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Old 03-02-2022, 08:20 PM   #1
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Continued Dinette Slide Issues

We had our 31IKE out at SC last summer and hoped repair would solve our dinette slide issue. Our problem originated with slow water infiltration around the gutter in the slide header wall near the entrance door. Undetected for quite a while, according to Curtis, the slide leaned out at the top because of the compromised header. On the way out to SC the stress on the slide actually fractured the ram bracket and needed an emergency weld job on a Saturday in a campsite to get us on the road. I spent the rest of the trip to KS putting the slide 2/3 out.

The SC repair included removing the floor to make the bevel more gradual and replacement of a roller. My slide floor and walls were bone dry, no leakage in those known problem areas. They repaired the water damaged wood but bowing remained in the header wall. They also replaced the hydraulic ram and adjusted the slide but I should have asked for a new stronger bracket. Our original emergency re-welded bracket, which had a bolt hole that had contributed to failure, was unfortunately left as is.

The slide was much better for a while, the gradual bevel helped a lot but it was still a little hesitant to rise up at the start. On our current winter trip to Florida the slide started having much more difficulty retracting, taking a lot of force to get up on the rollers. Then about to leave our spot near Sebastian Inlet last month the ram bracket separated again. Some quick searching yielded a local mobile welder who made it to me in a little over an hour. Id sent him pictures and he brought what he needed to fab a new bracket. Matching the steel of the original wasnt enough for our balky slide, he added a gusset after test retraction bent the 90 angle. Fortunately it was Tuesday and I was lucky again, delayed less than three hours from failure. As you can see the new bracket wont be the future failure point but with the force needed to retract initially Im worried something else will.

Curtis suggested trying to adjust the slide higher if theres room at the top when retracted. Ive got a very good mobile repair guy also staying here long term for the winter (whos already fixed some things for me) and hes going to see if adjustment would be possible here in our site. Probably have to get some jacks to do that but it might be beyond his capability. My bottom rubber seal has also come loose since these pictures so we'll have to glue that back on too. Curtis suggested going heavy on silicon lube in all sliding areas, ramp, rollers & underside of slide to help. He doesnt think the bowed wall is my problem but the slide leans out at the top, the side seal has almost 1 spacing at the bottom and is crushed down to nothing at the top. I feel the outward lean is contributing and twisting the slide since the bowing is deeper at the head end. Curtis said to keep that header from bowing out hed need to install a 2x6 sideways to provide support in the weak point of the wall, the narrow area between the slide and door opening. The trailer is in great shape after all our other repairs and upgrades last summer and dozens of other custom mods over the years to make it really fit our 1/2 timer travel lifestyle, we were out 160 days last year. Everything else is working well and we're glad we stuck with this unit a lot lower cost than any decent replacement option but I know Ive got to get a reliable solution to finally fix this major slide issue. Probably need to head out to SC again to correct it. Any other suggestions would be helpful too.

Brad
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Old 03-03-2022, 12:33 AM   #2
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Brad, looks like that bracket isn't going anywhere. I have always wondered why PI didn't design a better interface between the slide-out and the trailer floor. I keep expecting the whole hydraulic system to explode each time we retract the kitchen slide-out. It just sits there as the pressure builds and then it almost jumps over the threshold. I have looked at the rollers and I don't see any binding. It is just a heavy slide-out. I removed a lot of the heavy items to other locations and try to keep the weight of the kitchen slide-out to a minimum. Can't do much about the fridge though.
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Old 03-03-2022, 06:29 AM   #3
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Brad, sorry for your issue on the slideout. Just by your description and photos, I have to wonder if you have some dragging of the inner and outer of the slide arms in the inside (under the belly blanket) of your rig, causing excessive drag. Also, by the pic you posted, there is no slack in the hydraulic cylinder rod at the gusset (where the nuts and locknuts are). That rod has more travel than the room can travel. An improperly adjusted rod will either put too much stress on the rod gusset and the room at the end of travel when retracted or extended. Not good long term. Just my .02
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Old 03-03-2022, 11:08 AM   #4
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It just sits there as the pressure builds and then it almost jumps over the threshold.

