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Modern RVs have some fancy features allowing for optimal levels of comfort. As many know, extra features are only ideal when they work. When they don’t work, it can be a painfully frustrating experience.
However, one full-time RVer recently had a terrifying experience with her slideouts that unlocked a new type of fear in the RV community. Should you be RVing in fear? Let’s look and see!
What Are RV Slideouts?
RV slideouts are a design element manufacturers use to increase the usable space in an RV.
These compartments sit on tracks or utilize pulley systems to allow the compartments to extend and retract as needed. The slideouts stick out from the sides of an RV and are well-loved by many in the RV community.
Having RV slideouts can create more physical space for seating and dining and visually open up a room. RVs with multiple slides look and feel more spacious and have an almost residential feel. Some RVs can have as many as five or six slideouts.
Can RV Slideouts Move on Their Own?
In December 2022, Kayla Tanis posted a frightening experience to the large Facebook group “Full-Time RV Living.” Kayla woke from a nap when she heard her kitchen slide closing.
It was chaotic as items fell to the ground, creating a mess. However, Kayla quickly grabbed the remote from a nearby drawer to stop the slides.
However, the real mystery entered the picture when people considered Kayla the only person in the RV. She parked the RV in Oregon, and her husband was in Michigan.
Kayla called her husband, Dustin, in Michigan to inform him of the issue. However, while on the phone with him, the experience occurred again.
However, this time it was with the couple’s bedroom slide. She grabbed the remote and stopped the slide as quickly as she could.
Kayla shared how the kitchen slide tried to close again approximately 30 minutes after getting off the phone with Dustin. She and her husband were perplexed by the issue and had no idea what could be causing their slides to move on their own.
The post has accumulated more than 300 comments from members trying to help Kayla and her husband identify the cause of the issue.
Some posters state they’ve experienced something similar or know others who have experienced similar problems. However, Kayla and Dustin have yet to identify the cause.
What Are the Dangers of Slideouts Moving Randomly?
Slides moving on their own can be incredibly dangerous. While Kayla and Dustin’s RV was parked when the slides opened, could their slides randomly open in the future when they are traveling down the highway? This could pose severe risks to their RV and others on the road.
Another danger of your slideouts moving randomly is that you could cause severe damage to your RV. When closing your slides, you must move any objects or people out of the way.
The slide motors and mechanisms are powerful and will crush anything in their path. While material possessions aren’t fun to replace, this situation could easily severely hurt someone.
RVers have experienced damage due to objects lodging under their slides or being in the way when retracting or extending their slides. If your slides act independently, you may not stop them before they destroy cabinets, doors, or other materials in your rig.
Possible Causes for Slideouts Moving on Their Own
While Kayla and many other group members have been unable to pinpoint the cause, several popular theories exist within the group. Let’s look at a handful of possible reasons for slides moving on their own.
It’s no secret that mice and other critters love to get into RVs. Since the incident occurred in December, many commenters suspect that mice have infiltrated Kayla and Dustin’s RV and have accessed the wiring.
Rodents will look for any possible food source, including wiring. As a result, many believe that rodents have gnawed at the wiring and have caused a short, making the slides behave erratically.
Pro Tip: Have mice infested your camper? Here’s How To Keep Mice Out of Your Camper For Good
Another popular opinion is that Kayla and Dustin’s RV is experiencing wireless interference. Commenters share they’ve had similar experiences camping in large campgrounds with many other campers.
Another guest may be using a device on the same frequency, allowing them to control features in Kayla and Dustin’s rig.
While this option is possible, Kayla has stated she’s not in a campground. However, she claims to have spoken with several neighbors regarding the issue, and none of them have purchased new remotes or garage door openers that could cause the interference.
One commenter stated that her parents experienced a very similar situation. She said their issue resulted from a malfunctioning motor.
The motor was on its last leg and dying, which resulted in erratic behavior. She said they were forced to replace the slide motor.
Kayla has mentioned that the RV is a 2013 model, making it nearly ten years old. Considering the age of the rig, it makes sense that a slide motor and other components would start to reach the end of their lifespan.
For those who didn’t read Kayla’s full story they stated someone could be pranking her. However, Kayla’s husband was thousands of miles away, and she was the only one inside the RV.
Anyone with minimal RVing experience would know that opening and closing an RV’s slides unexpectedly would risk causing severe damage to the rig and not be a funny prank.
If the thought ever crosses your mind to prank an RVer in this manner, think again. Trust us; it’s not a good idea.
One final suggestion for the potential cause of the slideouts moving on their own was paranormal activity. While most people commenting this way said it jokingly, some were serious.
Since there’s no identifiable cause, paranormal activity isn’t something we can’t rule out. Ghosts and spirits take the blame for many unexplained events over the years.
Should You Be Concerned About Slideouts Moving on Their Own?
Slideouts moving on their own isn’t a widespread problem occurring in the RV community. While some have experienced it, there were very few commenting that had encountered it or knew anyone who had.
This is one of those issues that is good to know is possible so you can handle the situation should you experience it. Hopefully, Kayla and Dustin can identify the issue quickly and follow up with the group to let everyone know how they resolved it.
Why do you think the slideouts moved on their own?