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Should I Leave My RV's Slide Outs Open During Winter Storage?

by Andy
(Cambridge, Ontario, Canada)

Should I Leave My RV's Slide Outs Open  During Winter Storage?

Should I Leave My RV's Slide Outs Open During Winter Storage?

I have a 2006 37 foot Hornet with two slides. Currently it is parked in a seasonal campground and will not be moving from there. I need to know if I can leave the slide outs out in the winter, their a pain to slide in especially when I remodeled the RV to suit my needs. Being that I am in Canada I will get snow in the winter. I leave them open all summer and have not had a problem.

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

The simple answer is NO, you should not leave the slide-outs on your travel trailer open during winter storage. Here is why:


1. You will not be around in case of a heavy snow fall to clear the snow off of the slides roof. If enough snow accumulates on the slideout roof the excessive weight of the snow could damage the slideout mechanism and you may not be able to bring the slides in.

2. If your slide outs have Slide Topper Awningsicon on them. The slide topper awnings could get severely damaged.

3. Even though the slideouts have weather seals on them; the weather seals could get damaged and crack due to exposure to freezing temperatures. This could allow moisture to enter into the living quarters of your travel trailer causing damage to its contents. This could be an even bigger problem if the travel trailer is not completely level. Which reminds me if you are not already doing so you need to use some Slide Out Lube & Rubber Seal Conditionericon once every two months to treat the slide out seals to prevent them from cracking and degrading prematurely.

I am afraid that you are going to have to move some stuff around in your travel trailer so you can get those slides closed. Even if you were storing your travel trailer in your driveway; I would still not recommend leaving slides open.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

Comments for Should I Leave My RV's Slide Outs Open During Winter Storage?

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common sense solutions
by: harleyhoney

Would make sense to me if you are living in your trailer year round and want the slides out...build a support for them like you would a deck...then the problem of weight from snow etc is dealt with. Simple solutions are not hard to come by if you think.

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My slide out open for 14 years in Northern Michigan
by: Anonymous

My theory was that once it's slid out it would stay sealed forever. I was right. Being an automotive engineer, I thought this would work. It did. Once deployed, why would the seal have a chance to fail? The outer part can get brittle and fall away, but who cares? The sealed portion can't fall away due to the pressure exerted upon it. My trailer is permanently located.
Heavy snow on top did nothing. No leaks, no drips, no errors. I pulled in my slide out This year because I bought an Open Range 427BHS. Dead battery in old trailer. Slide outs work on battery power ONLY? Very irritating.


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Slideouts I
by: ET

Okay, in this case, have the slideouts brought in by a professional the first time, that way if something goes wrong they will be on hand to repair the problem. I didn't realize where the unit is, no doubt you will need to bring the slides in. And you really need slide toppers. I hope this has helped you. I woukd have tbe slide gaskets inspected and replaced if necessary.

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covering r with slide out
by: Anonymous

We live in Massachusetts and get tons of snow. We don't know if the slide out will retract as the trailer is 20 years old and the slide out has been open for 10 years. Nothing over the slide out presently.

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Covering unit
by: ET

Why not put the slides in and cover it? I will tell you that we have several units in Florida and we never cover the units. But tell me does your slides have slide out overs across the top? If not, have them installed, then have the gaskets around the slides checked out and if the need replacing do it, and then I would not be that concerned. But I would like to know why you want to cover it.

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covering the slide out
by: Anonymous

we were looking into the covers that allow for moisture to evaporate. but they presumably won't fit with the slide out open. Any thoughts?

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cover rv
by: ET

Be careful on covering your RV. Covers can cause a moisture issue and then you have mold. I've seen it happen a lot.

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More slide out questions
by: Anonymous

We just bought a 20 year old travel trailer and it has been parked on the same site,for 10 years. Slide out has remained out even during the winter months with heavy snow. What is the best way to cover the rv since with the slide out, a standard cover won't fit?

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Slide outs left out on a travel trailer
by: Anonymous

Here is the bigger question, How does your trailer know you are not there? I have lived in my travel trailer for several years and never put the slides in, I do keep the seals professionally checked. But unless you are in a heavy snow and ice area for the winter, there really is no reason to put your slide outs in. unless it just makes you feel better.

During heavy snows in my travel trailer I have never had an issue, Most all of your extended stay travel trailers are built for this. And no factory is going to tell you that you should leave them out, I'm telling you this because I have experienced it.

Leveling issues are always around in a travel trailer, Every 6 months I have the level checked all the way around the trailer. Keep your seals checked and your slide out toppers checked for birds making nest underneath them. Toppers will eventually dry riot and need to be replaced, this is normal. It really is just common sense, I've seen trailers with their slide outs in and a tree branch thru the roof. So Go Figure, If you are living in your trailer or staying seasonal, and you really don't see a hazard around your trailer, I would leave them out. Remember your trailer doesn't know you are not there.

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slide outs (pull them in)
by: smokey camping

You gave a great explanation as to why not to leave your slide-outs extended while stored in the winter, but i also feel it would be helpful to add that if the owner reads the information about the slides of their coach it is said to not leave the slides out "even" for an extended period of time, as it could cause damage to the slide or coach from storms or other outside forces (hail, snow, tree limbs) and much more.

Slides are a big contributor to RV water leaks as the wall of the coach has a large hole cut it the side and the slide only has a rubber seal trying to keep out all the weather and debris!

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