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Author Topic: Slides (I'm looking to learn)  (Read 1105 times)

NCSU Dad

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Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« on: September 24, 2017, 01:21:56 PM »
We are new to RV's and looking to buy our first RV. We attended the August 2017 RV show in Raleigh. I had made up my mind I did not want a slide based on research I did which mentioned:
-cutting the slide opening in a wall compromised the structural integrity of the wall
-slides are prone to leaks which if gone undetected or ignored will cause major decay problems
-mechanical failure
-you could be limited in campground parking due to the clearances required when the slides are out
So I did not take the opportunity to look and ask questions at the show.

Okay I'm the last to know most RV's manufactured today have slides.

Many of the posts I have read on this forum mentioned electric, cable, and hydraulic slide operators (this might be old technology). Seems to me the slides I saw at the RV show had what looked like some sort of rack and pinion track exposed.

Also the posts warn of difficulty in resale of an RV's which doesn't have them. The example mention most often was how people worried about power window failure years ago in cars and how not having PW in your car or truck today would be unheard of.

After all this typing please educate me on slides.

Thanks!

kdbgoat

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2017, 02:11:33 PM »
Wouldn't own an RV without them.
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martin2340

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 02:18:55 PM »
X2
I was at the Hershey show I can't remember seeing many if any without slides. The TT I purchased originally came with Swintec slides but changed mid year to a cable driven slide due to a flawed design that as tearing the linoleum flooring. My TT has 3 slides and so far no leaks and the beauty of having all of the extra space is great. I never had a situation trying to get a CG requirement so far but I imagine it could happen.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2017, 02:35:34 PM »
If a campground was so tightly packed that there wasn't room to open a slide, I'm not sure I'd want to stay there.

HappyWanderer

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2017, 02:38:23 PM »
I find campers without slides to be narrow and claustrophobic, and wouldn't dream of owning a unit without at least one.

We've been at events where we've been packed in pretty tightly, such as rallies and festivals, and always had room for the slide. Sometimes not the awning, but always the slide.

You're much more likely to experience a leak from the roof than from a slide. However, we don't tempt fate and keep the slide closed during storage.

I think the power window analogy is a good one. Yes, it's possible to have problems, but not very likely.
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Memtb

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2017, 03:03:21 PM »
      Slides are much like RV's, many designs and many quality levels. And like RV's if you have a quality one  you can be quite happy, if poor quality,design,and/or workmanship a living nightmare. Generally speaking,but not always, a better quality RV will have better slides/seal/design and materials.
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ArdraF

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 03:16:34 PM »
Most of the negatives you mentioned were what we talked about back when slideouts were new.  I remember well all of us worrying about structural integrity, debris on top of the slides, etc. etc.  Most of the negatives never came to pass.  Yes, some of the early ones had problems and it was a major factory repair when something went wrong but the manufacturers came up with ways to make them better.  Holiday Rambler had a good slide mechanism and was bought by Monaco primarily for the slide technology.  We have that mechanism in our front slide and it works great.  Our first three Class Cs had no slides, our first Class A DP had one slide, and our current Class A DP has two slides.  These days the biggest issue has to do with underbay access when there's a slide overhead but we manage.  And, yes, slides make a small space much more livable.  I wouldn't forego buying an RV with slides on the off chance that it "might" have a problem some time in the future!  Chances are it will work just fine.  The biggest question these days is how many slides.  We are happy with two but some people really want four or even a "full-wall slide" so don't bypass a good RV because it has slides.

ArdraF
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garyb1st

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2017, 04:17:44 PM »
We had a no slide motorhome for three years.  It never leaked until we left California (think drought).  Then it leaked through the front AC.  Not a bad leak and more a nuisance than a real problem.  Our new motorhome has two slides.  Doesn't leak.  But then we haven't taken it to the rainy country yet.   

Once thing for sure, a non-slide motorhome does not sell as quickly as one with slides.  That and they don't hold their value as well.  It's a matter of market.  Many more people looking for a motorhome with a slide.  From a buyers perspective, that's a plus.  But selling can be a challenge.  Something to consider if you really enjoy RVing and decide to upgrade to something larger. 

