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Old 05-02-2016, 04:31 PM   #1
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Electric vs. Hydraulic Slides

Good afternoon...

I'm researching new fifth wheels and I'm really interested in the 371REBH, but I'm a bit unsure about the hydraulic slides.

Can any of you who have had both electric and hydraulic slides give me some feedback on which you prefer? I already understand the situation regarding whether you can open them separately or not. What I'm interested in are the differences (if any) in the reliability between the 2 systems.

So...all things being equal in the rest of the 5th wheels being considered, which would you prefer from an overall reliability, service and ease of use standpoint: electric or hydraulic slides?

Thanks for your input!

T
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:01 PM   #2
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Electric vs. Hydraulic Slides

I've had both electric and hydraulic slides and never had trouble with either. Electric is nice because usually each slide has separate switches where the hydraulic do not. I do have a manifold on mine so I can easily single out a slide or slides if I don't want to deploy all of them.
Now if I had a choice between electric/hydraulic landing gear, I'd choose hydraulic without question! They are fast. They work on pressure, so once one touches the ground the other will catch up and lift the camper. No more adding blocks to one side or the other. Also they are more stable. Little to no rocking unlike the electric landing gear, though there are devices you can buy to attach to the electric landing gear to sturdy up the camper.
As far as reliability I guess both are reliable. I don't hear about too many troubles with either one. Not much maintenance between the two. Is anything really reliable these days? The question is how capable your are to fix a faulty slide if it would happen to break, or at least call a qualified mechanic to fix it?

Just my $.02.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:16 PM   #3
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X2 ^^^^^^
Especially the landing gear. Electric is so slow you can barely see the legs moving. My hydraulic legs go full stroke in seconds and is self leveling side to side. I'll never own electric landing gear, or slides for that matter if I can help it.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:26 PM   #4
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I have hydraulic slides and jacks. However when a hydraulic hose fails the whole system is shut down and all the fluid is lost. I have had 2 hose failures, luckily with the slides and jacks in travelling position.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:40 PM   #5
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I had hydraulic on my wildcat, with hydraulic landing gear too. Do not have it on the rockwood and it's the only thing I miss. So much faster up and down, and in and out with hydraulic.
The wildcat had valves that could be adjusted to open both together or one before the other. But both on same switch.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mogman View Post
I have hydraulic slides and jacks. However when a hydraulic hose fails the whole system is shut down and all the fluid is lost. I have had 2 hose failures, luckily with the slides and jacks in travelling position.
You clearly had defective hose. Let me guess, was it orange hose. If so there was a batch of it that Lippert used. It would delaminate, bubble up and then in worse case pop.
This is not the norm. I bet you had the bad batch of hose.
Also if you get another blowout don't hit the switch and it won't empty the resevoir.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:36 AM   #7
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Thanks!

So, it looks like I shouldn't worry too much about the hydraulic vs. electric issue and that y'all prefer hydraulic. Plus, I should consider trying to find one with separate controls for each slide. I think I'd prefer that.

As far as being handy enough to fix things, I'm getting better every day and YouTube has saved me tons of money!

Thanks for the input.

t
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Old 05-03-2016, 03:14 PM   #8
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We have a brand new Cardinal 3250RL with hydraulic leveling and hydraulic slides. We love the leveling system, but I would personally have preferred electric slides with individual controls for each of the three slides. With electric motor control, you can deploy each slide individually and position them anywhere between closed and fully open, depending on the clearance available. With the hydraulic control system, I have the option of selecting which slides to open or close with a three-valve control block that enables me to shut off flow to any individual slide. However, with our controller, the slide mechanism does not stop instantaneously when I release the control button. The slide sometimes extends another inch or two, and that can cause disastrous results in my driveway if the slide impacts my neighbor's block wall. That said, I doubt you will ever find a new 5th wheel with hydraulic leveling and electric slides.
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jakie-Boy View Post
We have a brand new Cardinal 3250RL with hydraulic leveling and hydraulic slides. We love the leveling system, but I would personally have preferred electric slides with individual controls for each of the three slides. With electric motor control, you can deploy each slide individually and position them anywhere between closed and fully open, depending on the clearance available. With the hydraulic control system, I have the option of selecting which slides to open or close with a three-valve control block that enables me to shut off flow to any individual slide. However, with our controller, the slide mechanism does not stop instantaneously when I release the control button. The slide sometimes extends another inch or two, and that can cause disastrous results in my driveway if the slide impacts my neighbor's block wall. That said, I doubt you will ever find a new 5th wheel with hydraulic leveling and electric slides.
I have hydraulic leveling and 2 slide out......3rd slide out is electric
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:18 PM   #10
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Our 2014 Wildcat Maxx 313RE has electric slides and leveling, it's our first trailer so don't know any different! However, after watching videos with hydraulic leveling I sure wish I had that speed!
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