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Old 10-18-2013, 05:49 PM   #1
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HWH Dining room slide mechanism failure

Okay, hereís a new one. While extending the dining room slide today on the í06 36í FDTS, just about when the slide was to go into the last phase of extension where it begins to drop to the level of the main floor there was a loud CRACKING noise. Oh, oh, now what? I then activated the retraction cycle, and at the point where the slide began the lifting motion and started the inward travel CRACK! There was no visual distortion to the slide inside or out and both sides appeared to be fully synchronized. Another cycle produced the same results. I then removed the slide curtain from behind the passenger chair and watched as the slide was extended in small increments to see just where the noise was being produced. It didnít take too long to find that what had happened was the plastic rollers on the massive extend-retract chain/roller mechanism were self-destructing on the lower chain assembly. There is an upper and lower chain assembly on both ends of the slide. Five of the rollers in the assembly on the inboard portion that attaches to the slide were completely destroyed and lying on the floor beneath the chain/roller assembly. With the slide retracted it was possible to inspect the rear two chain/roller assemblies; here I found three more plastic rollers were also destroyed on the lower chain/roller assembly. It appears the basic operation of the system is for the wall mounted hydraulic cylinders to extend and retract, and in so doing move the chain/roller assembly in and out to extend and retract the slide. The breaking point for the plastic rollers seems to be when the last part of the chain and rollers make a ninety degree turn and proceed up or down a wall mounted track. There also appears to be at least one, probably two, smaller cylinders that actuate the lifting and lowering of the slide so that the slide floor is level with the main coach floor. HWH obviously made this mechanism about as complicated as possible with little thought to how these rollers might ever be replaced. I suppose if the rollers were steel or even aluminum, they would more than likely produce a failure point somewhere else in the mechanism.

This latest problem is looking like a very major repair that will no doubt require the removal of the slide to access the replacement of the chain/roller assemblies. So the question is; have any of you in our Alpine group, or even those with other coaches, equipped with a similar HWH slide operating system experienced this malfunction? If you do have a similar slide system, and it hasnít reached this self-destruction mode, you too may want to do a visual inspection of these lower rollers on your coaches. There probably isnít much that can be done to preclude the failure of the rollers, but itís always better to discover these problems at home than being stuck out in the boonies somewhere.

My plan of attack is to check with HWH to see what they suggest, and if they have any recommendations for a truly qualified repair facility in the San Diego area. Then, Iíll give my extended warranty people the good news; they ought to love this one.
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:51 AM   #2
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I just replaced 3 rollers. The problem is if one roller brakes it puts more load on the neighboring rollers and over time they will brake.

HWH sells a package of 4 rollers, 4 stainless steel axles and 8 C-clips. I replaced them my self and the process is not easy.
HWH kit - RAP91644 KIT-$13

*Open hydraulic valves ( in-solenoid and out-solenoid )
*Insure there is no pressure on chain.
*Drill out one end of bad roller axle.
*Drive axle out far enough to place new roller into position.
*Start driving new axle through roller and use it to drive out remaining side of old axle.
*Install C-clips on each end.

Replace only one at a time.
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:51 AM   #3
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unless there are some parts of the slide or the cabinetry that obstruct the removal of the mechanism, there is no reason to remove the room. in most cases, you extend the room. disconnect the the room mounting brackets, and block up the room outside. the mechanism can removed, rebuilt, and reinstalled. you can replace the rollers on the chains, or replace the whole chain. either part can be ordered from hwh.
as gary said, its not easy, but it can be done. without removing the room.
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:55 AM   #4
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near san diego area, el toro rv service is a good place, in the riverside ares, acacia rv service in colton is one of the best in california.
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Old 10-19-2013, 04:31 PM   #5
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Hi Gary,

Great information on the availability of HWH roller kits, thanks much. Another couple questions, were your broken rollers only on the lower forward chain assembly and none on the aft mechanism? And, by chance, were your broken rollers also only on the lower chain assemblies as are mine? I was just looking at the two WRV floor plans for your 40í and our 36í and they look fairly close to being identical. I see no real problem accessing the front chain/roller assembly; that should be fairly straight forward. But, Iíll have to check whether or not the little cabinet just aft of the rear slide wall can be removed to gain just a little bit of access space to work on that chain with three, for sure, broken rollers. I have a handy pneumatic 90 degree aircraft drill that should make the drilling out of the rivets holding the rollers in the confined spaces relatively easy. Iíll call HWH Monday morning and order several of these kits.

