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Old 04-04-2012, 07:37 PM   #1
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Bedroom slide unit fails 3rd time!

Here we go again. My "improved" replacement RBW-Al-Ko slide unit has failed at two years old. For the second time. The original unit failed when the soft worm gear wore down and wouldn't engage any more. This replacement direct drive is supposed to be better but doesn't have the push power. It stalled once and had to be "adjusted". I'm $1000 into parts and labor so far.

The symptoms now are basically little power and the sound of slipping. I have to hand-crank the slide into open or closed positions and manually help push the slide between the stops while DW holds the switch. Not enough power to overcome the seals and initial start, just whining. I looked at all the rotating shaft parts and everything rotates in sync, so it sure doesn't seem like a broken shear pin or something not connecting.

I haven't seen much chatter about these RBW units for a while, so I was wondering how everyone else is doing with theirs?
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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I also had trouble with the bedroom slide, 2004 Sea breeze. The dealer/repair shop said it was the nylon or plastic glides that the slide runs across. With the slide open, then from outside push down on the seal. One glide on each end and i believe one in the center.. they will wear out, even down to the screws then the screws will damage the slide box.. The glides are cheep, its the labor of removing the box Total estimate was $2200 on mine. I did a search on this site, found a guy back east that did it himself.. Jacked up the "Box" two inches and using an angled screwdriver removed and replaced them. Me, so far, I sprayed the glides with silicone, and waxed the box with mothers carnuba wax.. So it could be the motor/mechanical or it could be the box is dragging too much to push it out..
try it then let me know, Don
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by donhoward49 View Post
So it could be the motor/mechanical or it could be the box is dragging too much to push it out..
try it then let me know, Don
I think both of the above. There is definitely lots of friction, and I did wax the underside.
It will be checked out next month. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:06 PM   #4
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Update. Finally got the coach back from shop today. Motor bad in last unit, so another full new motor & gearbox assembly--$1100 installed. Youch. Apparently just motor not available. The slide itself moves easily enough for its size and design, and it is adjusted properly.

I am convinced that Al-Ko does not have an adequately designed unit for this NRV application, but maybe it's just me. I was told repeatedly that the drive assemblies are unique and not repairable, but I'm looking at the old ones and thinking there must be a way. Stay tuned...
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:53 PM   #5
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One more thought, do you extend/retract the slide befor or after leveling. I have found extending and retracting with the jacks retracted takes a lot of pressure off the slides.

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Old 06-22-2012, 08:30 PM   #6
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One more thought, do you extend/retract the slide before or after leveling.
fred
Level or within one bubble with or without jacks (although I rarely put the BR slide out unless we are set up for camping).
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:16 AM   #7
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One other thing I did.. Not sure it helped but it did not hurt. Under the bed, around the frame, on mine, was a metal boxed in frame support. I found a plastic/nylon wheel on its own bracket at a farm supply store. I mounted the bracket on the floor with the wheel helping support the bed rail, it is adjustable so I tried to pick up the slide and move the wheel to take some of the weight off the nylon glides.. I can not find the picture i only hope you can visualize this.
Don
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:02 AM   #8
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There is one thing that I did to my bedroom slide that made ALL the difference in the world to reduce the friction where the slide rests on the three nylon blocks under the slide.
I found the three areas where the nylon blocks contact the bottom of the slide and sanded these areas with 600 grit wet sand paper. Not alot, just enough to rough up the areas that contact the nylon slide blocks. I then waxed these areas with good old fashion carnuba wax. The wax really sticks to the roughed up fiberglass. The slide now moves twice as fast, with almost no drop in rpm's of the slide motor.
Do NOT lubricate the bottom of the slide with anything after you do the sanding job...all it does is attract dirt. Just re-wax the areas every few months.

You will love the way it works.

Bill
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:39 PM   #9
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In response to the previous two posts, my problems seem to be with faulty or poorly designed RBW/Al-Ko slide room mechanisms. The first one had a bronze worm gear that broke down due to either not being hardened or improper material for the torque, which led to the gear teeth wearing and breaking off. The second direct drive unit motor failed.
My slide seems to move relatively easily except that it is hard to get started off the seals. I have the wide slide--bed and wardrobe side by side. The slide bottom frame is rectangular steel tube which rides on nylon rollers. The finished slide bottom only rubs the bottom seal and does not appear to be weight bearing as far as I can see around all the other structure. I suppose waxing like many have suggested would help, but it is clean and was waxed with the same UV protector wax I use on the roof--probably not slick as carnauba wax.
I saved my original worm drive unit and I think I will replace the bronze worm gear with a cast iron version and keep that unit as a back-up for the next failure (but hope I don't need it).
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