Let’s talk about something that is often overlooked by both new and seasoned owners: the RV slide-out mechanism. The expanding side of a camper with a slide-out allows users to have more room, hence be more comfortable in their vacation.
However, when the slide-out gets stuck right in the middle of your vacation, it can get pretty devastating. I find that it still baffles rig owners how to keep the slide-out mechanism specifically in top shape. This is where you try to find the best lubricant for slide-out for your rig!
When it comes to the lubrication of said slide-outs, there are oftentimes two questions. First is “How often should you try and lubricate your slide-out?”
This depends on the requirements of your window, as specified by the manual it came with before you installed it. If it is a stock part, then for sure it would be discussed in the RV manual. The second question often raised is “Will your activities affect your lubrication schedule?”
The answer here is yes. Since the slide-out system is directly affected by the conditions of the terrain and the environment that the RV travels to. The best RV slide-out lubricant for your rig will contribute to the ease of usage you will have with your pop-up as you travel!
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Lubricant for Slide-Out Reviews 2020
- 1. 3-IN-ONE RVcare Slide-Out Lube
- 2. Camco Slide Out Lube
- 3. Thetford RV Slide Out Lubricant
- 4. WD-40 Specialist Dirt & Dust Resistant Dry Lube
- 5. CRC Power Lube Industrial Lubricant
- 6. Kwikee Single KwikLube 905068000
- 7. Protect All 40003 Slide-Out Dry Lube Protectant
- 8. 3-IN-ONE RVcare Slide-Out Silicone Lube
- 9. 3X: Chemistry EZ Slide Slide-out Lubricant 99033
- 10. Star brite Premium RV Slide-Out Lubricating Fluid
- What to Look for When Buying a Lubricant for Slide-Out
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
10 Best Lubricant for Slide-Out Reviews 2020
1. 3-IN-ONE RVcare Slide-Out Lube
If your RV has a slide-out, you need to keep it in top shape in order to ensure it performs as intended all the time. It is highly necessary to keep your slide-out well lubricated to prevent facing serious concerns in the future. If you are looking for a lubricant that will ensure the smooth operation of your slide-out, this one is definitely worth purchasing.
I like how flexible this 3 in one RV slide out lube is. I can use it on different surfaces such as metal, plastic, and vinyl. With this, I don’t have to worry about using different lubricants on these materials just to ensure that my slide-out works properly. I also like the fact that it works well with sliding windows and door hinges.
Another good feature of this RV slideout lube product is it dries fast. I didn’t need to deal with residue on the underside of the slide-out because it disappears after a few hours.
My only disappointment with this 3 in 1 RV slide out silicone lube is that its a bit messy. After spraying it, the fluid goes somewhere I did not intend to go. I just hope that it is thick enough to stay on the spot where I sprayed it for a long time.
2. Camco Slide Out Lube
Protecting the slide-out machinery of our RV is one of your priorities. This includes stopping dirt and grime from building up on the important gears and electrical connections of your slide-out. If you are searching for a lubricant that will take good care of your RV’s slide-out mechanism, this one from Camco will surely satisfy you.
What I like about Camco Slide Out Lube is its flexibility. It can be used not only on RVs but also on boats, cars, and other kinds of vehicles.
In terms of performance, I can say that this product is one of the best. Not only can it keep the gears functioning properly, but it can also repel dirt and grime from building up as well. This is highly important because dirt and grime can really affect the performance of the mechanism of the slide-out. In addition, this lubricant can stop oxidation from happening. This way, I am confident that the gears are always in top shape.
What I don’t appreciate about this product is it drips somewhere I do not want it to be. This can cause a real mess because I have to wipe it off afterward. Overall, it’s still a very good lubricant.
3. Thetford RV Slide Out Lubricant
Searching for the right RV lubricant is a difficult task. This proves even more difficult given the number of RV lube brands in the market these days. However, if you are looking for the one with great versatility and excellent performance, this one from Thetford is definitely worth including in your shopping list.
