Dealer says water in RV from retracting slideout is normal


gary-736Dear Gary,
I’m a single woman and have a Fleetwood Bounder. When it rains and I bring the slideout in and I un-level the motorhome, water from on the top of the slideout comes pouring into the rig. My RV dealer says this is normal. It’s quite a bit of water and others I know do not have this issue. Shouldn’t there be a seal to stop the water from coming in? —Linda F.

Dear Linda,
Indeed this is not a “normal” situation. It appears that dealer is either misinformed or disingenuous.

There should be a wiper seal around the slide room opening that should remove most of the water as the room is retracted. In some cases, it may not remove absolutely all the moisture, but it certainly should wipe most of it away as the room retracts.

Apparently, the room needs adjusting or the seals need to be replaced. Have a certified RV service technician inspect the centering and all the adjustment points on the slideout. In a worst-case scenario, an aftermarket topper awning can be installed that will protect the room’s top surface when extended. It will extend and retract with the room. It’s an advantageous add-on device since it will also keep the room cooler in the summer. But I’m not buying the “normal” claim of that dealer.

Read more from Gary Bunzer at the See Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.



8 Thoughts to “Dealer says water in RV from retracting slideout is normal”

  1. kc

    This was our problem exactly! We took it back and took it back and took it back and took it back, and finally the dealer acknowledged that gallons of water was not really right. They rebuilt the slide roof and found that there was a brace missing that created a low spot that collected water. They put it all back together with a new roof and called it good. First time out, it was good. Second time out, husband got his second of the day shower. 2 unhappy campers for sure. Called the factory, which was rev group, same people that made this lady’s Fleetwood. They told me that gallons and gallons of water was not normal and requested that I bring the coach back to Indiana to let Factory Service techs work on it. That’s what we decided to do. Brought it back up there just after the hurricane and let them have a go at it. Factory technicians found that Alliance Coach, the selling dealer and the techs that had been working on it, had incorrectly rebuilt the slide out roof. Not only was the plywood 4 inches short, leaving a gap, where water could collect, but also they left off one set of rollers on the bottom, causing the slide to go in cattywampus and create issues with the tile floor and causing a rub on the pantry wall next to the slide.
    Another issue is that the rooftop gutter was not fully connected to the wall of the coach, causing water that hit the roof to channel down between the gutter and the coach and on to the slide out roof top under the awning.
    Eventually, they got it all repaired to the best of their ability, and it still collects water periodically, but not gallons. They insist this is proper. In my humble opinion, it is poorly designed. However, the only recourse is mediation at this point, and that is too expensive for us to bear. One of the factors about mediation is that each side Bears its own cost, so even if we were to win the decision, we would be in the hole financially.

    Best thing this lady can do is fight it with the factory tooth and nail until she can get it down to where a rolled-up towel on each end of the retracted slide catches the water. We put up a sticky note over top of the slide out retract extend switch with a reminder to check for towels prior to movement. Seems to be working for us. Good luck!

  2. Billy Bob Thorton

    Sure it’s normal. The dealer made the sale, the check cleared, and the best part is; looking that lady straight in the face and saying, it’s normal.

    I see an uphill battle on this mess. The dealer is in the category of “No Good”. Now, what do you do about it. Aside from making sure its not an obvious seal, pitch, debris, etc. issue, hold your ground.

    Document all contacts contemporaneously, then if no satisfaction, get an estimate to fix, from a reputable dealer and sue.

  3. Tom

    Had that problem on our coach recently also. Full wall slide only. Looking at the toppers they do have a slight gap resulting in a place where water can get on top besides the ends. Full wall is so long it takes 2 slide toppers and they do not overlap. We had heard of this problem from folks with the same make coach prior to buying. As another said jack front or back up to drain top of slide. It may not be a fixable problem due to design.

  4. rvgrandma

    I would say it is more common than Gary thinks. More than once have I forgotten to check the top of the slide when it is brought in and the first time my husband braked he got a ‘bath’. We have a low spot on the slide where it will puddle up even with a topper on it. Toppers help a lot but if you have wind and rain it will get under it. My normal is to put towels up there to soak it up – just have to remember to remove before putting the slide out. We also had this problem with TT and 5th, but not as often. It is something you learn to live with and deal with.

  5. Michael McCracken

    My motorhome has toppers that extend and retract with the sliders. These toppers stop water and debris from collecting on the slide top. Only once over the five years that I have owned my motorhome have I had water get inside. This was due to a hard blowing rain storm.. Certainly worth the money.

  6. Bert

    When we have been camping in heavy rain and before bringing in the slide out, I use my levelers to jack up the front or rear of the coach and have the possible collected water on top of the slide run off before bringing it in.

  7. Clayobx

    Most times a blowing rain will force water under the slide topper especially on your full wall slide or large slide. I’ve learned to retract the slide slowly, coming to a complete stop, important for timing synch of motors, this let’s water run off the topper. Some will still collect on top of the slide. Roll a bath towel up and place on the slide top. This will catch the excess water the wipers miss. The membrane on your top flexible and water will pool. Don’t forget the towel when placing the slide out again. Fleetwood slides are wider than most and this plus wiper alignment, never going to be correct, will solve the issue. Sorry but it’s the nature of the species!

  8. Don

    Had that problem and found seeds from maple trees were getting under the rubber seal. Installing toppers solved the problem.

Comments are closed.