Dear RV Doctor:
Our 2007 Winnebago has a living room/dinette booth slide that makes a loud groaning or growling noise when sliding. It has a little bit of a jiggle back and forth along the front edge as it comes in. It did not do that for a while when it was new and we did buy it new. We have tried some cans of stuff recommended by a local RV shop here but it didn’t help. Last week we stopped by our dealer and we were told, “Well, some of them do that. It could cost a lot to have it fixed.” And they were wanting to sell us a newer model (diesel). We said no. This noise would wake up any close-by neighbors in an RV park if we were doing an in or out of the slide and we want it nice and quiet again. The bedroom slide does NOT do this. It is nice and quiet. Yes, it is a smaller slide. Any suggestions on what to do? How can we fix or troubleshoot the problem? It works fine, just is noisy. —Doug & Rose, Cheyenne, WY
Dear Doug and Rose:
It’s apparent your dealer isn’t too interested in helping, but I do believe your situation warrants a detailed inspection by a qualified service technician — one who is RVIA/RVDA certified. And obviously one who is interested in truly helping you!
It’s quite possible you have a couple of issues. One, a misaligned slide room. There are multiple adjustments the pro techs can do to eliminate alignment problems (see photo), but unfortunately, most are not for the typical RV handyperson. Some even require specialty equipment. One thing you can check: the lubrication of the slideout mechanism. Grinding or groaning noises can be attributable to either the wrong grease being used or simply not enough lubrication or possible binding. Improper lube can attract dirt and road grime resulting in noisy operation and worn components. A lot depends also on the type of slideout mechanism that powers that room. If you can see and access the gears, clean them thoroughly and then apply a dry lubrication. I’ve had great success with Protect All Slideout Lube. A dry lube will not attract and trap damaging contaminants.
That brings up the third possibility, simply a worn mechanism. Again, a pro technician should be able to quickly diagnose the problem with a first-hand inspection and a few tests. Although only a few years old, a heavier-than-normal room may prematurely wear out the gears, especially if the incorrect lubrication is used.
Read more from Gary Bunzer at the RVdoctor.com.