Why Do People Put Pool Noodles on Their RV Slideouts?

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Pool noodles purchased for RV slide outs

It’s not uncommon to witness an RVer placing pool noodles on their rig during the setup process.

While the primary purpose of these noodles may be to keep you afloat on the water, they’re incredibly versatile. And they may even help you avoid an expensive medical bill.

Today, we’re diving in to see why people put pool noodles on their RV slideouts. Let’s learn more.

What Are RV Slideouts?

RV slideouts are sections of a recreational vehicle that extend out from the main body of the rig to increase the living space inside. 

You’ll often have them installed in the walls of the RV, which use a mechanism such as a hydraulic or electric motor to move the section in and out.

When the slideout is extended, it creates additional interior room for activities such as cooking, dining, and sleeping. Some of the largest RVs will have multiple slides and create a very open space.

An RV slide out

Why Do People Put Pool Noodles on Their RV Slideouts?

The primary reason RVers install pool noodles on their slideouts is to improve safety. The corners of a slideout can be sharp and pointy. 

Unfortunately, some slides sit right at head height. As a result, a lack of attention could result in someone running into the corner. This can cause serious damage and result in a trip to the nearest emergency room.

However, as you’ll soon see, pool noodles come in handy in other areas of an RV too. After we share how to add pool noodles to your RV slideouts, we’ll discuss some ways to use them around your rig.

How to Add Pool Noodles to Your RV Slideouts

The process for adding pool noodles to your RV slideouts is incredibly simple. Depending on how many slides you have, this is likely one DIY project you can tackle in an hour.

Let’s see how to get started.

Measure the Length of Your Slideouts

Some RVers go the extra mile and take safety to the next level. They’ll purchase enough pool noodles to cover their slides’ corners and the entire bottom edge. 

To do this, you need to measure the length of each slideout from one corner to the other. Then add an extra foot to take the noodle up the side and cover your corners with a six-inch section.

As with most things, it’s better to measure twice to ensure accuracy. And write down the lengths and check your math. Making a mistake while measuring can result in an additional trip to the store for more supplies.

Purchase Pool Noodles

You don’t have to spend big bucks on fancy pool noodles to get the job done. You’ll also have more luck finding them if you do this project during spring or summer. 

Retailers like Walmart and any dollar stores will likely keep them in stock. Of course, you can jump on Amazon any time of year and order as many as you need.

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Cut a Slit Along the Length of the Pool Noodle

Once you have your pool noodles, start slicing and dicing them. Pool noodles are incredibly easy to cut with a razor blade, so it’s a good idea to have one handy. If not, you can also use a pair of scissors.

You want to cut a small slit along the entire length of the pool noodle. This will allow you to secure it to the bottom of your slide easily. Avoid bending or stretching out the pool noodle, as it will make it difficult to stay in place.

For added protection, cut the end of the pool noodle to 45 degrees. Then cut a short six-inch piece at 45 degrees and line it up with the end piece. This can create soft padding along the entire corner.

Press onto the Base of the Slideout

Once you cut the pieces down the middle on one side, slide them onto the base of your slideout. You want them to fit snugly on the base of your slide, so they don’t blow away in the wind. 

You never know what Mother Nature will throw your way, and you don’t want your hard work to blow away in a storm. However, you also need to remove them when you need to bring in your slides.

Pool noodles purchased for RV slide outs

Other Uses For Pool Noodles Around the RV

Aside from protecting your noggin, we’ve found several other uses for pool noodles around your RV. Let’s dive in and see how you can use them around your rig.

Awning Arm Protection

The awning on your RV can provide lots of shade during your camping trip.

However, it’s easy to forget that you’ve extended your awning and must duck under the arms. If you’re not careful, you could have a pretty gnarly goose egg as a souvenir.

The process is nearly identical to your slideouts. Cut a slit in the pool noodle down the center and place it onto the arms of your awning. However, ensure you remove them before closing it, or you can do serious damage.

Keep in Mind: Considering adding an electric RV awning to your RV? Here are 5 Reasons you may want to reconsider it

Tie Down Protection

You may have some items you’ll want to bring that you need to tie down. Unfortunately, vibrations from the road can cause the tie-downs to damage some items. 

Using a pool noodle, you can create a soft barrier between the tie-downs and the item you want to stay put. This drastically reduces the chances of damage occurring to your gear.

Water Pipe Insulation

If you’ve tried to use your RV in temperatures below freezing, you may have experienced frozen water lines.

Some manufacturers are better than others when installing insulation to protect these sensitive components. Luckily, you can use pool noodles to beef up their insulation.

Cut a slit in the pool noodle and place it over the water line. If you want to go the extra mile, you can use tape to keep it in place. 

However, if you haven’t cut the slit too large, it should stay put well. This is a great option under cabinets or for any water lines that you frequently experience freezing.

Microwave Support on Travel Days

Avoiding every pothole in the road while traveling with your rig is nearly impossible. Potholes can damage your rig and the appliances inside, including your microwave. 

The glass plate can shift and bounce around inside of it and shatter. Luckily, this is another place where a pool noodle can save the day.

Simply cut a pool noodle to fit vertically inside your microwave. Placing it inside eliminates the glass plate’s ability to shift and move around while traveling. This is one hack you’ll want to try before your next trip.

A microwave being held in place using pool noodles for an RV slide out

RV Gutter Extender

Like residential homes, RVs come with gutters to direct water flow from condensation and the weather. However, this can create a small pool of water near the corners of an RV. 

Using pool noodles to extend the gutters may look funky, but it’s highly effective and easy to do.

Simply slide the end of the noodle over the gutter. This extends the track and pushes the water more than a few inches away from your campsite. The longer your pool noodles, the further away it will move the water. 

However, if you experience a downpour, the force could knock them loose, and you’ll need to reattach them.

Keep in Mind: Can RV Slide Out Supports Really Break Your RV? Let’s take a look!

Pool Noodles Can Save the Day While RVing

As you can see, these inexpensive pool-side accessories can be incredibly useful while RVing. We recommend using them around your rig to increase safety while camping. 

If you’re worried about how they look, pick a color that matches your RV and stick with a single color. Plus, pool noodles are inexpensive and can be tremendously helpful in keeping you and your RV safe.

Have you ever hit your head on your RV slideouts?

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  1. My husband also places a solar light from the DollarTree in each end of the noodle to illuminate the danger zones at night. Works great as just enough light to highlight but dim enough not to be offensive to others. As a side note, he put zip ties on each step and sticks a solar light into the zip tie. We just remove them along with the noodles when preparing to travel.

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