I really like this particular RV lubricant. It has a versatility that no other lubricant products possess. Not only was I able to use it on my slide-out, but I also like that I can use it in my car, and my house. With this, I don’t need to purchase separate lubricant to deal with common issues such as squeaking doors, stuck gears, and others.
Another feature that I like about this product is the fact that it can be sprayed upside down or any other awkward position. This is very important because it means the fluid can still come out no matter how I spray it.
My only problem with this product is its weak can. My can got busted easily when it accidentally fell on the ground. The contents spilled on the ground because the seams burst easily. I hope that the company pays attention to this in its next batch of shipments.
4. WD-40 Specialist Dirt & Dust Resistant Dry Lube
Everyone is familiar with WD-40, right? If not, then you certainly need to try this one. This particular lubricant is specially formulated to work on a wide variety of surfaces such as wood, paper, and plastic. If you have an RV slide-out that needs top-notch maintenance, this specific model will take care of your lubricating needs.
What I like about this specific WD-40 is its performance. Not only does it keep every part of my RV well-lubricated at all times, but it can also stop squeaking on doors and other important gears.
This product can also reduce the wear-out of any machinery. This is very ideal to spray on the slide-out’s machinery to keep it working properly. In addition, it can be used not only on metallic surfaces but also on paper, wood, and plastic. I am sure that no other brand of lubricant has this kind of feature.
My only complaint about this particular WD-40 is its runny consistency. It drips after being sprayed on the target location. While it is an effective lubricant, it also creates a minor mess that I cannot handle at all times.
5. CRC Power Lube Industrial Lubricant
Protecting your RV slide-out mechanism is definitely no simple feat. It requires the best camper slide out lubricant to make sure it performs well all the time. Presenting the CRC Power Lube with PTFE — the only lubricant that your RV will ever need.
In my opinion, the best thing about this particular lubricant is its performance. It offers great protection to the slide-outs mechanism. It can prevent important parts of the slideout and other parts of the RV such as the bearings, cables, joints, conveyors, and pistons in top shape.
Moreover, this lubricant offers great protection. I’m not worried that these parts won’t corrode even after being exposed to natural elements. I am confident that my RV will last a long time and will perform admirably because of this product.
Finally, with its small size, I can carry it anywhere I like. It can even fit inside my pocket.
What I don’t like about this RV lubricant is the number of times I have to apply it for it to work. So far, I had to spray 2 to 3 times in order to see a positive result. While this product is indeed effective, this could spell trouble to my finance because I need to purchase more of it to ensure my slide-out is performing well.
6. Kwikee Single KwikLube 905068000
It’s pretty typical for slide-outs to have problems in sliding out smoothly. It could be that there is some rotting debris stuck on the sliding tray (such as twigs, leaves, and mud), or there could be some rusting along the bearings and other moving parts. If you’re experiencing this issue with your slide out, try the Kwikee Kwiklube.
This heavy-duty grease is meant for RV, especially since campers are typically exposed to harsh conditions. This lube will work even when your camper is subjected to 400 degrees of heat. As a protective grease, this will prevent your slide-out from rusting as it repels water. I love that it lasts longer than typical oil, so I didn’t have to spray it daily or evenly weekly.
It’s thin and liquidy when you spray it, but turns into semi-solid grease once it is exposed to air after a few minutes. This could be the reason why it lasts longer than others. My only complaint with this product is that I had some difficulty with the spray itself on my second purchase. I guess the contents turned to grease inside the can since it was stored in an unheated garage, so I’m thinking of placing it inside my heated home to probably melt the grease to oil (although of course don’t expose it to direct heat).
I do like that it can be used on other parts of the RV, such as the retractable steps, door hinges, jacks and more.
7. Protect All 40003 Slide-Out Dry Lube Protectant
Protect All is actually a brand that I already trust when it comes to RV-related supplies. This dry lube for RV slide out lube works great in helping your retractible ease itself out nicely.
If you’re the type who likes to bring his camper near the ocean, you’d love Protect All’s dry lubricant. I love that this one really protects the slide-out tray and gears against corrosion due to saltwater. We all know that seawater causes rusting quicker than freshwater. If you don’t want to encounter any problems during your vacation, use this lube.
