How to Prevent an RV Slide-out Flood

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You don’t have to be an RVer for very long to come to the same conclusion we did: breaking camp in the rain kinda sucks, especially if you have slide-outs. Pouring rain is just about the last thing you want to see out your windshield on the morning you’re planning to leave a campground. If you know beforehand that it’s going to be raining, you might be able to close your slides the night before (assuming you still have space to function inside). Sometimes you can arrange to stay an extra day in the hopes of departing in drier weather. Other times your schedule dictates that you just have to deal with it and break camp in the wet.

Even if you’re lucky enough to wake up to sunshine, an overnight wind-driven rain can soak every inch of your RV, including the tops of the slide-outs, underneath the slide toppers. Even though slide-out seals are designed to squeegee water away, some of it can easily get in anyway and end up on your carpet or floor.

The trick we use is to jack up the nose or tail of the RV. If you have power jacks, you can raise one end to tilt the water off the slides. If it rained sideways overnight, it’s a lot better to dump any water that got underneath the slide toppers outside on the ground, rather than all over your RVs bedroom or living room floor. It can sometimes be quite a lot of water too.

When we first started RVing over 10 years ago, we quickly learned to have towels ready when retracting the slides right after heavy a rainstorm. Then we realized that it we dump the water off by jacking up the nose or tail before breakfast, the tops of the slides are usually dry by the time we’re ready to retract the slides.

If you’d like to take a further step to remove water from the sides of the slide-outs before retracting them, you can use a California Water Blade. Of course we primarily use ours to remove water from the RV to prevent water spotting after washing it. They’re made of pure silicone and specifically designed to not scratch delicate paint jobs. They’re also available with an adjustable slide-on handle which is designed to attached to any standard threaded pole, like the one you likely use on your wash brush.

The slide-out seals will certainly remove the majority of the water without squeegeeing in advance, but if you have the time, and want to keep as much water as possible out of your RV, squeegeeing definitely helps.

The next time you break camp during or after a heavy wind-driven rainstorm, you can prevent excess water from getting inside, during that time when part of your RV’s exterior transitions to become part of your RV’s interior.


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