In checking out new 5th wheel campers, I have come across 3 types (so far) of electric slide room mechanisms. I have included what I understand about each system (admittedly limited knowledge), and would appreciate input on the good, bad, and ugly of each system.
Schwintek In-Wall Slide-Out System:
Appears to be used on shallower, smaller slides. Seems like a simple system, with a somewhat complicated control module to keep the 2 motors in sync. We have seen those on bedroom slides. Supports the slide at both the top and bottom, which seems like a good thing. The control module can be overridden if the slides get out of sync, and the motors can be disengaged if 1 becomes inoperable, but the slide would need to be manually operated if that happens. Proper installation is important. We have been told that the bed can be used in either the retracted or open position.
Electric Underfloor Slides:
Used for heavier, deeper slides. Fairly simple in operation, with a manually override if the electric motor(s) malfunction. But the top of the slide only moves in conjunction with the bottom, as there is no mechanism for moving the top . It appears that as the center of gravity changes during operation, that is what causes the top to tighten up in both the retracted and extended positions. There is nothing holding the top in place other than pressure exerted by the weight of the slide itself. I understand that during a turn, the top of the slide could actually come out a bit, letting in rain water.....that is why some models suggest using a slide lock in transit.
We also understand that walking on the slide in the retracted position is a no-no, unless there is a slide lock in place.
We currently have a trailer with a sofa slide….similar to the operation of the underfloor slides in operation. It has a single motor working a rack and pinion gear system under the sofa, which has worked great over the years. But as the slide operates, I can see how the center of gravity changes as the room moves out. The motor takes out the bottom 1st, closely followed by the top. Somewhere in the room travel, the top moves more to the outside, and the top of the room hits 1st, then the bottom firms up. We have used the sofa in both the retracted and open positions with no problems.
Accuslide (cable system):
Used for heavy, deep slides. Looks complicated, but seems to work good. Each corner of the slide (inside and outside) is pulled by a separate cable. To me, it seems like the best system, except for possible cable or bracket breakage. There is a manual override in case of a motor problem. It is our understanding that the slide can be used in the closed position.
Please restrict this discussion to electric slide room operation, not hydraulic.