Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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Ask Dave: Interior wood trim pulls off when slide room is extended

Dear Dave,
Both of my slideouts are pulling the interior wood  trim off as they are extended. I’ve tried screwing the trim to plywood on the roof of the slideout, but it still pulls it off. The local Camping World suggested installing a metal stop for the entire width of the slideout, which would involve pulling up the roofing on the slideout. Any suggestions? —John, 2018 Forest River Forester 2401R

Dear John,
It looks as though you have a smaller dinette slide in the main living area and a bed slide back in the bedroom. Both slides have wood trim on the sides and overhead. The trim is typically attached to the slide room with countersunk screws and a wood plug. As the room extends, there should be no friction or resistance on the wood trim other than at the base of the sides as it slides across the floor. Even that should be minimal and not pull the trim off.

The slide mechanisms

My first question is: Has it been doing this from when you got it or did it just start? Typically, if the bottom is pulling against the carpet or flooring, the room is out of alignment by the mechanism underneath or the rollers it glides on are not holding the room up.

From what I can find on specifications for your unit, it seems both slide mechanisms are Schwintek that have the motors at the top and gears at the bottom with rollers underneath. Again, the only place the inside trim can rub and come off is the bottom of the sides. With this type of mechanism, there is no room alignment available without removing the rail, lifting the bottom of the room, and reinstalling the rails.

Would a metal stop stop the interior wood trim from pulling off?

I do not see how installing a metal stop the entire width of the slide room would help, unless the upper wood trim is being forced off due to pressure exerted on the top by improper synchronizing of the motors. If the motors are out of sync or the room is extending and the top hits the sidewall before the bottom, it could put pressure on the upper trim. You should be able to verify this by extending the room and stop once the top touches the sidewall. Then look at the bottom to see if it has touched. If not, you need to synchronize the motors by extending the room and leaving the switch on until the motor shuts off. Then do the same retracting. Do this 3-4 times and see if that helps.

I believe installing a metal stop is not a fix for the interior wood trim pulling, but rather a band-aid to an alignment issue. Too many dealers have gotten fed up with the Schwintek system. They don’t actually spend the time to diagnose the actual cause and jump to conclusions. I have had several conversations with the Schwintek technician to verify this. I would recommend contacting Schwintek, which is now owned by Lippert, as they have wonderful technical support.

The first thing they will ask you for is the make, model, and serial number. The second is, do you level and secure the rig before extending and retracting. An uneven situation will cause a twist in the chassis and sidewall and resistance to the room and mechanism.

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.

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Vanessa
2 months ago

My trim popped off when the slide slid into place…easy fix. Trimmed off about a quarter inch and put it back up. Did both sides just to make sure. I think the particle board under the carpet got wet and swelled up causing the pinch.

HappyCamper7424
2 months ago

We have a 2020 Winnebago trailer with Schwintek slide. It looks like they started using a different Lippert slide mechanism in 2021. That might tell you something.

Bob M
2 months ago

My advice would be to stop buying RV’s that have the Schwintek slide system. Then maybe they would fix the problem or find a better trouble free slide system.

Thomas Edwards
2 months ago

Dave,
My wood trim splintering and snapping off was due to very poor fit and finish. In my younger days I was a trim carpenter. The vertical wood trim was cut too long and scraped against the vinyl floor. After two trim pieces snapped off at the bottom, I cut 1/8″ off the bottom of the remaining 6 vertical trim pieces (4 slides).

So one advice would be to get down on your hands and knees and inspect the bottom clearance using a 🔦 before taking delivery on the RV as well as periodically checking the clearance.

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