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Re-thinking needing a "slide"


coachmac9

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We have had the opprotunity to live in an older class-A without a slide for the past 9 months (stationary) and after our initial stage of "getting acclimated" to the smaller living space have just about decided that we can definitely live without one (a slide) when we go full time. Since I have been lurking and learning from all the wonderful posters that contribute to this site I have noticed several "issues" with slides...either stuck, leaking or worrying about when to bring them in or other problems that some have encountered and have just about come to the conclusion that I just don't need one...the other positive with "no slide" is the initial cost of a MH with "no slide" is less, so we can move up in quality and age...for example we are looking at an older Foretravel and will be able to afford one that has no slide as opposed to one that has a slide and is priced much more...I know this is a personal decision based on what someone might be comfortable with but I thought I would throw it out and see if you folks that are experienced might have thoughts about slides...pro/con?? Good or bad!!!

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What is important is that it works for you so it is the right thing to do. In our case we decided on the biggest 5th wheel we could afford and pull as we would be spending a lot of time in it. That turned out to be 40 foot 4 slides. That works for us and has nothing to do with what will work for you.

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Our 99 has never had a slide problem and we couldn't imagine life without the extra space. Just be sure the unit you buy is usable with the slides in or out and you don't have to climb over stuff to get to the kitchen or bed with the slide in on a one night stopover.

BnB

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Every piece of technology comes with bith "pros" and "cons". Lifetime benefits vs lifetime cost. Some folks think a particular piece of technology is worth the price, and some folks don't. It is nice to have various models and levels that allow each of us to buy in at our own personnel level of comfort ...physically, financially, and mentally.

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Last year on our way home from California(thank goodness it was on the way home...), we'd be driving down the highway, look back and see one of our slides creeping out. Our only solution at that point was to stop every 50 miles or so and run it back in. At that point, I would have given my left kidney to not have slides. Last week, getting ready to take off for four months, we put the slides out to pack. The other one wouldn't go out....luckily it was just sticky gaskets and they finally came apart.

 

I love the space the three slides give us, but at times I think I'd be just as happy with less to worry about working.

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Our first motor home had no slides. We got along okay with it but after a little over a year decided we needed something bigger. We bought a new 35 footer with two slides.

Could we have continued on with the first one? Sure, but it would not have been nearly as comfortable and I suspect we would have stopped full timing sooner than the 11 years we full timed.

We never had a problem with our slides and at this point I would not have a motor home without slides.

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We have three slides and love them but they come with a price.

 

1. The body has less strength. This can have real meaning if one does boondocking on rough roads.

2. They can get stuck or come loose. We had this problem with our main slide a year ago when the mechanical fuze

on the gear mechanism failed. Had enough cargo straps to wrap around the 5th wheel body to hold the

slide in (in two places). I think the gearing would have been sufficient but over-engineering works.

 

Reed and Elaine

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We were fulltime in a motorhome that had no slides. For us it worked our well, but there were times it would have been nice to have had one. Like most mechanical things, some of them work well for a long time while others fail. To me a slide is much like many other upgrades in that if you have never had one you won't miss it but once you have it is easy to consider them a necessity.

 

I guess it must work for us as we have now downsized to a travel trailer and it don't have any slides either! But that is us, and that has very little to do with what someone else may need or want.

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Thanks for all the different perspectives guys!! I go back and forth, and will probably continue to do so till we find that RV that is just right for us...at least we know now that we CAN live with no slides if everything else fits us perfectly...again, thanks for the input.

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I love the space my two big slides gives me. I do worry about problems with them, but so far no problems in three years of full-timing.

 

One point about slides is that it is very hard to have a king bed or even a full queen and room to walk around them without slides. I do not need that, but I know it was a concern with some others I know.

 

One negative is that they do add weight to your rig, and reduce your carrying capacity. I travel alone and don't need a ton of stuff, so that is not a concern with me, but might be with a family of four and lots of hobbies and stuff needed.

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Had three motorhomes. First two without slides. The last one with two slides. It was a high end coach. But we had numerous problems with both front and rear slides. Issues were both mechanical and weather related. We also like less developed parks and slides became more an issue with site size etc.

In our opinion they come with way tooooo much stress. Yeah we may have been unlucky. But in the end those darned slides were enough to put us off motorhoming after 18 years.

 

But me thinks many folks love them more than those who hate them.

 

regards

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I don't need slides but Dave did. Be sure you ask the most important person. :)

 

Linda Sand

 

 

Linda, that is by far the best advice in this thread!!!! My wonderful bride of 35 years opinion is the ONLY one that makes any difference!!!!!

