How To Lubricate RV Slide Outs

Last Updated on December 14, 2023 by Jess

Learning how to lubricate RV slide-outs will not only ensure proper operation of the slide-out system but will also extend the life of your RV and save on maintenance costs. The lubrication process may vary slightly depending on the type of RV slide your vehicle has.

About 9% of all households in the U.S. own an RV for recreation. This shows that the RV lifestyle appeals to a sizable segment of the population. If you plan to purchase an RV, you will need to keep the vehicle in optimal operating condition. For instance, one of the things you need to learn is how to lubricate your slide-outs. Good maintenance means that you can use your motorhome for several years without problems.

In this article, I address the different types of RV slide-outs that exist in different RVs, as well as why it’s important to lubricate your RV slide-outs. I also answer the question of how to lubricate RV slide-outs, as well as some other frequently asked questions at the end of the article. So you have every reason to read this article to the end.

Why should you lubricate RV slide outs?

Let’s first discuss why it’s important to lubricate your RV slide outs regularly. RV slide-outs are usually made of metal; when metal parts interact, friction occurs. If the friction becomes too great, the slide mechanism can fail, causing your RV’s slides to stop working properly or not work at all.

Adding a lubricant will reduce friction between metal parts and reduce wear. In addition, dust, rain, and other environmental contaminants can cause corrosion and rust on these tracks. Regular cleaning and lubrication of these slides will extend their life.

Types of mobile home slides

how to lubricate mobile home extensions

Before we begin answering the question of how to lubricate RV slide outs, it is important to know the different types of RV slide outs found in RVs.

Type of pullout Details
Racks and pinion slides In this type of rail system, worm gears and rails are located at the top and bottom of the rail. These allow the carriage to move outward and inward. They cannot support heavy weights and are very inexpensive.
Zipline systems This reliable slide system consists of ropes that run over pulleys to pull out the slide. Despite their lighter weight, they are capable of supporting heavy slides. They are also less susceptible to corrosion than rack and pinion slides but tend to be more expensive.
Schwintek Rails This type of rail system has worm gears and rails at the top and bottom of the rail. These allow the slide to move outward and inward. They cannot support heavy weights and are very inexpensive.
Hydraulic slides These slides use a motor and hydraulic fluid to pressurize the cylinders that extend and retract the slides. Compared to other slides, they can move very heavy weights. However, due to their complex nature, the components of the system may not function properly due to excessive heat.

Cleaning mobile home slides

how to lubricate mobile home pullouts

Before you lubricate your sliding pullouts, you should clean them. Cleaning is important because these slides are exposed to dust and other environmental contaminants.

You should remove any dirt that has accumulated on the slides before lubricating them, as this dirt can also get stuck in the mechanism. This will cause the slides to get stuck or move slowly or jerkily.

Lubricating camper extension slides

Now that you know the basics of the different types of sliding slides, let’s answer the question of how to lubricate RV slides.

  1. Determine the type of slide-out system, because if you know the type of system, you can identify the moving parts. It is these moving parts that need to be lubricated.
  2. Thoroughly inspect the system for damage. If parts are badly rusted or worn, they may not work smoothly no matter how much you lubricate them. Leaks in the hydraulic system or loose cables or pulleys can also affect the operation of the slide-out. In such cases, you should replace the slide-out system, as lubrication will do no good.
  3. Clean the sliding extensions of the motorhome. Use a damp rag to clean dirt and debris from the slide-out slides. This will ensure the smooth functioning of the pull-out system.
  4. Applying the lubricant. When pushing the system out completely, pay attention to the moving parts of the pullout. You should lubricate these parts. Apply a thin and even coat of the lubricant to the moving parts. To avoid over-spraying, spray the lubricant on a rag and apply it to the moving parts of the slide-out. Avoid applying too much lubricant, otherwise, it will fall off the slides and be lost.
  5. After applying the lubricant, move the drawer in and out several times so that the lubricant is evenly distributed on the surface and the drawer can function unhindered.
  6. In addition to lubricating the moving surfaces, you should also pay attention to the seals around your slides. These are important for weather protection and should be sprayed with a rubber seal conditioner.

What lubricant should you use?

