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Old 09-10-2015, 09:17 AM   #1
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Tiffin slides: can they be retracted manually?

Are slides a failure waiting to happen? I've not had a problem with slides in my 5ver -- and have a crank to retract them manually if there's a problem. Not being stuck with an extended slide is something I need to address before seriously considering a Tiffin, or Newmar.

If the slide problems some owner have is a fraction of existing slides out there, everything is good. If the problems are recurring, with lots of shop time repairs, then that's another issue. I'm wanting my possible anxiety to go away on this issue.
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:20 AM   #2
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I suppose if you are trying to come with an excuse to not buy a motorhome, you are doing a good job.

Almost all motorhome manufacturers use slide mechanisms purchased from outside vendors. So instead of trying to figure this out by motorhome brand, you might want to approach it from a different angle - component manufacturers.

- Newmar makes some of their own slide mechanisms
- HWH makes a lot of the hydraulic systems
- Lippert Components makes a lot of the electric slide mechanisms
- Powergear makes a number of electric slide mechanisms as well

Failures, if you read through forums like this one, a fairly rare and most often associated more with the electrical side of things than mechanical. I can't speak to your fifth wheel and why it had so many problems that required shop time, but other issues are probably more common in motorhomes.
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:31 AM   #3
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This is what roadside assistance and or extended warranty coverage is for. I'm not being flippant, rather realistic. In a hydraulic system you can drain fluid (don't know how but I saw it done) and then physically push the slide into position. Then lock the slide in position with an internal 2x4 cut to fit as a brace. In the electric slide I read in a manual that you can disengage the gear under the bed assembly and push in the slide. There have been very few posts from people with slide problems. Thor had a slide problem a few years ago, but I understand they beefed up the motor. At a Tiffin seminar by HWH regarding slide care it was noted that if the slide does not come in you just slide it all the way out and the motors and sensors are self corrected, they recalibrate and then the inward motion returns to normal.
The slides should be the least of your concerns today.
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:38 AM   #4
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I see from your post that you have not had a problem with your slides. I will bet that you have not posted that before. Most people do not post that things are going great. They only post when things go wrong. In the early days (1993) we had a lot of problems. As time went on they got better. Today most people do NOT have many problems.
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:00 PM   #5
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I can retract both my slides manually. Bought my 2004 new and have not had to manually retract. Estimate bedroom slide out 75 times a year and frontroom slide out around 15-20.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:25 AM   #6
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We have a 2014 Phaeton 40AH. On a trip to Alaska this year both of our rear slides went out. They are both made by Schwintek and are electric. We had one of the motors on each side go out. During my back and forth conversation with Tiffin. I was told that if you disconnect the wires to the controllers (located in a rear bay on P/S). you will be able to manually push the slide out and in. I did not try this so I don't know if it works. On our coach it might be possible to do that to the P/S where the bed is, it has a small slide. But on the D/S the slide is very large and heavy.
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:11 AM   #7
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We have had 2 travel trailers, 2 Fifth wheels and now on our second motorhome (both Tiffins) all since 1986. In all of these years, we have have two times where a slide out would not retract. Once with one of the travel trailers, we manually side it in. The second time was with the present Allegro Bus, where a rear slide would not retract, turned putto be a stripped motor drive gear. We were on a trip, so I went to a local Camping World Store and picked up a new gear, replaced it and all was good. I have had a Tiffin Motorhome since 2007 and this one time was the only time we had a slide issue. So I don't believe you need to worry about Tiffin having slide issues.
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