Last week I had a scheduled appointment at HWH Factory Service in Moscow, Iowa. I had an issue with the jacks that needed fixed, plus I was getting all new springs installed on the jacks.
I rolled into their facility the night before my appointment. They have several parking spots with electrical hookups. I chose a spot, backed in and hooked up the 50-amp service. I then started to put the living room slide out, but it moved very slowly. The hydraulic pump didn't sound right, either. It sounded as if it was running with a very light load. The slide eventually got all the way out, but something was not right.
I walked back to the bedroom to put those slides out. When I got back there, I smelled something odd. It was a faint, mechanical smell, but I could not place what it was. It wasn't strong or unpleasant, but it was something new. When I ran the bedroom slides, they also moved very slowly. What the heck?
The next morning when I was bringing the slides back in, they again moved slowly...too slowly. For a few moments I thought the living room slide was not going to make it back in, but it finally completed the travel and locked in place.
When I moved the coach to the service bay, I told Lon, the service manager, about this problem. He said he thought he knew what is was, and he instructed the techs to run a pressure test on the pump. The pump should deliver 3,200 psi, but when they ran the test, it only showed 2,000 psi. Not good. Since a pump failure is somewhat rare, they continued to troubleshoot by checking the voltage to the pump, and a few other things. Of course, all these tests meant they were running the pump a lot. All signs pointed to a bad pump, until one of the techs happened to walk over to the passenger side of the coach and saw this:
That's not water on the shop floor...that's HYDRAULIC FLUID! Two hydraulic hoses in the bedroom had burst and sprayed hydraulic fluid all over the floor under the bed! We pumped about 2 quarts of fluid overboard before discovering this. The hydraulic bay is at the left front and this is the right rear...a long way from where the testing was going on.
The HWH techs dived in, disassembled the bed and took a look. When Thor built this coach, they ran the two hydraulic hoses for the passenger side bedroom slide around the corner of the bed frame too tightly. The hoses were touching the angle iron bracket of the bed frame. After 9 years and 81,000 miles, the hoses had rubbed that piece of steel so much that they had finally been cut through. The HWH guys cut out the damaged section of hose, spliced in new, longer pieces and put things back together. They even helped clean up the hydraulic oil that had soaked into the carpet. After about 3 hours of work, all was back to normal.
It took these same guys only 20 minutes to replace all 8 jack springs! Amazing.
Now I ask you...how could I have been so lucky as to have those hoses fail when I am at the factory that designed and built the system!
By the way, the service experience at HWH is among the most pleasant I have ever experienced. Great people and service techs who really know what they're doing.