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Slide Out Leaking-- Seal Questions

slideout leaking

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#1 ceptap



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Posted 14 September 2013 - 03:03 PM

We have a 2003 Monaco Monarch SE.  It is gasoline/Workhorse 8.1/Allison tranny.   We have two slides - living room and kitchen AND then a bedroom (the head of the bed is in the slideout).   


We got caught in some bad weather...Colorado...rain, sleet, hail, and lots of wind.


The living room/kitchen slide has water leakage behind the drivers seat.  We think the seal may be bad?  In addition, our awning over the slideout is ripped in the middle from the stitching (where it attached to the top of the coach).  It is still attached it just has a gap in the center of it.  It leaked during the wind, but also leaked during just the rain.


The bedroom slide which seemed to come through the worst weather fine - leaked last night, wet on each side of the head of the bed.  Under the bed is dry.  Another bad seal?  And yes the wind ripped this awning also. 


We are currently in Wyoming, near Rawlins.  We are headed to St. Louis to visit family, traveling along I-80 as far as Omaha, then onto 29 to Kansas City, and then onto I-70 St. Louis.


Once we visit family in St. Louis area we are headed back to Arizona to spend the winter before we go home in April.  We can just not put out the living room/kitchen slide and that is not any big deal so we can wait to get it fixed.  The bedroom is a bit more difficult not to extend and would like to get it fixed soon.  


So...how expensive are seals to replace, if that is what is needed?  Any other suggestions on what it could be.  On the awnings does the entire thing have to be replaced or can they only replace the awning fabric?  The roller/casing/etc is good. 


We have owned RVs for decades but this is the first one we have had with slides....because they always have problems... haha, the joke is on us.  lol 


Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, anyone know any good RV repair people along our path?  Any suggestions would be very helpful.


Thanks, hope this makes sense.  My internet here is sketchy at best but I will keep checking back for any responses.   





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Posted 14 September 2013 - 06:55 PM

Hello Charles,


We are running counter to your travels having left St. Louis on Tuesday last week.  We are in Denver now, getting wet again tonight!  We'll be on our way west on I-80 in Wyoming next week. 


Yes, slides can be a problem.  We had a leak shortly after we took possession of our new motor home.  That leak was in the joints between the roof and the sides of the slide out.  We had it repaired by the dealer.  They simply put a heavy seal tape on the slide out and it has held for ten years now.  The seals on the external part of the RV are easily replaced. You can get those at any auto supply location, I would recommend NAPA just because they have the best parts inventory in my experience.


We have not had to replace the seals on the slide out where it seals against the inside of the coach.  I believe those are likely your problem if the leaking is occurring when the slide is in the extended position.  We had one such leak and it was resolved by adjusting the slide out so that it better fit the opening.  We moved the slide out about 2" toward the front of the coach and haven't had a problem since.  If those seals need replacement I would turn that job over to a Monaco dealer or take it to a factory service center.  You can call Monaco 877-466-6226 for a factory appointment.  I'm not sure where the factory repair shops are currently, the company is in flux as it has recently been sold by Navistar.  Associated Specialty Vehicles (ASV) is now the parent company and they are committed to bringing Monaco back to a full service company again.  The only Monaco dealer I know in the St. Louis area is southwest on I-44, Byerly RV Center, in Eureka, 636-938-2000.  I haven't been there lately, they were a Monaco dealer.  They should have tech's who are familiar with Monaco construction which would help in replacing these seals.  Another dealer in the is Bill Thomas in Wentzville on I-70, 636-327-5900.  In both cases call ahead to make an appointment as early as you can.  If you are going back to Arizona, Lazy Days RV has an dealership in Tucson.  I've never dealt with them but from what I hear they are very reputable. 


The awning covers for slide outs can be replaced, at least on ours which are Carefree of Colorado.  The Carefree of Colorado website has a list of authorized repair shops and they can order the replacement canvas for you.  I have replaced the canvas on our slide outs once on each slide but the second replacement has been done by someone else.  You really need two people and an afternoon to do the job.  If you are handy with tools and can read and follow instructions, it can be a do-it-yourself job.  In the case of CofC awnings, the code for replacement parts (including the canvas) is found on the roller.  You have to unroll the canvas completely to get to that label.  This can be done without removing the canvas (again two people are better than one).  You may need to remove any cover on the canvas roll in order to see the label.  The code on the label gives the color and size of the canvas and should be all you need to order the correct canvas. 


One thing I recommend is to have the canvas reinforced before you have it installed.  I took each of our new canvas to an awning shop and had custom sewing done.  Here in Denver it was American Awnings that did the job, in Oregon at the factory service center I just looked up a canvas shop, called them, explained what I wanted and they were glad to do it.  In Colorado they charged $75 each in Oregon there was no charge, the worker did it on her own time.  I gave her $50 and thanked her very much for the work.


The reinforcement I had done was to have the edges of the awning stitched up and back several times with the strongest thread they had available.  I also had a diamond shaped piece of awning material sewn over the awning where the awning meets the motor home.  In our case there is a metal case that covers the awning roll.  Between the metal case and the coach the awning is exposed to the wind as we drive down the highway.  This pulls the awning against the metal cover which eventually wears and tears the awning at that point.  I have the diamond shaped piece of material folded over the awning so there is a triangle on top of the awning and a matching triangle on the underside of the awning.  This is then sewed with multiple rows of stitching.  That makes three layers of awning material where the wear point is and greatly extends the life of the awning.  I have the diamonds made 10 inches wide where they are sewn on the edge of the awning and 8" long for the two extensions above and below the awning.  So the dimensions across the fabric are 10" by 16" in our case.  Look at your installation and see if that would help your awnings wear longer.  I look at it as extending the life of the awning and also making it longer between replacements that I have to spend time getting done.

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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux

#3 StellersJay


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Posted 15 September 2013 - 05:42 AM

If your external slide seals (the ones you see from the outside the coach) are a lip seal, the lip should be pointed toward the outside.  If the lip is pointed inside, I run my finger or the awning rod inside the seal to make it point out.  Do this carefully so as not to damage the seal or coach paint.  When we extend the slide, the lip seal sometimes needs help to make sure it points out.



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#4 ceptap



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Posted 15 September 2013 - 01:59 PM

Tom and Louise,


Thank you for the response. Great information and thank you so much for dealers that we can contact. Great info to reinforce the awning. We will call tomorrow for appointments. We wish you well on your travels, thanks again for the info.




We are slide stupid and didn't know that, so that is helpful information and we will check that to make sure.


Thank you all.



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