An RV slide out or slide is a cut-out portion of your RV that extends and retracts to increase the living space available. The slide out is moved between the extended and retracted positions via hydraulic, electrical, or manual mechanical systems.
There are several different types of slide out systems that power your slide on your camper. Josh will goes through some of the more common slide out systems in this Tech Talk Thursday Video.
CABLE DRIVEN SLIDE OUTS
A cable pulley system is very lightweight but allows for larger heavier slide outs compared to other electrically driven systems. It uses 8 cables, 4 to pull the slide out and 4 to pull the slide in, which are attached the all the inner and outer corners of the slide. The cables are run through a series of pulleys and are connected to a chain. The chains are connected to a shaft coming out of the gearbox which is run by an electric motor.
ELECTRIC THROUGH FRAME SLIDE OUT
The Lippert Electric Through Frame Slide-out System is a rack and pinion guide system, utilizing an electric ball screw actuator to move the room assembly. The motor drives the ball screw in a forward and backward motion to move the slide room in and out. Basically the pinion, a small, circular gear with teeth spins and the teeth catch in corresponding gear teeth or holes in the rack, thereby moving the rack in one direction or the other.
SCHWINTEK SLIDE OUT SYSTEM
Schwintek slides have rails mounted on the top and bottom of the side of the slide and use a worm gear system to roll in and out. Two electric motors turn the gears, one on either side, and the track runs along the gear to move the slide. These slides are operated from a control panel inside your RV and are very easy to use.
HYDRAULIC SLIDE OUT SYSTEMS
Hydraulics are usually used for bigger, heavier RV slide out because though they are more complex, they can generate much more pushing (or pulling) power. It is mechanically similar to a rack and pinion slide system.
In a hydraulic system, a pump pushes hydraulic fluid into tubes, increasing the pressure and pushing a piston (and it’s attached RV slide out) to the extended end of its chamber. By pumping the hydraulic fluid in the opposite direction, the pressure is reversed, and the piston (and RV slide out) moves back to the retracted position.