Travel trailers come in all shapes and sizes (some even have a unique rear slide out bed), and these days the design options are endless. One of these options is a slide-out extension, which has become a fundamental feature in modern RV design and can take your travel trailer a step above the rest in terms of luxury and functionality.
Most modern slide-outs are mechanical, resulting in a no-fuss, easy extension to your trailer. They add space to areas that can otherwise feel crowded and small, increasing the livability of your holiday home on wheels.
Particularly appealing to those who spend extended amounts of time in their RV, slide-outs definitely have their benefits for the weekend warriors too. While a slide-out will add weight to your trailer, it gives you the option of extra space without having to tow around a huge trailer – which can present its own issues.
Rear slide-outs, in particular, are a great option as they do not increase the width of your trailer so you’re unlikely to have much trouble with space when occupying a camping spot or narrow space. If you’re weighing up the options available when buying a travel trailer, a slide-out is something that comes highly recommended by many RV manufacturers.
While they are not for everyone, they can certainly add functionality to your trailer. Here are six of the best rear-slide out bed travel trailers on the market today and the features we love about them.
6 travel trailers with a rear slide-out bed:
1. Outback Ultra-Lite 21OURS
Length: 23 feet 4 inches
The 21OURS is impressive in its ability to sleep 7 people – accommodated between flip-down bunk beds, a sofa sleeper, and its main feature of a slide-out bed at the rear of the RV.
The slide-out on this travel trailer is operated using a Norco cable-driven slide system, with a backup manual slide manufactured standard with the vehicle.
LCI power stabilizing jacks and a power tongue jack can be set up with ease and ensure that even with the extension all the way out the trailer is still balanced. The rear slide-out is decked out with USB ports and a TV hookup, so organizing entertainment is convenient and simple in this RV.
Going a little further afield is never an issue in this travel trailer, with a 60-gallon freshwater tank, and 30 gallon gray and wastewater tanks. Solar prep that comes standard with the trailer allows for your own custom electrical rigging and energy systems.
More info: keystonerv.com
2. Forest River Grey Wolf 19SM
Length: 24 feet 5 inches
If you’re looking for a compact RV that can sleep the whole family, it’s worth looking at the 19SM. Two Queen Beds (one located in the rear slide out), a sofa, and a bunk above the front bed allow you and 7 of your closest friends and family members to stretch out and sleep comfortably in your travel trailer.
Storage is more than adequate – the rear slide with a queen bed features an external storage rack, and overhead cabinets, a pantry and a wardrobe give you more than enough room to bring everything you need with you on your adventure.
The power awning creates an external entertainment area for those sunny days when you want to take advantage of outdoor living space.
Available in 3 unique packages, (limited, base camp, and the campfire model), Forest River Inc. really lets you pick and choose the features that you want to include in your travel trailer, with features including a bathroom skylight, a gas/electric water heater, outdoor shower, and fireplace available in selected packages.
More info: forestriverinc.com
3. Jayco Jay Feather X213
Length: 24 feet 2 inches
The rear slide-out of the Jay Feather X213 features a large king bed (taking up almost the entire width of the slide-out, so entry is from the foot of the bed) and overhead cabinets for storage.
This travel trailer can sleep up to 9 people with the combination of the rear slide-out king bed, twin single bunk beds at the front of the trailer, and sofa-bed conversion.
The kitchen is kitted out with a microwave, oven, fridge, and pantry, and the spacious washroom features a shower, sink, toilet, and medicine cabinet.
The interior of the X213 comes with the option of two design packages – modern farmhouse or vintage washed, and solar and electrical prep are wired at manufacturing, so you can customize the trailer with your own additions and entertainment to your liking.
More info: jayco.com
4. Outback Ultra-Lite 252URS
Length: 29 feet 7 inches
Similar to the 21 OURS, this travel trailer features a cable-driven slide system with manual backup and stabilizing jacks. The 252 URS is manufactured with two slide-outs, one on the side accommodating a dinette and a substantial 10 cubic foot two-door refrigerator, and another in the rear including a sofa sleeper/theater seating and end tables.
The queen bed located at the front of the trailer has a built-in pet kennel for your furry friend to join you on adventures – or you can simply use the space as extra storage!
Experience the luxury of in-floor heating, keeping you warm even when the temperature drops outside.
A hidden pantry, 3 cook top burners, and a microwave make cooking up a feast not only possible – but also enjoyable! The 40-50 inch high definition TV and DVD player, plus an extra TV hookup in the bedroom complete the entertainment system.
The bathroom has a remarkably spacious shower (30 x 40 inches) and porcelain foot flush toilet, plus it provides privacy while allowing light in with the installation of a skylight. Fresh and grey water tank capacities are 60 gallons, and black water capacity is 30 gallons in this trailer.
More info: keystonerv.com
5. Forest River Flagstaff Shamrock 21RS
MSRP: $23,001 (used market 2012 model)
Length: 21 feet 9 inches
The Shamrock 21RS features a rear slide-out containing a square 74 inch ‘Super Queen’ Bed. The trailer is also equipped with two convertible sofa beds and in total it can sleep 6, which comes as a surprise considering its small size.
