By Steve Savage, Mobility RV Service
If you find the slide-outs in your RV start and stop on their own when you hold the switch, here’s the reason why: In many RVs he slide-outs have an auto-resetting fuse. It is called auto-resetting because it opens when the electrical current draw gets too high. Then, in a few seconds, it cools off and closes the circuit, and the slide starts moving again.
Sometimes this will happen as the RV ages and slides move less smoothly than when new. In other RVs, the slides do this almost from day one. In the latter case, the manufacturer has used too light a fuse or relay board for the application.
If you find your slide operating erratically as described above, you cannot simply go in and install a higher amperage fuse as doing so may result in burning wires or a fire. You first have to determine the amp draw of the motor and the size of the fuse, along with the capacity of the wires between the fuse and the motor. If the wires are heavy enough to carry more current and the module board where the fuse is installed can handle a higher capacity fuse, you are normally safe in jumping up a fuse size. This should be never more than the system can safely handle. If you don’t know how to determine wire gauge and fuse size, you should have a professional make the change or consult the manufacturer.
Or you can simply be patient and change nothing at all. Usually once the slide is partially retracted the amp draw on the fuse is reduced and it continues the remaining way in without pausing.
Remember, even in a pinch it is never okay to simply disconnect the slide motor and jump it with a battery. If you do decide to jump anything in your RV, always insert a fuse in series with the power lead to whatever you are jumping! Without a fuse, if the current draw is higher than you expect, it is easy to melt the wires into a mess of plastic, making for much more work than the original problem.