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Should We Level First and Then Put Out Slides, or Vice Versa?

| Updated Jan 16, 2024

Do you level an RV with slides in or out? We let our RV Lifestyle community answer…

RV slides are wonderful things to have. They give us extra room and truly enhance the RV Lifestyle. But slides are often prone to issues.

One of the questions so many have has to do with whether the entire RV should be leveled before the slides go out or whether leveling after the slides are extended is okay.

The question comes from Michael in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group, who asks:

“On a 40-foot class A, should we level first and then put out the slides or put the slides out and then level?

photo about leveling and putting out RV slides and leveling
photo about leveling and putting out RV slides and leveling

Leveling and Putting Out RV slide

For us, when we owned a Leisure Travel Vans Unity model with a slide, we were told to always level first, and then put out the slide. The rationale is that if the RV is uneven, putting the slide out that way could cause unnecessary wear and tear on the slide mechanism.

But that was the advice of our manufacturer. There are some manufacturers who recommend the opposite and this question on our Facebook Group has brought over 40 comments. The vast majority said to level first and then put out the slide, but not all. Here are some of the replies:

Leveling — There are differing views

Rick says “Depends on the manufacturer. Newmar says slides out, then level.”

Chad notes that “Different manufacturers have different procedures: It depends on what the manual says…certainly don't listen to everyone who thinks it's all the same across the board— my Winnebago said to level 1st, but now my Beaver says to run slides before jacks (even says so next to the switches for the jacks)”

Kimberly Ann says “Our manual says to slide then level. First year, we did that. We were constantly in the shop with “slide” issues. Finally we decided to level first. No issues since then. It’s been 7 years! I say level first. We have 37ft class A.”

Steve says: “Always stabilize first. Slides last.”

Michael says: “I’ve used the slide to help get it level before putting my jacks down.”

The Consensus: Level First and Then Put the Slide Out

So…summing up: Check your manual, but if in doubt or you can’t find specific instructions in the manual, level your rig first.

That's overwhelming advice of our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group.

We have over 170,000 members and whenever you have an RV Lifestyle question, it is the place to go for a quick and immediate response from your Fellow Travelers. Join our group today!

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2020-09-03

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

4 Responses to “Should We Level First and Then Put Out Slides, or Vice Versa?”

September 07, 2020at2:15 pm, Kevin said:

Oh, and a 6th sense should be listened to. If some place seems sketchy, move.

September 07, 2020at2:13 pm, Kevin said:

As for guns, various localities have differing laws. Otherwise, anything hard and handy could be a weapon. But anything could be taken from you in a fight. A quick wit and mind are probably better.

As for security, most camera systems are expensive. There are a few that can be created inexpensively. I probably have around $150 in 6 cameras and some battery packs. However, I have way more in cell service that makes sure the cameras are probably attached to the internet.

September 07, 2020at8:35 am, Edward Wayner said:

You may have covered this in a video or commentary but can you talk about RV security. Specifically beyond securing the RV, do you carry any kind of weapons for security? If so do you have a list of how to store weapon state to state? Does your RV have an alarm? Do people have camera systems set up to record if someone breaks in and or damages the RV? Yeas who I saw a 20/20 tv show that covered how scammers would purposely damage underside of an RV when people were away from RV or in a restaurant in order to defraud them into repairs. I’ve never RV’s but are looking to get into RVing in the next 3 to 4 years and am absorbing as much information so that my wife and I can figure out what our RV objectives would be, what kind of RV we would want and how often we would RV. We subscribe to various RV UTube channels including yours and like yours for the detailed information and that you have a small RV. Thanks Ed Wayner – San Marcos TX

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