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Old 04-02-2008, 04:51 PM   #1
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My coach came with an outdoor "Kitchenette", similar to the one in the file photo shown below.



On the 2005 models, the kitchenette slides out manually. There are little tabs near the front edge of the slide rails that you have to press to unlock the slide mechanism. Trouble is, it's difficult to unlock, and the metal tabs are sharp, which sometimes results in a punctured finger.

The 2008 Fleetwood's have an electric slide motor that eliminates the depressing of the tabs....it's very slick. I want like heck to make mine electric. I called my local Fleetwood dealer, and they quoted me a $2000 price tag to convert it with Fleetwood parts. I want it, but not that bad! That's more than the entire option cost in the first place!

Sooo, here I am asking for some good ole fashioned backyard mechanic advice. I'm sure I could do it myself for less, I'm just not sure how, and what type of motor/mechanism something like this would require. Any ideas?

Craig
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Old 04-02-2008, 04:51 PM   #2
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My coach came with an outdoor "Kitchenette", similar to the one in the file photo shown below.



On the 2005 models, the kitchenette slides out manually. There are little tabs near the front edge of the slide rails that you have to press to unlock the slide mechanism. Trouble is, it's difficult to unlock, and the metal tabs are sharp, which sometimes results in a punctured finger.

The 2008 Fleetwood's have an electric slide motor that eliminates the depressing of the tabs....it's very slick. I want like heck to make mine electric. I called my local Fleetwood dealer, and they quoted me a $2000 price tag to convert it with Fleetwood parts. I want it, but not that bad! That's more than the entire option cost in the first place!

Sooo, here I am asking for some good ole fashioned backyard mechanic advice. I'm sure I could do it myself for less, I'm just not sure how, and what type of motor/mechanism something like this would require. Any ideas?

Craig
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:15 PM   #3
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Craig,

Your project is an ideal example of somthing you can do yourself much cheaper than the dealers prices.

What you need to automate the kitchentte is a Linear Actuator to push the kitchenette out and then pull it back in. Since the weight of the unit is supported by rails, you really need a relativly low force actuator to accomplish your goal

Checking prices quickly at one online source, it looks like a 35 pound force, 18 inch actuator runs about $110.00. Add a switch, relay and mounting brackets, you're probably going to spend $ 150 or so for the project.

Check out this source for a sample 18 inch actuator but there are many sources that sell them. The company whose link I posted seems to have a lot of styles and sizes to choose from.

Here also is a sample of a track actuator
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:15 PM   #4
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Its called a linear actuator, you may need 2 depending on the weight involved. You can get them in all different powers and lenghts.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:12 AM   #5
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See...that's why I came here! I love you guys!

Not sure if the piston type or sliding actuator would work best, so I'll contact the manufacturer. All in all, it now looks relatively easy!

Thanks again!

Craig
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Old 05-02-2008, 05:01 PM   #6
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With great anticipation, I called the distributor of the actuator that Joe referred to, and spoke with one of their rep's. I told him what I was trying to accomplish, and he was eager to help. Unfortunately, the measurements just don't pan out. Below are some photos of my actual kitchenette.





The kitchenette cabinet is 20.74" wide, and the compartment that it slides into is 22" deep. This doesn't leave much room. The track actuator that I was looking at only has a 20" stroke, so it wouldn't slide the cabinet out completely. What's worse, is that the entire actuator is 28" in length, which means it wouldn't fit inside the compartment, unless I cut out some access openings on the rear compartment wall. There is another 6" of clearance between the rear compartment wall and the chassis frame rail, but that portion of the actuator would then be exposed to the elements.

All said and done, it doesn't look like this is going to work. I'm bummed!

Any other ideas?

Craig
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:05 PM   #7
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What about positioning the actuators on the sides of the sink arrangement such that the actuator is on a diagonal and pivots at each of the ends. Or operates a scissor type lever to increase the effective stroke.

Marty
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:21 AM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M&EM:
What about positioning the actuators on the sides of the sink arrangement such that the actuator is on a diagonal and pivots at each of the ends. Or operates a scissor type lever to increase the effective stroke. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Both good ideas Marty. The problem that remains is that I haven't been able to locate an actuator that will fit inside my 22" compartment while supplying the necessary stroke distance.
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:52 AM   #9
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How about calling Fleetwood and getting a price on the parts. At least you would save the labor cost.
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Old 05-03-2008, 01:25 PM   #10
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Is the 08 physically different from yours? If not I think I'd go on a little photo-recon mission to the dealer.
I think I would approach this by thinking about mounting a track slide flat against the rear wall so it slides left to right across the rear bay. Then look at push/pull of the slide with a cable or belt routed on rollers, similar to a belt driven garage door opener. Sounds like fun!
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Old 05-04-2008, 04:59 PM   #11
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Craig P.....From the look of your photos, I see at least three inches under the kitchenette shelf from the floor to the lip of the opening.

I would take a piece of flat bar stock 1" x 1/8" thick approximately 24" in length. Cut the bar in half and reconnect creating a pivot point in the middle. Attach one end to the back wall of the storage bay (down low below the height of the opening lip) and the other end would be attached to the back of the kitchenette shelf. The attachment would be made after you adjusted the length of the bar so that it extended your shelf all the way out.

Use the actuator that the others have described and attach it to either the front of the storage bay (front of coach) or the rear of the storage bay (rear of coach). Extend the actuator so that it connects at the pivot point created in the flat bar.

When the actuator either pushes or pulls, it will cause the pivot to move toward the front or rear of the coach and pull the kitchenette either in or out. All these pieces should fit under your kitchenette shelf when it is in the stored position. You'll probably have to remove some of the items on the shelf while you design and install the actuator and flat bar.

This may sound a little complicated but should be pretty easy to mock up out of thin wood strips and then finish in steel.
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:25 PM   #12
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How heavy is thing that slides? You can get heavy duty, full extension drawer slides with capacities of around 375 lbs per pair. Would that be sufficient? This type of drawer slide requires almost zero extra depth for the mechanism - a 20 inch slide takes only a bit over 20" of depth.

Accuride Full Extension Slides
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:53 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Diplomat Don:
From the look of your photos, I see at least three inches under the kitchenette shelf from the floor to the lip of the opening.

This may sound a little complicated.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Hi Don,

There's actually about four inches of clearance under the kitchenette cabinet.

Your idea sounds very interesting, but I can't picture it in my head, so I am having a hard time trying to figure it out. If I PM'd you with my email address, would you mind sending me some type of drawing? Thanks!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RV Roamer:
How heavy is thing that slides? You can get heavy duty, full extension drawer slides with capacities of around 375 lbs per pair. Would that be sufficient? This type of drawer slide requires almost zero extra depth for the mechanism - a 20 inch slide takes only a bit over 20" of depth. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
The slides that you referred to would work Gary, but I don't intend on replacing the slides unless I have to. I'm just trying to automate the pop out kitchenette cabinet.

Thanks.

Craig
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:31 AM   #14
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Here's the diagram that Diplomat Don sent me. Very interesting idea, it just might work if I can figure out what type of pivot point to use. Steel hinges?

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