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Old 09-09-2010, 03:35 PM   #1
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slides driving me crazy

I have a 34 foot Classic 5th wheel with non-hydraulic slides. The 2 big slides...dinette and pantry have given me trouble since new. About half the time...when I retract them..I have to go outside and push them while my wife operates the button. Otherwise the clutches chatter and nothing moves. When I push..after a few inches of travel they then close fine. They always open properly.

Had one guy ( not an Excel guy ) look at it and he saw nothing wrong that he could fix. This issue is making my wife want to sell the 5th wheel.....Any suggestions?
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:54 PM   #2
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Have you lube the slide tubes with a non grease lube? Silicone works best as it will not gather dust.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:26 PM   #3
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That was suggestion from Excel tech 2 years ago...didn't make any difference....besides...it appears to only be a problem for the 1st inch or 2 of travel. I don't know how the clutches work....and if they can be adjusted/lubed or ?????
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:02 PM   #4
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I wondering if you may have a pin at the gear box or at the ends of the drive shafts the is a little bit out of place and is causing this. It might also be in the gear box it self. Have you ever noticed any oil on the ground under your rig. This would be a seal blowing out and would have leaked oil a long time ago.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:48 PM   #5
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I assume your slides raise up on the rollers when they start to come in. That said that's when it puts the most stress on the motor and gearbox and why you have to give it some help and the reason for the all hydraulic system on the new EXCELs. My guess you will just have to live with the problem. Make sure your rollers under the slide roll easy. Also check for binding anywhere as the slide moves even drag from the side gaskets.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:09 PM   #6
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I don't know the age of your unit, but would guess that our slide systems are simular except maybe the way the slide is attached to the slide rams and some equipment location. In my '101' section I posted a series of posts on my slide system beginning with 27.__Cleaning and lube of the nose cone and rollers.

You state that the system extends without a problem and 'half the time' you have problems when retracting.... but only for the first few inches.

Generally it sounds like it it operating correctly, except when you have 'those' retract issues. I would suggest looking at the motors as Still recommended and also to check the cleaniness and condition of the slide system and clean/lube as required. I noticed that the system on Rockin' '05 Excel had a more open system....where all my hardware is enclosed and better protected. The spacing between the rams and the 'channels' they fit into is very close, so it never hurts to ensure their condition.

That said, it sounds like you have a 'getting started' issure and initally getting the slide over the hump so to speak. When the slide is extended and the floor is flush, it is sitting in a recessed area. When you retract the slide it is pulled up, using the nose cone on the edge of the slide floor and the rollers to pull the slide in. The further the slide is pulled in, the nose cone travels over the rollers and the weight is transfered onto the slides floor.

I would look at any additional weight that might be on the slide that was added after you bought the unit.

The condition of the nose cone, as in Post 26, where I replaced mine due to wear. And the condition of th rollers to ensure they aren't binding and rotate freely. (Might lift up on the carpet, on mine anyway, while someone brings in the slide and observe the rollers.)

I noticed that my main slide didn't have a stop bar on the rams that would stop the ram, when extending, at that right spot. My entertainment slide does. I decided not to add one but instead let it settle into that recess area and ensure the slides flange is making contact with the interior gasket. Don't know, and a long shot that the rams could be in a slight bind when extended.

If two slides are having the same problem...another common item might be the 12vdc power ?

Hope something helped

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Old 09-09-2010, 11:28 PM   #7
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Hi Lite,

Been working tonight so late getting in here. I started to post right after you posted but it's been real busy. Anyhow.......

* We need to know what year and model of Excel you have.
* I agree with work in that toughest point in the slide is the first couple of inch when retracting the slide. nose cones and rollers need to be checked for smooth operation and unusal wear.
* Highly unlikely you have 2 bad gearboxes Unless it a early model (pre 2004) when they had a different gear ratio. We can discuss that if we find out you have an early model Excel
* Weight in the slide is very critical....we have friends complaining of the same issue you are....and they told me "no overloaded slides".....we in the rig and I found stacks of books along the outer wall of the slides....A...HELLO!!!
* All slide ram bearings should be checked for smooth operation.
* Make sure you have strong batteries.....does it also happen hooked up to shore power? (converter helping) On second thought this probably not the issue as the gearboxes are ratcheting when loaded.....