Thanks again, Gary, and to the others that responded to my request for information regarding this problem; you all have helped immensely.
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
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Not that any of it is a real piece of cake for access, but our 2006 chain slide had a window facing rearward, through which (and while the slide was in) I could see the chain mechanism. Those windows are easy to remove & reinstall. The inside ring is held in w/the sq.drive screws you see, the exterior frame & window section will be stuck on the fiberglass w/some sort of mastic that will take a bit of jockeying, but they come do off. Then you can at least get a head & arm in there to see what that arm is doing.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:03 PM   #7
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Hi Mike,

Good point made about the removal of the aft end slide window, but I'm not so sure it would be workable due to the window being quite a bit higher than the lower chain/roller assembly. The other reason for that being a last ditch effort is that we just had all the windows replaced last year by Pinnacle in Vancouver, WA; and any thoughts about removing any of their windows is something I just wouldn't want to contemplate.

I was took a good look at the working space available on the aft lower chain/roller and it appears there should be just enough space to work on the three broken rollers and perhaps a couple others that look as if they too have taken a bit of a beating. The front area behind the passenger chair should be absolutely no problem for accessibility.

I’ll be talking with HWH tomorrow to get their input and order a few sets of the roller kits.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:49 PM   #8
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Dick,

All of our rollers were on the lower forward chain also. I believe most of the problems will always be with the lower chain as this does the majority of the effort pushing the room in and out. As for the rear chain we have not had any problems, but if it happens I have decided I would remove the residential fridge and cut an access hole through the wall (with the residential fridge there is no extra cabinet).
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:42 AM   #9
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Gary,
From what Dick is describing, do our Apex's have the same set up and are these a wear issue or age related problem ?
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:40 AM   #10
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Steve- if you have the "patio" side slide, i.e. are a triple wide living room, then you have the chain slide w/the rollers being discussed. I'd say those rollers are cycle related, i.e. how many cycles will determine the aging & replacement frequency. And its obviously something you will want to do at a convenient time/location rather than wait till they self destruct.

Alpines can't be the only rigs w/this wear issue; Monaco & others use the chain slide as well, Tiffin too I believe.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:51 AM   #11
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Hi, Steve

All the Apex’s with a dining room slide have the same setup.

I think the failures are a design week point in HWH slide out that use the link roller chain system.

You need to inspect all the rollers. The best way is to bring the dining room slide all the way in, remove the black curtain on the forward end. Then using a flashlight inspects each white roller on the chain for cracked, broken or missing rollers. Inspect the front two chains and the rear two. Most problems will be with the lower chain rollers as there is a lot of force exerted on the wheels when pushing the room out to its full extension.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:36 PM   #12
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Gary and Mike, Thanks for information, will add to my list of Apex to do's.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:34 PM   #13
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I just finished installing eight rollers and all new links on the front lower chain assembly. The links had really taken a beating at they made the 90 degree turn through the guide that sends the chain sliding up and down the wall. There are also two or three rollers on the top forward chain that look a bit suspicious and these too will go, their links are okay.

Then there is the dreaded rear lower chain, this has three missing rollers and three more that will be changed. This is going to be very difficult, but not impossible (he says with less than full confidence).

My method on the front was to drill out two of the hard brass rivets, the set heads, on each end of the section that I wanted to work on then took it to the bench and made up a new section with the new links, pins, rollers, and snap rings. I left the pins on the outboard to last when the section was installed in the chain assembly. That way I only had to push in one pin on each end and then install two snap rings.

I’ll advise how the rear goes. I plan on the same method of replacing the entire section of six total rollers and their links. If people don’t have beat up rollers it still might be easier to remove an entire section and work on it where the access is much easier on your workbench.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:46 AM   #14
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Gary, can you tell me how to unlatch the forward curtain and it appears all of mine are in good shape for now except the uppers behind the curtain.

Steve
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