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Old 01-30-2017, 03:54 PM   #15
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The important thing, is that you want as much voltage/current possible for the electric motors. Worst case at a minimum, you have the batteries.

The engine alternator can put out in the range of 150+ amps, if your engine is running. Your converter/inverter attached to your house batteries, can put out in the range of 100 amp, if you are connected to shorepower.

So if you can have the engine running and/or the shorepower connected while you are putting slides out/in....they will supplement your batteries and keep the voltage up. It's easiest for your electric motors.
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:10 PM   #16
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My HWH system, jacks and slides; runs off the chassis battery.

I can only run the jacks with the parking brake on, and with the key on (acc, on, or engine running). I typically leave the engine running to insure the best and most stable voltage to the pump.

As for the slides, I can operate them key on or off, as long as the parking brake is on. However, I usually try to keep the engine running for them as well, and for the same reason.

My chassis battery is not charged by shore/gen power (unless my key is on), so shore/gen power do nothing for my slides.
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:13 PM   #17
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Part of the difference may be the type of slide mechanism you have. Mine are hydraulic and the engine has to be turned off to operate. The batteries only have to operate the pump. The others may be electrically operated. I imagine it would take a lot more current to operate a motor strong enough to push the slides in and out as apposed to just turning a pump. Maybe!
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:18 PM   #18
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Mine are hydraulic; key needs to be on.
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:19 PM   #19
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As stated by one poster, electric motors shouldn't be subjected to low voltage. If yours says to open with engine running, you should. Some coaches like mine won't work with the engine running.

Since mine won't work with the engine running, I always plug in the shore cord before extending. If I'm boon docking, I start my generator for the slides and to power my satellite during setup.

An important point.....if you're boon docking, running your slides out on 12 volt power, can really zap your batteries at the beginning of dry camping.
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:24 PM   #20
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Reading your manual will give you your best answer.

For me, I must have the key in the on position. They will operate on batteries, however, I make sure that either the engine is running or supplemental power (shore or generator) provide the necessary power to operate my slides at full power.
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Old 01-30-2017, 05:02 PM   #21
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Mine have all said to have the engine running or on shore power.
On My 03 DSDP the slides Will Not Close with the engine running. I know this because after buying my coach, I stopped for the night on my way home. I put the passenger front slide out at night. In the AM, I started the engine, had my coffee and went to retract the slide. No dice. Finally after putting a little thought into my dilemma, I shut the engine off and tried again. Bingo!

I'm not sure about putting them out. But I typically connect to shore power first to deploy the slides. When leaving, the Last thing I do is pull the shore power plug before we leave.
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Old 01-30-2017, 05:21 PM   #22
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Again, the take away from all this is to read your manual, and do what it says. Different coaches, different systems, different procedures.
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Old 01-30-2017, 05:40 PM   #23
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Per our manual, engine running for us. Jacks down and slides in and out. Our slides are electric motors, big current draw.

Our jacks are electric pumps, jacks down equals large current draw.

Jacks up has no big current draw for our HWH. It just opens the valve and the springs pull in the hydraulics.

That said, they work just fine off of our batteries.

If you do use your engine, then I suggest setting it to high idle to make sure you are getting good voltage.

And have a window or door open when moving slides in or out! No need to add extra stress to the process.
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Old 01-30-2017, 06:36 PM   #24
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On our coach, the jacks and slides will not operate without the engine running. We have a full wall slide with three motors that need to be kept in sync. I suspect that has a lot to do with it.

At least it makes it tough to screw it up!
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Old 01-30-2017, 06:48 PM   #25
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Depends upon what coach you have. Our slideouts wont move unless the engine is running. Other coaches are the opposite.
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Old 01-31-2017, 08:51 AM   #26
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Thanks to everyone with the great responses. The reason I don't start the engine to move the slides is because I'm often on shore power at that time and not sure it's a good idea to start the engine while on shore power.
Is there a problem starting the engine when you are on the shore power? I am on a ford V 10 chassis.
Thanks, Jim
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Old 01-31-2017, 04:57 PM   #27
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Shouldn't be, it isn't with mine, just like it isn't a issue with the genset running either. ...and I have to have the engine off to operate the slideouts, and on to operate my jacks.
Still, doesn't hurt to check your manual for any question you might have.
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Old 01-31-2017, 05:11 PM   #28
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Interesting question. I thought all were like mine, that being, the engine OFF and the key in the "off" position or the slides will NOT deploy or retract. Obviously, based on several comments, my system seems to be in the minority.
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