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Old 03-02-2017, 04:27 PM   #1
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38A, How level to operate slides?

Considering new 38A. Keep my unit on slight to medium sloped driveway. Concerned that slides can't be put out unless unit is level. Never had a problem with Newmar Canyon Star but slides are different. Anyone know what FR says? Would appreciate any feedback.
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:49 PM   #2
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Forest River says (And I QUOTE): "Do what works for you, there is no rule set in stone".

So if they work, they work.

Now, there are people here that will vehemently argue that the Moho needs to be perfectly level, in fact on the levelers before you move the slides.

Personally, I know (sound and all that) that the coach twists somewhat when the levelers come down. I also know that these units are built on their wheels. And I know that my Schwentek slide does a whole lot better when "on the bags" versus on the legs.

Now, if on the bags puts you WAY out of level, that comes into play. Fore and aft is not much of a consideration to me. Left to right is. If you have a weak slide I would not want to push/pull it uphill. So, the 38A has this monster slide on the right which is hydraulic, moves at 30 mph and destroys anything in it's path. (Don't ask). Some lean there should not matter. The Bedroom is electric and not too strong, but it is light so you could help it a little. The kitchen is the Schwentek and mine doesn't take much to come to a grinding halt. If I had to move it uphill I would have a helper pushing on it.

So the question back to you is: Define slight to medium (as in inches) and is it front to back or side to side?

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by planopat View Post
Considering new 38A. Keep my unit on slight to medium sloped driveway. Concerned that slides can't be put out unless unit is level. Never had a problem with Newmar Canyon Star but slides are different. Anyone know what FR says? Would appreciate any feedback.
We have a 38A and we love it! As far as slides I can give you a little insight on some of the slide info. 1. Your kitchen slide is a scwintec slide system. This system will work better if you can "re-sync" the motors after each use. To re-sync the motors: when you push the button to either extend or retract the kitchen slide HOLD the button down for 2-3 seconds after the slide is completely in or completely out. This will re-sync the slide motors.
2. Your large dinette/bunk slide is a cable driven system. Once the slide is fully extended or retracted let the button go. DON'T hold button down. Holding the button down can caused the cable spooling wheel to continue to turn which could in-spool or loosen your cable. Usually the wheel can right itself, but holding the button, over time could cause problems with your cable.
3. Your bed slide is an electric system. You don't want to hold the button down on this system because it could overheat the motors. Just push the button, slide goes out, let button go. The motor for the bed mechanism is under the bed. The bolts on the side of the motor can sometimes become loose. Check your bolts occasionally. If loose, tighten.
As far as needing to be level for the slides. Yes, it is better if the coach is level before you put your slides out, but when camping, a completely level spot is not always possible. The leveling jacks will help your coach overcome this situation. I would say put your jacks down first, then put your slides out. Always be mindful of your slides. Move any shoes, debris, or furniture out of the way of the slide before you push that button. (yes, they do eat shoes quickly!). Also if you recline your driver or passenger seat or turn them around, readjust that before you try to close your slide. Be careful if you have any rugs on the floor. You don't want those dragged under that slide.
The Berkshires have pretty strong, efficient slides. But, you have to always do your part to enable them to work the best they can.
Good Luck!
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Old 03-03-2017, 12:39 PM   #4
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Oscarvan, Thanks for the reply & for lots of useful information. Loved the Dragonship blog with the great detail. I'm not concerned with the side-to-side leveling of my driveway. Its the front to back that has, by my best estimate a slope of 6" every 10 ft. My Canyon Star jacks would take out about half that but I never worried because of the way my 3 Newmar slides were constructed and driven with a substantial mechanical "cog" system. I never had a drive or flex problem. I've seen many posts about 38A cable alignment / breakage and the fact that all 3 slides use a different mechanism and that is the #1 reason for my concern. The 2nd concern would be the 2 heavy slides (not BR slide) becoming twisted or torqued because of the front to back weight .... you know, gravity. I might be making too much of this but I'd rather do the due diligence.
I've got another question about cockpit A/C in a pusher but that's another thread. Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2017, 12:41 PM   #5
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Oscarvan, Thanks for the reply & for lots of useful information. Loved the Dragonship blog with the great detail. I'm not concerned with the side-to-side leveling of my driveway. Its the front to back that has, by my best estimate a slope of 6" every 10 ft. My Canyon Star jacks would take out about half that but I never worried because of the way my 3 Newmar slides were constructed and driven with a substantial mechanical "cog" system. I never had a drive or flex problem. I've seen many posts about 38A cable alignment / breakage and the fact that all 3 slides use a different mechanism and that is the #1 reason for my concern. The 2nd concern would be the 2 heavy slides (not BR slide) becoming twisted or torqued because of the front to back weight .... you know, gravity. I might be making too much of this but I'd rather do the due diligence.
I've got another question about cockpit A/C in a pusher but that's another thread. Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2017, 12:45 PM   #6
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RKNOLA, Thanks for those great suggestions. I'll keep them in mind as the process is a bit different then what I do with my CS slides. Really glad to hear that you like the 38A.
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Old 03-03-2017, 01:17 PM   #7
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Slightly different, but related topic...

