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Keep Your RV Slides Smooth: Our Top Picks For The Best Slide Lubricants

This post was updated on March 15th, 2024

What is the Best RV Slide Lubricant?

RVs have improved tremendously over time. One of the most significant improvements is the addition of slides. These expand the RV living space and provide more comfort. However, these slides require maintenance to stay in top shape. One key maintenance task is lubricating the slides. But first, you need to identify the right RV slide lubricant. That’s where this article will assist.

Why you need RV slide lubricant

RV slide lubricants are vital for ensuring that all the moving parts of your slides operate smoothly. Components like gears, rollers, cables, and others in slide mechanisms endure significant wear and tear. Due to the immense pressure and tension they experience, these parts can seize if not lubricated regularly.

Furthermore, lubricating your slide-outs helps maintain seals and prevents the components from rusting or corroding. The good news is, lubricating your RV slides is relatively simple. It’s recommended to do it at least every six months.

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Things to consider when shopping for RV slide lubricant

Unsure where to start when buying a lubricant for your RV slides? Here are some key factors to bear in mind:

Petroleum vs silicone

While petroleum-based lubricants tend to be more affordable and readily available, they can cause rubber to deteriorate over time. Although many modern RVs have moved away from natural rubber, it’s challenging to determine if your slide-outs have rubber seals.

If you’re concerned about damaging your seals, consider a silicone-based lubricant. It won’t harm rubber and performs excellently in high temperatures, where other lubricants might falter. However, silicone lubricants can be harder to find and might be pricier than petroleum-based ones.

Aerosol vs liquid

You’ll also need to decide between an aerosol and liquid lubricant. Aerosol is the preferred choice for many because of its ease of application; just spray it on. Plus, aerosol lubricants can reach tight spaces more effectively than liquids, which typically need manual application with a cloth.

Other potential uses

Some lubricants are versatile, suitable for slide-outs and other applications. Think about other parts of the RV that may need lubrication. Finding a multi-purpose product could be beneficial.

Amount needed

Your lubricant needs will vary based on the number of slides, other intended uses, and how often you lubricate. It might be more economical to buy in bulk, saving you both time and money.

Cost

Lastly, consider your budget. If you’re looking for cost-effective options, a bulk purchase of petroleum-based lubricant might be ideal.

The top RV slide lubricant options

Choosing the right RV slide lubricant can be daunting, given the multitude of products available. Here are our top three recommendations:

  1. 3-IN-ONE RVcare Slide-Out Lubricant: This product impresses with its dual-action formula—one for tracks, gears, and pulleys, and another for slide and window seals. The aerosol cans come with extended nozzles for better reach. Both formulations are silicone-based, quick-drying, and residue-free.
  2. Protect All Slide-Out Dry Lube Protectant: Manufactured by Thetford, this product is a favorite among RV enthusiasts. Its large can offers longevity, and it’s suitable for nearly all metal components. However, it leaves a slight brownish waxy coating, so avoid areas where aesthetics matter. The aerosol can ensures easy application.
  3. CRC Power Lube Industrial High Performance Lubricant: This highly concentrated lubricant offers excellent value. Its high pressurization ensures you can access tough spots. Moreover, it dries rapidly, reducing the risk of debris adhesion.

Conclusion

An RV slide lubricant is an invaluable addition to any RV owner’s toolkit. With a range of high-quality options available, finding one that meets your needs should be straightforward. Prioritize slide care to ensure they serve you well for many years.

Track your RV maintenance

Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents. 

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