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Old 08-02-2010, 04:14 PM   #1
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Add a slide out

I own a 2003 Alpine FDTS 40 with 41K and am considering either upgrading to a newer coach with 4 slides of adding a curb side living room slide to mine.
I have a quote for approximately $20,000 to retrofit mine. A newer coach would cost at least $70,000 plus mine, for the one that I like (2005 Eagle). I'm not real fond of the additional sink and moved laundry in the 2006 Alpine FDQS 40 because you loose a big cabinet and drawers, but I like the layout in my 2003.

Any thoughts, potential problems or has anyone ever done this?

Thanks for the input, Chris

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Old 08-02-2010, 04:50 PM   #2
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A man was parked next to me who by himself installed an extra slide in a 5th wheel.

I said: "You did what?" then he showed me his huge pull truck with a (what looked like factory) storage unit (looked like a semi sleeper) behind his cab.

Well,,, you gotta reallt be good...

I'm not sure I'd buy the unit.

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Old 08-02-2010, 07:17 PM   #3
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I met a guy who had a no-slide coach, and had a slide added. It was not the flush-floor type like in the 06's and later, which is not a problem as far as I'm concerned. He loved it. Was in a Friendship IIRC, and looked factory.

I'm looking forward to you written report & before/after photos.
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:23 AM   #4
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Probably not an issue but you do have to wonder whether WRV or other quad-slide makers did anything to stiffen the surrounding sidewalls to support yet another large opening in the side of the coach.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:17 PM   #5
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I believe if you look at any RV on a cold morning, you will see where the aluminum struts and supports are located in the structure, because they are colder and show dew on them.

That being said, it's my opinion, that the whole sidewall will have to be redone, which means taking off the outer skin, adding untold new supporting aluminum pieces, then cutting out the area for the slide, and the building of the slide unit as well.

I can tell you it's "not like adding a room to a house" whole different can of fish.

I believe if it was me, I would do one of two things.

1. Live with my coach, until I found one I liked a whole lot better, with a floor plan that both parties (assuming two folks here) liked.

2. Trade in my present coach on one you like and forgo the additional slide modification, as it will lower you value, since it was not "factory Made". Very few folks want to buy a used unit with such a major remodel which was not done in the factory, and it's now not OEM unit. I am not a lawyer, but the fellow who says he can do it, now becomes the manfacturer of the RV since he changed and modified the unit in a major way, does he have the legs to warranty all the whole coach? ? ?

And the biggie for me is, I would bet you dinner at a nice restaurant that added slide causes leaks in places you never had leaks and stress’s out areas you would not have thought possible. So, spend the 20K on a new coach with the floor plan you like.

Now if you are bound and determined to have this done, take your coach to a high line coach builder, like Marathon, or American Coach (I think) or Parliament in Clearwater, FL, and get a quote from them, and my guess is they will tell you not to do it. And those folks build those Million dollar Plus motor homes, and with their expertise, if they won’t do it, then I would not do it either
Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:54 PM   #6
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Your might try to contact Burk Morgan. The RV manufacturing facility he went to work for after WRV, bought a room slide at the auction. I am sorry I don't recall the name of the company. I'm sure some one on this site can help out with that info.

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Old 08-07-2010, 04:33 PM   #7
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I have been mulling this over to figure out what else needs to be added. Now with the below additional information presented it occurred that you should know that all my slides (3 – bed room – vanity in BD – Kitchen/Living room) were installed at the factory, and I have stress cracks on my coach at the corners where the bedroom slides meet the main body of the coach, and this was a factory install. So please make sure your choice of company/person who is going to do the work is/has done this type of work before, and is licensed and bonded – plus has liability insurance so your covered if the thing burns down while he is doing the work, etc.

Assuming you have hydraulic slides now, either an expanded HWH system needs to be installed or, extensive upgrades will have to be done to the manifold on yours. At least 2 and maybe 4 in/out solenoids will need to be added, which necessitates a newer manifold or an additional one under the middle of the coach if not present. Now with that said, WRV might have just installed the same one every other coach has, and put plugs into the holes normally having solenoids installed in them, if that is the case, you are lucky, in that regard. However, you will need the hoses to be run to the actuators and all those subsystems installed.

If you have power gear electric slides now, stay with that equipment, as Power Gear seems to be building the best ones out there at this point in time. Our 5th wheel had power gear, and that slide was never a bother, and worked every time. You will note all the trouble the hydraulic ones seem to have on Alpines just by reading this forum. Think that part over carefully.

As I mentioned in my previous post, a lot of beefing up of the side walls and possibly the frame (tempered steel – should not be welded on causes loss of tensile strength of the steel) of the coach will need to be done. Since this is on the curb (passenger side) there is no water plumbing in that part of the wall so those won’t be issues. Lots of wiring changes will have to take place to accommodate that slide as well. I believe WRV ran a propane line to that side of the coach for the refer (RV Type) that line might have to be moved.

Now we have had ours for two years, and I think finally I have all or at least most of the bugs fixed on mine short of re-doing some wiring in the tank bay which goes over to the service bay, since WRV method was a joke. You will have lots of growing pains again if you have this project done, as lots of systems will be opened up, wires cut into, spliced into, the magnitude is huge, so when it’s done, there will be many areas which might have problems which will have to be fixed, so another year of discovery and repair will ensue.

I have spent several parts of the last few days working on my coach, installing a new water pump, and fixing a storage bay lock, doing this and that. And again, I am cautioning you, that this is a huge undertaking and hope you consider the magnitude of this project before you start it. I am not saying it cannot be done, I am asking however, is the cost and inconvenience and loss of use worth the trouble you are considering. Would it not be easier to just find another unit which has all the things you want?

If you choose to complete this undertaking, please be so kind as to record in pictures the work as you can, so we (this group) see how the process works. WRV although offering tours, never seemed to have a slide assembly going one when we were there. Seeing other Manufacturers videos of how they are made also does not show slide installation in depth, so your project offers us a long and slow pictorial to see all the facets involved in this issue.

Good luck on this if you do it.
Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:09 PM   #8
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As someone who has taken out carpet and replaced it with floating flooring in an entire class A, out a couple dome satellite dishes in a couple different coaches, and a few more aggressive projects, I can say right now that no way, now how I would undertake such a project or even think about having it done. To me, it would be like walking through a dessert in Iraq loaded with land mines. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:59 PM   #9
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OH, I forgot to mention, I am a certified RV Repair Technician. So, knowing how to fix or replace every system in an rv with the exception of the main engine and transmission, I agree with the fellow above. I would not do this remodel, but I assume you gathered that from my two very large posts above.
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Old Rv'er View Post
..... I would not do this remodel, but I assume you gathered that from my two very large posts above.
Naw, Tell us how you REALLY feel Monty!

Michael (Home base Northern CO)
USED TO HAVE; 03 Alpine 40MDTS Now RVless
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