 
Gary B1st

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TonyDtorch

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2017, 05:35:18 PM »
If a campground was so tightly packed that there wasn't room to open a slide, I'm not sure I'd want to stay there.

That sounds like a Walmart parking lot...not an actual campground.

John From Detroit

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2017, 05:53:47 PM »
I have 3 slides. had only one leak issue, detected and fixed before serious damage happened.
Have never had a park where I could not extend them
Have seen NO evidence the frame was compromised in any way mean or form.

RV is a bit over 12 years old... Only major slide issues.

Accu-Slide (This uses cables to pull sice in and out) Suggest getting a cable repalcement kit ASAP as if it breaks, way easier to fix if cable on hand. Read manual
 
Power gear (Rack and pinion electric) THe controller has failed and we can not locate it in the RV, WIll soon build my own controller.. I know how to do it, new controller has only 4 major parts (plus some wire) that's all.
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Larry N.

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2017, 06:28:44 PM »
Quote
-slides are prone to leaks which if gone undetected or ignored will cause major decay problems

You make it sound like they're doing that all the time. These are rare, and usually easy to fix, mostly due to a gasket gone bad.

Quote
-you could be limited in campground parking due to the clearances required when the slides are out

I wouldn't be in such a campground except as a last resort. And I have yet to see one of those, either. It's rare that a slide sticks out more than 3 feet or so, many only 2 feet. Do you want to park only six feet away from another rig?

Quote
Many of the posts I have read on this forum mentioned electric, cable, and hydraulic slide operators (this might be old technology). Seems to me the slides I saw at the RV show had what looked like some sort of rack and pinion track exposed.

Electric means that an electric motor provides the power via a cable or rack and pinion (or other) mechanism. All of these are in use, though cables on recent motorhomes aren't common. Each manufacturer uses what they think the best compromise between cost, reliability and other factors, so there are all the mechanisms you mentioned still in use (perhaps others, too).

IMHO, cable operated slides are the least desirable, but slides are rarely a problem on today's RVs, whether motorhome or trailer.

Pay special attention to Ardra's post -- very good historical info there, as well as her conclusions.

Larry and Mary Ann N.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2017, 08:28:37 PM »
Much of this is internet myth, propagated from one gullible RVer to another via the miracle of online chatter. Or a few quasi-Luddites who find fault with every new tech that comes along.
Quote
-cutting the slide opening in a wall compromised the structural integrity of the wall

Hogwash, simply because RV sidewalls have no real structural integrity to begin with. They are built as a unit and just bolted into place, adding very little to the structure rigidity of the RV. Nor are they all that strong in and of themselves

Quote
-slides are prone to leaks which if gone undetected or ignored will cause major decay problems
Well, slides can leak, but it's not evident they are a major source. Windows are responsible for just as many leaks, and few are suggesting those be eliminated. Ditto for skylights. The big leak risk in any RV are the roof seams and openings.

Quote
-mechanical failure

Some truth to this one. After all, it is a mechanical device driven my a motor, so obviously there are more parts to fail than without it. You seldom hear anyone write in and say their slide has worked perfectly for a dozen years, so complaints may seem frequent, but it is actually a pretty reliable piece of equipment. Some slide mechanisms are better than others, though.

Quote
-you could be limited in campground parking due to the clearances required when the slides are out

That would have to be really tight quarters. Most slides are only 20-30" deep, so the site would have to be really narrow, less than 15 ft?    No room to put an awning out either, and darn little room to put your lawn chair or grill out either.  I've been in a few sites where a tree or power pole was in an awkward position and I've had to position the rig to avoid it, but not any that wouldn't fit at all.

As with many tech improvements, you have to weigh the additional cost & complexit vs the value received. Even one modest size slide really opens up the interior of an RV.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 08:30:17 PM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2017, 09:15:16 PM »
Our previous 33' Class A had no slides, and while we did make some great memories with it, moving up to a newer 34' Class A with a single 14 foot "super slide" in the living area made a world of difference in the apparent as well as actual "roominess". Even though our coach is 16 years old, we've had no leaks in the slide, and the only repair that's been needed since new was a replacement control switch a couple of years ago, a $12 part and ten minutes work. I don't think we would ever consider another RV with no slides unless we were into extreme downsizing for some reason.
Dutch
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Dragginourbedaround

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2017, 10:08:40 PM »
-you could be limited in campground parking due to the clearances required when the slides are out
If I didn't have clearance for my slides, I wouldn't have clearance to open my door. My living room slide comes out the same distance as my door.
Gene

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TonyDtorch

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2017, 10:18:31 PM »
Don't think of it as a open sided box structure.