For me, the best part about this product is that it lasts for up to a year. You can also apply it up to thrice a year for better results. When sprayed, it leaves a thin film that is a bit waxy, yet dry. This protective film helps minimize dust adhesion.
What I didn’t like is that it can be messy to apply, even with nozzle focused on the spot you want to apply it on. It would be best not to apply this on a windy day. Also, keep in mind that this is not recommended for anything with plastic or rubber bearings. You shouldn’t use it on hydraulic cylinder cams, as well.
8. 3-IN-ONE RVcare Slide-Out Silicone Lube
It’s always best to use a minimal number of products on a specific device or item, won’t you agree? For instance, instead of buying one product for lubricating your slide-out, another product for preventing it from corroding, and another product that protects it (for a total of three products), you can just buy one product that does all three. That’s what RVCare was thinking when they created their 3 in 1 RV slide lube.
Aside from its three in one function, I love that this product is clear colored. Other silicone lubes are brown and come out giving my RV a dirty icky look, even on just the slide-out rails and a little around it. There was no ugly-looking residue, which is great.
With its straw nozzle, I was able to put enough of the product on the exact point I want to place it in; no mess at all. It also dries quickly. After application, it got rid of the squeaking immediately and my pop-ups running smoothly. RVers will be happy to know that this can be used on almost all material, such as metal, rubber, or vinyl.
Probably the only downside I can observe with this 3 in 1 slide out lube is the price. It’s a bit more expensive than the rest. But when it comes to the performance, this one’s solid.
9. 3X: Chemistry EZ Slide Slide-out Lubricant 99033
If you’re having issues with your slide-out not fully retracting in hot weather, or sometimes even just in ambient temperature, but works in cold weather, there’s usually no problem with the mechanism. Typically, the problem is a lack of lubrication. When this happens, the metal parts of the railing get dried up and stick to each other, preventing the pop-up from extending outwards completely. When this happens, you need a lubricant that can withstand high temperature — one such as 3X Chemistry’s EZ Slide Lube.
This product works great on one application. Just a little of the product and your slide-out will be working properly as intended. I suspect that one can of EZ Lube may be used for several years! It also acts as a protectant to prevent the metal parts from corroding.
What’s even better, you won’t find a trace of the product anywhere. It doesn’t make a mess like other lubes, which is an advantage for me. There’s not even a hint of smell.
The only downside is that it can be tricky to apply this product on hard to reach areas.
10. Star brite Premium RV Slide-Out Lubricating Fluid
If your slide-out RV is experiencing squeaks, corrosion, and other issues, perhaps you need to try using a lubricating fluid. If you are not familiar with Star Brite Slide-Out Lubricating Fluid, this is your chance to get to know this product better.
I love the fact that this lubricant is deep-penetrating. It can easily reach inside the stuck gears and reactivate them immediately. Also, I like that this lubricant prevents corrosion. This is good because I know that the gears and important parts of the slide-out will last a very long time.
In addition, this product is very easy to use. Even an 8-year-old will be able to use this without any problems. Finally, this lubricant can prevent any dirt and grime build-up. This is an important feature for me because it means that I don’t have to clean the gears manually anymore.
My only problem with this product is it evaporates quickly. I have to spray it almost every day just to maintain the working condition of the gears of my slide-out and other squeaking and grinding problems in my RV. I know that this is indeed an effective lubricant, but it’s certainly going to take a good portion of my budget.
What to Look for When Buying a Lubricant for Slide-Out
There are a couple of factors that affect your decision when choosing the best RV slide lube spray for your rig. Sometimes you won’t really know what to look for because you’re looking for a lubricant right at the exact moment you need it, which means your slide-out happened to get stuck.
Usually, the issue of window lubrication comes up to owners when they are planning a trip. When planning long drives across long and dusty country roads, or even when you are looking to have a woodland adventure off the beaten path, you would need to trust that your slide-outs are usable and are working.
