Good day. I just read your article on Schwintek slides. We just had ours replaced with the Vroom product. Tiffin tried 8 times to get the Schwintek to work.
When placing the manufacturer parts side by side, the quality of the material leaves no doubts. Real bearings instead of flat nylon bushing. Real metal drive shaft instead of cheap (was it pot metal?) drive shaft. Gears with some meat to them.
Also, we did all those holding-the-button-down exercises for 7–10 seconds after slides retracted/extended and never noticed a difference in the slides working the way they should. We always leveled first, kept the coach running, and waited until the power from the pedestal was on in the coach before running the slides out.
The Schwintek never worked for more than a couple weeks before failure. We had to use the override on the controller at least 60% of the time. So far, months into the replacement with the Vrooms, we haven’t had an issue. That has to be at least 40 extend/retract cycles. Never would have made it with the Schwintek. Just thought you might want know. —Brad, 2021 Tiffin Allegro Bus
Since posting the Schwintek article I have received quite a few comments both pro and con of the system. Several folks have switched to the Vroom mechanism, so I decided to do some research.
About Vroom Slide Systems
Vroom Slide Systems (VSS) is located in Tucson, AZ, and was started by the president after returning from a trip to Alaska in his Tiffin Allegro Bus. After repeated issues both extending and retracting, one of the rooms failed 3500 miles from home. After an emergency field repair and limping the rig back home, he contacted Tiffin and Schwintek and found there was nothing that could be done other than to replace the existing mechanism, which he would not accept.
His existing company was an authorized rebuilder for one of the largest gear box manufacturers in the country, so they decided to engineer a superior mechanism. Their design was tested over 6000 extensions and retractions with 1500 pounds of payload in the room, and it worked flawlessly. The challenge was to retrofit the Vroom system within the tight parameters of an in-wall slide. The motors have to fit in the RV wall with the vertical channels attached to the wall and the gear track to the slideroom box.
Over the past two years I have received a high volume of emails and comments regarding issues with the Schwintek mechanism. I have written about those and many of them had replaced the controller numerous times. The VSS engineers use the same controller, motors, and hardware. That tells me they are good components and that several of the repairs out in the field here diagnosed incorrectly!
What makes the Vroom Slide System superior?
The motor is bolted to the upper pinion gear housing, unlike the Schwintek that is a loose fit with one outside screw that provides some slop.
You can see the Schwintek also has nylon rollers that follow a “V” channel and can wear and cause loose alignment as well as binding.
The VSS has leading and trailing high capacity bearings, and the extruded aluminum U-channel maintains a constant gear mesh, which means no more metal shavings.
The drive shaft turns in upper and lower needle bearings. It can be manually extended and retracted with a 7/16” wrench.
I talked with one of the main installers at Vroom and he indicated the entire mechanism has been designed with superior structural integrity including the “H” column, the shaft, and upper and lower guide blocks. He also indicated that they designed a superior installation, which I have found to be an issue in many of the comments and questions I have received. RV manufacturers have been using a quick install rivet, which simply does not hold up. Combine all these factors and it’s no wonder owners are seeing these issues.
More VSS installation locations
When we originally talked, they only had the Tucson location for installation. They now have several other authorized installation locations, one of which is Custom RV in Red Bay, AL. Interesting, as this is Tiffin country and a large number of the complaints I have received have been Tiffin units, including from RVtravel.com’s Nanci Dixon!
Back then, the cost was $2500 per side, but from what I have found recently it has gone up to $4500 per side. However, prices are determined by the type and size of slide.
You might also enjoy this from Dave
Is the Schwintek slide mechanism any better now?
Saddest industry yet to see in my 25 years of camping. The very fact that Grand Design and Schwintek have not had RECALLS on the RVs they have destroyed by putting a less than adequate slide system on a family vacation vehicle is an embarrassment to them and the people who buy them. Sorry, I don’t really have a question, just a rant. …
Read the rest of the rant and Dave’s response.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”
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I was happy to see this option to replace my slide system. Their website says Vroom can replace both Schwintek and Slimrack systems. I contacted them and got a same day reply. Unfortunately, they won’t replace a Slimrack system, they won’t work on anything older than 2015, they won’t work on large (22 foot) slides, but they are booked solid through December, 2023.
I think part of the problem may be with the RV manufacturers. They use the Schwintek slide for unintended applications. I don’t see where Lippert has claimed that these slides are for anything but light duty use.
I think the suggestion to secure the motor mount screws with blue LocTite should have been a step taken at the RV builders factory.
Not all the blame is on the Schwintek design. It is made for lightweight use and therefore does not have heavy duty parts and pieces. Is it a great piece of equipment? Probably not. But it is not the fault of Lippert or the design, if the slide drive is used outside its parameters.
I’ve been bitten by the Schwintek design on our 2017 Forest River 34QS Diesel. Actually had our main slide replaced twice as after the first repair it failed again in our driveway when we got back from the repair place. This time it was catastrophic, exact words of the repair center manager after sending them pics. To me it looked like the itty-bitty screw that holds the motor malfunctioned! This time they had to replace the whole system, including some 1/8′ X 6″ alum plate under the slide that lined up with the plastic rollers. Lucky for me Forest River & my after market ins. paid for all of it!
What a sad state of affairs for Lippert/Schwintek that their products are of such poor quality that someone can start a booming business replacing their junk. Should not be a surprise to anyone—I spent 10 weeks in the Winnebago factory and other RV repair shops in 2015 over slide issues.
We had our coach vroomed a year and a half ago—best upgrade ever and no issues.