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Old 12-22-2011, 05:40 AM   #1
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Do You Retain Water?

Looking at many dozens of rigs in the last year, I've noticed a peculiar thing: there is often staining of the carpet, a musty smell, at the edges of the retracted slides. In fact, my sensitive nose has detected mildew in all but two pre-2009 coaches I've ever been in.

On a recent trip with another DP, the other owner lamented a new stain on the carpet of his Newmar Essex where the slide bottom contacted the carpet after retraction. It was a quarter-sized rust spot, a real blemish on the otherwise lovely cream-colored carpet.

Suddenly, the light came on: when it came time to hit the road after a night of rain, we watched the slides of both rigs as they retracted. Sure enough, water dribbled down the side of the slides, some traveling to the underside of each slide and some soaking into the carpet. But, that was only from the "squeegee" effect of the seals' contact against the wet outer end-walls. As we were to discover, there was much more to the story.

I felt blindly around the top of his where the stain had been observed, came away with a wet hand. In my own rig, after wiping down the walls, I felt the topside and again found standing water. Grabbing a used bath towel, I flung it over the slide trim woodwork and onto the slide's top surface, clasping one corner, and walked the length of the slide. I was amazed at the amount of water in the towel, after the first pass. All that would've cascaded down either end and onto the carpet, in motion.


Of our seven slides, all had water on top. The longer slides had small pools near their center points.

In the future, I'll wipe the sides before and (if able) after retracting, and then towel down the top surface of each slide before moving the coach.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:07 AM   #2
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Interesting post. I would supose that during a driving rain water could get under the topper and pool on top of the slide. Something I haven't thought of or noticed. My carpets aren't stained so I assume it has never happened. The seals acting as wipers must have removed it all upon retraction. Perhaps thats where your problem lies...there is an issue with the slide seals.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:49 AM   #3
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Yep, bad or poorly designed seals...
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:10 AM   #4
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In the case of a serious rainstorm, it's easy for water to "leak" into the coach when you bring in the slides. Our manufacturer suggests bringing them in slowly (stop and go) when there has been a rain, and that seems to work well for all but one slide. On our back driver's side slide, we'll get a little bit of water on the surface of the carpet and tile. It's just water, and not rust colored since OMC fixed all our slides. The rust is alarming because I know how rusted out and dry rotted one of our slides were, and that was why it was causing rust spots on the old carpet. It indicates standing water somewhere, which smells of dry rot!
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:17 AM   #5
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Before we pull the slides in I use the stabilizing jacks to tilt the unit either side to side or front to rear to allow the standing water on the slide to run off.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippo View Post
Before we pull the slides in I use the stabilizing jacks to tilt the unit either side to side or front to rear to allow the standing water on the slide to run off.
THAT is a great idea! We will try that with the air bags next time it's raining!
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:45 AM   #7
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answering the thread's title question.........Yes, but there is a pill for that!
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:23 AM   #8
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Even with Perfect Design & Maintenance, Slides Can Admit Runoff Into Interior

Quote:
Originally Posted by H. Miller View Post
Yep, bad or poorly designed seals...
Probably not the case, seeing the same problem in a premium coach at the same time I saw mine.

Mine is indoor-stored and just had the seals inspected and dressed. My doctor friend's Essex is kept covered, has received top maintenance. Neither has been lived in.

What is at issue: with longer slides, an absolutely uniform sweep of the top surface during retraction is unlikely, no matter how new or well-aligned the seals are. By design, all awnings allow blowing rain in, to gather on the top of the slide.

Not to trust my own knowledge: I walked next door (like me, my neighbor keeps his bus inside his hangar), and asked a buddy with 50+ years' RV experience. His newer Prevost (see photo), factory-maintained and in better-than-new condition, suffers the same problem. Oddly, his shorter bedroom slideout will collect the most water. His advice: position the rig with a small amount of fore-aft tilt. "It only takes a quarter-inch or so, across the length of the slide," he added.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:19 PM   #9
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I use the freezer compartment as a point to level the coach. Right now I am level for and aft. Checking outside on top of the main slide I have a slight aft tilt. Guess thats why I have had no water issues....more good luck than good judgement!!!
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippo View Post
Before we pull the slides in I use the stabilizing jacks to tilt the unit either side to side or front to rear to allow the standing water on the slide to run off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by num1dgh View Post
THAT is a great idea! We will try that with the air bags next time it's raining!
That's the first thing that came to mind.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:20 PM   #11
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Haven't had much problem with our 2002 DSDP but we have covers over two slides and the third is under the main awning.
A friend did get a nice, cold shower from his slide the first time he put on the brakes after breaking camp and hitting the road.
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by num1dgh
In the case of a serious rainstorm, it's easy for water to "leak" into the coach when you bring in the slides. Our manufacturer suggests bringing them in slowly (stop and go) when there has been a rain, and that seems to work well for all but one slide. On our back driver's side slide, we'll get a little bit of water on the surface of the carpet and tile. It's just water, and not rust colored since OMC fixed all our slides. The rust is alarming because I know how rusted out and dry rotted one of our slides were, and that was why it was causing rust spots on the old carpet. It indicates standing water somewhere, which smells of dry rot!
Only been in one major storm but this has been a rest discussion and good tips to all rigs with slides.

Thanks folks. Will make sure we have extra towels on board.
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Old 12-22-2011, 03:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVNeophytes2 View Post
Probably not the case, seeing the same problem in a premium coach at the same time I saw mine.

Mine is indoor-stored and just had the seals inspected and dressed. My doctor friend's Essex is kept covered, has received top maintenance. Neither has been lived in.

What is at issue: with longer slides, an absolutely uniform sweep of the top surface during retraction is unlikely, no matter how new or well-aligned the seals are. By design, all awnings allow blowing rain in, to gather on the top of the slide.

Not to trust my own knowledge: I walked next door (like me, my neighbor keeps his bus inside his hangar), and asked a buddy with 50+ years' RV experience. His newer Prevost (see photo), factory-maintained and in better-than-new condition, suffers the same problem. Oddly, his shorter bedroom slideout will collect the most water. His advice: position the rig with a small amount of fore-aft tilt. "It only takes a quarter-inch or so, across the length of the slide," he added.

i have to get a "HANGAR"
our short slides, will allow water if its pouring and i rush the retraction
other wise it squeegees pretty good
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:13 PM   #14
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Another problem is minor leaks that are not promptly attended to.. My wife has one area of the coach she likes to pile with "Junque" every time we park.. Well, the window leaked (I sealed it) and before I could vacuum up the water and dry it out properly she'd buried wet carpet... I told her it had to be dried, she whined, and of course, now is't all mildew smell in that area.. i did the best I could , but I did not get it all.
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