RV Slide-Out Water Feature, Cause, and Fix

Learn what caused and how we fixed the RV waterfall feature. Water was pouring over the slide-out top, onto the table, then the floor.



3 min read

I’ve always disliked the rain, from driving in it to just being in it. But now that we’re living full time in our 5th wheel “Bailey” I’ve grown to HATE THE RAIN.

The sprinkling of rain on the roof can be annoying. While laying in bed, the rain hitting the slide-out sounds like being in a tent. The sound gets compounded further when you park under a tree. That non-rhythmic water drop sound: SPLAT..SPLAT…....SPLAT can quickly become annoying. None of these sounds did we have to endure while living in our traditional house. Of course, all the sounds become amplified at night creating countless hours of sleep loss.

Always in the back of my mind is the fact that water is bad when found inside your home, car, RV, etc. Not only can mold grow quickly, but the damage to wood is horrific for RVs.

Rain Storms

When the rain woke me at night I would jump out of bed for a 'water check.' I would frantically check all the windows and around the slide-outs for water. I am sure Don thought I had lost my mind! Regardless, I was determined to find any leaks. During the worst of thunderstorms, there was no sign of water inside.

I became accustomed to the new sounds and stopped looking for water. There were a few times I woke to unusual noises, but nothing was of concern. Then one night, I heard a different rain droplet sound. The splat sound was louder and had a different pitch. The pitch was different than water hitting the hard surface below the rain gutter. I stayed in bed listening, debating if I should go check it out. For peace of mind, I decided to take a look, trying not to disturb Don.

RV Slide-Out Water Feature

While I tiptoed in the darkness, listening intently for where the sound was coming from. Down the steps I went, placing my bare foot onto the cold WET floor below. I grabbed a flashlight and turned it on. There it was, a waterfall coming from the dining room slide-out onto my laptop on the table, then running onto the floor. The words I said while flipping on the lights woke Don, who came out to see what was happening.

For a quick fix, we brought the problem RV slide-out part way in. Doing so, the slide-out was now at a slight angle downwards. Our action would prevent the rain from pooling up on top and running inside. The temporary fix was the best we could do at 4 am -- the time of day everything seems to go wrong.

Why Do We Have A Water Feature

The next day after a little rest, we finished the cleanup. Now, to figure out why we have a water feature. After several months of heavy rain, why did it happen now? The 5th wheel was level, so that couldn’t be it. A few days prior we inspected all the seals and conditioned them.

Don went up on the roof to look for the cause. The seal on the top of the slide-out was not laying flat to prevent water from coming in. We moved the slide in and out to watch the problematic rubber piece. All was okay each time we brought the slide-out in and out fully; the seal would correctly lay flat. So what caused our seal to suddenly not function as it should?

The RV Slide-Out Cause

I started thinking about the rubber seal and soon realized I was the cause. The other day I hit the button on the dining room slide-out rather than the awning. By doing so, the slide-out came in just an inch, or so. I realized my error and put the slide-out back. That small movement was just enough for the seal to flip back on itself, hindering a watertight seal.

Who would have thought that accidentally pushing the RV’s slide-out button would give us a water feature? That mistake waterlogged our two laptops and other equipment on the table. Ironically, I kept the electronics on the table to protect them from the water.

Fixing The RV Slide-Out

As the computers lay out to dry, I was wondering how to prevent this easy mishap from ever happening again. Maybe put a note on the control panel? Naw, that would be too easy! We decided that our wish list item has taken priority, so we ordered over $3k in RV slide-out covers!

To this day, I still get up when a storm wakes me in the middle of the night. I also check out sounds, that seem a little unfamiliar. I rather not have to buy anything else merely because of a button pushed in error.

Thanks for reading the post. See you on our next Adventure!

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