  It's actually a box-in-a-box structure,  which is stronger than even a closed box.

captaindomon

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2017, 11:53:15 AM »
Note that depending on the type of failure, if it does happen, there is usually a way to manually retract the slide if you are in a fix. My slide has a special tool to manually retract it by winding it by hand if the motor, or the power, or the controller fails for any reason. I've never had to use it but I keep it in the rig just in case.

JoelP

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2017, 05:13:09 PM »
I had similar feelings about slides in the past.  Now that I have them I can say that I have had problems where the slide didn't come in one time and needed me to push a reset button. This was because I was trying to retract on a partially charged battery.  On another occasion I had two different slideouts that would not extend due to a jammed slide lock, but now I know how to fix that by removing a washer that was not needed.  I have never had a leak.  I had one leveling bolt break that had to be welded in place.

That said I would never again own an RV without slideouts because it makes all the difference between having lots of living space or feeling confined.  They are well worth any hassle.  You will learn the things to be sensistive to to avoid issues. For example, I only extend when fully level, although I have seen others do otherwise.

As for constraints on width I did run into an issue one time with a branch that extended out into my assigned space, but a small positioning adjustment solved that problem.

One issue you didn't mention was that with a slideout you may not be able to walk all the way to the rear without crawling over a bed.
Joel from San Jose

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NY_Dutch

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2017, 05:37:01 PM »
Note that depending on the type of failure, if it does happen, there is usually a way to manually retract the slide if you are in a fix. My slide has a special tool to manually retract it by winding it by hand if the motor, or the power, or the controller fails for any reason. I've never had to use it but I keep it in the rig just in case.
Exactly! And I did test retracting our 14' gear drive slide using the provided crank tool. It's not fast and your arms get a workout, but it gets the job done.
Dutch
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JudyJB

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2017, 01:26:37 AM »
Ditto to all the other comments.  I would not own an RV without them because otherwise it feels too constricted.  (The resulting narrow space means you have to step over feet and around furniture to move around.)  I have two really big slides and have had only one problem in five years of full-timing.  Basically, that means I have opened and closed my slides at least 1,000 times over that period as I do not own a toad and move often.  That one problem was a fuse that needed to be replaced.

And you will easily notice any leak and so can fix it promptly.  Actually, I did have water blow in through a slide once, but that was during 60-70 MPH winds during a storm, and I put slides in and quickly mopped up water with towels.  No damage to roof as water was blowing in through bottom.  Never leaked before or after.
Full-timing for over five years in a
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garyb1st

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2017, 11:22:53 AM »
Exactly! And I did test retracting our 14' gear drive slide using the provided crank tool. It's not fast and your arms get a workout, but it gets the job done.

Dutch, will an electric drill work.  I used one to lower and raise the jacks when we had the trailer.  I've read the manual on closing the slide when the mechanism fails, but haven't actually looked at it.  Not sure there would be enough room. 
Gary B1st

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NY_Dutch

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2017, 01:04:35 PM »
Dutch, will an electric drill work.  I used one to lower and raise the jacks when we had the trailer.  I've read the manual on closing the slide when the mechanism fails, but haven't actually looked at it.  Not sure there would be enough room. 
Withe effort it took to crank my slide in, I don't think a standard electric drill would get the job done. Especially not a cordless drill. Other setups on smaller slides might be ok though. My crank shaft is about 4 feet long,  so you would need to fabricate just the shaft part even if you did have a drill capable of turning it.
Dutch
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garyb1st

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2017, 01:18:50 PM »
  My crank shaft is about 4 feet long,  so you would need to fabricate just the shaft part even if you did have a drill capable of turning it.

With a 4 foot shaft, you must be able to crank from the outside of your coach.  On mine, I need to crawl under the coach to reach the nut.  Haven't actually looked but you're probably right about needing more than a typical battery operated drill to bring it in. 
Gary B1st

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NY_Dutch

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2017, 10:02:55 PM »
With a 4 foot shaft, you must be able to crank from the outside of your coach.  On mine, I need to crawl under the coach to reach the nut.  Haven't actually looked but you're probably right about needing more than a typical battery operated drill to bring it in. 

