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Old 08-27-2019, 08:51 PM   #1
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Help on fixing up an older trailer

Hi all. My mother in law lives in a 5th wheel in an RV park about a hundred miles from our home. We are in the process of moving her into a senior complex and part of that process will be getting her 5er sold (2002 Alfa Gold 38RLTES). I was at the park today looking over the trailer and one thing that is very apparent is that the seals on all the slides are completely dry rotted. I've not pried them out to see exactly what they look like but I assume that I can find a replacement seal out there that sells by the foot (FWIW, Alfa is no longer in business and so far I've not found any "seal kits"). In the attached pictures it looks like the seals are simply held in place with screws into the siding of the trailer - probably some GeoCell sealer in there as well but who knows. Has anyone replaced seals like these? Am I correct in how they are attached?

My next question has to do with the slides. I din't take a look at the actual mechanism today so I don't know if they are hydraulic or mechanical at this point. My question on the slides is this - the trailer has been parked and lived in with the slides open for 5+ years. Any suggestions on preparing to move them for the first time in half a decade? Shoot lots of WD40/silicone spray on all the joints and moving parts? Anything to watch out for?

I guess one other question would be - has anyone here ever owned an Alfa 5er before? Any tips on the mechanicals? I'm still hunting for the owners manuals and hope to get lucky next week.

Thanks all - especially since this has nothing to do with an FR product!
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:09 PM   #2
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I just realized I posted this in the wrong forum. Could a site admin please move this to the slide out forum?

Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:37 PM   #3
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Is there a reason to put good money into bad to replace the seals? An old neglected 5th wheel used for full timing at one park for years will bring wholesale offers.
Sell it where is and as is.
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by larry2c View Post
I just realized I posted this in the wrong forum. Could a site admin please move this to the slide out forum?

Thanks!
Done!
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Old 08-28-2019, 07:34 AM   #5
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That's a reasonable thought UpFlying and one I have as well. However, if I can put a few hundred bucks into it (and of course my free labor) and get an extra thousand out of it that extra $$ will be a big help to the MIL.
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:27 AM   #6
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Try RVupgrades.com for your needed seals they seem to have the most common ones. You have to determine the profile of the seal that you need and of course the overall length. Hope this helps you some.
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:09 PM   #7
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WD-40 not a lubricant

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Originally Posted by larry2c View Post
Hi all. My mother in law lives in a 5th wheel in an RV park about a hundred miles from our home. We are in the process of moving her into a senior complex and part of that process will be getting her 5er sold (2002 Alfa Gold 38RLTES). I was at the park today looking over the trailer and one thing that is very apparent is that the seals on all the slides are completely dry rotted. I've not pried them out to see exactly what they look like but I assume that I can find a replacement seal out there that sells by the foot (FWIW, Alfa is no longer in business and so far I've not found any "seal kits"). In the attached pictures it looks like the seals are simply held in place with screws into the siding of the trailer - probably some GeoCell sealer in there as well but who knows. Has anyone replaced seals like these? Am I correct in how they are attached?

My next question has to do with the slides. I din't take a look at the actual mechanism today so I don't know if they are hydraulic or mechanical at this point. My question on the slides is this - the trailer has been parked and lived in with the slides open for 5+ years. Any suggestions on preparing to move them for the first time in half a decade? Shoot lots of WD40/silicone spray on all the joints and moving parts? Anything to watch out for?

I guess one other question would be - has anyone here ever owned an Alfa 5er before? Any tips on the mechanicals? I'm still hunting for the owners manuals and hope to get lucky next week.

Thanks all - especially since this has nothing to do with an FR product!
WD-40 is not a lubricant; it's a rust-preventative. Both WD-40 and silicone spray are too light for heavy mechanisms, except for maybe spraying directly on hydraulic cylinders. For bearings and rack-and-pinion gears, if you're really looking for something to spray, spray with white grease from the auto parts store.
https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/c3...m-grease/16164

It turns out that the WD-40 company does make such a product:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/WD-40-SP...0240/205115708 (also at Amazon and other sources)
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:56 PM   #8
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Is there a reason to put good money into bad to replace the seals? An old neglected 5th wheel used for full timing at one park for years will bring wholesale offers.
Sell it where is and as is.
X2. It will be difficult to get much out of it if it has to be moved. Sell as is, where is if possible.
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:00 AM   #9
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Tough situation, "Darn if you do, Darn if you don't. Selling is the art of finding a "buyer" and convincing them they need what you have. Rebuild the whole unit and you have a rebuilt unit for sale, now find that buyer. Sell as is, and be firm on your bottom dollar (more possible buyers). Rent it out, chancy, but, can be rewarding, and the unit doesn't have to be moved. good luck
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:56 AM   #10
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Sell it where is and as is.
I'd agree with this advice. Especially if there are other things on the site that you have to worry about. Shed? Deck? Screen room? Flowerbeds?

Sell it all as-is and you may have better luck.
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:56 AM   #11
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Many have suggested to sell this unit where is and as is. I also tend to agree with that assessment. If the slides have not been operated for 5 years you may even with work not be able to get them to operate. The tires and wheel bearings have not moved in 5 years also, the state of the battery is also toast. If this unit was close to your home and you were a very handy guy then may be it is worth this. But you live 100 miles from the unit that is too far to be able to spend much spare time working on the unit.
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:00 PM   #12
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Seals

Steele Rubber.

Good luck
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Old 08-30-2019, 08:43 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the suggestions folks. We are going to give a short try at selling it where it is but my MIL can't afford to pay space rent and the rent at the senior center (and the park won't let it be sold to stay in place - too old). Once she is moved out we will only have a couple weeks left on the site. My FIL took pretty good care of the rig before he passed so I'm crossing my fingers that the slides work or can be made to work with a little help. I did find a dealer near by that does consignment sales and will move it to his lot for about $150 so as long as I can get the slides in we can get off the site. We're not trying to make a killing on the sale but the rig is the last asset my MIL has so whatever we get will be going into her bank account to help make her life a little easier.
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:47 AM   #14
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Alfa Gold was a very high end RV. Hopefully that will make a difference in itís current condition.
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:34 AM   #15
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It sounds like you've worked out the best option. Good job! I'm sure your MIL will appreciate it.
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Old 09-26-2019, 09:17 PM   #16
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Hi all - just thought I'd post an update. As of yesterday, the 5th wheel has been moved to a dealers lot to be sold on consignment. I spent several days cleaning up the trailer (with some help from a friend to do some heavy scrubbing). No other money was spent on the trailer so that helps with the bottom line.

For the record, the slides went in & out without a hitch. I gave them a liberal dose of some spray lithium grease and it seemed to be all they needed.

Thanks to all for your input on this - it was a challenge but I feel pretty good about how it has worked out.
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:45 AM   #17
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good luck
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