The importance of maintaining your slide out sealants!

Your RV slide out seals are pieces of rubber that surround the edges of the slide and create a suction seal around the slides when they are pulled in. This prevents debris and the elements from entering your RV. While the seals are protecting debris and elements from entering the RV, the slide out sealants are protecting the walls around the the slide out. In this example, the slide out sealant is separating from the wall. If the unit is left this way, over time this allows water to absorb into the wall, above the slide out.

This is an example of what happens when something like the above goes unnoticed. This 2014 Forest River Blue Ridge was repaired at my shop. The wall above the slide out was dry rotted to the frame and halfway down the rear wall.


The repair

In order to repair, we had to completely remove the slide out from the unit.

  • We removed all rot from the unit.
  • Framed in top of slide out and rear wall of slide.
  • Reinstalled the slide out and synced.
  • Original paneling for this unit is no longer available. We saved what paneling we could during the repair, but some paneling was too far gone. We utilized seam tape to cover these sections to blend as best as possible.
  • Installed wiper seals and ensured outside slide out was fully sealed.
  • Reinstalled all slide out facia and puttied holes.


The cost of lack of maintenance

Removing and reinstalling a complete slide out is not a one person job. As you can imagine, the labor hours on a repair like this can add up quickly. Labor $4,200.00 Shop Supplies  $200.00 Sales Tax  $16.40 Total Cost: $4,416.40


How to maintain your slide out sealants

Keeping up on preventive maintenance is key to preventing large repair bills, as described above. Should your slide out sealants need to be resealed please do the following:

  • Scrape off any old silicone.
  • Clean and wipe down the area with solvent cleaner.
  • Ensure that the seal is secure against the wall. Check all mounting hardware and secure as necessary. I also recommend checking the screws in the ends of the D-bulb seal to ensure they haven’t torn loose. If so, re secure.
  • Apply silicone around slide out seals.


DIY Products

There are the products my technicians use on a repair like this:

  • Scrapers – These are perfect to use when removing sealant/silicone on the edges and the side of the body for resealing.
  • Acrysol – This is a great, low grade solvent that we use to clean silicone/sealant, decal remover, etc.
  • My technicians favor BOSS 378 silicone:
    • Clear
    • White
    • Black
    • There are other brands out there. Just be sure to use a silicone that is an RV grade.
  • Dicor Non-Sag Sealant — You will want to use non-sag sealant on all corners and side seams on the roof. Non-Sag Sealant is offered in several colors:
  • White
  • Black
  • Grey
  • Dove Bright White
  • Tan
  • Ivory
  • Dicor Self Leveling Sealant – Roof surface, for moldings, seams, vents, skylights, ect.

Whether you own a million dollar unit, or you have an entry level, my message to you will be the same – it needs to be maintained.  


More from Dustin

Make sure you check out our website, California RV Specialists, and their YouTube channel for more helpful information, and see our published articles on and other social media pages.

 Dustin proudly operates the business alongside his wife, Ashley; but the true pair that run the show are their Boston Terriers, Arvie and Hitch.