The RV slide out motor is an essential component of your RV setup. It allows you to quickly and easily extend or retract the slides on your vehicle, making it convenient for when you want to make room for people or items inside.
When shopping for an RV slide out motor, there are a few important things to consider. The most important factor is the amount of power needed, which is usually measured in Watts. Higher-powered motors have more torque and can move heavier slides with ease, while lower-powered ones are perfect for smaller vehicles.
Be sure to check the specs before you purchase! Additionally, it’s worth researching the durability of each model as well as any warranties that may be available.
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AC vs DC
AC electricity is the type of electricity that most households use. It is generated by power plants and travels through a network of power lines to their homes. AC voltage comes out of outlets at 120 volts and changes direction in an alternating pattern. It also has advantages over DC when it comes to large-scale transmission because it can travel farther with fewer losses, meaning less energy is wasted during transmission.
DC electricity, on the other hand, does not change directions as AC does. It flows in one constant direction, making it more efficient for devices that require a consistent power supply, such as batteries or fuel cells.
The main advantage of using the DC power motor is that it provides more torque than traditional motors, so you don’t have to worry about your slide out not being able to open or close properly. This makes it much more efficient and can save you time, effort, and money in the long run. Additionally, because DC motors run on direct current they require less energy than regular AC motors, which will help reduce your electric bills!
A quality DC (battery) powered slide out motor will provide years of hassle-free operation while helping keep your RV running smoothly and reliably.
Wattage and Amps
The advantage of knowing how many watts something helps out in the replacement of the part, as well as understanding the power requirements for, say an RV generator. You may often only get the amp rating of a motor, so you may need to do some converting to get to the watts.
The power formula is P=IV, which stands for Power (P) equals the current (I) multiplied by the voltage (V). To understand this equation, you have to know what amps and watts are. Amps measure the amount of current flowing through an electrical circuit, while watts measure the energy an appliance needs to function properly.
So if your motor is 30 amps, and it runs on a 12V RV battery, that is P (watts) = 30 (current) x 12 (voltage). This would be 360 watts.
Now, the key is that this is DC power, and it is not the same as being plugged into shore power and getting 360 watts. That is because RV AC is 120V, so plugging in the formula, you get a different result.
P (watts) = 30 (current) x 120 (voltage). This would be 3,600 watts. So to get the same power to this motor in AC, it would take 3,600 watts. Unfortunately, you can’t connect a DC motor to AC power. That is where an Inverter comes into play. For more info on power and how RV batteries work, visit the 6V vs 12V RV Battery post.
Many people are looking for ways to convert AC to DC battery power. While it can be confusing and intimidating for some, the process is quite simple with the help of an inverter.
An inverter is a device that converts AC electricity from shore power into DC electricity, which is what batteries use. It works by taking alternating current (AC) power from your wall outlet and converting it into direct current (DC) power that batteries need to function properly. By using an inverter, you can easily turn any source of AC into a reliable source of battery power.
If you are looking to calculate what size portable generator you need to power your slide, some thought is needed. Your portable generator power is calculated by its AC power. For example, a 2,000-watt generator is that many watts of AC power. Since your slide motor is DC power, the calculation we learned above differs. And since the slide motor runs on DC power, the power itself comes from the battery and not the portable generator direct.
As long as your battery is good and will hold a charge, the portable generator size does not matter that much. That is because your inverter is acting like a battery charger and will trickle the power to the battery at its designed amp rating.
So if you connect a 10,000-watt portable generator to your camper, the inverter would likely charge the battery at the same rate as a 2,000-watt generator. And since the slide motor runs on DC power, it will always need to go through the 12V DC battery.
How many watts does an RV slide out use? The answer we learned is based on a simple formula – P=IV, which stands for Power (P) equals the current (I) multiplied by the voltage (V). For a typical slide motor at 30 amps, the watts are 360 watts (in DC). When it comes to an RV slide, what is important to note is that this is DC power from your travel trailer battery. And that shore power or portable generator power comes in at 120V and is different than the wattage by the DC power of an RV battery.
Tony is an avid camper and RV traveler. He fell in love with camping on his first RV trip with his wife over 25 years ago. Tony loves sharing lessons learned and tips about RV maintenance and safe traveling.