The slide-out concept was born in the United States. First to think about it, as early as 1915, was the manufacturer Gustav Bretteville, who developed, in San Francisco, something he called an “Automobile Telescoping Apartment”
which was placed on the back of a Ford Runabout Model T.
However, we need to wait until the 1990’s before the slide-out mechanism reappeared on the market, thanks to the introduction of electric motors, to be able to expand the living space with a slide-out.
Today, almost all recreational vehicles sold in North America have slide-outs. And not only one: the average is almost two expandable sections for each vehicle!
In the slide-out sector, Lippert Components (LCI) is a market leader. Each year, this US multinational produces something like more than 500,000 of its In-Wall slide-outs, divided into several product ranges.
The Schwintek system, which was launched over five years ago, is used by over 70 different brands.
This solution is particularly innovative as it made it possible to eliminate obsolete cable-based opening systems. Above floor mechanisms are designed to ensure sofas or beds can easily slide-out. The small number of moving parts and the integration between the sliding track and its guide make the slide-out system invisible.
LCI also offers the F.A.S.T. Track® slide-out range. With a reduced number of components and being able to be supplied pre-assembled, motorhome manufacturers can install them more quickly and save production time.
The innovative Power Gear® SlimRack® has advanced features such as programmable positioning, operated by patented position detection technology.
If you are curious to find out how a slide-out is produced, you can watch a video (in English) made by LCI: How It’s made.
Today, the opening and closing of modern slide-outs are no longer controlled only by pushing a button, but also via a smartphone app. The OneControl® app allows you to keep everything under control during handling operations and also operate multiple systems simultaneously.
Finally, if you think that a slide-out is only for recreational vehicles, get ready for a surprise: when high engineering skills and inventive genius meet, anything can happen.
This is how the first pontoon boat with a slide-out was created by Lippert Components technology and the idea of Barletta Boats. This way, even a boat can double the livable space on board simply by expanding the available surfaces.
In the video Barletta EX23Q Slide-Toon – Boater Reactions – you can see this wonder in action!