This fiberglass and aluminum trailer comes standard with a skylight and is pre-wired for phone, heat, and satellite systems, as well as fit with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and a propane alarm to keep you and your family safe.
The bathroom is equipped with a bathtub which is unique for a trailer as compact as the Shamrock 21S, as well as the standard sink and faucet, medicine cabinet, mirror, and toilet.
The luxury of a heated mattress and 35,000 BTU ducted furnace will keep you warm when it’s cold outside, and two Maxxair ventilation fans will keep the trailer cool on hot summer days.
The interior height of 6 feet 5 inches is accommodating for your average person, although might be less comfortable for taller travelers. Overhead cabinets located throughout the trailer and a wardrobe next to the sofas keep everything organized – so say goodbye to the days of frantically tying everything down before hitting the road!
More info: rvguide.com
6. KZ RV Escape E160RBT
Length: 19 feet 2 inches
If you’re not interested in the hard-structured slide outs on the other travel trailers mentioned above, the tent extension on the Escape E160RBT might be a little more to your liking. The tent bed measures 54 by 74 inches, accommodating up to 2 sleepers.
R-7 insulation, 13,500 BTU air conditioning, and tinted windows keep your trailer at a comfortable temperature and give you privacy wherever you decide to park. Additional packages and options are available to customize the trailer for however you want to adventure.
The off-grid package comes with solar panels, a 1,000-watt inverter, and extra clearance allowing you to hit the winding gravel roads that take you to secluded campsites with ease.
Also optional is a 7 CF refrigerator and wireless backup camera system which, while non-essential, are convenient features to have.
If you don’t want to add any extras the standard trailer is still packed with enough features to enjoy an adventure away from home – the 2 stove burner, microwave, and 8 cubic foot refrigerator make for a functional kitchen without the need for too many extra appliances.
More info: kz-rv.com
Do slide outs on travel trailers leak?
Generally and when in good condition the slide out of a travel trailer will not leak and will be sealed to a standard much like the body of the RV.
This being said, there are a number of situations that can result in unwanted leaks in your slide out – the first being worn-out seals. Ideally, rubber seals should be replaced at least every two years as regular wear and tear can compromise their quality.
Luckily, rubber seals are not difficult to replace or maintain. You simply need to determine which type of seal you have, the dimensions of the seal, and how it is attached to the trailer before replacing it.
The second issue causing slide-out leaks is . When the trailer isn’t leveled, small gaps can result in leaks and the pooling of water. This moisture can lead to a build up of mold, and makes it difficult to keep your belongings (and yourself!) dry.
Using jacks or leveling blocks can ensure your RV is balanced, and if your trailer doesn’t have a leveling indicator you can use a standard spirit level to remedy the problem.
Can you walk on an RV slide out?
An RV slide out is intended to be an extension to the living space in your RV. Often they feature a galley or sleeping area and are designed to easily hold the weight of occupants if extended correctly (meaning necessary jacks are being used). The weight capacity of your slide out will vary but is generally – check with the trailer manufacturer for an accurate weight limit.
In terms of (which is generally only needed for cleaning or maintenance purposes) the same applies – so long as your trailer is level and slide-out properly extended you shouldn’t have any issues.
How do I lubricate my RV slides?
It’s important to perform regular maintenance on your slide-out, and part of this involves lubrication to keep everything moving smoothly – .
Lubricate on the rails and gears of the slide-out using a seal conditioner spray to keep your seals in tip-top condition. In addition to spray, baby powder is known to be an effective lubricant and is recommended by a number of trailer manufacturers.
My Closing Thoughts & Top Pick
Slide-outs are a modern and innovative addition to the standard travel trailer design, and if I were to choose one of the options from the trailers listed above I would choose the Outback Ultra-Lite 21 OURS.
The small size and lightweight when compacted makes it easy to tow behind my vehicle, and unlike with a conventional RV or trailer, a smaller size when it comes to a slide-out doesn’t mean less storage or space inside.
Between the overhead cabinets, pantry, and wardrobe, the 21 OURS has so much storage space that even a neat freak like myself feels organized!
I like the option of being able to rig a solar panel to take the trailer off the grid if I want to explore off the beaten path, and the optional outdoor shower (in addition to the spacious interior one!) is a great addition for those secluded camping spots and for washing off dirt after a day of adventure.
There are so many benefits to having a slide-out if you’re wanting more space without towing a bigger trailer, and with regular maintenance, a slide-out can be a well-loved feature of your RV trailer for years to come.
(image credit – top of article: keystonerv/instagram)
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David Parnell is the founder and lead editor at Trail and Summit, who enjoys writing on a wide range of topics from travel trailers to trail running. He’s an accomplished mountain endurance athlete who has completed over 25 ultra marathon races (follow on Strava). He is most proud of his finish at The Drift 100 – a high elevation, 100 mile winter foot race that zigzags along the Continental Divide in Wyoming. In the future he hopes to compete in the ITI 350 and ultimately the full 1,000 mile Iditarod Trail Invitational that follows the same path as the historic dog sled race.