Full wall slides are a relatively new concept being offered on class A coaches today. These offer a big visual increase to the size of the interior when they are deployed, as they would be at a camping site. Some makes have floor plans that offer these extended slides opposed, one on the driver side and one on the passenger side. These certainly are impressive when you first walk in. Their ability to “wow” you with a spacious feeling is immediately evident.
But, do they really provide much more interior living space? Maybe not, if compared to a four slide model. If you measure the length of each slide on some four slide units, you may find that the aggregate total length of either side not that much different from that of the full wall slide models. Therefore, many full wall slides may not really be providing additional square footage of living space, just a different way of presenting it.
Sometime ago I posted a query on the forum looking for comments from members on their thoughts on full wall slides. There was very good participation, including a few full wall slide owners, with many well thought out views and ideas. Some of these were as follows.
- More interior living space, or at least the feeling of.
- Less slides to deal with.
- Most current owners have no issues and love them.
- Loss of some storage under slide due to lower basement ceiling.
- Access to basement storage more difficult beneath slide.
- Can not position tree or other object between slides for more door side room.
- Additional weather sealing challenges given the immense size.
- Structurally unproven for service needs over high mileage or age.
Wait a minute. Loss of basement space, and more difficult storage access? But if a particular four slide has approximately the same linear footage as that of the full wall slide, what’s the difference? Well, most four slide models have their rear slides over the rear axle(s) and wheel wells where there is no storage anyway.
The full wall slide models available appear primarily to be “bath and a half” models on many makes. On these, they may make perfectly good sense as no slides can be used on the rear head area on a diesel pusher. This is due to the engine, radiator and related components requiring all the below floor area. So this bathroom extends this non-slide area considerably forward to the bath/bedroom wall location reducing the ability to have a reasonable sized bedroom slide.
There is however one thing I’m not completely clear on. What exactly is the true definition of a full wall slide. Is it the overall length, a certain length ratio when compared to the coach size, or is it just a manufacturer’s name for an oversized slide? One thing is for sure. It is not really even near a full wall slide, but more like a two thirds slide when compared to the vehicle length.
So, is this soon to be the standard in the industry? Will the multi-slide coach eventually be a thing of the past? Only time will tell. How they will perform in time, and how they will be perceived by future buyers, will inevitably be the driving force. It is doubtful that it would be practical for a manufacturer to produce both on each and every model. This would probably not be financially viable.
So, what are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have a full wall slide now, or will you want one on your next coach?
Just My Slide Thoughts - Lug_Nut - Peter Mercer
Changes and new innovative ideas are showing up in floor plans each year in all types and sizes of recreational vehicles. One of these newer floor plans, that started showing up, in the larger class “A” coaches several years ago, was the bath and a half. This design incorporates a mid ship two piece and a full rear three piece. This particular set up has become increasingly popular within the last couple of model years and is now offered on many models and makes of 40′ and up coaches. The increase in headroom on many coaches helped make this possible as the engine is beneath the rear bathroom floor and required a higher floor in a large portion of the room. Most, if not all, are found in vehicles equipped with a tag axle. This is due to the additional rear overhung weight.
The surprising thing you first notice when entering a bath and a half is that this extra full width dedicated bathroom does not seem to infringe on the size of any other room or area. That’s because the bedroom and living area depth may in fact only be several inches shorter. But how is that possible? There must be something missing, a trade off of sorts. But, as you walk through it at an RV show, there seems to be no question, there is nothing missing. A quick walk through a non-bath and a half of the same make and model confirms the same thing. The bedroom and living/kitchen area appear only marginally deeper, perhaps less than a foot or so at most. Certainly not enough to make up for a rear bathroom, that is somewhere around five or six feet deep.
So let’s look closer and see where they get this extra space.