No Slide-Out For Me

I was speaking with a neighbour as we shared the hot tub tonight and she mentioned that I had no slide out, seeming very puzzled by the fact.

Miranda being a slide-out free RV was a deliberate choice on my part. One of the very first things I knew when I was searching for a motorhome was that it would not have slide-outs, which pretty much knocked class As out of the running. There were several reasons for this:

Weight

Slide-outs dramatically reduce an RV’s carrying capacity, and this is especially evident with class Cs. One of my readers, Croft, has a rig that is very comparable to Miranda–same engine, same chassis, same length. But he has a slide-out and fully half Miranda’s carrying capacity! I’m full-timing so having as much carrying capacity as possible is much more important than having more floor space.

Mechanics

Slide-outs are just one more thing to maintain, one more thing that can leak or break, and they weaken the overall chassis. Again, a few more feet of floor space isn’t worth the potential hassle.

Weather

Slide-outs are the least insulated part of an RV. Since I knew there was a chance I’d be using my RV in extremely inclement (read very wintery) weather, not having a slide-out meant that there was one less drafty place in the rig. I was also concerned that if I parked somewhere for the winter, the weather would damage the slide-out.

Convenience

I didn’t want for every stop to be cause for the interminable debate: “Slide-out in or out tonight?” I wanted to be able to park at a Walmart and have full access to my home. In a park, I didn’t want my slide-out window to be two inches from my neighbour’s slide-out window.

Having visited a lot of RVs with slide-outs, the only real advantage they seem to provide is floor space. That’s useful if you’re two or more people sharing a rig since it would be easier to contour each other, but as a sole RVer they just don’t seem to be worth the potential headache.

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10 Comments

  • I have to agree with you on all counts. In a few years I will retire and I plan to go fulltime in a Lazy Daze 24 or 27 foot Class C. I’ve done much research, and your opinions confirm everything I’ve found. Like you I want a unit where the space inside is always available and that requires minimum set-up and maintenance.

    I really enjoy reading your trials and triumphs. It is encouraging to see that a solo traveler can make it on their own terms. And, that you retain your enthusiasm and sense of adventure. Hope your northwest challenge is a great success!

  • When I was a full-timer, I thought about those slide-outs, too. Frankly, I could always envision sitting in it and it just breaking off the side of the RV or some other freak accident. Because I’m me. 😀

  • Bast, I’m so glad I’m not the only person envisioning this very scenario, LOL!!!

  • David, good choice with the Lazy Daze! Check out Andy Baird’s blog for more info on full-timing in one (andybaird.com).

  • I couldn’t agree more! It’s no accident that neither Lazy Daze nor Born Free, the two top-rated class C coaches according to the RV Consumer Group, will build a coach with slideouts.

    They cut drastically into usable payload, they’re poorly insulated, and sooner or later they leak and/or malfunction (usually at the worst possible time). Oh, yeah, they give you additional floor space. But hey, I’m not hosting any square dances in my rig, so who needs that? 😉 I need more cargo capacity a lot more than I need more more empty floor space!

  • Square dancing in the rig? Oh, what an image! LOL!

    I do have to say I miss being able to turn on music and dance, but I wouldn’t even if I had the floor space for it since RVs SHAKE! At least mine does since I don’t have stabilizers!

    I’m glad that Canada has an equivalent to the Lazy Daze and Born Free… and sad that it’s no longer being made.

  • Well i got 4 slideouts and would not be without them. I appreciate the room/floor space and the fiver is like a small home. But its the wife myself and our 15 year old and I would think that if it were just me, maybe only one slideout. Problem with our rig, is when travelling to different campgrounds, finding a spot where it wil fit, this gets old real fast. Never mind the weight of the unit and having to have a tow vehicle capable of handling the trailer.

    There is some maintence/breakdown issues, but my background crosses over to rv repair quite easily. For alot of people with no mechanical insight into thier rigs, I can see where having your rv sent in for repair and waiting a week or so to get it back could be a big problem.

  • Coal, I agree that if I was living with other people a slide-out would probably be a must. Plus, you guys don’t travel that much with your rig, so so some of my arguments against slide-outs are non-issues for you.

    Your mechanical aptitude is another big plus in your favour. Me, I’d really just rather not have an extra thing to worry about. 🙂

  • […] I went to Home Depot this afternoon to get the angle brackets as well as door hinges and fasteners. I’m pretty sure I’ll return 90% of what I bought, but I didn’t want to have to go out tomorrow. Today’s visit took well over an hour because a Home Depot clerk and I started to talk about custom RV design and got into a hot debate about slides vs. no slides. […]

  • […] It was such an innocuous little email that arrived in my inbox a week ago, offering me the chance to bid on an article writing contract. It’s not even something I was looking for; it just dropped into my lap thanks to my blog post “No Slide-Out For Me.” […]

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