RV Slide Out Supports: Yes or No?

Do modern-day RVs need slide-out supports?

If you own a pop-up, camper, or travel trailer, you may have heard contrasting opinions on whether slide-out supports are safe. Some say they’re needed, while others claim they’re unnecessary. Today, we’re going to put this long-running debate to rest.  

Please read below to learn more about slide-out supports and nuances when deciding whether they’re for you.

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Is an RV Slide-Out?

In simple terms, a slide-out is a separate part of your RV that slides outward and provides you with more space. 

 Slide-outs were first invented in the ’90s. RV manufacturers started releasing slide-outs by including one slide-out per unit. As slide-outs popularity increased, manufacturers continued to make more and tweak the width and length of slide-outs.

 Nowadays, there are two types of slide-outs available. First, you’ll find a hydraulic-powered slide-out. Next, you may also come across electric-powered slide-outs. Both slide-out systems come with their challenges and benefits.

 If you haven’t gotten an RV yet and are considering buying one with slide-outs, you need to take note of two main factors. First, you’ll need to ensure the slide-outs work when testing the RV before buying. You’ll also have to ensure you have the space to use the slide-outs at the various RV parks or campgrounds you visit.

 

How Do You Operate an RV Slide Out?

If you’re using an electric-powered slide-out, you’ll need to ensure enough power flowing through your RV to get the slide-outs motor working. Regardless of what type of slide-out you have, you need to ensure any bearings you have are well-greased. 

 After taking the preliminary steps, you can start the motor and use the control panel to move the section out. 

 

What Are RV Slide-Out Supports?

In essence, RV slide-out supports are long jacks that you put under your RV’s slide-outs. These jacks may help support your slide-outs and stop them from getting weighed down when you place heavy loads on your slide-out. These supports also have the added benefit of stabilizing your entire RV or trailer.

 

Are RV Slide Out Supports Necessary?

Most RV enjoyers agree that slide-out supports aren’t necessary. There are several reasons why this is so:

 · Most RV manufacturers built slide-outs to hang in the air without support

· Most RV manufacturers built slide-outs to withstand many people’s weight at any given moment.

 

When Should You Use RV Slide-Out Supports?

Although – in most cases – you may be fine without RV slide-out supports, certain circumstances make using slide-out supports necessary. 

If you have an older model RV, slide-out supports may become necessary. You’ll know you’ll need slide-out support if your RV comes with RV tip-outs (older slide-outs). These tip-outs are boards that you fold out and cover with canvas. You may think of these as tents that fold out from an RV.

 

If you have a non-electric slide-out, you may also benefit from an RV slide-out support.

 

Can Slide-Out Support Damage Your RV?

If you’ve decided that your situation fits the criteria of having slide-out support necessary, you need to know the risks of using slide-out supports. 

 In rare cases, setting up your RV with supports under a slide-out may cause the slide-out to extend too far out. Or, the support may damage moving parts or components under your RV’s slide-out.

 Similar to when you put a jack under the jacking point of a car, you’ll need to ensure a structurally sound area under your slide-out section. If not, you may damage the floor of the slide-out.

 Finally, there’s also the risk of forgetting that the slide-out supports are there when it comes time to pack up and head out. You may press the retract button to pull in the slide-outs and hear the noise of the supports topping into the side wall of your RV.

 

How Can You Safely Use RV Supports?

So, you’ve decided to use RV support and know what problems to avoid. Now, we’ll discuss how you can safely use RV slide-out supports. 

You should wait around 24 to 48 hours before attaching the slide-out supports. You’ll want to wait because your RV will settle during this period, and the settling process may change the slide-outs position.

 If you choose not to wait before putting the supports on when you initially move the slide out into position, you may cause damage to your slide out. After waiting for some time, you’ll need to apply only enough pressure from the supports onto the slide out to remove any slack or bounce you may detect. It’s of the utmost importance to never overtighten your slide-out supports. 

