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The Slide Out On My Travel Trailer Can Only Be Closed Manually

by Bill
(Dunnellon, FL)

I have a 1995 31' Holiday Rambler Alumalite Travel Trailer, with a single 12 (or 14) foot slideout. The slideout goes out okay, but will not close with the switch. When I try to close it, I can hear the hydraulic pump running, but no movement. I can however get it to close manually with the hand pump.

Any ideas on what to look for in troubleshooting this? Does the switch operate a relay to electrically switch the valve direction?

Thanks Bill

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

There are several problems that can cause what you are experiencing with your slide out. It could be a bad Slide Out Switch or slide out control board, even though you state that the hydraulic pump is operating when you try to retract the slide. It could also be a bad hydraulic pump.

If one of above is causing your problem, you will need to have your Travel Trailer properly diagnosed and repaired by a Certified RV Technician as they may find something else less expensive wrong with the slideout.

Before you go to the expense of having your RV looked at there are a couple of other things you can check that may be causing this problem and that you can easily remedy yourself.

Low Voltage: I know that this may sound contradictory, but your house battery may be weak and is able to provide enough juice to the hydraulic pump to move your slide out, but may not provide enough juice to pull it in.

The best way to confirm this is to plug your travel trailer into 120 volt electric and have your travel trailer's converter take over providing 12 volt DC to the hydraulic pump. If the slide operates normally when plugged in you can pretty much isolate the problem as being with your House Batteries.

Your House Batteries are either getting weak and need replacement or the converter on your Travel Trailer is not providing the proper charge to your batteries.

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Low Or Leaking Hydraulic Fluid With the slides in the closed position you need to check the level of hydraulic fluid in your slide out systems. In most cases the hydraulic fluid reservoir is on the hydraulic pump itself. If you are low on fluid you need to top it off with the type of hydraulic fluid recommended by the slide out manufacturer.

I need to reemphasize that the fluid check and the fluid fill needs to be done with the slide out fully closed. If you check or refill the reservoir with the slide out open, you will end up overfilling the slide out system and end up having a mess on your hands when you close the slide as the excess hydraulic fluid will be pushed out of the pump.

If you are low on fluid, you also need to find out where it is going. You need to visually inspect the area around the hydraulics for any leaky fittings, etc.

Check for Binding or Obstructions Even though your slide out is going out, you could still have some binding or an obstruction that is preventing it from retracting. So closely inspect your slideout for any signs of binding or obstructions This would also be a good time to apply some Slide Out Lube to the slide out mechanism itself.

There are other conditions that could be causing your problem, but space and time does not allow me to go into detail on every possible cause of your slide out problem, so I have limited myself to outlining the most common causes.

I hope this information helps resolve the slide out problem on your travel trailer.

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

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