I'll just throw this out there as far as levelling the coach on a sloped site: According to Freightliner Custom Chassis: When levelling your coach, do not allow the levelers to suspend any of the tires off the ground. If you do, the full weight of the tire, axle, and suspension system gets transferred to the suspension air bag and has been know to pull them apart. Expensive mistake to make...
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Old 03-03-2017, 06:18 PM   #8
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I'll just throw this out there as far as levelling the coach on a sloped site: According to Freightliner Custom Chassis: When levelling your coach, do not allow the levelers to suspend any of the tires off the ground. If you do, the full weight of the tire, axle, and suspension system gets transferred to the suspension air bag and has been know to pull them apart. Expensive mistake to make...
I've often heard that lifting a wheel off the ground with the levelling jacks can rip the air bag apart, but I don't believe that part of the assertion comes from the FCC manual. I've always been suspicious of the claim, because the shocks have a maximum extension and should prevent that. And I had a diesel mechanic confirm that for me.

There seems to be two valid reasons for concern about lifting the wheels off the ground with the jacks, which is something that FCC recommends not doing:

1. If both rear wheels are off the ground, you lose your parking brake, and the MH can roll, damaging the jacks and many other things. This is front to back stability.

2. If both wheels on the front or rear axle are off the ground, there is nothing to stabilize that end of the MH from a cross wind. This could damage the jacks. It is an issue of lateral stability.

Thus, if I've got one rear wheel and one front wheel solidly on the ground, I'm happy.

Does anybody actually have first-hand evidence of an airbag being damaged by lifting the wheels off the ground?

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Old 03-03-2017, 09:49 PM   #9
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Hey everyone, FR changed the design of the 38A slides. We just left Lazydays in Tampa and happened to notice. Sorry I do not have any details, but I believe cables and Schwintech are gone.
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:57 PM   #10
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Cool.

Planopat....... 1.5 feet over the length of the coach is a lot.....(Axle to axle....)

I would consider building a ramp to slide back down on to and level it a little.
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:55 PM   #11
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Oscarvan, That got me thinking so I laser measured 21 ft wheelbase and its approximately 14" of which the jacks would probably raise the rear 6 inches or so. 8" over 21 ft is probably acceptable and if needed a board ramp like you suggest would improve it even more. Nice thinking!
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:59 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info. Since I'll be in the market soon, Ill be anxious to learn more.
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Old 03-04-2017, 08:54 AM   #13
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It always amazes me how dealerships will put slides out on some severe sloops without worrying. I've seen a coach moved out of the way with the slides extended. Just shows, most are pretty durable.
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:35 AM   #14
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I've moved with slides out. Just keep it under 100
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