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How to Remove a Camper Slide Out

by John Cagney Nash

A camper slide-out is an extendable unit built into a main vehicular side wall, equipped with a top and bottom, two sides and a back, so that when deployed the room interior is enlarged by the size of the slide-out. Both the slide-out floor and the main camper floor the slide-out moves over are prone to wear, rot and separation. Some slide-outs are driven by an hydraulic mechanism, others by a rack-and-pinion mechanism. The removal of both is virtually identical.

Remove the internal molding through which the slide-out moves, colloquially called the "horseshoe" fitting. Extend the slide-out to its maximum, which includes allowing it to drop into the recess designed to equalize the levels of the slide-out floor and main camper floor. If the slide rams are equipped with blocks, set them in place.

Support the underside of the extended slide-out with blocks and shims. For your own safety, these supports must be very sturdy, very firmly located, and able to support much more than the slide-out's weight with ease. Do not simply use car jacks or axle stands.

Release the slide-out from the fasteners holding it to the rams. The fasteners are typically pins located in the fore ends of the rams, regardless of whether the rams are driven hydraulically or by a rack-and-pinion mechanism.

Move the slide-out away from the camper body using as many assistants as are available. Exercise extreme care, and move the slide-out only one inch at a time, working sequentially at opposite ends. Move the slide-out only as far as is necessary to undertake your follow-on projects.

Tip

  • Some manufacturers inadvertently block access to the ram fasteners with the installation of under-vehicle components such as water, fuel and propane holding tanks or belly pans. If this is the case, all such components must be removed first, then stored in a safe place.

Warnings

  • This is a complex and potentially dangerous project. RV dealerships have special equipment and trained staff to carry out the removal of a slide-out. The removal of a slide-out is easy compared to its re-installation.
  • A slide-out which collapses because of insufficient or unstable supports will be a lethal, uncontrolled moving load. Ensure your supports are much more than equal to their task. Never work around or under dangerous structures without an assistant present who can call for help if an accident occurs.

Items you will need

About the Author

John Cagney Nash began composing press releases and event reviews for British nightclubs in 1982. His material was first published in the "Eastern Daily Press." Nash's work focuses on American life, travel and the music industry. In 1998 he earned an OxBridge doctorate in philosophy and immediately emigrated to America.

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