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Old 08-18-2010, 07:59 PM   #1
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slideout pins

I have a 2000 national tradewinds with a living room slide only. I notice that a lot of pins on slides break. I am wondering where the slide pins are on my unit, and if i can repair them if they break at the camp grounds. Exactly where are they on my unit. I would like to carry some extra ones just in case. Thanks Rivrduk
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:36 PM   #2
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What kind of slide do you have

Some are hydraulic.. No pins (Well there are pins but not the breaking kind

Some are cable cars.. Likewise

Mine is rack and pinion.. I have a sheared pin as I type (I just remembered) and will fix it tomorrow.
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:17 PM   #3
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It is not cable, as i had that on a travel trailer i kept for 15 years and never had any trouble with it. This one is not cable, but i looked under and i saw a rail on each side that have teeth on it like it is some kind of gear drive. I believe it is electric motor driven, and tha original owner said he sheared pins on one side once. He stated that each side has two pins. He made a trip to california to have it looked at and they put in harder pins. This seems like a very common problem with motor homes, and i never had a problem with the 15 year old trailer. Surely someone on this forum has a tradewinds home by National RV in Perris California, They have now gone belly up as many manufactures have. HELP! Rivrduk. Thanks for your answer to me.
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:43 AM   #4
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rivrduk, since you see rails with gear teeth under your slide-out, you have the rack and pinion-type, which is the type that has pins (actually bolts) that break.

Our slide-out mechanism is made by Power Gear, which is probably the most common make of electric slide-out mechanism. On longer slide-outs, there will be 4 bolts. There is an electric gear motor in the center with 2 square drive bars going to the rack and pinion mechanisms at each end of the slide. Each end of the 2 square bars has a connecting bolt, and it's these bolts that tend to shear.

The original bolts and nuts are special Grade 8 bolts with a longer than usual unthreaded shank on the bolt. The nuts are also special and have an unthreaded lip at the bottom edge.

Most people (myself included) replace a broken slide bolt with a standard Grade 8 bolt that you can buy in Lowe's or Home Depot. I always carry at least 3 or 4 spares. Look for the large sliding drawers in the hardware section that have the special fasteners. Grade 8 bolts have 6 radial lines on the head.

You can use a standard bolt to get by in a pinch, but a standard bolt really won't last long at all. I tried it once, and the standard bolt broke after only 1 or 2 more operations of the slide.

According to Power Gear, the reason the bolts keep breaking is because of the use of standard bolts and nuts instead of the special ones. The longer unthreaded section of the special bolts makes the part of the bolt that is in shear stronger.

Proper torque of the bolt is also important. The Power Gear instructions call for 15 lb-ft of torque. The Power Gear web site has torque instructions that you can read about HERE. The instructions also give the part numbers and drawings of the special bolts and nuts.

I can change a bolt in about 3 minutes, but it's an inconvenience, so I am thinking about getting some of the special bolts and nuts to see if they last longer.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:32 PM   #5
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You may not even have shear pins in the slide. Some, like mine, use a current limiter on the motor that shuts it off before damage can occur. It's a Power Gear system also. Others, like Paz describes, have bolts and not shear pins. I think the Lippert slide system uses the pins, but am not positive of that.

At any rate, it depends on what make & model of slide motor system you have.
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:07 PM   #6
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I wish mine did Roamer.. Yesterday's RV repair list included two of those bolts.. I need to buy another dozen. I'm running low on them.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:36 PM   #7
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Thanks PAZ, you gave me great help. I just want to have some extras if i need them. You said you could change them in three minutes. It will probbly take me longer. Are the bolts visible with the slide out, and can i see them if i get under the slide. What are the length and diameter of the bolts. Thanks much. Rivrduk
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:01 AM   #8
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I have to climb under the slide when it's out to get to the bolts. For me, the bolt almost always breaks when the slide is out, or almost out. If a bolt breaks when the slide is almost all the way in, I have DW push the button to move the unbroken end of the slide out slowly while I push the other end out manually (grunt, grunt).

As Gary Brinck says, some rack and pinion slide-outs don't have bolts, so check before you spend money on bolts you may not need.

To replace my bolts, I "bump" the slide button just enough to move the slide a fraction of an inch in from the full out position. When the bolt breaks, the shaft that has had its bolt broken will be mis-aligned. The slide must be aligned before putting in the new bolt. I use my 10" Crescent wrench to turn the shaft whose bolt is broken to re-align that end of the slide. There are stop bolts under there, and I check the distance of the stop bolts if I'm unsure about the alignment.
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