Different elements like rain, dust, snow, hale, and all the dirt that your rig will face in your target terrain can accumulate and lead to a build-up that makes the open-close motion of your slide-out system to be quite difficult. In order to avoid this, you would need to find a slide-out lubricant that is compatible with your rig’s needs. However, there is always the question of quantity. Just how much would one need in order to properly lubricate a slide-out window?
Depending on the lubricant’s efficiency, as well as the level of the problem, the amount of the lubricant to be sprayed varies from every situation. However, what is to be noted is that if you are able to find a suitable product for you, you would need to stock lots of it. This is because oftentimes owners do not realize that the lubrication process occurs more frequently with every trip you plan. And even when you are not going on trips, lubrication should be a constant in your upkeep process. It is something that is maintained in order to delay the degradation of the window and protect it from further wear and tear.
When choosing the right quantity, keep in mind the actual amount you would need to use every lubrication process, as well as the frequency of the process and how much of it would be needed to maintain its condition.
Some lubes are so efficient and economical that one can or bottle would last you years! It really depends on what you need.
Lubrication power pertains to the efficiency the product carries. RV slide-out lubricants differ in terms of lubrication levels needed to solve certain problems. There are mild lubricants that work faster in mild and average lubrication problems, while there are also heavier ones that are needed to solve long-existing problems (although sometimes they take longer for effects to be visible).
Identify the situation you are in, in terms of your window lubrication. From here on, you can decide on what kind of lubrication power you need.
Additional Benefits and Protection
A great RV slide-out window lubricant not only eases in the sliding operation of your pop-up, it also is able to place additional protection to the mechanism. You can never be too careful, and when looking for the best RV slide-out lubricant for your rig, choose a product that is able to help in terms of degradation.
Rusting and corrosion are common problems when it comes to unlubricated slide-out components, and it sure affects your travel experience. Aside from these, there are also products that are able to provide protection from the blistering heat (and the destructive UV rays), as well as water-repellent qualities.
When choosing products in terms of their protection quality, you can browse through product descriptions. Do not let brand loyalty limit your chances at protecting your rig, keep an open mind.
Ease of Usage
As every RV owner worth his salt knows, the time spent in the maintenance and the upkeep of your rig is no joke. It is a long and laborious process that must be thoroughly done in order to preserve the great conditions of your travels. When it comes to repairing and checking up on your rig, you do not want to exert more effort, money, and work hours than you can spare. And so, choose an RV slide-out lubricant that is easier for you to use. This is something that you would use often, if you dread using it then you will do a subpar job.
You should be able to apply the lubricant easily. Also, it should not be messy to apply.
Avoid Runny Lubricants
As I have said earlier, you do not want to exert more time than you can spare. Runny lubricants double your work because after application you are anxious and unsure if there will be drips that can potentially cause quite the mess. This is also an area where user reviews will be quite handy for you.
After taking into consideration everything from efficiency, quantity, benefits, and other factors, we come down now to price. If you are in a budget and you only have a small lubrication problem, mild slide-out lubricants are quite cheaper than stronger ones. If your problem is longstanding (with extreme rusting), then consider buying a strong lubricant as an investment towards your future travels.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is an RV slide-out lubricant?
Your RV is both a vehicle and a home. And so, you would have to double your efforts into protecting it from damage and degradation. One of the most common issues of an RV with slide-out is the slide-out itself.
As you travel across great distances, your RV accumulates different kinds of dirt, dust, and other elements found on the road. This is because the RV powers through different terrains, each with different environmental factors, as well as temperature and weather. The rust, the dust particles, the dirt, the snow are but some of the elements that accumulate on some components of the slide-out. When such elements mix and are untouched for a long time, a build-up of some sort occurs that causes slide-outs to get stuck. This is where are a great RV slide-out lubricant comes into play.
A camper slide out lubricant is a specialized product that can help you keep your rig’s retracting system in top shape. It reduces the friction that occurs when a build-up of dirt or corrosion occurs in the window. It is also able to take on such debris and make it easier for you to clean them out of the problematic areas.
How does it work?
