Safety Brace?

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Ray D

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Jun 4, 2006
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Boise, Idaho
Our 2005 Damon Challenger came with a safety brace, a bar to secure the slide, while driving. I was told that it is to prevent the slide from sliding out on its own, while driving. It goes between the front edge of the slide, at the top, and the wall above and behind the driver. That would be me, when it comes loose and drops on my head.

It is adjustable, and appears to be tight, when I install it. This is not a complicated mechanical problem. I think I understand how it works - or in my case, doesn't work. Nevertheless, it comes loose, every time. I gave up, and have been sneaking around without it.  :-\ The slide hasn't slid out on its own, yet.

That thing is a pain, litterally!  :mad:  How much of a risk is it, to drive around without it? Am I just lucky, to not have had the slide - slide out - on its own? Any suggestions?  ???

Ray D
 

Rex

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Feb 15, 2006
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Alabama Gulf Coast
Ray, that sort of depends on the type slide drive you have.  If it is electrical, in may or may not move.  Some electric slide motors have a brake, and often that can still let it move.

On my coach, I place the slide lock (brace) right behind my seat.  Only took one time of it coming down for me to change the lock placement location.  Wouldn't you know, it hasn't come loose again.  And, no, I am not going to put it back up top to see if it will fall.

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I've never used one of those braces, but all my rigs have had brakes on the slide mechanism itself. Don't know if the braces are really needed or are just a belt & suspenders thing, perhaps inspired by the legal dept.    However, if your slide moves around so much that the brace falls out, I would wonder if perhaps it is not a good idea to use it in your case. 

I find it rather strange that the slide could be all the way in and the brace inserted between slide and wall and then have it move further in so that the brace can fall. That suggests to me that the slide in fact was not all the way in when the motor stopped. Maybe you need a motor adjustment???

Meanwhile, why not put the brace down near the floor? Not as good a brace spot as higher up, but easier on your head.
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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OUr old 98 Pace has a tendency to drift out while on the road.  Have had it checked several times and fluid levels as well.  Shops say replace this or that and unless they will gaurantee me that will work,  NO Deal.  I just take 2 heavy rachet straps and hook one to each slide bar and tighten it up  Works great and only takes a few moments to do.  I'm satisfied and to me that's all that counts.
 

KodiakRV

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Aug 19, 2006
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Florida
When I was going through the checkout of our new MH in September, the RV tech said that if I ever forgot to take out one of the braces, the motor would drive it right through the wall.  That's when I decided to go without using them until I had clear indications that I shouldn't.
 

Ray D

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Boise, Idaho
OK, here?s my initial assessment. The Lock Bar is a CYA Mod, after someone got sued. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.  8)

After mine fell, for the fourth or fifth time, including once when the dealer first installed it, to show me how, I decided to take a good analytical look. I decided to give my undergraduate engineering studies some exercise. (My degree is in History - same thing.)  ::)

The top of the slide flexes, ever so slightly, as you drive down the road. You can see the bar slack, and then tighten, again as body flexes. It is installed at the top of the slide, on the back of the molding/flange that winds up against the wall when the slide is extended.

I examined the slide. It is not directly attached to the frame, at the top. It appears to slide through a rubber gasket. There are no guides apparent. Basically, it sits on the floor when retracted. If one pushes on the molding/flange, at the top, it is just slightly flexible. Movement not readily visible, just not firm.

If I sit on the floor and push against the flange with my feet, it is solid as a rock. No movement at all, no flex. The bottom of the slide is attached to the frame of the motorhome through the linkage that extends it, and two tracks. Those are visible on the outside, looking up at the bottom of the slide. Pushing and pulling, under there, yields no movement, at all.

If I was fearful that the slide might take off, on its own, some day - I could jam an adjustable bar between the flange and the wall, and prevent that. I could put it anywhere, up and down the flange. Then if the slide starts to move, for any reason, the bar prevents that - or bends the flange or the wall. Or, if the motor to the slide, it stops the motor.

If I put the bar near the bottom, then it is pretty solidly jammed, near the working parts. It is at the strongest point on the frame and on the slide. Only the motor has a chance of challenging it, and I think the motor loses that challenge.

On the other hand, I could put the bar at the top. Then, the slide is hindered, in movement. But, if the slide does start to move, especially if some idiot runs the motor without removing the bar, there is six feet or so of leverage, vertically, between the bar and the solid components and the linkages. Now, if someone forgets the bar and attempts to extend, the leverage assists the motor and something is more likely to bend.  :eek:

If it is needed, at all, then near the bottom is a better location - head-lumps notwithstanding.

How am I doing?  ???

Ray D
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Davison Michigan
I too have a Damon, same slide lock.  I do not think the slide will come out w/o the lock bar in place but why take the chance?  If it does come out it's going to happen when you are making a "outside" turn (That is a turn where the slide is on the outside, normally a right) and when the slide comes out it's going to unbalance your rig to the left, also it will act like a slide hammer pulling your rig left, which is the way it's leaning due to the turn... Not a good picture.

When you put the bar in first make sure the notch on the small end goes over the bar in the hole,  It is possible to put it in so it's riding on the bar but that won't work well, Then "Level" the bar so that  both caps on the "T" end press against the slide.

Now tighten it securly (UP from your side is tighter,  Tighten UP)  Use both hands to turn the bar if you have to to tighten it.  Very tight.
 

Lowell

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Aug 15, 2005
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Tempe, AZ
Are these braces common for slides?  I never heard of them before. When we bought our TT with a slide, there was no brace in the instructions from the dealer during the instruction nor is there any comment in the owners manual regarding a slide brace.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
Some makes of rigs use them, others do not. May be legal dept differences, or may have something to do with the rigidity of the chassis and body. Or with the type of slide in/out mechanism used. Neither my current coach nor the previous Dolphin LX had any slide braces.  The Southwind we had before that mentioned them in the owner manual but there  were none in the coach (but we got it used). All three coaches said their slide mechanism had a self-locking feature on the drive motor. The last two were electric rack & pinion, the Southwind was hydraulic.
 
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