Technically Speaking: RV Steps, Holding Tanks and the RV Slide Out
Q: What is the best way to go about lubricating the gears and rails for my RV slide out?
A: It is important to keep the gears clean, but do NOT use grease for lubrication. Grease buildup can negatively affect the drive gear. One of the most important items to lubricate is the bottom of the room. If the bottom of the room is dirty, it creates a lot of friction and resistance when the room is moving. Also lubricate the rollers or glide strips behind the lower RV slide out seals with a light lubricant such as a silicone spray or CRC. The gears that you can see do not create a lot of heat or friction unless they are dirty.
Q: The retractable electric steps at our RV’s entry no longer fully retract and seem to be getting slightly worse. Is there an easy remedy to this like adding hydraulic fluid perhaps?
A: The lack of lubrication is the No. 1 problem with poorly functioning entry steps. Low voltage from batteries would be the No. 2 problem. Make sure all the pivot points of the steps are cleaned and lubricated. WD-40 will clean the steps but use Kwik-Lube or a silicone spray to lubricate the steps. This should be part of your monthly maintenance. Check the water level in the batteries and check the voltage from the batteries to make sure the steps are getting the proper battery voltage.
Q: We are hooked up to city water and should not have water going to our RV’s holding tank, but the volume of our holding tank seems to be increasing as time goes by. Is there a valve to prevent water flowing to the holding tank?
A There is a valve that directs water from the city water connection to the fresh tank. It is the valve that is manually turned to tank-fill or it is an automatic valve that shuts off when the tank is full. Normally located outside in the water bay (city water connection, tank rinse, holding tank valves, etc.) is a lever that is put in a city-water or a tank-fill position. I have seen this valve leak or not shut off water to the tank completely. Also, in some cases the handle can be removed so the valve can be turned to correct the leak problem and then the handle reinstalled.
Q: I had to disconnect my gas alarm in my trailer. Now it keeps going off for no apparent reason. Any ideas?
A: Never assume an alarm is not sensing LP (propane) from somewhere. When you confirm that you have no LP leaks, then (1) check for low voltage to the detector, (2) see if your detector has expired (all detectors have an expiration date) or (3) have your detector inspected by a certified RV technician to ensure that it is not faulty.
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