A camper’s biggest nightmare is a stuck RV slide that goes out but not in. There could be a lot of reasons for such occurrences that can catch you off guard.
Some major causes for a stuck RV slide are an electric motor failure, misalignment of the controller, dead track or cable, etc. Whereas, if you are lucky, your RV could have been facing easier issues such as power and electrical failures.
Thus, stick to the article to learn in-depth about all possible troubleshooting for a stuck RV slide so that you can save time and money.
8 Reasons Why RV Slide Go Out But Not Back In: Troubleshooting
If you suddenly find out that your RV slide is stuck in the extended position and won’t retract, you need to stop panicking.
Here are some of the most potential causes and solutions for such instances you can follow to get your extended RV back in.
1. Power Failure to the Motor
The whole concept of an RV depends on the power supplied by the battery. Hence, power failure is the most common reason that makes your RV slide into an extended position.
RV enthusiasts have found that after traveling and using the battery a lot, the charge deteriorates quickly.
Since the electrical motors require a lot of torque to push or pull the slide, they seek power from the battery.
Hence, when your RV battery fails to provide sufficient power, you might face issues retracting the slide back in.
Solving the issue is quite simple. You can override the main connection to the electrical motor through the controller module from a direct 30 AMP power source or jump the connection.
This will temporarily help you get your RV slide back in and give you time to recharge the battery.
2. Electrical Motor Failure
Most modern RVs use multiple electrical motors to drive the slide in or out. These motors have high torque and power-producing capacities. It has been reported by many RV users that their slide-out motors get damaged when the slide is extended out from the vehicle.
There could be many causes for such motor failures, such as aging, wear out of mechanical parts, putting excessive load on the slide, etc.
If you are one of those unfortunate ones, your RV might be facing a similar issue, causing the slide to go out but not in anymore.
To solve this, you would need to replace the motor with the original one, which might cost you more than $100.
However, if your RV has a manual override system, you can retract the slide back in and take it to the mechanic.
3. Physical Obstruction
Your RV slides use tracks, or cables for extension and retraction. It is often reported by users that slides go out but not if the track is obstructed by obstacles.
This is a common phenomenon in the rack and pinion system of the RV slides. The issue is quite easy and cheap to resolve. First, you need to visually inspect all the tracks.
If any objects are stuck in the moving parts, clean the area by removing them. Be careful while doing this, as it may damage the track.
Afterward, apply the recommended lubrication to the track before attempting to push back the slide.
4. Misalignment & Damaged Sliding Track
Nowadays, most RVs use a rack and pinion system or cable system for pushing or pulling back the slide. These slides roll on metallic tracks with grooves and teeth.
Hence, if your RV slide tracks get physically damaged, such as broken, bent, misaligned, etc., they won’t go in because the damaged part would prevent it.
Users have observed that putting excessive pressure on the slide or operating the slide in a parking lot or unleveled area causes such damages.
The only way to fix it is to replace the dead track at the dealership, which could be one of the most expensive repairs for an RV.
5. Damage in the Gearbox
Electric motors drive the slide in or out, supplying power through the gears to the track. These gears are mostly made of polyurethane and nylon.
As a result, RV owners have found that over time, these gear teeth tend to corrode, break apart, or crack. Hence, the motor fails to pull the slide back inside the RV.
This can be for many reasons, including putting heavy weight on the slide or lack of maintenance on the track. Ultimately, excessive pressure on the gears of your RV can break them down.
To resolve this, all you need to do is get similar gear from the dealership and replace it with the older one. And you are back on track.
6. Electrical Failures
Since most modern RV slides are electrically driven using a motor, your RV can encounter electric failures to and from the motor. The most probable causes include:
- Mistiming between the motors
- An electric short between the motors and the control module
- Bad connection from the control module
- Broken Wires
- Blown fuse
You need to explicitly look for the actual cause to solve this problem. Take a peek in the control module and read the flashing lights to get the error code.
One of the common solutions used by RV enthusiasts is to reset the control module by pressing the button 6 times and holding it at 7. It is better to recheck all the electric connections before attempting the reset. Perhaps you can start by checking and replacing the fuse as well.
7. Damaged Switch
Although it happens rarely, if the switch used to retract the slide gets damaged, the slide will go out but not on it.
But worry not, replacing the switch can get your slide back in easily, and without spending much.
You can attempt to repair it yourself, provided you have the necessary tools and a replacement switch.
Improper leveling of the RV is not good for the motor or the slide itself. It can cause the slide to go out erratically. Hence, it gets stuck when the slide goes out and when you push the switch, it won’t budge back in.
To solve this, RV owners use a leveler to keep the RV steady and reset the control module to adjust the motor timing. As a result, it helps to get a slide return by spending little.
Check out these queries from RV users that help you get away with slide stuck in an extended position.
Can manual overriding damage the RV slide motor?
Some companies put the manual overriding system in the RV by default. Hence, there is no harm done by using that to manually retract the slide, overriding the motors.
Can you manually push a stuck RV to slide out?
You can manually push the RV slide back in by loosening the connection between the motor and the track. However, this feature is available on some selected RV models
How much does it cost to troubleshoot a stuck RV slide?
The repair cost depends upon the type of issue your RV is dealing with, such as a stuck slide. Getting a motor or track replacement can cost you over $100. However, other problems require less or no expense.
Being an RV owner, you must know the basic repairs and tactics to solve the slide issues.
The RV slide going out but not back in is a common problem with some easy solutions as well.
Before calling the mechanic, you must attempt to diagnose the issues and try to solve them, as it might help you save a lot of money.
Read Also: How To Fix Forest River Slide-Out Problems?
Zayan is an accomplished author and a go-to expert for all things RV and camper-related. With a passion for adventure and a knack for problem-solving, he has spent years exploring the open road and fine-tuning his knowledge of recreational vehicles.
Zayan’s writing is a testament to his expertise, offering readers practical solutions to common RV dilemmas. Whether it’s troubleshooting mechanical issues, optimizing space, or planning the perfect road trip, Zayan’s insightful advice and engaging storytelling make him an invaluable resource for both seasoned travelers and newcomers to the world of RVing.