 After performing all the above steps, you’ll need to check regularly to ensure no unnecessary pressure on the support. If you want to, you may also refer to your RV owner’s manual to get the manufacturer’s instructions and guidance on how to set up slide-out supports.

 

 RV Slide-Out Supports We Recommend

1. WEIZE Heavy Duty Slide Out Support – Adjusts from 20″ to 48″, 5000lb Capacity Each

Keep your camper in tip-top shape with these slide-out supports. Extendable struts keep your slide-out level and prevent sagging and damage to your RV’s extension tubes. Quick-release handles make mounting a snap.

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2. Dumble RV Slide Out Stabilizer Jacks – Adjusts from 16″ to 28″, 5000lb Capacity 

Using your camper slide-out for extended periods can cause sagging and bending in the slideout rails, creating operation issues and costly frame repairs. Use the Dumble RV Supplies Camper Slide Out Supports RV Leveling Jacks, 2 Piece Set to alleviate tension and increase stability in your travel trailer, RV, and camper slide-out rooms. Heavy-duty steel and zinc finish provides maximum strength and longevity for these rust-resisting RV levelers.

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3. LIBRA Set of 2 Heavy Duty Quick-Lift RV Slide Out Stabilizer Jack – Adjusts from 16″ to 28″, 5000lb Capacity 

WARNING: For RV slide-out part stabilizing and supporting purposes only, NEVER use for lifting, changing tires, or supporting the weight of any vehicles

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4. Husky 81079 Slide-Out Adjustable Stabilizer Jacks Pair – Adjusts from 16 1/4″ to 29 1/4″, 5000lb Capacity

This Husky Towing manual Trailer Stabilizer Jack Stand is used to stabilize slide-outs and is sold in pairs.

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Camco Eaz-Lift Heavy Duty Slide Out Stabilizer5. Camco 48867 Eaz-Lift Heavy Duty Slide Out Support – Adjusts from 19″ to 47″, 5000lb Capacity

The Eaz-Lift slide-out supports help protect your RV’s slide-out mechanism by providing support to your slide-out room when used for prolonged periods. The universal fit top will support any slide-out rail, and the space-saving handle and tethered pin make the support easy to use and store. The Eaz-Lift slide-out support adjusts from 19″ to 47″, with incremental locked positions, plus a minute adjustment that extends an additional 14 inches. These durable supports are constructed of rust-resistant steel and support up to 5,000 lbs. each.

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Value Selection-Sulythw RV Slide Out Supports

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7. EAZ LIFT RV Patio Supports – Provide Your RV Patio Additional Support – Compatible with Toy Haulers and Flat Bottom Slide-Outs

Eaz-Lift’s Patio Supports provide additional support to RV patios. They are compatible with toy hauler backdoors that convert into a patio and RVs with flat bottom slide-outs. Each support has a 1 000 lb. weight rating. Multiple pin holes and a threaded rod allow a height adjustment from 22-inches to 48-inches. The support base is constructed of durable, powder-coated steel, and the contact surface of the support pad is constructed of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), which will not mar the side of your RV. Contains (2) supports.

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8. 2pcs Heavy Duty RV Slide Out Support Jacks Adjusts from 19″ to 47″, 5000lb Capacity for RV, Camper, and Travel Trailer.

About this item

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Final Thoughts

Manufacturers designed most modern-day RV slide-outs to be structurally self-supporting. This means that most RV slide-outs today can operate adequately without stabilizers or supports – unless, of course, the manufacturer of your RV specifically engineered your slide-out to work in conjunction with supports.

 Despite RV slide-out supports not being an absolute necessity, you shouldn’t shy away from using supports if you feel you need them and if they give you peace of mind. Support may help you greatly if you’ve been experiencing issues with your RV swaying when there’s weight in the slide-out or if you’ve been experiencing suspension issues with the RV.

 Using supports is no harm if you install them properly, take care of them, and avoid abusing them.

 

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