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Old 11-18-2015, 06:10 PM   #1
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A New Bigger Type of Schwintek Slide Problem

Recently our front driver side slide started "misbehaving"! It is not a wall slide. When I extended the slide the front vertical edge of the slide stopped against the front wall of the RV as it should. However, the rear vertical edge of the slide at the top was about 5 inches from the wall and at the base it was 2-3 inches from the wall of the RV. As it approached full extension it started making large metallic "bangs".

I discussed it with Lippert/Schwintek and, while not real interested in my problem, they did refer to it as a vertical misalignment. They said it could be corrected using the procedures in their info pamphlet http://www.lci1.com/assets/content/s...heets/0272.pdf.

Today I took it into a local RV shop that i have used in the past and I have confidence in their ability and integrity.

This afternoon when I stopped by they had some discouraging info that indicated this is a problem that will take several months to fix. The rollers on the slide roll along a metal plate as the slide moves. According to them the plates end before the slide is out, so the last 6-8 inches the rollers are forced over the rough surface of the floor! The motors are stressed and the banging is when the pinon gears are jumping the slots in the rack. They said it was a manufacturing defect and the rollers and roller plates and the in-wall slide motors and the racks on the slide all need to be replaced. 20 to 25 hours once they got the parts which could be a month plus (longer since we are approaching the holidays)!

So I left and went to a doc appointment I had and spent most of the time thinking about what they said. I have not heard of any similar problem on any of these Schwintek slides. It appears this is not so much a Schwintek issue as much as a manufacturing problem. The metal plates the rollers roll on are either too short or placed too far back from the edge. Maybe the rollers are supposed to be sliding in a slot as the slide extends so the roller plates don't need to be long as the RV shop feels they should be!!
I returned after my appointment and we discussed it more. They had not yet contacted Thor as I asked (Ok because I was not gone that long). I am the second owner so I don't expect Thor to cover any of this but I would like their input and I will call them also but figured the RV shop might be able to answer their question better then I!

So my goal with this posting is to find out if others have experience this alleged "manufactures defect" or similar. The Service Writer told me that had seen this problem in one other RV several months ago and she is going to look up the work order and show it to me tomorrow (with appropriate redactions). We both might gain from that experience.

Also, I have seen posted on this forum, I believe, the names of two individuals at Thor that are "slide professionals". I will search for that thread while I curse myself for not copying the info earlier!

Thanx in advance for your help!
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:26 PM   #2
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Slide plates

My slide had experienced several failures, when Thor at last sent a tech to service it. He rebuilt the Swintec system but also determined that two of my plates were short so that the roller "fell" off the edge of the plate as it went in. He added extensions to these plates and I have had no further issues with the slide. Even though you are the second owner, I would contact Thor, as they have been very sensitive to the large slide failures. By the way, Thor believes this repair should take less that one day once parts are on hand.

One of my friends had his slide rebuilt and upgraded to double tracks on top for significantly less that the 20-25 hours. This was done at the Thor repair center in Wakarusa, In.
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:22 AM   #3
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My slide had experienced several failures, when Thor at last sent a tech to service it. He rebuilt the Swintec system but also determined that two of my plates were short so that the roller "fell" off the edge of the plate as it went in. He added extensions to these plates and I have had no further issues with the slide. Even though you are the second owner, I would contact Thor, as they have been very sensitive to the large slide failures. By the way, Thor believes this repair should take less that one day once parts are on hand.

One of my friends had his slide rebuilt and upgraded to double tracks on top for significantly less that the 20-25 hours. This was done at the Thor repair center in Wakarusa, In.
I agree with Bob!

I have seen, at the Thor Service facility, several slide assemblies replaced and it took less then a 8 hour shift. Replacing/extending the roller plates is another quick job, couple of hours at the most.

Long delays to get replacement parts, I am tossing the BS flag. These slide assemblies are a stock item and could be at your location in a few days.

I know you know and trust your service facility but the high hour and time quote must have more to do with your service shop's knowledge of the slide system and how to fix them.

