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Should I Level My RV With Slides In or Out?

by Edward
(NJ)

Why You Should Level Your RV With the Slides In

Why You Should Level Your RV With the Slides In

Why You Should Level Your RV With the Slides In
Should I Level My RV With Slides In or Out?

My question is,, Should the slides be in or out when leveling your RV using Hydraulic Jack‎s? I have heard both, I also was told by the dealer to level first but service has stated to have them out...need some help.

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ANSWER: Hi Edward, the rule of thumb for the majority of RVs with powered hydraulic leveling jacks is to level your RV first then extend your RV's slides (check your RV's owner's manual to be sure). This procedure creates a level platform to start with and produces less strain on the leveling and slideout systems.

Let's try a little physics experiment so that you can get a better idea of why the level first method is best. For this experiment you will need a 10 pound weight or something that weighs close to 10 pounds that you can hold in one of your hands.

For this experiment your legs are going to act as your RV's leveling jacks and your arm is your RV's slideout. In this case we are talking about a 1 slide RV.

To start out just hold the weight in one of your hands with your arms relaxed at your side. That 10 pound weight is in your center of gravity and you should have no problems squatting with this extra weight. With the slides in the weight stays closer to your RV's center of gravity giving the leveling jacks an easier job of handling the weight.

Now take that weight and push it straight out to your side at shoulder level. You can now see that the 10 pounds seems much heavier and it may be a little bit harder to squat up and down because you are having to adjust for the uneven weight distribution.

In multi slide RVs, the slides are very seldom the exact same size and weight, So it would be like holding a 50 pound weight in your other hand, except slideouts weigh hundreds of pounds and you can see how this uneven weight distribution can cause strain on the leveling jacks.

Another factor is that most slideout systems are designed to be extended and retracted when they are level. The less level your RV is when the slides are being extended the more strain that is put on the leveling systems trying to push the slides out at an angle. On some mechanical slide out systems this extra strain is a good way to break the shear pins on the gears that move the slides in and out. When this happens the slides have to be manually opened and closed.

I hope this information helped.

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

Over 1,500,000 successful roadside rescues—Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service

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Comments for Should I Level My RV With Slides In or Out?

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There isn't an answer.
by: Anonymous

If you talk to the manufacturer of the slide; they want the unit level to not damage their product. And the statement is the same for the leveling. They would like to minimize any load change from running hundreds or thousands of pounds outside center of gravity. As a master technician my experience tells me if the product is installed properly (slide outs and leveling system). I doesn't matter. If something fails it can almost always attributed to another issue.

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Leveling with slides in or out
by: Jim

My question is this. Once the slides are out and you notice that you're not as level as you thought, could it be harmful to do a little "fine tuning" without bringing the slides back in?

Note from RVing Al: To prevent damage to your slide outs or leveling system, I would not ever recommend trying to adjust the level of your RV with the slides out.

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Dumb
by: Anonymous

The only dumb question is the one not asked !! Maybe you should keep your derogatory comments to yourself !!

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dumb
by: Anonymous

Whats a shame is that people can not ask questions without a self proclaimed expert throwing in some smartass reply.

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slides in or out when leveling
by: Anonymous

I mostly agree with your comments and reasoning; however, our motorhome has a different leveling system and explicitly says to put the slides out before leveling. My advice is to look at your manuals to make sure. I know that our previous motorhome and 5th wheel both said level and then put slides out.
I think the one we have now is one of the few that is different.

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Dumb
by: Anonymous

I hope that this is made up if it's not people this dumb should not own a rv with slides.

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leveling
by: Jeff Jones

What would be the proper way to level if you dont have the leveling jacks ?? I have wood blocks that i drive up on to get level. Never thought about it before but(i know safety 1st)should i do the slideout first then drive up on my blocks or get on blocks first then do slideout ?? Thanks much. Jeff Jones

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