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Our previous 33' coach had no slides, and we were really quite happy with it. I had been anti-slide for years for all the same reasons you cited. Then we tripped over a deal on a newer 34' coach with a floor plan we loved, BUT it did have a single super slide. My wife and I really liked the rig, and I was satisfied that it had been well cared for and was fully accessible with the slide in, so we went for it. Now that we've spent about 9 months living in it, I can't imagine going back to no slides. The extra floor space makes a huge difference in the "livability"! The coach was always dealer maintained, and I didn't find any mention in the extensive records that the slide had ever required service beyond normal preventative maintenance items like lubing the rails, etc. Since buying the coach, I did replace the slide switch, since it was getting hard to operate. That took all of 5 minutes and cost about $12.

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We have seen folks full-time in tents, pop-ups, vans, as well as trailers and motorhomes of all shapes and sizes, so clearly you can do without slides if that is your preference. We have owned a TT with no slide, a fifth-wheel with one slide, and now a fifth-wheel with three slides and we definitely enjoy the additional room with the slides. In the 15 years of owning fifth-wheels with slides, we've never had a single issue with a slide. So we wouldn't be without them.

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On our sixth RV...we custom ordered this one with no slides exactly for the reasons yiu cited..had leaks, motor failing, ampnd out of alignment...while I do miss the space, I like the peace of mind...also ordered a one piece aluminum roof vs eubber roof for same reason

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I would start searching slide failures and see if there are any coach manufacturer s that have more issues than others. Our 5th was a Holiday Rambler our current coach is a Monaco. Both well built but always maintained well. Also ours have both been hydraulic. Our coach slide is so smart that it won't even open if the bay doors on that side are open to avoid damage

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I can understand getting a less expensive MH for budget reasons, going longer rather than wider for more sq footage. However if it is not your last MH remember that an RV with no slides is generally less desirable so has a much lower trade in value if you decide to upgrade.

 

To me the argument of not having slides because of stress worrying if they might break is like worrying that your engine might not restart when you turn off the key, so you just decide to keep the motor running. Looked at another way it is akin to getting a double mastectomy so you never have to worry about getting breast cancer (even when there is no family history of same) or getting your teeth pulled to avoid getting cavities. Sometimes the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

 

If your slide would ever fail (an unlikely event) you could just leave the slide in and use it like a no-slide MH until you decide to fix it - if you ever do. But if slides represent no real value to you then by all means forgo the extra space, saving the funds for what you really want - like maybe a new television. You could even save money by buying a smaller tv, as you will be sitting so much closer to it without slides that it will look like a big screen. ;) And as you pass each other in your narrow, slideless RV you will be brushing up against each other more, enjoying more intimate contact which may stimulate other activities, :wub: so that you may not have much time or interest in watching tv, saving even more money (which could be put toward better furniture, like a sturdier bed). :P Sorry, I'm bad.

 

Chip

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Choosing any RV based upon resale or trade-in value seems to me to be a foolish thing to do. All RVs decline in value and the longer that you keep one the more it does so. If resale is important to you it might be wise to rethink even buying one.

 

No matter what other folks tell you, choose the RV that you want and feel comfortable in/with. Do not allow those who scoff at your personal feelings to impact your choices at all since it will be you who lives in the chosen RV and buying what someone else says you should want would be a major mistake. Some folks just can't be happy in an RV without slides, while others will never be comfortable in one with slides. The only one who is really wrong is the person who buys with slides and never trusts them or the one who buys without any slides and lives a life of envy of those who have them. Nobody knows what is best for you better than you do, even though there are plenty of well meaning folks who think otherwise. :P

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Judging any component or even brand by frequency of complaints in forums is a losing game. How many thousands of RVs are out there with multiple slides? How many people start a thread about how well they work?

 

Like anything else, slides work well the vast majority of the time, occasionally one will fail. What's the failure rate? Who knows? But I sure would not judge it by forum complaints or base my decision on them.

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Thanks Kirk (and everyone else) for the thoughts and different ways of looking at the subject...we went to PPL today (in another monsoon) and pretty much came to the decision that we are going to get one with at least one slide...the extra room is just incredible when you are used to one without...thanks again for the interesting conversation!!!!

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FWIW worth our slide failures were always when the slide was out. So getting them back in was the real issue.

In our case the major issues happened when we weren't far from the HWH factory. Lucky us.

Now if you want to hear stories about the reliability, or not, of slides go talk to the techs at HWH. Some stories would turn you off slides for life. They certainly told us about how ours was a great motorhome but way over engineered. And it was the complicated system that caused the issues.

 

We traded our 40ft coach for a 4 man tent. Or should I say 2 man 2 woman tent? We can go to a lot more of our favorite places. But now instead of faulty slides to worry about we worry if our tent is bear proof. :wacko:

 

It's a lottery. As Kirk points out. Each to their own. Buy a floor plan that works for you.

 

regards

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