Have you joined the Thor Diesel Club? If not I would suggest that you visit our WEB site; Home and check it out. If you have any questions about the club please send me a PM. I see you live in Florida, so I wanted to let you know that a bunch or the members will be at the Tampa Super Show in January 12-17. We are a great bunch with a ton of Palazzo owners so if you have time please stop down for a visit.
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:31 AM   #4
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I'm not sure if he is a professional or not but try Mark Stanley in the service department at Thor.

Russell
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:37 AM   #5
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It is worth it to take it to thor
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Old 11-19-2015, 06:58 AM   #6
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Thanx for your replies, they all helped. The estimate was admittedly soft yesterday when they provided it verbally to me right after seeing the problem. I will certainly keep the advice above in mind as we move thru this. I am going back this afternoon for a more detailed review and I have told them I am skeptical. Lippert would not recommend someplace for me to take it but did say this shop had done work on the Schwintec system and Lippert said no problems. Since I was familiar with this shop and I did not want to use Camping World I ended up with them. A trip to Wakarusa is not out of the equation, even though I am further north (north FL) now then I like to be in this cold, frigid, deadly time of the year!
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:56 PM   #7
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I have a 2014 33.2 and I had two plates that were too short on my large slide. They were probably meant for the bedroom slide or the slide for another model. Also, two or three plates were not aligned on the rollers and a portion of the roller was off the plate. This worked for a while until the plates loosened up. Thor covered the work which was done by my dealer over winter. It seems that it is fixed properly now.
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:11 AM   #8
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Well the estimate did not get much better yesterday and they did not seem to be interested in the fact there was some history for this problem. The service writer had not contacted Thor as I requested and I had the feeling she wasn't interested in doing so. They had done a similar job on another Thor and had fabricated 5 plates and trimmed off some portion of the slide because the opening was built "too small"!
They seem to want to follow that model and I am not sure that is warranted. I left on cordial terms but told them I was seeking a second opinion! I had wanted to avoid CW, but there are two within 25 miles and I understand one has some known expertise with Schwintek, not that this appears to be a Schwintek problem but they were going to replace most of the system!
Again thanx for your inputs and I am still interested if anybody else has something to add!
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Old 11-21-2015, 02:42 AM   #9
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I really recommend you taking it to Wakarusa Ind. Bodu, Bob and Rita above were maybe talking about my recent visit there. Call Thor Service and speak to Tom Overton in Customer Service. Mark Stanley does not work in Service depart [works in Legal/litigation dept] but interfaces sometimes for remote repairs. A friend of mine had his done with Thor repair crews done using Camping World facility in Jacksonville and is satisfied.

I just had mine upgraded at the Wakarusa Ind service facility prior to Goshen Rally. I would say it took the best of 5 hours to swap out. They have the all slide support lifts and all of the equipment to get it done. [slide supprt lifts might not be at a local dealer that will add up shop time]The tech that did mine was a former employee of Lippart and did many of them.
To get the ball rolling Tom Overton would be the first person I suggest you start with. He will converse with Steve Reed who handles the scheduling at Wakarusa and Mark Trent is the top manager of all the repair facilities.

They have on-site spots with water and electric. Their is also a dump station too. They were in the middle of renovating that facility which were old Monaco MH buildings. Their is a comfortable waiting room with facilites, coffee and TV.

I would suggest going to this facility for the complete upgrade and anything else your coach might need. They are quick and small unrelated repairs were done on mine too for a reasonable price. I stayed a few extra days and constantly ran the slide in and out many times to make sure all was fine before leaving. I am pleased and more confident with upgrade. Some of my repair labor on small items were covered by upcoming rally special and the whole job cost me @ $500.00 My coach was out of warranty and I feel it was a fair price and now have another year warranty on this slide repair/upgrade.

One thing found during my coach inspection was a light exhaust dust entering rear bedroom area and required them to re-foam side were air intake for engine is. They used a smoke machine in the bottom rear engine area, cardboarded off to force the smoke into this area and looked inside bedroom for leaks. Glad I went to factory again!

Also I would suggest to take a tour of the production line while coach is being worked on to pass the time.

With Jack's invite over to the Tampa show, you can meet many of the Diesel club owners and get an wide array of information/help. Whether you just stop by or join the group for the min-gathering. I will most likely be there and It's well worth it....trust me!!

