The Pros and Cons of RV Slide-Outs

There are so many decisions you must make when choosing your new motorhome. From the size to the color to the interior amenities to the chassis it’s built on, you could spend days and days researching the details until you just break down and buy the most expensive one.

For example, should you go with the streamlined class A model or the class C with slide-outs built in? In order to help yourself prevent financial folly when searching for motorhomes for sale, read the handy comparison guide below and determine if slide-outs are right for you.

Here are some of the most important pros and cons of RV slide-outs.

More Space vs. Less Space

Obviously, the biggest benefit to slide-outs is that you can make a small space much larger at a standstill. But that’s also the disadvantage: slide-outs create space only while you’re parked and anchored. If you spend most of your time cruising on I-80, you won’t have the luxury of popping out your queen bed and taking a nap.

A class A rig, however, offers luxury at all speeds. If you’re not a fan of modular designs, though, the very linear layout of one of these converted buses could turn you off to the big rigs.

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Electric vs. Hydraulic

 In used motorhomes, the longevity of the slide-outs depends on a few things: how they were treated by the previous owner, the amount of restoration by the dealer, and of course, the design of the slide-out function.

Slide-outs are often built in one of two ways: rack and pinion gears driven by an electric motor, or hydraulic arms powered with a pump. If your slide-out has hydraulic arms, it should be exercised on occasion to keep the assembly well lubricated. Electric slide-outs don’t require this bit of maintenance quite as often (if ever).

Old Rig Designs vs. New Rig Designs

Slide-outs in new motorhomes are designed to function optimally without additional support. In these newer designs, metal beams in the frame itself support the slide-out’s weight, and therefore no weight is supported by the slide-out mechanism.

However, older rigs use a different method of support, and you may need to look into purchasing manual support beams to hold your slide-out rooms while they are in use. This caveat varies on your make, model, and year, so check with your dealer to be sure how to treat your specific rig.

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