Electric rack and pinion vs. hydraulic slideouts

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Back2PA

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Jul 26, 2015
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5,766
Continuing the 5W education process, I have run across both electric rack and pinion and hydraulic slideout mechanisms. On my motorhome I have large (much larger than the 5W ones I've seen) rack and pinion setups. Although it's my understanding that at the time the Newmar slideouts were considered state of the art, I'm not impressed. The motor is definitely running at absolute max load and barely gets the job done, and the larger slide has required adjustment almost yearly. The LR slide controller burned up once ($350 + install, fortunately covered under extended warranty) and when it went, the slide motored itself out and I couldn't stop it in time.

I haven't seen the 5W slides operate. Which is faster, more reliable, etc? Is there a manual backup for both systems? Repair costs? Anything else? Thx
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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25,274
Location
Davison Michigan
Manual backups are a "Depends"

I did a 5th wheel with hydraulic slides. The owner held the proper button (The motor is not working) while I operated a hand pump just like a hydraulic bottle jack.  That worked.  But I do not know if all have them.

Some have a motor that can be drill powered I suspect.  But I've not seen one.

On the rack and pinion.. Power Gear says there is a 3/4 inch nut on the end of the cross shaft. ONly Damon did not install it on mine.. I was able to use other meand to move the slides in and out  Two different ways.

The dual motor systems I know nothing about.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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74,667
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At our Silver Springs FL home
I've had both hydraulics and rack & pinion and it's a toss-up s far as I'm concerned.  The Power Gear dual rack, single motor R&P I've owned (4 of them) all functioned well.  The single hydraulic slide I had also worked well and smoothy.

I don't think any of them are fast, and the reasons aren't just motor size. The go slow and steady to give kids and pets time to get out of the way and to minimize the contact speed at either end.  Plus, the controllers are set up to stop the motor if resistance gets too high.
 

Memtb

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Aug 25, 2017
Posts
944
Location
North-Central Wyoming
  I?ll take the hydraulics over anything else! Had two with screw or worm drive.....reliable but slow! Have rack drive on our little class c.....it?s OK!
 

mhbell

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Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Posts
126
Location
Ogden Utah
I've had both. The Hydralic one leaked when the fittings at the pump came loose Losing all of the fluid. Very Messy in the compartment. Had to check the fittings all of the time to be sure they were tight and check fluid level. When working they were very smooth and faster than the electric. The electric worked without problems except the last 2 that I have had. One slide got stuck and cocked at an angle while retracting. I was able to grab it at the top while inside and shake it loose. on my present one it has a electric cable operated slide in the bed room . works perfectly and is quiet. The main slide works smooth, but at one time it must have went to far pulling the trim away inside. other than that it works fine. I could take either one, but prefer Electric.
Mel
 
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