Now that you know how to lubricate RV slide-outs, you’re probably wondering what lubricant you should use. While there are several options on the market, I would recommend the following:

  • These products have been purchased by over a thousand buyers, and I have personally reviewed them as well.
  • They have a rating of 4.6 or more on Amazon.
  • They are affordable and durable.
  • They are made specifically for RV pullouts and are not universal.
  • They are easy to apply by spraying.

3-in-1 silicone slide-out lubricant

The 3-in-1 Slide-Out Silicone Lube is one of the most popular lubricants for RV slide-outs. It is available for only $9.26 and has high customer acceptance. It not only lubricates your RV slide-outs, but also protects you from water and rust. You can use it on metal, rubber, plastic, or vinyl materials. The downside is that the container tends to be a little smaller at 11 Oz, which you can finish pretty quickly.

3 In 1 Rv Silicone Slide Out Lube Spray 11 Oz

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Camco lubricant for the extract

The Camco Slide-Out Lube comes in a 15-z container, which is more than the other two options. It also provides great lubrication with many satisfied customers as well. If you apply it to your slide-out, it will resist dirt, grime, rust, and corrosion. One pack costs $20.20.

Thetford Premium RV Slide-Out Lubricant

The size of the Thetford Premium RV Slide-Out Lubricant container is 13 Oz, slightly smaller than the Camco Slide-Out at about the same price of $20.70. This product protects your slide-outs from moisture, dirt, and rust. Consumers have appreciated its effectiveness and ease of use.

Thetford Premium RV Slide Out Lubricant

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3-in-1 Rubber Seal Conditioner

If you’re looking for a quality rubber seal conditioner, you won’t be disappointed with this product. The 3-in-1 Rubber Seal Conditioner comes in an 11 oz container for $9.97 on Amazon. It is also easy to apply by spraying and has over five thousand purchases with a high customer satisfaction rating.

3-IN-ONE RVcare Rubber Seal Conditioner.

We receive a commission when you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.


If you have purchased an RV and want to know how to lubricate slide-out mechanisms, you should first check what type of slide-out mechanism your RV has. After identifying the mechanism, inspect the components for damaged or worn parts.

After you are satisfied that the system is intact, you should use a damp rag to remove dirt and debris from the slide-out. Once your slide is clean, apply a thin coat of lubricant to the moving parts and then move the slide several times to distribute the lubricant evenly. You should also apply rubber conditioner to the seals surrounding the slide.

Frequently asked questions

How often should you lubricate mobile home extensions?

In general, you should lubricate your RV slide outs twice a year. However, depending on the environmental conditions, this may be more often or less often. If you live in a humid environment or dusty environment, your slide-outs are more likely to corrode or have dirt trapped in them. Therefore, you can increase the frequency of lubrication to four to five times per year.

The best time to lubricate your RV slide-outs is at the beginning of the season or before an RV trip.

When should you contact a professional?

Lubricating and cleaning complex systems like the zipline can be difficult. Therefore, to avoid unnecessary damage, you should hire a trained technician to maintain these types of slides. If your slides do not work despite cleaning and lubrication, you should hire a professional to inspect your slides.

If your pulls contain worn parts that need to be replaced and you are not confident in your DIY skills, you should also enlist the help of a qualified technician.

What common problems can occur due to a lack of drawer maintenance?

If your pullout is not regularly maintained, several problems can occur. First, due to lack of maintenance, there is a lot of friction in the operation of the drawer. As a result, several loud noises and squeaks occur during the operation of your drawer.

In addition, there is increased resistance when the drawer is opened, which causes the motor that operates the drawer to consume too much power. This increases the risk that the motor will be damaged and stop working abruptly, which can cause the mechanism to fail.

This abrupt shutdown of the pullout mechanism can cause the pullout to get stuck. This can be very annoying if you are on the road and cannot find a professional nearby.

What other components of your motorhome should be serviced regularly?

In addition to your RV’s slide-outs, several other components should also be checked and serviced regularly. These include:

  • Motorhome Batteries
  • Roof, doors, and windows
  • Tires
  • Gas detectors
  • Illuminations
  • Water pumps and reservoirs
  • Seals throughout the motorhome
  • Engine oil
  • Wheel bearing
  • Air conditioners and heaters

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