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Ask Dave: Where are the wires to disconnect my slideout’s motors?

Dear Dave,
I need to replace the floor in the bedroom slideout that has a Schwintek system. Where are the slideout motors? Are they located in the walls of the fifth wheel? If so, how do I get to the wires to disconnect the power to the motors? Also, can you give me a ballpark figure of the repair cost if I take the camper to a Winnebago dealer to replace the floor? —Joe, 2020 Winnebago Mini Plus 29RBH fifth wheel

Dear Joe,
I’m wondering why you need to replace the floor of a 2- or 3-year-old fifth wheel already? When you say “floor,” do you mean carpet or the actual plywood floor? From the Winnebago website, it looks like your unit has a wardrobe slideout on the side as the bed is fixed in what we called “North and South.”

The actual floor of the wardrobe slide room is typically just 3/4” plywood covered with carpet, not the thermopane design of the main floor. If you need to replace the plywood, then it would probably be best to remove the room, remove the wardrobe and linen closet, and access the floor and trim. Without seeing the damage and what needs to be replaced, it’s hard to provide any more direction on the repair.

Locating the slideout motors

To answer your first question, the Schwintek motors are in the sidewall of the unit up on the top where you see the gear track on the upper part of the room. The lower track just has gears to keep the room aligned during extension and retraction.

Here is a photo of the 2015 Thor we are working on this week. The Schwintek motor is at the top of the couch slide. It would be the same as yours. Just pull back the rubber seal and you should have access to the motor and the wiring, which, in this case, runs down through the molding. I would suspect it does the same in yours.

It’s a little dark, as the unit has sulfated batteries which we will be upgrading to lithium this week and cannot plug it in until I take it to the shop on Wednesday. However, you can see that the motor and plug is accessible.

Since you asked about the location of the slideout motor and plug/wiring, I assume you are looking to disconnect the wiring and remove the motor to remove the room? If so, you will need to be aware of the gear mechanism at the bottom, as well. There is a spur gear on the bottom and a V-roller that follows the lower track. I have not taken a room completely out, so I would recommend contacting Lippert technical support to verify what is required for this procedure. I will also give them a call this week and I’ll post what I find.

Fixing this at a dealership

To answer your last question, “How much will it cost at a dealership”—that is hard to determine without more information on what needs to be replaced. If it is pulling the room out, removing the cabinetry, and replacing the flooring, the materials will be minimal. However, the labor would be substantial, maybe 8-10 hours, and will cost about $125-$150 per hour.

However, if you don’t have a shop with the equipment to pull the slide room out, hold it in place to do the repairs, and have expertise or knowledge of the construction, it’s better to have a dealer do the work. Maybe some of our readers have had a similar repair done and can shed some light on what the cost was for them? If you have, please leave a comment below to help Joe out.

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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DAVE TELENKO
14 days ago

My Forest River motor home is 6 years old! The last time I was @ the dealer Dennis Dillion RV in Westminster Ca their shop rate was $165.00 a hour & that was 5 years ago! Not sure where Dave got 125-150 a hour. But if thats his rate, give us the phone number & address as I’m sure they will have tons of work!
Snoopy

Last edited 14 days ago by DAVE TELENKO