Maintaining RV Slide-Out Seals

TheRVgeeks Annual Maintenance, Maintenance, Miscellaneous 11 Comments

RV slide-out rooms have both inner and outer seals (I also refer to them as gaskets, but seals is probably the more accurate word). They keep the slides sealed against the elements whether they are extended or retracted. Keeping them working smoothly is a quick and easy once-a-year maintenance item… probably the simplest task on our annual spring cleaning list!

Although there are commercial products available for lubricating slideout seals, when we picked up our new motorhome from Newmar, they recommended that we simply rub them with baby powder / talcum powder once a year, and nothing else would be required. This has worked well for us over the 7 years we’ve owned our RV, and avoids the cost of commercial products. Another benefit of baby powder is that it doesn’t attract dust and dirt the way many liquid products can.

Our slide-out room seals look pretty much brand new, even after nearly 7 years of full-timing. If your manufacturer recommends some other method, by all means follow their recommendation, but we’re pleased with this method and highly recommend giving it a try.

NOTE: As mentioned in a comment by one of our viewers, there is a possible link between talc and ovarian cancer. Please research this, and proceed wisely.

NOTE: Our “baby powder” has an ingredient list of just “talc & fragrance”, so be sure to check the ingredients on the powder you’re using. Some baby powders are corn starch, and not talcum powder… and that may not work as well (or could even be a problem). So be sure to use talc-based powder, not corn starch.

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We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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Comments 11

  1. This is a brilliant idea. We used baby powder on our slides and they now work fabulously!
    May I ask a related question? Somewhere I read that the hydraulic oil in our Lippert system should be changed every 36 months. If that’s accurate, we need to do so. I’m trying to find videos or information on the process and can’t locate information for this. I find good info on monitoring the condition of the slides and jacks along with watching the level of the hydraulic oil. What do you recommend for proper maintenance on our Lippert system?

    1. Post

      Hi Jan! Glad the baby powder “trick” worked for you! We’ve found that it has kept our Newmar’s slide seals working great for the past 14 years of full-time use! Hard to complain about that, right?!?! LOL!

      As for the maintenance on the Lippert system, we can’t say specifically since we’ve never had that system (our slides are Newmar-designed and electrically operated… and our jack system is by HWH with different maintenance requirements). First, we’d suggest contacting Lippert directly. They should be able to tell you whether the 36 month interval is accurate or not. And, once you’ve got them on the line, they may be able to provide some instruction on how to replace the fluid.

      Barring any help from Lippert, we did find this thread in the Luxury Suites (5th Wheel) Owner’s forum that listed a couple of techniques people had used: Maybe one of them would work for you. If you can find your hydraulic fluid reservoir, that may help you determine what process would work best. If it’s easily accessible, and has a large enough opening, you could use a turkey baster to suck the fluid out. Or, if you have one, a fluid pump that connects to a power/cordless drill could do the job. You’ll want to do this when the jacks are retracted (if your jacks are hydraulic and use the same reservoir). As for the slides, you may need to check the fluid level in the tank with the jacks extended and then when they’re retracted (replace the tank cap before retracting/extending the slides so you don’t have a gusher!) in order to determine which position returns the most fluid to the reservoir (so you can remove the largest quantity and replace with new).

      Sorry we can’t be more specific… but hope we’ve given you some ideas!

  2. Always enjoy our videos and advice. Thank you so much for all the time and effort that goes into them. I have one small suggestion: might it be possible to link to, or somehow include a notification when there is an update or modification to a video?

    1. Post

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Elizabeth. Means a lot. ? Once a video is up on YouTube, there’s no way to update or modify it, so no way to send out updates.

  3. Have you ever had to replace the slide-out seals? Just looked at my today and they are cracking on the hot sunny side, Looks like we have two types of seals, one is glued on and the others are pushed on. Any hints on how to replace would be appreciated.

    1. Post

      Hi Stephen. We have seen many slide seals with cracking, and even more commonly “pulling” damage, from the seals sticking to the wall of the slide as it opens, and having little bits of rubber pulled off over time. We’ve been both careful and lucky, always powdering the seals once a year to prevent sticking, and never having them crack from the sun (that’s the lucky part I guess, since I doubt baby powder does anything to prevent that).

      So the short answer is no, we’ve never had to replace any of our slide seals, so we have no experience in the technique to advise you. We’d suggest that the best place to post your question is on the iRV2 forums. If you’re not familiar with that, there are thousands of fellow RVers there with experience in any RV topic you can imagine, eager to answer questions that they know about from personal experience. It’s free to join and post at

      Sorry we couldn’t be of more help on this one, but hope this gets you headed in the right direction. Best of luck and please let us know how you make out.

  4. Unable to load videos on my iPad. Do your videos work on an iPad? We just picked up our new 2016 NEWMAR Dutch Star 3736.

    John Gostomski

    1. Post

      Congratulations on your brand new Dutch Star, John! All of our videos work on our iPad, and iPhone too. Not sure what the problem might be. Maybe try connecting to fast WiFi network and see if that works? We’ve not heard anyone have a problem before and our stats show lots of mobile views.

      1. I am always looking for the little “working/loading” icon – this tablet’s load time and my patience are not synchronized. LOL

  5. What a great rv tip…I could have used this idea/tip on my last motor home. But rest assured, I will use on my next one.

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