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Old 09-24-2017, 10:48 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 11
Strategies for ordering a Leprechaun with folding bed?

I am currently planning on ordering a Coachmen Leprechaun with a folding bed early next year. I have read on an RV forum where one owner had his rear slide damaged because someone (dealer?, driver? customer?) put the rear bed slide in without first flipping the bed up. Not only does it do the relatively minor damage of busting the stop off the end of the bed, but it can damage the slide mechanism. It's a Schwintek!, you don't want to be pushing its limits. I even saw a dealer ad for one where the bed stop was broke off and just left there hanging like it was normal.

What strategies could be used to insure this does not happen? The RV industry has shown no interest in process improvement or root cause analysis, so I am not optimistic. I suppose I could talk to the sales rep, dealer, etc.

This event is understandable. Slides never used to need attention before closing. Some wedge beds just slide together without attention. This fold over design started this problem, but does appear more comfortable and allows for shorter RVs. It would not have cost that much to put a lockout switch on the bed platform. In the past, I have had slides where I needed to do some activity before closing. I used a small cardboard sign that hung over the slide switch. That would be a low tech, cheap fix they could have used as well.

Oddly, the torn plastic I see on some folded over beds gives me the impression that the mattress is shipped in plastic to the factory, but in the unfolded position. If so, this would prevent me from requesting that the folded mattress unit still be in unopened plastic.

Thanks for any ideas,

01 F350 DRW V10 5spd SC 4x2 3.73, Line-x, Rancho 9ks, LTX M/S,tork-lift Super Hitch, 01 Summerwind 811S, Dauntless 15 Boston Whaler
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:22 AM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 36
I think you may be iver thinking this issue. We have a Leprechaun 260 ds with a fold over bed. In a year of use, bringing the slide in perhaps 20 times we have not forgotten to flip it over. The slide controls are across from the galley sink and both slides are visible when operating the controls. I believe that if you forget to fold up before starting the slide you will soon take note before any damage is done.

In terms of the trim piece at the foot of the bed, ours came loose and the factory just moved it an inch to the side and screwed new holes when at Goshen.

2017 Coachmen Leprechaun 260DS with levelers, 15K BTU A/C with heat, recliners, double door refrigerator. Home base Alexandria, VA
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:31 PM   #3
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Thanks Incessant,

It may come as no surprise to you that this is not the first time I have been accused of over thinking an issue.
01 F350 DRW V10 5spd SC 4x2 3.73, Line-x, Rancho 9ks, LTX M/S,tork-lift Super Hitch, 01 Summerwind 811S, Dauntless 15 Boston Whaler
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:14 PM   #4
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Also correct to say the industry is in a woeful state for process control & defect prevention, and design for usability. You are perfectly correct in thinking the design should not have a built-in failure mechanism.

In my Leprechaun (319MB) you can't see the bedroom slide from the coach door where the switch is, so you are moving that big thing with no visibility. And neither slide has any sensor to report it's in/out state to the operator at the switch. You only know the slides are properly in/out when the drive motor noise changes.

I think the industry is ripe for disruption by some manufacturer who designs for zero defects, aerodynamics, and human/machine interaction, like Elon Musk did to the auto industry with Tesla cars.. Design & construction really hasn't changed since the 1970s, and we all know what the defect rate is on new rigs. I once thought Nexxus might be that company, but somehow in a booming market they decided to give up and revert to being like everyone else.

That and about $5 will get you a cup of coffee.
2017 Coachmen Leprechaun 319MB towing a 2013 CR-V AWD away from San Diego
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Old 10-22-2017, 04:58 PM   #5
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I came up with a simple solution to remind me. I use a small 3/4 inch piece of red or green Velcro next to the switch. Mostly for the front slides because I use slide locks when I travel. They help eliminate the squeaking on some rough roads. The rear slides I do not use locks. I have the wedge bed that pushes one half on top of the other when it slides in or out. I don't even have to remake the bed and it is surprisingly comfortable.
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1957 Fairlane Club Sedan-SOLD 12-29-17
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Old 10-25-2017, 08:42 PM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2017
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Two comments , I refuse to buy a folding bed RV , I like to upgrade to a better mattress and if you get a folding bed you can't do that. I don't understand the slide problem. I always check things out before putting the slides in and I always do a walk around before I get in the driver seat .

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