Monday, August 5, 2013

Level your RV with the slide-out deployed?

He wants to level the rig first, then deploy the slide-out. She wants to level after the slide is out, because it seems like the rig "leans" a little bit after the slide goes out. What's the answer?

The safest (and most warranty-wise) answer: Do what your rig's manual tells you to do. Here's a lift from a Keystone manual: "The recreational vehicle must be level to avoid binding the slide-rooms. Remember, stabilizing jacks are not capable of supporting the weight of you vehicle! They are intended only to stabilize the unit maintaining a level condition. Non-leveled conditions cause sticking situations providing damaging strains on the slide-out mechanism."

Courtesy U.S. Patent Office
This advice is pretty much standard among the majority of the RVing crowd. If the rig is twisted, even a bit, it can put a real cramp on the slide-out mechanism. Pinching your slide-out can make for a most uncomfortable situation--particularly if you can't 'reel the unit back in' when it's time to hit the road.

OK, so much for the simple answer. Now things can get a bit more complicated than "what the book says." What about that "leaning RV." What can you do about that situation? If your rig leans after you deploy the slide-out, the most likely issue was not having your unit properly settled in the first place. Were the levelers on firm ground, or did they perhaps "sink" a bit into soft ground? Here's a case for leveler or "jack boots" that give a larger surface area to those little feet.

If you're leaning over, take a good look at your site, and peek around underneath the rig. If the leaning is such that the rig isn't comfortable, or enough that it could cause damage to your refrigerator there may be no help for it but to pull up stakes and move the rig a bit, settling in on 'terra' that's a bit more 'firma.'


  1. I have NEVER varied from the procedure of leveling first, then extending the slides. We have a 4-slide Travel Supreme and in 9 years of operating it have never had a problem. You don't drive your motorhome with the slides extended-why would you go through the leveling process, which always causes some minor twisting, with them extended? Also, the slides are retracted BEFORE letting it down off the jacks.

  2. For the record, all Monaco motor home products (Monaco, Holiday Rambler, Beaver, and Safari) equipped with the three point leveling system requires (from the manual) slides out first and slides in last. This is typically the opposite of just about every other motor home manufacture (equipped with a four point leveling system) which is slides out last and slides in first.

  3. Why would anyone argue over this? If one levels first, which makes sense because most manufacturers tell us to do that, and there is a slight lean afterwards, then use the levelers to make fine adjustments. Most levelers have small pads which will sink into the ground and in larger rigs, right through some asphalt, it would be better to use a much larger pad underneath the levelers. I use 2"x 10" x 18" boards which provide a nice solid surface. I would prefer to use cut offs from the built-up beams used in house construction but I am never in one place long enough to find a housing development.


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