Many RVs have slide outs, and they’re one of the things that most effectively give you more living space when you open it up. However, it’s very common for RV slides to have problems. Knowing how to troubleshoot these problems can save you a lot of frustration.
Forest River isn’t immune to these problems, and their slides have a few common problems you should know about to keep your RV in good shape. These problems range from simple fixes like a lack of power to your RV to more complicated problems like a broken slide out.
12 Common Forest River RV Slide Out Problems
There are some pretty simple solutions to Forest River RV slide out problems, and starting at the bottom and working your way up will save you money before taking it to a professional.
Here are 12 common Forest River RV slide out problems and how to solve them.
1. The Slide Won’t Go In or Out
If your slide won’t move at all, the first thing you should check is the power. Make sure that the switch that controls the slide is turned on and that there is power going to the slide. If there is no power, check your circuit breaker and reset it if necessary.
If there is still no power, you may need to replace a fuse. Once you’ve checked the power, make sure that there isn’t anything blocking the slide from moving. Sometimes things like rocks or sticks can get caught under the slide and prevent it from moving.
If there is nothing blocking the slide and it still won’t move, the problem may be with the motor. You’ll need to take your RV to a professional to have the motor checked and repaired if necessary.
2. The Slide Moves Slowly or Erratically
If your slide moves slowly or erratically, it could still be a power failure, but it’s more likely a short in the circuit. If you have a voltmeter, you can test the circuit to see if there is power going to the slide.
If the circuit isn’t getting power, reset the breaker and check the fuses. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to take your RV to a professional to have them diagnose and fix the problem.
If the circuit is getting power, the problem is most likely with the motor. Again, you’ll need to take your RV to a professional to have them check and repair the motor if necessary.
3. The Slide Makes Noise When Moving
If your slide is making noise when it moves, it’s probably because something is rubbing against it. The most common thing that rubs against the slide is the weatherstripping.
If the weatherstripping is worn out, it can cause the slide to make noise. You’ll need to replace the weatherstripping to fix the problem.
4. The Slide Stops Partway In or Out
If your slide stops partway in or out, the first thing you should do is check the power. If the power is off, reset the breaker and check the fuses.
If the power is on, the problem is most likely with the motor. You’ll need to take your RV to a professional to have them diagnose and fix the problem.
5. The Slide Is Crooked When It’s Closed
If your slide is crooked when it’s closed, it’s most likely because the motor is no longer powerful enough to slide it in evenly, leaving one edge sticking out farther than the other.
To get your slide pushed in all the way, someone may need to put pressure on the outside of the slide as you slide it in. This helps force the slide into place, but it’s not a permanent solution.
To diagnose problems with the motor or replace the motor, it’s best to take your RV to a professional.
However, this problem could also be caused by an obstruction. Sometimes things like rocks or sticks can get caught under the slide and cause it to be crooked when it’s closed.
If there is an obstruction, you’ll need to remove it before you can close the slide correctly.
6. The Hydraulic Slide Is Stuck
This could be a power failure, disconnected wire, old fuse, burnt out motor from a power surge, or a very simple fix like lack of hydraulic fluid.
If you have hydraulic slides, you need hydraulic fluid to make them work. If you run out of this fluid, your slides will not work. You can check the fluid levels in your hydraulic system and add more fluid if necessary.
If adding fluid doesn’t solve the problem, the other common issues are power failures or disconnected wires. You’ll need to check the circuit breaker and reset it if necessary. You should also check for any loose or disconnected wires and reconnect them if necessary.
Other issues could include a hydraulic pump failure or a leak in your hydraulic system. Neither of these issues are very easy to fix and you should consult a professional if you’re uncomfortable fixing them on your own.
7. The Slide Out Switch Stopped Working
The slide out switch is what you use to control the slides. If this switch stops working, it’s usually because the fuse has blown. You can check the fuse and replace it if necessary.
If replacing the fuse doesn’t solve the problem, the other common issue may be that the button or switch in the control panel is failing and needs to be replaced.
You can remove your control panel for access to the controls and replace the button yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you’ll need to take your RV to a professional to have them replace the button for you.
8. The Slide Moves on Its Own
If your slide starts moving on its own, it’s usually because the switch is stuck in the “on” position. This can be caused by a faulty switch or a build-up of dirt and debris.
To fix a stuck switch, you can try to clean it with a cloth or compressed air. If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the switch.
9. The Motor Runs But the Slide Doesn’t Move
If you hear the motor running but the slide still isn’t moving, you may need to check the slide mechanism itself.
For hydraulic slides, it could be a problem with the hydraulic system, but if you’ve already checked that, it may be the mechanism on the actual slide. Inspect the slide to see if anything is blocking it from moving or look at the gears to see if they’re stripped.
For manual slides, it may be that the slide is just stuck and needs some help getting started. You can try pushing or pulling on the slide to see if you can get it started. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to take your RV to a professional to have them take a look at it.
10. Slide Stops Before Fully Closing or Opening
If your slide seems to be working fine, but it won’t fully extend or collapse before it stops, it may be a programming issue with the electronic controller.
Every slide has a way of knowing whether it’s done sliding or not, so when this component isn’t communicating effectively, it may stop before it’s done.
This issue is best resolved by a qualified technician because it involves complicated electrical components.
However, if you’re feeling confident, you can try to reset the controller by disconnecting and reconnecting the power. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to replace the controller.
11. Water Leaking From Slide Room
If you see water leaking from your slide room, it may be a sign of a bigger problem. Water can enter your RV in a number of ways, but the most common is through the roof. If your slide room is leaking, it’s likely that your RV’s roof is also leaking and needs to be repaired.
Another possibility is that the seal around your slide room has failed and needs to be replaced. This is a relatively easy fix that you can do yourself, but it’s always best to consult a professional before attempting any repairs on your own.
12. Slide Is Misaligned
No matter what position your slide is in, if it seems to be crooked, it’s likely an alignment issue that should be resolved by a professional.
You can try to lubricate the slide mechanisms and seals first to see if it readjusts on its own. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to take your RV to a shop for repairs.
How To Manually Override A Forest River RV Slide Out
In the event that your slide out system fails, you may be able to manually override it to open or close the slide. This isn’t always possible, and it depends on the type of system your RV has.
For hydraulic systems, there is usually a manual release valve that will allow you to operate the slide without power. For electric systems, you may be able to find a manual override switch that will allow you to operate the slide.
It’s important to note that not all RVs have a manual override system, so if your RV doesn’t have one, there’s no way to operate the slide without power.
Consult your Forest River owner’s manual to find how the slides on your model operate and if there is a way to override them.
While slide outs are a great addition to any RV, they do require some regular maintenance to keep them functioning properly. By following these tips, you can keep your slides in good condition and avoid costly repairs down the road.