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The Slideout on Our Travel Trailer Makes a Popping Noise When Opening It

by Larry

I have a 2006 28 ft Spirit of America with a large mechanical slide out. It has 2 racks ganged together with a square tube. When you first engage the slide out it seems to bind and pop. It is not coming out even on both sides. It is also coming out further at the bottom than the top for the first foot of travel. After closer inspection, it appears to be skipping over the teeth on one side thus getting catawampus. We were able to disconnect the square tube that gangs the two gears together and true up the left and right.

We also noticed if we go inside the camper and lift up on the top of the slider while engaging the in and out button it runs smooth. It appears it riding on nylon skids that you can’t see. Once the slideout gets past the stick point (a foot or so of travel) it smoothes out.

It also has an awning over the slide out.

Any do it yourself suggestions? I can’t afford to take it to a shop.

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

I wish I could tell you that there is some great step-by-step tutorial that is available on how to adjust and repair an RV slideout, but there is not.

From what you have described you have more than one problem with your slideout and there could be any number of reasons that your slideout went "catawampus". The fact that you now have the slideout going out straight does not mean it will stay that way.
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Slideouts do not just jump gears, you could have one of your drive gears missing teeth or worn down enough that it will end up doing the same thing. Even something as simple as too much tension on the spring on one side of your Slideout Toppericon (the awning on your slideout) can cause problems with the tracking of a slideout room.

Now add in the other problem of your slideout room binding and popping when opening and closing it and you have a situation where you need some expert help to get this repaired the right way. By the way the binding and popping may or may not be directly related to the tracking problem you have been experiencing. The true causes of these problems may be hidden from view and could require partially disassembling the slideout mechanism (which is not a do-it-yourself job).

If you attempt to repair this yourself you are running the risk of causing further more costly damage to the slideout mechanism and possibly damaging interior cabinets, etc. in the RV itself.

The bottom line is that you need to take your Travel Trailer in and have a Certified RV Technician take a look at it. Since money is tight you might want them to take a look at it and then tell you what they think is wrong with it and have them walk you through the proper way to repair it and then and only then can you make an informed decision on whether you should tackle the repairs yourself.

I know that this is not the answer you wanted, but I need to be straight up about when a do-it-yourselfer should attempt a repair or not and in this case you need to have an expert tell you exactly what needs to be done so you do not cause further costly damage to the slideout.

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.

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RVing Al

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