide out room with no pitch to shed the water away from the seals around the opening in the body of the motorhome or trailer is bound to leak under various conditions.

Wind driven rain into the opening below the topper and above the roof of the slide is going to accumulate and the seals which are really air seals not watertight seals won't keep the water out.

Any dirt, debris or other material on the top of the slide will be forced under the seal when you close the slide. When you open it the next time not all of that debris will pass back under the seal and what doesn't will hold the seal away from the surface of the top of the slide and create a potential leak.

There are many other scenarios that could be causes of leakage. They just aren't very practical, these slides of ours, and you can patch and mop and complain but the leaks are going to be with you no matter what.

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Leaking Slide
by: Bamacamper

I have had a leak at the side of my slide on the inside for some time now. It only saturates the carpet after a heavy rain. I had the main seal ( heavy black one) repaced several years ago thinking that was the problem, no luck. What I have determined since then is that the sag which is present in the middle of my slide is preventing the primary seal (heavy black) from sealing completely and is allowing water, during heavy rainfall only, to seep behind it. I plan on rigging some sort of jack on the inside of the slide area in order to level off the outer, top area. We'll see.

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CrossRoads Camper
by: Anonymous

We have a 5th wheel, and the seals were not properly sealed and it leaked and now we have black mold all in the camper. I have asked the manufacture to help replace it, and they refused. I will think next time on purchasing one without things in writing. It is only a few years old too.

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2009 Montana Leaking
by: Anonymous

I have a 2009 and a half (as they call it)
Every since it was new (we are the second owners) it has leaked from somewhere in the area of the couch slideout toward the rear of the trailer.
Several time the carpet was saturated. The dealer has agreed to go good to get it repaired and has taken it in three times for me and each time has guaranteed me they found the leak however, it continued to leak. They found such things as: broken screw for the gutter, calking missing on the gutter. Last they installed a new gutter and said it will not longer leak. We will have to wait until the next heavy rain to see.
Just curious to see if anyone else has ran into the same problem.

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Slide gasket
by: Jim

How difficult /expensive is it to replace the slide gasket material ? I have a 2001 Cedar Creek 5th wheel , the other day I was working on the Slide Toppere and noticed that much of the gasket material on top of the 14' slide is gone. Not sure how but..the material inside is still there but does not look good. How big a deal is it to replace ?

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