Carl,
That matches the way ours retracts. I don't have a lot of weight with a table, two chairs, a small drawer unit, printer and one recliner. Curtis said the kitchen slide is usually more of a problem due to the weight but the dinette slide is deep and hangs out much further. Like yours I'm worried something is going to pop with the strain it takes to jump the threshold. For now I'll lube it up and see if the mobile guy can adjust the height but I think a return to SC might be the only way to find a permanent solution.

Tom,
Do you think we need more slack on the inside or outside nuts? In my before and after shots it looks like the outside nuts are closer to the new bracket than they were before.

Brad
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Old 03-03-2022, 03:16 PM   #5
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Brad,
Basically, the hydraulic shaft needs to be adjusted so that the rod is fully extended at the end of the cylinder travel and the room should be all the way out. Conversely, when the shaft is fully retracted the rod should be bottomed out in the cylinder and room closed snuggly in the coach. I hope that makes sense. The slack that you see between the adjusting nuts is how much more travel the shaft has over the travel needed to fully open and close the room. With no lash adjustment your loading the slide room too much when opening or closing the room. Caution. Please be careful with your hands and arms around moving component. Those hydraulic are very powerful and can do alot of damage.
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Old 03-03-2022, 05:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRS50 View Post
It just sits there as the pressure builds and then it almost jumps over the threshold.

Carl,
That matches the way ours retracts. I don't have a lot of weight with a table, two chairs, a small drawer unit, printer and one recliner. Curtis said the kitchen slide is usually more of a problem due to the weight but the dinette slide is deep and hangs out much further. Like yours I'm worried something is going to pop with the strain it takes to jump the threshold. For now I'll lube it up and see if the mobile guy can adjust the height but I think a return to SC might be the only way to find a permanent solution.


Brad
The kitchen slide-out has always jumped when I retracted it. I was told that the hydraulic system can handle it. Just seems a little violent when it finally build enough pressure to make the jump.

We did have a problem with the kitchen slide-out on our first trip in the trailer. An unexpected strong storm came up while we were away from the trailer. There wasn't any warnings issued but a storm cloud came through with 60 mph gusts. The kitchen slide-out topper was ballooning out, jerking the slide-out violently. We returned during the storm and retracted all the slide-outs except the kitchen. The ballooning topper wrapped itself around the kitchen slide-out topper bracket preventing the kitchen slide-out from closing. We had a real rough ride for several hours. Almost shook the trailer apart. After the storm, I had to cut away the damaged topper vinyl so I could close the slide-out. The storm had also knocked the slide-out out of adjustment. Put it into a bind when retracting. Had to remove everything out of the cabinets and refrigerator to reduce the weight enough to get the slide-out to retract. Had to take it to Doug's RV in Oklahoma to get it fixed.

It doesn't bind and is perfectly aligned when retracted, but still I kind of steel myself for the expected detonation, but then it jumps the threshold and then I can relax as it continues to close.
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Old 03-03-2022, 08:38 PM   #7
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I've extended and retacted the slides many hundreds of times on my 2013 Excel Winslow 34IKE. I still hold my breath when the kitchen slide retracts. But, it has not failed to retract.
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Old 03-04-2022, 03:16 PM   #8
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Well hec,... mine retract the same way as everyone else's. Builds up the pressure and "pops" over the edge, then smooth the rest of the way. I do try to keep everything siliconed, but that seems like a simplistic answer...

Brad, I have the same model as you, one year older, other than mine is the 34IKE.. a few weeks after I got it home I received a notice from Peterson that the painters had failed to caulk the rain gutters. Not that it matters at this point but I wonder if that had something to do with the initial leaks.

Based on your post I am thinking of having that bracket welded as per your photo as a preventive measure. will also double check the caulking in that area.

My kitchen slide ram did fail, it was replaced along with the landing gear on that side, the hydraulic hoses, and the solenoid, under an extended warranty.