Yep, there's a small guide hole at the bottom edge of the outer slide wall where the crank goes in. 
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

NCSU Dad

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2017, 05:44:17 PM »
Thanks to all who responded!

We are focusing on travel trailers but have not ruled out a class C. Since it is just the 2 of us we're in the 20-25 foot range. And since this is first RV we want to keep cost down in case we find RV'ing isn't for us.

When we left the Raleigh show I was wondering why slides are so prevalent if they cause problems. We have a Greensboro NC show in October so I'll definitely pay attention to the slide mechanisms. Ask questions. Thanks to forums like this I'm learning what to look for that would indicate a quality manufacturer.

Unless we had not other options we wouldn't want tight quarters when parked either.

What I find claustrophobic personally is lack of windows and dark interior finishes. I recognize the size RV we are looking at windows are a premium when you shoehorn in a kitchen, bathroom, closets, etc. I know I'm not going to be happy camper if I can't see outside when seated and looking forward. I understand more windows translate into potential leak points.

Thanks again!


ArdraF

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2017, 06:02:57 PM »
Lots of windows and light colors are essential for us too.  They make the interior much lighter and more "airy" appearing.  Also note that a lot of the newer rigs do not have sliding windows that open wide.  If you like fresh air and good air flow throughout then the so-called frameless ones might not work for you.

ArdraF
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JudyJB

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2017, 06:50:53 PM »
One thing I like about my Class C (and this is also true of As) is that you also have the big windshield to look out of when you are parked.  I am very snoopy and enjoy the view through the windshield and the two big windows in  my "living room"--one on each side.  Also, instead of using one of those "bras" to cover the front window, I made a black mesh snap-on drapery that I can adjust to reduce glare but that lets me look out. 
Full-timing for over five years in a
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HappyWanderer

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2017, 09:01:40 PM »
I'm with you on the dark interiors and lack of windows. It's obvious that the people who design RVs don't actually use them.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2017, 08:12:42 AM »
Quote
When we left the Raleigh show I was wondering why slides are so prevalent if they cause problems.

Simply because they increase the usable space dramatically by changing the tunnel-like interior of a non-slide to a wider, more open space. For most of us, the effect is greater than the number of extra square feet would seem to apply.

Are they problematic? Well, any motorized mechanical system can break, but I don't think slides are a major headache. Most of them work fine all of the time. Some of the newer, cost-reduced systems seem to to be less reliable, but the rack & pinion gear systems and hydraulic systems are mature technologies that are well-proven.

If you are going to spend much time in an RV, you want bigger. Cute little baths and kitchens cease to be so cute after a week or two. You want a decent shower, a commode you can sit on without your knees in the sink, and a kitchen & fridge big enough for your beverages, snacks and favorite meals. And comfortable chairs for each of you, too. If you are tv fans, a comfortable viewing angle is also a major consideration.  More space will usually yield more windows too.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 08:17:33 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
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NCSU Dad

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2017, 01:04:43 PM »
At the Raleigh show we got to the point of stepping into RV's that had dark colored cabinetry and turning around without looking further. That was mistake for us because we missed the chance of comparing quality between the manufacturers. No doubt people go for those colors or they would not be selling. Or maybe the dealer brought the unit that been collecting dust on the lot hoping for a sale.

I understand the idea of having the space along with the benefits you write about. My wife says the wet bath will be good enough but I doubt she'll be happy with that layout. Being our first rig we don't want to be in so deep money-wise we'll take a licking if we decide RV'ing is not for us and we sell.

I hadn't noticed fixed vs operable windows. Something to look out for.

99dart

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Re: Slides (I'm looking to learn)
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2017, 02:57:18 PM »
We purchased a newer MH this spring with a full wall slide. It is our first slide in an rv, so I guess we decided all-or-nothin'. No issues with it...yet and I hope it stays that way. We really enjoy the extra width. Take a look at rvusa.com for a variety of make, model and floor plans. It really narrowed down what brand we had to look at.
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