These are just a few preliminary checks to get started. rockin'
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:33 AM   #8
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Hi Rockin.

My unit is a 2007 model E33RSO. SN 1P9RF332971090294. Have tried shore power...and as you have quessed...made no difference.

But reading thru all the posts lead me to ask the following: Will this get worse? I am willing to help push to get it started...at least until I get too old! I am just worried that it is going to break something and then never start.

I am going to crawl around under the rig this wle to eekend and see if I see any of the conditions described.

Would a good RV mechanic be able to assimilate all these posts and make any progress or does it really need to be an Excel specialist?

Thanks...all for the responses
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:44 AM   #9
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Hi Lite,

I believe you're gonna do the inspection and find your problem(s). I DO NOT believe this is a normal condition, other folks would be livid and we'd hear alot more about it. Especially with both slides. You didn't address the "stuff" (weight) I talked about in the slide room(s).

While you're underneath the rig.....would you look at the equalizer on the suspension and see if you have a grease fitting on the it? See the recent post on greasing the shackles. There's pic there of what I'm talking about. Thanks, rockin'
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:49 AM   #10
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This may or may not pertain.

I have a newer 33RSe with a heavy LR slide. On a Lippert Hydraulic system. In the last few weeks, that big slide has weakened on retraction, forcing me to put a shoulder to it.

Yesterday, I learned that the rams that move in and out of the two tubes of the hydraulic system frame are cutting into the tubes. The system does not adequately bear the weight of the room. Jack at PI tells me that they have seen a few failures of this system before. I'm waiting for a (major) fix.

While you do not have the same system, this problem shows that a failure elsewhere can cause this too.
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:45 PM   #11
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Litespeed, you might want to check the switch, all the wire connections and I even check to see if the wire was squeezed to the terminal lug properly. You might have a connection loose or not enough insulation removed at the lug or a switch that is not making good enough contact. To get those slide outs to pop up and get started on the rollers take lots of amps. You shouldn't have to do like we do with the TV remote.....it seems like when the batteries are getting weak we push harder on the remote.... and you do not need to do that on your slide out switches ....
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BookIIRoadtrash View Post
Litespeed, you might want to check the switch, all the wire connections and I even check to see if the wire was squeezed to the terminal lug properly. You might have a connection loose or not enough insulation removed at the lug or a switch that is not making good enough contact. To get those slide outs to pop up and get started on the rollers take lots of amps. You shouldn't have to do like we do with the TV remote.....it seems like when the batteries are getting weak we push harder on the remote.... and you do not need to do that on your slide out switches ....
Book, Your not thinking.......lite stated he gets the clutch ratcheting on both slides on the first inch or 2 when out completely. If it's ratcheting that tells me we are getting plenty power electrically to operate the slide motor.

Bruce, Lite's rig has electric.....alot different in general than your hydraulic and quite problematic slides!!! Sorry.... rockin'
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:46 PM   #13
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ok...spent a few hours lying under 5th wheel this pm. Found nothing obviously wrong...short of a chafed wire that had not yet failed....hidden underneath the sheet metal cover that I removed.

However..before I did this..I hooked up and releveled the trailer. The variable here seems to be how level I am...and perhaps how much weight I have in the slides. Since my wife already emptied the storage etc...I didn't simulate that. I re-lubed everything...but nothing looked real dry, dirty or scored anyways. Then it worked fine..at least today!

so my conclusion is....do a better job of leveling...push it if I have to...and do nothing further.

Also..Rockin.....I checked for a grease fitting..my model does not have a grease fitting on the bolt that secures the links to the bracket that is welded to the frame...just a big bolt and nut. The rest of the bolts have grease zerks. Hope that helps.

Thanks all.
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:59 PM   #14
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The first 2/3 inches of closing travel is when the wipers are reversing angle by flipping the other way. If the roof wiper is mounted slightly to tight or is in need of lubrication it might try to bind the slide motion.
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