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Old 05-13-2021, 01:08 PM   #1
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Full Wall Slides OK?

We are considering buying a 2011 Ventana 3961. Moving newer from our 2003 Dutchstar. We have no experience regarding the full wall slide. Is it a good and reliable feature? What is the correct procedure for leveling/slide extension. Slides out first and then level, or jacks down, level and then extend slides?
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Old 05-13-2021, 03:58 PM   #2
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Ikester -

The full wall slide creates an amazing amount of openness / room for a coach. Newmar's instructions are to extend the full wall slide (along with other slide outs) while at "ride height" (i.e. air bags fully inflated) then "drop air" and level the coach. The reasoning if the coach is leveled first some minor twisting of the frame could occur which could result in gap between the slide-out and its wall frame becoming too narrow which would cause the slide out to rub against the frame or worse case get "hung up". I've had not problems following this procedure from Newmar.

The full wall slide out on my Ventana LE is moved by three electric motors. There is a lot of discussion on the forum about bolts for the motor brackets loosening and causing significant damage. As such, for full wall slide outs with electric motors an annual maintenance item is to check the bolts for the motor brackets and tighten as needed.

Full wall slide outs have become a standard item with many large coaches as they are valued by us owners. My suggestion to you is don't hesitate purchasing a coach with a full wall slide out -- you'll love it!
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Old 05-13-2021, 03:59 PM   #3
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We have a 2017 Ventana 4369 we bought new. So far no issues with the fws. I always, always put the slides out when the air bags are fully aired up, then level. I do the reverse, bring up jacks, start coach and air up the bags. Them bring in the slides.
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:06 PM   #4
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Personally as an engineer, I do not think the units are that well engineered for a large or full wall slide. We know several people with them and they have had mechanical issues or leak issues. I just see the potential for issues and will not have one.

Ken
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Old 05-13-2021, 11:46 PM   #5
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The expansive interior area when the FWS is open is terrific. However there are some real downsides.

The large sidewall opening allows a fair amount of frame twist. This can significantly reduce the reveal gap when a site is not very level.

When the weather turns bad the FWS becomes a real pain. The large topper becomes a sail in even moderate winds. It also pools water when it rains.

Retracting the jacks & starting the engine to air up the suspension every time the wind comes up or it rains is not fun. So if it is not windy, raining & the site is pretty level, the FWS is great. The rest of the time not so much.
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Old 05-14-2021, 12:59 AM   #6
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I'm Not an expert, or an engineer....but I've lived full time in a DutchStar with a full wall slide for the last 5 years. I admit that I do not start the engine and air up and pull in the slides when it rains. I just stay inside and keep dry. It may be that my living in Florida has something to do with the need to take such actions, I just stay inside and enjoy the large living space.
Any newer coach with a full wall slide will be a good experience if you do regular maintenance, just like any other machine.

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Old 05-14-2021, 05:41 AM   #7
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Full wall slides.

As others have mentioned, a full wall slide creates an amazing amount of space, and the way we use our coach, as a winter getaway in Florida, I wouldn’t be without one. When we were coach-shopping, once we got to our first MountainAire and Dutch Star, each with a full wall slide, I asked the salesman to excuse us for 30 minutes. My wife and I just sat there, imagining what a week or two at a time would be like inside the different coaches we were considering. That sealed the deal for us for a full wall slide. We follow the instructions, winter in Florida like Bob above, and are generally fairweather campers. We’ve had no major issues with our slide beyond minor adjustments.

Besides being more mechanically challenging, there is one other aspect to a full wall slide that sometimes gets overlooked. It may be obvious, but hey, I am Captain Obvious. The bigger your slide, and the more it extends into the open space to create interior room, the opposite is also true. The bigger slide will intrude more into the interior when retracted and underway. Simple math, the bigger slide takes up more outside space when extended AND more inside space when retracted. The majority of time we spend in the coach is at an RV park or resort. But if the majority of your time is traveling the roads, you’ll need to consider this as well.
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Old 05-14-2021, 06:22 AM   #8
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It's not that a FWS allows the chassis to twist more, it's that any twist gets magnified across the length of the larger slide to potentially cause interferance at the ends. Which makes it more critical that the RV is reasonably level AND not twisted before operating the slides.

