Slide-Out Campers & Water Leaks: 6 Answers (Explained)

When a slide-out camper leaks depends on the brand and manufacturer, as well as the weather you are going to be camping in.

While most slide-out campers can last 5-20 years without leaking, determining when is almost impossible.

Here’s some information on slide-out campers, when and where they leak:

Here’s The Answer To Do Slide-Out Campers Leak?:

Unfortunately, according to many RVers, slide-out campers do eventually leak. Most slide-out campers will begin leaking at some point during their lifetime because slide-out rooms are constantly moved out and into place when camping and back into a motorhome during travels.

1. When Do Slide-Out Campers Typically Start Leaking?

It is possible that slide-out campers start leaking between 5 and 20 years. However, it is almost impossible to pinpoint how long a slide-out camper will last before it starts leaking water.

Some RVers have had their slide-out campers for more than two decades and have experienced no leaks, but some RVers have had leaks with their slide-outs within the first few years of owning.

2. Do Slide-Out Campers Leak More Than Other Types Of Campers?

Based on RVer opinions, slide-out campers don’t leak more than other types of campers.

Slide-out camper models leak more than other slide-outs and motorhomes, but they can say this for all motorhomes regardless of whether it is a fifth wheel, travel trailer, or toy hauler.

Yet you should note that slide-out campers don’t usually leak more than other types of campers if they are correctly maintained. If they are not maintained, they will start to leak more, and repairing them could become far more expensive in the long run compared to other camper types.

3. Where Do Slide-Out Campers Typically Leak?

As with every other camper type, there are a few common places where slide-out campers typically start leaking.

Below we have briefly detailed a few places you might want to check if you start experiencing a leaky camper:

The Slide Seals: 

The most common problem many slide-out camper owners face is water leaks due to cracked and deteriorated seals.

Seals often crack and deteriorate when you go camping, and the slides are exposed to harsh weather environments like heavy rain, snow, and extreme heat.

Essentially if you start noticing water leaking when your slide is closed, the first thing you should look for are cracked seals.

At the Weep Holes: 

Water leaks can occur if a slide-out camper’s weep holes are blocked.

That’s why it’s always an excellent idea to ensure these weep holes are always properly maintained.

By the Windows: 

Weather seals around slide-out camper windows often deteriorate when exposed to normal camping conditions.

Water leaks into the camper when they deteriorate; the only way to fix this problem is to replace the seal.

It would help if you tried to periodically check these seals because they need to be replaced like all the other seals on your slide-out camper every two years.

By the Slide Screws: 

It might not seem believable, but many RVers report leaks by the screws of their queen bed slide in their slide-out camper.

Usually, water will get in around the screw, so the best way to fix it is to re-caulk the slide screws and all screws that originally had caulking on them because this sealant does deteriorate too.

4. How Hard Is It To Fix A Leaking Slide?

If you’re not familiar with the various processes surrounding fixing a leak, you’re usually better off taking your motorhome to a professional. You will have to hire a professional, regardless, especially if the slide is damaged or requires a major repair to stop the leak from occurring. 

In most instances, fixing a leak caused by damaged slide-out seals isn’t too tricky. This common issue is easily fixed because there is a simple process that you need to follow, and within a few hours, your slide seals will be good as new.

You also have the option of replacing the entirety of all the slide-out seals or only the damaged parts.

If you’re replacing only a section of your damaged or deteriorated seals, you will need to measure its entire length. For example, if you need to replace a piece of the top seal, not the bottom, you need to replace the entire length of the top seal. 

Fortunately, buying seals and replacing them isn’t that hard because they are widely available through RV shops and online. Be careful to buy the right length and size for your slide-out camper because not every seal fits every motorhome. 

5. How Do You Make Sure The Slides Don’t Leak?

There are a few ways to ensure your slides don’t leak and last as long as possible, but you need to note that, eventually, you will need to replace the seals.

Let’s dive into what you need to do:

Ensure You Use Seal Protectant:

One of the most common reasons seals crack and water leaks into your motorhome are the weather, UV rays, dirt, wind, and frequent use.

Seals are also the most common reason for a water leak. Luckily, one of the easiest ways to ensure your slides don’t leak is to use a seal protectant.

All you need to do is spray a seal protectant on all your seals as often as the product says you should. 

Make Sure To Inspect Your Slide-Out Camper Regularly:

One of the best ways to pick up on leaks early before it’s too late is to regularly examine your motorhome. This means you should look over your slide-out camper once every six months or more often if your camper is stored in a garage for long spans. 

You’ll want to start by checking all the plumbing lines, the slides and their seals, the ventilation, and other weather seals around your camper.

It’s also recommended that you check your slide-out camper for leaks before taking a long camping trip because experiencing a water leak while out on the road can be a nightmarish situation.

Use A Camper Slide Topper Awning:

Mud, leaves, and dirt will inevitably gather on your slide-out campers’ slides.

When this happens, leaks often occur inside your motorhome because of the buildup. Luckily, installing a slide topper awning for your camper is the easiest way to prevent this. 

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also clean the roof portion of your motorhomes slide often. Cleaning this section will prevent other areas from creating leaks, like blocked drainage lines. 

Make Sure Your Slide-Out Camper Is Always Levelled:

It can be easy to overlook the position your slide-out camper is in a while camping.

Unfortunately, if you don’t level your camper properly, you risk leaks which is why you need to ensure you level it correctly every time you camp at a new campsitYouTou should be aware that if you don’t level your slide-out camper properly, you risk water leaks and damage to the mechanics of your slides.

6. How Do You Inspect A Water Leak On These Slide-Out Models?

Now that you know how hard it is to fix a leaking slide and how to make sure your slide doesn’t leak, we want to discuss how to inspect your slide-out camper when you suspect a water leak. The only way you’re going to be able to determine if it leaks is to examine your motorhome. 

Yet, remember that where you find water damage or a puddle doesn’t always mean that is the leak’s location.

Since water can easily flow from one place in your RV to another, identifying the source of a leak is crucial before irreparable damage occurs. 

Fortunately, a few signs indicate if it leaks. See below to learn more about the signs indicating your slide-out camper is leaking:

  • Check the bottom of your slides. Anywhere that feels spongey can indicate a leak.
  • Your weather seals will change color, crack, and show signs of deterioration when worn out because of a leak.
  • If you squeeze your seals and they feel softer, this is another sign that water damage has occurred and you have a leak problem.
  • Your water seal screws will become rusty and appear loose when there is a leak, so always check all screws. 
  • Mildew and mold will grow inside your camper near your slide-outs if a water leak has been left undetected for a while. That’s why you need to pay attention to odd smells and always check around your slide-out walls.
  • You will notice water leaks at your light fixtures and ventilation points if leaks are from the roof of your slide-out camper. So try to inspect these areas for discoloration, warping, and bumps. 

Citations:

Slide Outs Leaking At The Bottom: Causes

RV Slide Out Water Leaks

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