Good luck

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Old 11-21-2015, 06:06 AM   #10
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"trimmed off some portion of the slide because the opening was built "too small"!"
Bob,

I toured the manufacturing facility that Don mentioned in his, well written, post. Don is not bashful so if he does not like something you will know! I will tell you that I do not see how the opening can be build too small?

The wall is built as a single unit, on a jig, with cutouts for all openings including the slide opening. This is not a "stick built" wall. So I can't see how it is built too small. Walls, roof, and unfinished floor are built in a jig, front and back caps are fiberglass and are built in a mold like a fiberglass boat.

You need to personally get Thor Customer Service in the loop as Don suggested.

Hope to see you in Tampa!
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:28 AM   #11
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Jack,
I know what you are saying as I saw the same process in the Tiffin plant as we had a Phaeton for several years while full-timing. We transistioned to part time earlier this year and downsized to the Palazzo then.
I had a positive experience at Camping World, St Augustine yesterday. While not familiar with this "short roller plate" problem the service writer was responsive and interested in finding out more and they started the process of getting the parts to get the job done.
I am not normally a "CW guy" but in this case I think I made the right decision!!
Maybe we will see you in Tampa, after all!!
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:53 AM   #12
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The word on the street is that CW in St. Augustine has top notch service dept. Heard that Tiffin sometimes issues them purchase orders to fix warranty coaches for them that are close to them vs Red Bay.

It all comes down to cost. Thor absorbed the cost of parts and only charged me labor at $100.00 an hour. So I was only reponsible for 4 hours........what a deal. Remember I had a few other things done also that brought it up to a little of $500.00. If the estimate from CW starts heading towards the $1000.00 + mark, I would go to factory as they know these coaches and they will look at everything on it!

I would also suggest in addition you call Tom Overton at Thor to get him into loop for maybe any special considerations. Who knows they could maybe send a team there.........you won't know until you call him. DO NOT rely on CW alone. This is a Thor product not Tiffin. Thor operates a little differently in my satisfied opinion. Enough said.

Try to make the mini-rally at the Tampa RV show too!

Good Luck

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Old 11-21-2015, 08:00 PM   #13
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Don, I am glad to hear about the CW, St Augustine being a good service facility. I got that feeling in the time I spent over there yesterday.
I have not ruled out a trip to IN however, I am reluctant to make that 1100 mi one way trip in the Winter and i do not want to wait for 3-4 months to get this fixed. We use it pretty much year around. Even though we are paving new ground about that since we just transitioned from full time to part time.

The upgrade you all are talking about I assume is to the 3 track system. I do not have a full wall slide which is what I have seen the upgrade applied to. I saw the write-ups about it before we bought this RV in July and sort of discounted that problem since this 2013 ,model does not have the full wall slide! It remains to be seen if that was a wise decision.
I sent PM message to J Walker (entry #7 above) and he gave me some good background but again I believe he has the full wall slide. He did have the short roller plates that he eventually got replaced at his dealers. Thor covered the expense even though he was outside warranty.

As best I can determine my status now is;
1. My rail system needs replacing because the rack on rear end of slide is eaten up by the gear slipping out/over the track! CW advises that only the complete system is available, not components!
2. The roller plate status is unknown. The original shop I went to focused on the plates because they had repaired one with short plates several months ago. But, they were not interested in talking to Thor, they had fabricated the plates and their quote focused on the manhours needed and did not discuss parts so not sure how they were going to deal with that - and at this point I don't care. (After this is over I intend to go back and request a refund of the $150 diagnostic fee which was incomplete and misleading. But for now I am leaving them alone.)

So for now my emphasis needs to be on raising the level of concern and knowledge at CW on this roller plate issue. When I asked what caused the problem my service writer replied something along the line that "these systems sometimes get askew and go haywire" or S#$& Happens sort of thing!

I am not satisfied with that and I believe these short roller plates are what caused my problem and the fix needs to include them. If CW cannot include that fix then I need to look at a trip to IN seriously, regardless of the weather!

I am sending a PM to Don since I will be passing thru his territory week after T-day on my way to Jupiter to catch up on my diving! Maybe we can meet up and he can educate me some more!

Once again thanx for your inputs they all help.
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