Thanks for your post, hats off for your positive attitude towards it all.
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Old 03-04-2022, 07:57 PM   #9
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Like Russell I was holding my breath every retraction for quite a while, unlike him I experienced the pop of that bracket failing. Not a good feeling knowing you're suddenly stuck with the slide extended. Fortunately I had an internet connection at each location. I was in worse shape the first time since it was a Saturday in rural Western Maryland not a Tuesday near Melbourne, FL. I also went looking for mobile RV service then and the RV repair guys I found that day ended up welding it. This time I headed straight for a mobile welder, there are a lot more of them around. When travel troubles interrupt you just have to go into adapt, overcome improvise mode. Woe is me won't help you much.

The missing caulk on the gutter might have been a starting point but we didn't experience problems until about 2 years ago, with the noticeable bowing of the header wall about a year ago. Curtis did say damage happened slowly over a long time but the rig is just over 7 years old so I'm not sure if it could be an original mfg issue.

After hearing many have the same slide behavior maybe my problem was mostly the weak ram bracket. That 3"x3" 2"W 1/4" thick angle was way understrength for a 2000# slide room. The new replacement eliminates that potential so I'll try to see if we can adjust the slide here but just lube it liberally and hope for the best if we can't.

Brad
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Old 03-05-2022, 08:41 PM   #10
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"Curtis did say damage happened slowly over a long time but the rig is just over 7 years old so I'm not sure if it could be an original mfg issue."

Hey Brad,
I talked to you about my dinette in Medora, ND and went straight to SC from there. I ended up replacing both posts holding up the header from dry rot.

I asked Tim if it was something I missed and he said no, that the factory hadn't
sealed them properly and was just a matter of time and my rig was seven years old as well.

Mark
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Old 03-07-2022, 12:26 PM   #11
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Mark,
I remember your super clean Winslow was about the same vintage as ours. I do think for long term viability I'll get back to SC for some additional work on that header wall. Curtis' suggestion for a 2x4 upright perpendicular to the wall between the door opening and slide opening is the only way to get that header plumb. That would really provide some strength and resistance to the outward force that heavy, deep slide is putting on the header. When I thought about the geometry I realized Curtis is probably right about the outward lean not causing the difficult retraction, it would actually angle the floor up at the threshold.

I just had the mobile repair guy here to take care of one other item and check the slide while I was retracting it. I applied plenty of silicon lube to the threshold and rollers and we pulled it in a couple times. He didn't see any issues with binding, the gear set or the timing. We weren't able to break those ram nuts loose to give a little more travel to the ram but I'll be careful to let up on the switch and get that adjusted out in SC. Prior to the recent repair the room was actually sitting out a little at the bottom when retracted, with the nuts in the current position is closes flush to the coach wall so maybe this position is the right one.

The room does hesitate quite a bit before starting to climb that threshold but the release wasn't too much of a jolt or bang which sounds like the descriptions others have of their slide retraction. With that beefed up bracket and more frequent lubrication I hope I'm ok but like Dr Fife I'll probably be holding my breath every time.
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Old 03-07-2022, 02:13 PM   #12
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Brad......don't feel bad, when we were traveling in our rig(s), I cringed ever time I mashed a button in those rigs! I think that happens when you know too well how things work!!! Ha.
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Old 03-14-2022, 01:22 PM   #13
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We had to move to a different site here Saturday after extending our stay for a few extra days. When I retracted the slide it struggled a lot to get up the threshold and didn't sound good doing it. I was actually on Google Maps calculating a potential trip from Fla to SC.

Today my mobile repair guy stopped by to correct one small repair and I retracted the slide while he observed from outside to see if it was as bad as two days ago. Well I was surprised when the initial delay was much better and overall the retraction didn't seem too bad. He asked me if I was hooked up to electric on Saturday and I realized I was running off battery having disconnected, so lower voltage might have been contributing. I'll stay connected when possible while retracting the slides.

I've got a short video of the slide behavior this morning. Take a look and tell me if mine is typical of the hold your breath when using that button behavior of these heavy slides.
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Old 03-14-2022, 03:18 PM   #14
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Brad, our dinette slide never struggled like that. The heavier kitchen slide did though when retracting in. It paused while building pressure, then jump up on the rollers and was smooth after that. Just my 2 worth.
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