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How Much Weight Can RV Slide Out Hold?

    Updated December 18, 2022

    RV slide-outs can significantly expand the amount of living space available in an RV, but before purchasing an RV with one, it’s crucial to understand how much weight they can support. An RV slide-hydraulic out’s system can be harmed by placing too much weight on it, costing you hundreds of dollars in repairs.

    Your camper will gain much-needed space with an RV slide out. One query, however, always arises when you observe someone using a support for their slide out at the campground. A typical RV slide out can support weights of between 600 and 1400 pounds. Where the slide is positioned typically also affects the weight capacity (rear or front). Additionally, high quality RVs will have far higher capacities, often exceeding 4,000 lbs.

    Applying the same capacity to every slide will not be correct because not all slide outs are created equal. The location of the slide has a significant impact as well. A half bed that enters a rear end slide could not be very durable. The capacity will be greater if the slide has a dinette or sofa at the front.

    For safety reasons, it is not a good idea to exceed the weight restriction of your RV slide-out. Furthermore, if you put too much weight on the slide, even the jacks holding it in place may be damaged. Storage inside the slide area should typically be kept to a minimum. Avoid overloading it, but 50 to 100 pounds shouldn’t be a problem. Additionally, the slide should never be moved while people are inside the RV. If you don’t want the motor to burn out at the last minute of the journey, keep the weight to a minimum.

    How Do RV Slide-Outs Work?

    To determine how much weight an RV slide-out can securely support, it’s critical to understand how it was designed. Since the late 1990s, slide-outs have been a standard feature of RV architecture. The majority of recreational vehicles include one to five separate slide-outs to improve their interior space.

    RV slide-outs allow you to expand the interior of the RV when it is stationary, giving you extra room to move around. The majority of RV slide-outs are intended to provide more living and/or movement space rather than storage.

    A number of mechanisms on RVs are used to extend and retract slide-outs. Depending on the age of the RV and the size of the slide, some RVs may run on an electrical system, while others may run on a manual cranking method.

    The weight of the slide-out is significant for the following reasons:

    Excess weight applied on the slide-out has the potential to damage its expansion and retraction systems. If the slide-out is an electrical slide-out, this could even cause the motor to burn out completely.

    An excessive amount of weight strains hydraulic systems. The hydraulic relief valve will open if the slide-out is loaded beyond what the hydraulic system can support. When hydraulic systems start to fail, it can be challenging to maintain the RV slide-outs closed properly because they are expensive and challenging to replace.

    The slide-out can become unbalanced if there is too much weight on it. The likelihood of the RV accidentally tipping over can increase if there is too much weight on one side of the vehicle.

    Weight Limits for RV Slide-Outs

    The good news is that you won’t likely overload your slide-outs before you reach your RV’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating while determining the weight limit for your RV slide-out (GWRV). This is the maximum weight that the entire RV is intended to securely support when fully loaded down, and it consists of items like the following:

    Number of passengers at most
    Transport weight
    fluid weight in a vehicle

    It doesn’t matter where in the RV the vehicle is laden down; the major issue with exceeding your gross vehicle weight rating is that it is dangerous. Although the majority of RVs are not compelled to stop at highway weigh stations, a state trooper or police officer may point you in that direction if they suspect that your vehicle may be overweight during a normal traffic stop.

    Many RVs do not include a weight limit for the slide-out component of the RV in the owner’s manual. Instead, it is advised that owners utilize the GVWR to calculate how much weight their RV is capable of towing without endangering the safety of its occupants or the RV itself.

    Should You Put Stabilizers Under an RV Slide-Out?

    While some RV lots may advise slide-out jacks or stabilizers to support the slide-out while it is in use, seasoned RV owners disagree with these supports. This is because the slide-out jacks may become tense between the slide-out and the RV base due to settling or severe winds. Over time, this could cause damage to the RV slide.

    Another major issue with using stabilizers under an RV slide-out is that if you forget to take them out before retracting the slide-out, your RV could sustain serious damage. However, there are a number of situations where employing an RV stabilizer can be preferable, such as the following:

    When the RV is set up for a prolonged period of time: Installing RV stabilizers can prevent the slide-outs from sagging because of weight and gravity when the RV settles if you are setting up camp in one location for several days or weeks.

    When the slide-out supports a lot of furniture: If your RV slide-out serves as extra seating and supports a large couch or other piece of furniture, stabilizers can help relieve some of the extra stress on the slide-joints out’s produced by uneven weight on the slide.

    Whenever the cabin is actively moving: There can be a lot of swaying and movement when transporting a lot of pets or active children in the back of an RV. By installing stabilizers, you can prevent the RV from giving you the impression that you are moving around in a swinging hammock and instead feel more at home.

    In the end, how much weight your slide-outs typically support and how frequently you leave your RV set up in one area will determine if you require stabilizers for your RV. Since stabilizers must be taken out every time the RV is packed, they might not be very useful for an RV that doesn’t frequently set up in one location.