Many RVs these days come with at least one slide out, some even come standard with as many as three of them.
Manufacturers tend to put great care into their RVs, and most claim that their rigs don’t necessarily require stabilizers for their slide outs.
But, is that really the case? Do RVs Really Need Slide Out Stabilizers? While some RVers will tell you no – veteran RVers will definitely say yes because they reduce sag and prevent unwanted maintenance issues with your slide out!
Continue reading below and find out if you should invest in a slide out stabilizer for your RV or not!
What Is an RV Slide Out Stabilizer?
RV slide out stabilizers are designed to add security and stability to your fully extended slide outs. They can be real godsends if you use the area quite frequently or store a large amount of gear/stuff on it. No more rattling and swaying once you have these beauties installed.
That said, An RV slide out is believed by many RVers to be one of the very best features offered on the market, when it comes to having a luxurious rig.
A slide out is the best way to add a touch of luxury to your RV or motorhome. Most slide outs add a couple of feet to your pre-existing space but the uber top-notch RVs can have up to three extensions. The extra space is much appreciated when you plan to be camped out for prolonged periods of time. It can literally transform your small RV into a much more comfortable and liveable home.
If you are a full-time RVer, you may look at slide out stabilizers as a necessity. These little marvels are designed to slide under your slide outs to provide extra support. As it can be a tad eerie to move in a space that seems to be merely hanging, especially if you are camping in areas that are windy.
Are RV Slide Out Stabilizers Necessary?
Most RV manufacturers will tell you that the slide out stabilizers are not really needed, but a seasoned RVer will more than likely disagree with that statement. If you are parked on even slightly uneven ground the stabilizers will be an excellent help.
These sturdy gadgets will not only add a touch of support but will also even out the area under the slide out to prevent swaying and rocking. It is an absolute must when you use the RV for extended periods, especially if you have energetic kids or a pet. You are likely to sleep better when your RV does not rock and roll every time the kids jump around.
The veterans of RV living will vouch for a slide out stabilizer when the bump-out holds some furniture or performs the function of an additional room. The slide out will eventually sag with the downward pressure and the stabilizer comes in handy to keep the sagging at bay.
How Do You Support an RV Slide Out?
The truth is, when using an RV slide out, there is often a need for additional support (especially when it is in constant use).
The easiest way to do so when parked on even and stable ground is to use a stabilizer. Although the jury is out on this decision, most slide outs do need a stabilizer when you are using it as an additional living space for extended periods.
It is always a good idea to let the heavy vehicle settle for a day or two before you use the stabilizers. It is quite possible that the position of the slide out will change during this ‘settling down’ period. If the stabilizers are hauled into position before the slide out is in its normal position, they may damage the mechanism by putting undue strain on the structure.
Use the stabilizers precisely without putting any undue pressure on them as it will add to the strain on the slide out mechanism.
Also, do keep in mind that stabilizers are not meant to handle loads, they merely add what the name suggests- support. All you need to do is gently place the slide out stabilizer under the rail and engage the folding handle to slowly raise the bracket to meet the slide out bars to afford maximum support.
Always begin the process from the lowest setting. And, keep in mind you may need to use wooden blocks to augment the support for extended use.
How Do You Fix a Sagging RV Slide Out?
Over the years, the natural wear and tear do cause a little sag and if this causes the seals to leak and water trickles in, you need help.
If the sag is minimal and the seals are tight you can help correct the sag when you store the RV during winter with a vertical support, maybe with the help of a slide out stabilizer that props it up with ever so gentle pressure. This could serve as a quick fix even when your RV is in use and you are camping for a prolonged time.
A deeper sag may need some work that is more than a simple DIY. If your roof or awning is sagging the best way to repair it is to replace it with fresh wood and fix the seepage completely.
If your slide out floor is sagging the fix is more extensive. You may need to remove the trim, all electrical fittings, and remove the slide out. The next step would be to tear the floor out and put in a new one. You would then have to reinstall the slide out, reinstall it and let it cure overnight.
The better option is to prevent the sag in the first place by using handy slide out stabilizers that keep the support in place and do not allow the slide out to sag at all!
What are the Best RV Slide Out Supports?
The best RV slide out supports are the ones that are easy to handle, lightweight, and store easily as well. Do ensure that they are not creating pressure on the slide out frame or damaging it.
1. Eaz-Lift Camco Heavy Duty Slide Support Jacks
The Eaz-Lift Camco Heavy-Duty Slide Support is a durable and sturdy gadget that is made with steel that is rust-resistant. The support is adjustable and can be used with most RVs. You can adjust the height from 19-47 inches as per your requirement. The pair of supports are available in two color variants – black and silver.
The supports are suitable for larger slides too and can handle weights up to a whopping 5000 pounds. The extended slides can withstand strong winds when you use these supports. The superlative product has a top fits all sizes making it a good choice. It comes with a space-saving handle that makes storage easy. Use the tethered pin to make the RV stop rocking and rolling in earnest.
The locks that are integrated into the design are super easy to manipulate and a minimal adjustment can kit you out quickly. It is a fab way to make your RV safe for prolonged use and prevent sag that is associated with long term use too!
Do ensure that you do not over-tighten the lifts and no pressure is applied. The slide should just be supported and not lifted when you use the Eaz-Lift Camco heavy-duty slide support. If used properly, you can fulfill warranty norms on the RV too.
2. Stromberg Carlson JACK IN A BOX SLIDE OUT STABILIZER
The Stromberg Carlson Jack In A Box Stabilizer is probably one of the best in its class. Super lightweight, it clocks in at just 5.2 pounds. It extends from 20 inches to a maximum of 34 inches. They work best when you slide them under the support bar near the outside wall of the slide out room.
The support has a compact handle that folds up and runs parallel to the jack’s vertical portion. The handlebar moves a full 360 degrees around the stabilizer bar. The compact support comes in a pack of two and is the perfect accessory to keep your RV from swaying when you move around. Buy one today to sleep soundly in a well-anchored trailer.
3. LIBRA Heavy Duty Quick-Lift RV Slide Out Stabilizer Jacks
The Libra Heavy Duty Quick-Lift RV Slide Out Stabilizer Jacks are an engineering marvel. They come with a unique power drill that saves you a lot of heavy lifting and hand winding. The quick to set up stabilizer is quick to set up and you can manage it single-handed. They can hold up a weight of up to 5000 pounds and are useful in supporting large bump-outs.
The set comes with two jacks, one ¾ inch socket, and a crank handle. Corrosion is not something these jacks know as they are powder coated and repel rust and moisture. They not only look good but the pair is enough to support two slide outs with ease.
Libra heavy duty stabilizers extend from 16 inches to 28 inches and have a stable top support plate. They are available in three size variants and are far superior to any one size fits all jack you can find. The entire set is light on weight at just 15.6 pounds. These slide out supports will definitely make your camping experience a more stable one!
Let us know if you think RVs need slide out stabilizers in the comments below! We would love to hear what your thoughts are!