There are two main reasons why an RV slide-out window will be stuck.
The first one is if a mechanical issue occurred. This means that if an outside force has impacted the very parts of the pop-up, causing a problem in the mechanism, mainly in the actions of opening and closing. When it comes to such situations, the RV slide-out lube can provide much-needed grease that allows owners to be able to move the parts.
The second reason for a slide-out window to get stuck is if the slide-out tray has accumulated too much dirt on its crevices or it has corroded, affecting the slide-out mechanism. It is not surprising for RV slide-out rooms to encounter such problems, especially when owners plan out long drives through long and dusty highways, or somewhere with rocky terrain and a little bit of rain.
With each element faced on the road, and accounting for the sudden drops in temperature, elements tend to cause a build-up that leads to mechanical problems with the room extension. In this case, the RV slide-out lubricant not only enables the pop-up to resume the motion it has lost, but it also makes it easier for the owner to gather and clean out the areas where the build-up has occurred.
Aside from the obvious help in freeing up the motions of the mechanism, RV slide-out lubricants are also able to provide additional help in other aspects. One of the main benefits of using a great RV slide-out lubricant is that it is able to delay the effects of degradation brought about by accumulated damages. Damages such as corrosion can contribute to your slide-out’s shape, and with a great grease, you can prevent your rig from further wear and tear. Excess sunlight can cause damage to the system as well, and that’s why there are lubrication products out there that also offer UV protection. Seeing as rain is an occurrence that is often faced by RVs and their owners, water-repellent qualities are also sought after in looking for the best RV lubricant for you.
What are the different types of RV-slide out lubricants?
Both new and seasoned RV owners are sometimes confused as to how one would differentiate window lubricants. There are many factors that separate lubricants into variations.
Based on Consistency
- Dry Lubricants
As its name itself implies, this lubricant is initially dry. However, when sprayed on a surface, it forms a thin film that helps get rid of rust, protects the surface from water, as well as of course, reduces the friction between slide-out trays.
- Grease Lubricants
This is the typical type of lubricant, which is liquid in form. Depending on the brand, this can either solidify or not. There are also two types of grease, and these are:
- Silicone-based lube – this can be used for slide-outs with rubber components.
- Hydrocarbon-based lube – this must never be used for slide-outs with rubber parts, even if the rubber portion is just the slide-out seal and not the try. This can soften the rubber and would cause even more problems.
Based on Mode of Application
When it comes to the mode of application, the most common choice for rig owners is the ‘fluid’ option. These are the products that require you to use a piece of cloth to aid in application. You place the fluid on your cloth and apply it to the problematic area. With this option, you are able to gauge how much pressure you apply to your cleaning, and you can make sure that it is thoroughly spread.
The current trend with rig owners, however, is to use a spray-bottle option. Most even have nozzle straws to aid in spraying the product to the exact point you need it. With the spraying application, you can reach more places be it tiny creases and opening or large and deep ones. Although they might cost higher than the traditional fluid option, it makes up for it in ease of use.
Why do you need an RV slide-out lubricant?
It is important to remember that you are not just dealing with a simple mechanism. You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of your vacation with a pop-up room that you can’t utilize!
When you choose a great RV slide-out lube, you are not only resolving the creaking noises and the issue of getting stuck; you are also extending its longevity and durability. A good lube will prevent corrosion, which means fewer parts to replace, which in turn means less cost for you.
All in all, you are not only buying your rig a great RV slide-out lubricant that is compatible and complementary to your rig’s needs and requirements, you are also investing of the maintenance of the rig in the long term.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you lubricate slide out?
With regular use and without proper maintenance, you will notice screeching on your RV’s slide out. This can lead to costly repairs if left unaddressed or when stuck, which is why you should always keep your slide-outs lubricated. On the first sign of squeaking, make sure to check and lubricate your slide-outs if needed.
