How-To: Replacing Slide Seals

A couple weeks ago during a routine walkaround (which we try to do at least once a week when we are parked), Malcolm noticed that the D-channel slide seals on the top and front sides of our bedroom slide were splitting.

Bad seal on top of slide

Bad seal on top of slide

Bad seal on front side of slide

Bad seal on front side of slide

He checked on the Heartland Owners Club forum and, as it so happens, there was a new thread on this very subject. Seems someone else had the same problem at the same time. In that thread, Malcolm got a link to an RV parts place that supplies this seal and, using the part number, he found it on Amazon as well.

Product Description

Product Description

The material comes rolled up in the box (35 feet of it) and is easy to lay out flat (doesn’t want to curl back up too much).

There it is

There it is

The tools you will need are a phillips screwdriver (preferably chucked in a drill), a sharp box knife and a hacksaw. You may be able to get away with using only the knife for cutting the material if you don’t have a hacksaw handy. Just make sure you have a nice, sharp blade.

The first step is to remove the old material. On our rig, the factory ran a screw through the backing of the seal into the side of the coach to keep the seal from sliding out of the channel. For the most part, there are screws in each end of the seal. Just take those out with the screwdriver.

Removing the set screws

Removing the set screws

The seals overlap in different ways. Note that the top seal on our rig extends over the tops of the two side seals. The two side seals extend down beside the bottom seal. Depending on which seal or seals you are replacing, you may need to remove and replace a good seal to get to a bad one. In our case, we didn’t have to do this.

Once the screws are removed, you should be able to simply slide the old seal off the channel on which it is mounted.

Sliding the old seal off the channel

Sliding the old seal off the channel

The top seal may have a bit of sealant overlapping it, causing it to stick. Just gently pull on it to break it loose. It may be necessary to use your sharp knife to cut some of the sealant if it was applied too liberally. In our case, the ends of the top seal had a bunch of sealant over the ends that we just cut away.

Cut away any extra sealant.

Cut away any extra sealant.

Here are what the channels look like once you get the seals off the rig.

Front seal channel.

Front seal channel.

Top seal channel

Top seal channel

While you are up on the ladder, it’s a good time to check the slide wiper seals as well. Ours were in fine shape, so you don’t get a double-bonus on this how-to on how to replace those.

We used the old seals to measure for where to cut the new seal material. Once marked, use the hacksaw (or knife) to cut through the channel material, then the softer seal material. Malcolm found that cutting the material with the hacksaw was easier with the material flat on the table instead of hanging over the edge as shown in the next picture.

This is the more difficult way to cut the material.

This is the more difficult way to cut the material.

Test fit the material to make sure it isn’t too long (hopefully it is not too short). Once you are ready to put the new material on, it is a good idea to mark the positions where the screws formerly held the old material on. This makes it easier to hit the existing hole when running the screws back into the new material. (Note that we decided to do this after sliding the new top seal onto the channel).

Mark the old screw holes

Mark the old screw holes

Now, slide the material onto the channel, making sure it grabs the channel on both sides. You’ll know if you missed since it will just fall back off.

Lining it up

Lining it up

Sliding it on

Sliding it on

Once it is in place, center the material and grab your screwdriver. Use the marks you made to figure out where to start running the screw through the new material and into the channel. Note that the screwdriver bit will grab the softer seal material and try to wrap it around while you are running the screw in. Stop every couple of revolutions and pull the material back straight to keep from trapping the seal under the screw head or, worse, tearing the material.

Reinstalling the screws

Reinstalling the screws

With all the screws back in place, go grab the beverage of your choice and stand back and admire your new seals.

Yay!

Yay!

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