How to Adjust a Travel Trailer Slide

by Eric Cedric
Slide-out travel trailers have retractable and adjustable side panels.

Slide-out travel trailers have retractable and adjustable side panels.

Certain types of travel trailer are equipped with slide-out sections. These slides are adjustable. When the slides are retracted, the trailer is ready to be towed. Once you've arrived at a camping location, you can adjust the slides to open up and provide additional space in the travel trailer cabin. Slide-equipped travel trailers use either electric motors and controls or hand cranks to open and close the slide sections. Use these controls for the adjustments needed.

Motor Driven Slides

  1. Park the travel trailer and level it. Use the travel trailer's leveling tools and jacks to bring the rig to level. Place wheel chocks once the travel trailer is level. If the tow vehicle is still attached to the travel trailer, detach it. The slide-outs should only be deployed when the trailer is not attached to the tow vehicle.

  2. Check the 12-volt circuit for the slide-out motor at the control box -- typically in a cabinet inside the RV and near the slide-out section. Make sure the circuit is on and then turn on the motor for the slide-out. Hold the switch in the on position; it is spring loaded and will automatically shut off when released.

  3. Hold the switch to the on position until the slide is adjusted to the extended position. Release the switch and walk out to inspect the slide-out and its position. Use the switch to retract the slide when needed by pressing the switch to the opposite side of the extend position.

Hand Cranked Slides

  1. Park the travel trailer and level it. Set wheel chocks under the wheels. Make sure the tow vehicle is detached from the travel trailer.

  2. Grab the hand crank and go to the exterior of the slide. Locate the crank spindle and push the hand crank onto the spindle. Unlock all slide locks. These are found around the hand cranked slide-out and look like metal clips.

  3. Grip the hand crank and turn it counter clockwise to extend the slide-out. Adjust as needed.

  4. Turn the hand crank clockwise to retract the slide for your adjustments.

Items you will need

  • Wheel chocks
  • Hand crank handle (for manually-operated slides)

About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

Photo Credits