Coach Slides Vrs. No Slide Units
Slides started showing up in the early ’90’s, but many non-slide coaches were still being purchased. Today, it would seem that all, or certainly the vast majority of coaches sold, are slide equipped. There are still coaches offered that do not have slides. Many entertainer conversions are without slides. I recently saw a new Prevost conversion that was produced by a converter called “Outlaw” that had no slides. It wasn’t made as an entertainer’s ride, but a normal conversion with the usual interior look.
So, what would life without slides be like? It is surprising how roomy one feels. I went into the “Outlaw” conversion at an RV show in RiverBend, in LaBelle, Florida. Of course it didn’t look or feel anywhere as large as the many multi-slide rigs that are so common today, but it still felt roomy. I guess to really appreciate its interior layout you have to realize, this is the size of the RV when camped, or on the road. The “or on the road” is the big difference here when compared to the multi-slide.
All multi-slide rigs are somewhat awkward within the interior while the slides are retracted. Some are worse than others, but generally, the more and the deeper the slides, the more cramped they are. The full wall slide may have a slight advantage here when compared to the double same-slide. They only have two wall points when brought inside instead of four.
There are some advantages found in the no slide configurations. Less weight is quite apparent as the framing and mechanism used in a slide adds a considerable amount of weight. This weight reduction may well contribute to better ride, handling, and perhaps fuel mileage. Storage space is also saved as there is no slide mechanism or additional framing support found on a no-slide rig. Access to that storage is also far easier as no bending beneath an extended slide is required. Alleviating the slides and related components also reduces the regular maintenance, and in general, leaves less to go wrong. Of course, there is a substantial savings on the capital outlay, whether you buy a used rig or a new conversion. Slides on conversions cost somewhere in the 40k range, each.
What about overnight stops in rest centers, truck stops, Walmart, etc? Often insufficient space is available to allow slide deployment. In some cases it may be frowned upon as it looks like you are camping there. So, when faced with this type of overnight event, the living quarters within a multi-slide coach are usually less than ideal. On the flip side of the coin, the non-slide rig, being especially built and furnished for such, provides the full living environment that is found in camp.
A friend of mine has an older Foretravel coach. One night, I found myself sitting in his salon, along with five others, sharing an after dinner drink. There was more than adequate room for us all to sit and converse. It was not until someone commented on the fact that the coach had no slides that I became aware that, in fact, it did not. I guess it was the sizing and placement of the furniture and fixtures that made it feel equal to that of a slide equipped unit. If you have not experienced this, try going in one and judge for yourself. It may surprise you, it did me.
Well, non-slide models are not for everybody, but may well suit a person or family that wishes to travel a lot, urban boondock, or just plain save money. So, for those that might be shopping for a used coach, don’t necessarily turn your back on a non-slide rig. It may just be the best coach you ever had.
With Another Slide of The Story - Lug_Nut - Peter Mercer