The steps on how to lubricate RV slides are simple. When lubricating your slide-out, first, make sure there are no obstacles in the slide-out’s path. Next, clean the slide-out to remove possible dirt in the mechanisms. You can use a damp cloth or compressed air to clear dust, stuck mud, or small debris in the slide outs. Compressed air can easily remove dirt in deep crevices but if it is not available, a damp rag will suffice and is best for removing mud. Be sure to clean every part of the slide outs.
Now that your slide-out is clean, you can now apply the lubricant in the RV slide outs. Next, close and re-open your slide out to distribute the lubricant over hard-to-reach parts. This also lets you test if the slide-out is now functioning properly and is not squeaking or getting stuck anymore.
Where do I lubricate my RV slide out?
When lubricating your RV slide out, it is important to note the kind of mechanism and system model you have in your vehicle. Most slide-outs use a rack and pinion gear assembly. The rack is a flat bar with gear teeth which can be seen underneath the slide. The pinion gear is on the electric motor and interlocks with the rack. With this type of mechanism, just spray lube on the gear teeth. There are also slide out surfaces that use Teflon and it is best to spray silicone lubricant on it.
Another type of mechanism is a hydraulic slide-out system. In most cases, lubricants are not needed on this kind of slide outs. However, in cases of RVs that squeaks every time the slides are retracted, a small amount of silicone lube on the rams can help.
Generally, there are two parts where you should lubricate your slide out. The first part is the tracks and sliding mechanism and the second one is the rubber sealing gaskets. The tracks and sliding mechanisms are susceptible to dirt build-up so it is best to find a dry lube formula to prevent this.
How do you lubricate RV slide-out seals?
As mentioned in the previous question, the second part that needs lubrication in slide outs is the rubber sealing gaskets. The slide outs appear to be the leading cause of water leaks in RVs. With possible exposure to severe temperatures, the slide’s rubber seals can dry out without proper maintenance. When this happens, it has to be replaced. Place RV slide out seal lubrication to avoid replacing your seals prematurely.
You can find slide-out seal lubes that are specially formulated for rubbers (such as silicone lubes), but most dry slide-out lubricants can be used as well. You can also use a rubber seal conditioner for this.
Before you add any RV slide out rubber seal lubrication, give it a good cleaning first. Wash the rubber seals with soap and water. Be sure to remove dirt or any buildup of debris and watch out for any tears in the seals. Peel back the seal to apply lube in its underside. Spread the lubricant or conditioner throughout and put it back in place. Wipe any excess conditioner off the non-rubber seal surface and you are done. Now you are sure your rubber seals will remain pliable and supple for your next road trip.
Are RV slide-outs reliable?
Today, RVs usually come with slide-outs and as technology continuously improves, slide-outs have become more and more reliable. Any moving part of your RV can fail without proper maintenance and slide outs are not an exemption. With its different types, there are also some that are more reliable than the other. Considering these, the reliability of slide-outs will still depend on the build and manufacturer of your rig.
To keep your RV slide-outs reliable, always make sure to apply proper retraction procedures on your slide outs. Make sure your vehicle is level before deploying your slide outs. If you try to level your vehicle while slide outs are extended, it puts unnecessary strain on the RV’s leveling jacks which will hasten wear and tear. This could also possibly damage some of your RV’s leveling components. On the same note, it is much more straining to extend your slide-outs while in an imbalanced angle than when on a level surface.
The moment you hear squeaks, be sure to check on your slide outs and make proper adjustments. As long as appropriate care and maintenance are applied, your slide-outs should be reliable for a long time and will not get stuck during your trip.
Any problems, if left unaddressed, can cause further damage in the future and leave you with more costly repairs. It is only natural that slide-outs starts to make sounds through wear and tear, but you can easily prevent this with proper maintenance. Slideouts should be lubricated at least twice a year or more if frequently used. Keep it well-maintained especially if you plan to go on long journeys.
It is also a good practice to always look out for torn rubber seals that may cause water leaks inside your RV. The best lubricant for slide-out should work whether under heavy rains or high temperatures and will keep the mechanism running smoothly.
In any event, having a slide-out lubricant is always handy for RV owners. You never know when you will need it, so best to always keep it in your toolbox and be on the safe side.