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Old 08-23-2009, 03:38 PM   #1
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Slide Retracts very slowly

We have a 2004 BH28 Wildcat. For the most part, its been a great camper but recently has I have noticed that the slide is getting very slow to retract. I have all the power in the world to extend it but seem to be loosing power when in the retracting mode. I thought the hydrolic fluid may have been low or maybe something was binding up but it really seems as if its a power issue, like it was running out of juice from the battery. I think my battery is running low and probably will have to replace it soon but this problem is when I am plugged into shore power. Thanks
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:21 PM   #2
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I would check voltage with a volt meter at the battery when the slide is retracing the check it at the pump while retracting. This will give you a pretty good idea if it is the battery or voltage loss somewhere else. If your battery is original that would be a good place to start. If the battery is week the power converter alone is not enough to properly run the slide in and out. Without the battery the converter most likely could not run the slide in and out.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:49 PM   #3
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I'm not extremely familiar with hydraulic slides, but I have a few questions. As mentioned in an earlier post, check voltage at the motor while the slide is going both ways. Should be the same, and I would hope over 11 volts, DC. Listen to the motor while the slide is going both ways, does it sound the same? The motor should run a pump, out would be one direction, and in should do nothing but reverse the voltage on the motor, which would run the motor the other direction. The motor doesn't care which way the voltage runs. A leaking cylinder could cause your problem, but you might/should here a different motor sound as the load wouldn't be the same. A bad switch or relay would show as a voltage problem. Last thing, time the slide from full in to full out, then wait 20 minutes and time full out to full in. This is to make sure you really do have a problem and it's not just something that you think is happening. The wait time is for everything to cool and to be more realistic. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:15 AM   #4
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I admit I am not very familar with the electrical system of an RV but if the camper is plugged into shore power wouldn't the slide opperate by the shore power instead of the battery?
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:22 AM   #5
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When the trailer is plugged in to shore power, the converter acts as a charger to charge the battery and keep a proper charge on it, but it probably doesn't have enough current to run the slide motor by itself. The battery would do most of the work, and then the converter would recharge the battery. An old battery may get the slide out and then be too discharged to bring it immediately back in. That's why I recommended a 20 minute wait time between slide operations. If you have a manual on your converter, it should state the charge capability, probably around 20 amps. Your slide motor takes around 50 or more amps. The battery makes up the difference between what the motor needs and what the converter can supply.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:04 PM   #6
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Well, what you say, leads me to believe the battery just needs to be replaced. The only thing I question is why the slide seems to have plenty of power when extended but sounds so weak when it is being retracted. Could it be possible that extending the slide takes much less power then retracting it? I want to thank all of you for your inpute in helping me get this figured out. Thanks
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:45 PM   #7
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REPEAT!!!! You need to check the voltage at the slide motor while moving the slide both ways. You could have a faulty switch or relay, and throwing a battery at it might not solve it. Take some time to check a few things before you spend a lot of money over something simple, and then gripe about the cost of ownership. You have to be our hands, eyes, and ears, and we can get it fixed right the first try. If you don't have a voltmeter, make sure the battery is charged, usually plug in to shore power for 24 hours, nothing else on. Then unplug shore power, and turn on 3 or 4 light bulbs. (Some light fixtures have 2 bulbs). Now check your readout, go away for 4 hours, then check your readout again, and notice if your lights have dimmed a considerable amount. Let us know what the readout says and we'll help to determine if the battery is some or all of your slide problem. Sorry if this is a little harsh, but as a mechanic, I see this all too often. Just trow something at it and it will fix it.....WRONG. Given a proper amount of time, a good mechanic can fix it, CORRECTLY. A new battery may fix your symptoms for a short while, but may not fix your problem. Take time to fix it now while you can, istead of being stuck in the campground because the slide won't go in.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:03 AM   #8
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I have to agree with Windrider here. 90% of fixing a problem is troubleshooting it first. Just about anyone can turn a bolt or follow a manual to replace a faulty part but a real good mechanic has to be great at troubleshooting. Your problem could be as simple as a faulty ground cable which in RVs results in a majority of electrical problems. You (and all RVrs) should own and know how to use a multimeter (voltmeter in lay terms). I never leave home without it and no, one of those test pens with the light in it is not a suitable substitute. If your not up for doing it yourself then by all means take it to a good shop.

Windrider is also correct that the battery is going to be doing all the work here not the converter so being plugged in or not should have no difference if things are working correctly in the slide mechanism itself. Try hooking up a 2nd battery with the house battery on your rig from one of your cars with jumper cables and see if the added amperage solves the issue. I think it is very possible you have a bad battery in this case but like I said, test it with a known good one from another vehicle before you go buy a new one. Also if it is a bad battery you need to question why it went bad in the first place, was it a bad converter/charger? no water in the battery, etc?

good luck and let us know what you find after doing a few tests and troubleshooting...
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:32 AM   #9
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Ok, before I get a new battery I'll get a volt meter and start there. I did disconnect the shore power and notised that within three minutes I could not even turn on a light so the battery may be still the problem but all of you are right that I should not be trying to throw solutions at a problem before I know what the problem is. And I should have gotten the volt meter a long time ago. I'll pick one up today and let you know what I figure out. Again, thanks for all your help.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadlover View Post
Ok, before I get a new battery I'll get a volt meter and start there. I did disconnect the shore power and notised that within three minutes I could not even turn on a light so the battery may be still the problem but all of you are right that I should not be trying to throw solutions at a problem before I know what the problem is. And I should have gotten the volt meter a long time ago. I'll pick one up today and let you know what I figure out. Again, thanks for all your help.
Yep, gotta think you are on the right track with a bad battery. Like I said, swap in a known good one from your truck or car and see what happens, just as a test. Along with the volt meter pick up a Plano storage box and fill it with electrical "needs". I always have a wiring kit with me that has extra wire, crimp connectors, electrical tape, heat shrink tube, fuses, spare bulbs, wire stripper, solder, etc.
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