With regards to the procedure to open the slides, read your owner's manual. AND use Search as this is a topic that has been exhausted hundreds of times, including this week with several posts / threads on identical topic. Nothing new there.
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Old 05-14-2021, 06:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fagnaml View Post
Ikester -

The full wall slide creates an amazing amount of openness / room for a coach. Newmar's instructions are to extend the full wall slide (along with other slide outs) while at "ride height" (i.e. air bags fully inflated) then "drop air" and level the coach. The reasoning if the coach is leveled first some minor twisting of the frame could occur which could result in gap between the slide-out and its wall frame becoming too narrow which would cause the slide out to rub against the frame or worse case get "hung up". I've had not problems following this procedure from Newmar.

The full wall slide out on my Ventana LE is moved by three electric motors. There is a lot of discussion on the forum about bolts for the motor brackets loosening and causing significant damage. As such, for full wall slide outs with electric motors an annual maintenance item is to check the bolts for the motor brackets and tighten as needed.

Full wall slide outs have become a standard item with many large coaches as they are valued by us owners. My suggestion to you is don't hesitate purchasing a coach with a full wall slide out -- you'll love it!

You have 3? Our Ventana 4369 has 2. Surprised to read this. -Paul
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Old 05-14-2021, 03:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dp7 View Post
The expansive interior area when the FWS is open is terrific. However there are some real downsides.

The large sidewall opening allows a fair amount of frame twist. This can significantly reduce the reveal gap when a site is not very level.

When the weather turns bad the FWS becomes a real pain. The large topper becomes a sail in even moderate winds. It also pools water when it rains.

Retracting the jacks & starting the engine to air up the suspension every time the wind comes up or it rains is not fun. So if it is not windy, raining & the site is pretty level, the FWS is great. The rest of the time not so much.

I went to Home Depot and bought 35 feet of bulk bungee about 1/2 wide and put hooks on each end. When the wind get bad I put across the slide topper and hook it under the slide at both ends. Put just enough tension of the topper to stop it from flapping.
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Old 05-14-2021, 04:00 PM   #11
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One thing to watch out for is the use of Schwintek slides on a full wall slide. I had a 2014 Thor 33SW (Super C) with a full wall slide and I had ALL SORTS of issues, so bad in fact that I ended up filing lemon law against Thor. They came to my home and installed an "upgraded" Schwintek system on it, and I promptly traded that RV off. In the first 11 months of ownership, it was in the shop 172 days. It's dang hard to go camping with a record like that.

I wasn't the only one with this issue either, on here and on the Thor forum, there were loads of people with the same issues.

I doubt Newmar uses Schwintek on their full wall slides, Thor is more likely to want to save a dime.
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:33 PM   #12
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You do not have to worry about a FWS because they did not come out until 2013, you can read all about them in this link, and Newmars FWS USES TWO MOTORS that move it out and have a control to keep both motors under control as slide moves out, there is a slide thread explaining all the information needed for any type slide system by Newmar.
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Old 05-15-2021, 01:25 AM   #13
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I went to Home Depot and bought 35 feet of bulk bungee about 1/2 wide and put hooks on each end. When the wind get bad I put across the slide topper and hook it under the slide at both ends. Put just enough tension of the topper to stop it from flapping.
I thought about doing this also. I was concerned that it would stretch the topper fabric & make the pooling worse. It looks like a support under the topper & a strap on top would minimize wind billowing & maintain the topper slope to prevent pooling. However the installation & take down becomes rather unwieldly if moving often.
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:22 AM   #14
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For us, any inconveniences created by the FWS are more than cancelled out by the enhanced livability it provides.

To each, their own, I guess. -Paul
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