We are on the road and I think a gearbox broke when we went to deploy our kitchen slide. The slide moved about an inch and stopped moving and started grinding. No mobile techs are available for days and we are hours from any dealership. What can we do to get through this trip?
The signature sign of a gearbox failing is the grinding noise you experienced. It is caused by teeth breaking off one of the gears inside. You can still deploy or retract your slide by pushing it while someone holds the button for the appropriate direction. In your case, to deploy the slide, one person should be on the inside of the RV on one side of the kitchen slide, and another person should also be inside on the opposite side of the slide. While a third person pushes the button to deploy the slide, both people should apply equal pressure at the same time to push the slide out. It should move freely. When the slide is fully extended, stop pushing and release the button.
The slide will probably retract without an issue, but you still need to have that gearbox replaced. In the event that the slide won’t retract when you prepare to leave your site due to the failing gearbox, follow the same procedure with two people pushing the slide in while someone pushes the button to retract it.
Mark Gorrie has been an avid RVer since 2003 and owns RVForce LLC, a full-service mobile and shop-based RV repair facility based in Winter Haven, Florida. RVForce has a full team of certified technicians on staff to answer your RV questions. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org .