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Ask Dave: My slideout LEDs are blinking and still won’t work after a reset. Why?

Dear Dave,
While the Schwintek slideout is moving in and out, both red and green LEDs on the Lippert controller are flashing. When the slider stops, the LEDs quit flashing but remain on for 20 seconds. I have reset the controller via the “button press six times, hold on the seventh” method, but there’s been no effect on my particular issue. —Michael

Dear Michael,
The LED lights flash a certain number of times to give you a failure code that something is wrong. According to the manual, the green LED blinks one time for motor 1 and two times for motor 2. The red LED will flash from 2-9 times depending on what the error is. Here is the definition of the error codes:

2 – Battery drop out: Battery capacity low enough to drop below 6 volts while running.

3 – Low battery: Voltage below 8 volts at start of cycle.

4 – High battery: Voltage greater than 18 volts.

5 – Excessive motor current: High amperage, also indicated by one side of slide continually stalling.

6 – Motor short circuit: Motor or wiring to motor has shorted out.

8 – Hall signal not present: Encoder is not providing a signal. Usually a wiring problem.

9 – Hall power short to ground: Power to encoder has been shorted to ground. Usually a wiring problem.

Most likely a low power situation

Since 6, 8, and 9 would probably mean the slideout room would not extend and retract, I doubt it is any of those. I would suspect it’s most likely a low power situation. You are probably extending and retracting the room without being plugged into shoreline power. This is pretty common, as owners get to the campsite and extend the slideout before getting out and hooking everything up. Then they usually retract them as the last part of their “tearing down routine.”

Check to see if it makes a difference with the shoreline cord plugged in. The converter will provide a charge to the battery/batteries with at least 13.2 volts and probably more like 13.6 volts if they are low. Typically, the battery/batteries should be charged while driving from the engine alternator, whether you have a truck and trailer or a motorhome. However, if the battery/batteries are sulfated, they will drop like a rock as soon as a load is put on them.

Maybe the RV isn’t level

The problem could also be because the unit isn’t level. Schwintek states to first level, then secure the rig prior to extending or retracting the slideout as any twist in the chassis will create a twist in the sidewall and resistance to the room and motors. These motors are very small and can also get weak and cause a high amp draw, and the slightest low voltage can be an issue.

Since the red and green lights are flashing, I would believe the motors are going bad. Since it continues to flash after you have done the reset, the issue is still present. I would suggest contacting Lippert, as they own Schwintek, and talk with their tech support. They can walk you through the procedure for testing the motors. The motors are easy to get at, as they are in the wall behind the rubber flap directly in line with the top rail. They can be accessed from the inside.

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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