Apache RV Customs
5075 Cameron St. Suite A
Las Vegas, NV 89118
Tel: 702-534-0400
Fax: 702-534-0404

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RV Slide Out Motors & Mechanisms

There are two major types of RV slide out mechanisms:

  • Electric (Gear Driven) RV slide outs
  • Hydraulic RV slide outs

Both RV slide out mechanisms use 12V motors to provide power to operate the mechanism and generally include a means to extract the room by hand in the event of battery failure.

Electric Slides

  • 12V Electric motors drive gearboxes on each side of the slide out room
  • Simpler mechanism costs less but requires more periodic RV maintenance than hydraulic slide outs


Limitations & Potential problems:

  • RV slide out motor or gearbox can fail
  • Drive pen in main mechanism is susceptible to shearing under pressure
  • Motor can cease if overloaded due to excessive drag, friction of slide or heavily weighted slide rooms

Hydraulic Slides

  • 12V Electric motor powers a hydraulic pump whose force is then transmitted to the slide room using hydraulic hoses, a series of control valves, and hydraulic rams or cylinders to move the room
  • Mechanically more complex and expensive than electric slide outs


Limitations & Potential problems:

  • Possible failure of pump, valve or hydraulic line
  • Hydraulic lines are particularly susceptible to wear which can lead to leaks or breaks in the lines themselves

The 12V electric motor used to power the RV slide out mechanism draws considerable current. Whenever possible, plug your RV into shore power and/or run your engine before operating your slide to help reduce the strain on the 12V electrical system.

The motor is usually controlled by a circuit board and relay. There will be a fuse located on the circuit board or in the power line that supplies the motor.

If you're experiencing problems with your RV slide out please take it to an RV repair center to have a certified RV service technician look at it.