Several 364 owners have reported issues with their rear slide bed bouncing, jerking, and jumping. In some cases the movement was bad enough to gouge the vinyl floor and/or cut the power cord that runs underneath it. If this problem is not addressed, everyone will at least have to contend with a broken power cable at some point.
While I didn't get any floor gouges, the slide did extend and retract with a lot of vertical bouncing and sudden bumps. When I heard a new squishing-tearing noise, I finally gave in and took it apart.
I started by removing the front plywood floor under which I found two very thin and narrow rails mounted with staples. To add insult to injury, FR only used 4 screws on the front and back of a plywood floor meant to help support the slide. There was no side support whatsoever.
As the front of the bed travels over rollers, the slide weight causes the plywood and rail assembly to flex and bow, especially in the middle of the plywood. The rails are only half the required thickness, causing the frame to 'fall' when it extends past the first set of rollers and bump up when retracting. I suspect the combination of falling and flexing is what causes the bottom of the bed frame to hit the floor and gouge it.
To fix this, I got a piece of 2 X 6 that I ripped down to 5", which is the width of the front rollers. This gave me a nice straight piece with square cut sides that puts more square wood against the bed frame to help prevent it from twisting up.
Next I cut them to length and drilled pilot holes all the way through. I followed up with a 3/8" drill to create pockets 3.5" deep to accommodate the 3" screws I would used to screw them into the bed frame.
Make you make the holes low enough so that they screw into the solid wood at the bottom of the bed frame. You will also notice that I notched the right rail to make room for the electrical cable.
I prepared for re-assembly by stripping off the original rails and removing left over staples from the plywood floor. With the slide extended, I rested the front of the new rail on the front roller while my My DD2 held a spatula under the bed frame to help me align the rear part of the rail flush with the bottom of the bed frame. Once in position, I screwed the piece into the side of the bed frame. I mounted the notched rail on the right side and carefully routed the power cable.
I textended and retracted the slide to make sure everything worked as planned. Be VERY CAREFUL when doing this. The rails you just screwed in will want to twist up from the force.
Now it was time to fix the wiring. As you can see, the cable tie holding the coil snapped and part of the cable started getting caught between the slide and the floor.
This eroded the insulation and bare wire was beginning to show. I imagine the twisting force would also break the cable eventually.
I had my DD2 operate the slide while I watched the cable.
IMPORTANT!!! Do not operate the slide without the rails attached! The front part of the bed frame will scrape the floor, damaging it and the frame! If you absolutely must do it without the rails, put a thick soft towel under the front edge of the bedrail so it can slide along.
I marked off the spots where the cable needed to travel and stay clear of, then used several U clamps to screw the cable to the floor. The stationary part of the cable is extremely solid now and the coil extends and retracts properly.
I finished by screwing the front plywood slide floor along all 4 sides, using many screws to provide support and rigidity. This is critical because it ties the rails to the floor, which prevents them from twisting.
I tried the slide again, and to my great delight and satisfaction, ALL the bouncing and jiggling was gone! I still have a small bump due to the 3/8" difference between the new rails and the outside floor. I plan to fix that with a small 3/8" square plate that is sanded on one end to create a ramp for a smooth transition.
If you are wondering why I didn't simply lower the rail, I needed the plywood to line up properly with the front bracket and rear deck. I also considered glueing the rails to the plywood but I quickly realized that would made service access impossible.
My slide now operates as smoothly as my other two. I also think the stronger floor will help the frame stand up better to the pressure of someone sitting on the front edge or using the bed with the slide in.
Thats enough for this weekend. If I have the misfortune of missing another camping weekend, I will tackle the centre bathroom heat issue. Hint: FR didn't connect the duct to the furnace box properly.