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