How to Build a Camper Slide-Out

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A camper slide-out refers to the frame, which contains a box-like room. The slide-out extends from the side of the camper to create additional space. Many camper owners purchase slide-outs as a kit. The dimensions of the mechanism varies, with lengths up to 12 feet. Some slide-out models extend a room only 5 feet. The system operates off the 12-volt power of the camper.

Things You'll Need

  • Slide-out kit
  • Reciprocal saw
  • Pan-head screws, No. 10
  • Slide-out room
  • Remove interior panels, wiring or other objects from the work area. Calculate the height, width and depth of the rough opening based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Mark the outline of the rough opening on the wall of the camper.

  • Park the camper on a level surface. Engage the parking brakes, and make sure the transmission is in the park position. Cut the rough opening with reciprocal saw.

  • Assemble the frame according to the installation manual. Do not remove the chain and connectors from the packaging. Install the frame from the exterior side of the rough opening. The cables fit in the cavity around the frame. Refer to the product's installation manual for details on weatherproofing.

  • Position the frame approximately half inch from each side of the opening. Do not pinch the cables between the frame and opening. Fasten the frame in place with the pan head screws provided with the unit.

  • Follow the instructions for positioning and mounting the pulley brackets on the wall above or below the frame. The positioning of the pulley system depends on the whether it’s a top or bottom mount. Secure the pulley brackets to the wall with No.10 pan head screws.

  • Screw the motor to the wall at the center line of the opening. Refer to the instructions for wiring the motor and the switch to the camper’s electrical system.

  • Ensure the outside edges of the frame and sill aligns. Fasten the rollers in place on the sill -- the frame’s bottom, with No. 10 pan head screws. Purchase screws long enough to penetrate the sill and through the structure of the opening.

  • Remove all packaging, including plastic and tape, from the chain and cables. Make any adjustments for cable nuts and connectors. Mount the chains on the motor sprocket. Adjust the cables, on each side of the frame in accordance with the instructions.

  • Mount the top and bottom standoff brackets for the room for the outside. Do not tighten all the screws. Guide the ball end of the cable into the keyhole of the bracket and secure it with the rubber grommet. Repeat this process for the inside. This system controls the extension and retraction of the room.

  • Follow the product vendor’s design guide for instructions on installing the side out room. Check the structure to ensure a straight and square room that properly installs in the slide-out frame.

References

  • Photo Credit Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
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