Slideouts won't slide
For ten years I kept a 5th wheel at a friend's fish camp in central Florida as a weekend getaway. It never moved once it arrived. So I'm not a total newbie, but I am to camping & being on the road.
I recently bought a 2006 Forest River Salem bumper pull travel trailer I have yet to use. Bought for use as temporary living quarters in Chicagoland while helping family thru the pandemic with their business interests. We ended up renting a place instead.
So only my brother in law has camped in it with his toddlers one weekend at a campground he took it to having paid for a month. Everything worked fine when I bought it, & at the campground, & when I picked it up and towed it to a storage facility. A few weeks later wanting to use it & towing it to a location to use it - the two slides would not work.
Up to that day it was only me who would connect the deep cycle since I knew which line was the ground - two faded to pink leads being on one side and one white lead on the other.
While looking around at the destination, my boyfriend & his friend had begun leveling it. Unbeknownst to me - they also began hooking up the brand new battery only used at the weekend camping trip. So I can't say what the steps were that they took. But the slides would not move, & I don't recall hearing the motor make any noise to try to.
I went and bought a 2nd deep cycle. Still no movement.
Calling an RV Service Center & telling my tale - he explained they may have reversed polarity when hooking up the battery cables and blown the big 40 amp fuse(s) - an automatic safety occurrence to protect the other electronics.
I bought two more fuses. But when pulling the two onboard in the fuse box - they were fine, showing no damage.
It was then suggested that the small box-like switch(?) just up under the front lip of the front of the TT where the battery lines come under the TT and on to where they go. The white wire to the negative battery post, & the two pinks - one being grounded right there on the frame, & the other going to a terminal ( for lack of a better/correct word) of sorts where a female end of the cable wire is bolted on to a bolt/post. Directly across is another red wire going from the bolt/post it's connected to - onward, past a silver somewhat larger (than the terminal) electrical box. This box has a red wire coming from it and
is hooked to one of six bolts/posts of the rear of the terminal. There is a wire bundle of what looks like 2 green, 2 white, & 1 black wire coming from within some black ribbed protective sheathing that go into the box. Hopefully I've been sufficiently and accurately descriptive enough for some of you here to know what it is that I'm describing. My brother calls it a (20 amp) Thermal Interrupter but says it has several other names.
He believes this to be the culprit and says I should replace it - that they get wet and fail somewhat often. I'm going to attempt to attach a picture that happened to catch this silver box.
If anyone can guide me as to whether this is my problem? What to refer to it as? Is it replaceable? Where can I economically purchase one (or two), and if any further tips or ideas can be passed on.
I promised a friend she could use my camper to attend and stay onsite for a rodeo in 3 days over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. I'm hoping to resolve this so as not to let her down.
Alternatively, I would also ask some direction on how to manually extend the slides with what I presume is one of three long handled socket tools in the outside storage bay. Unfortunately, the campers Owners Manual, nicely preserved in a 3 ring binder - is within the Entertainment Center that I cannot access until the slide is extended. I won't leave it in that spot again. 🙄
I've been told how to "jump" the box from the terminal posts, but would rather leave that to a last resort, or until I get an affirmative second opinion from someone here that's knowledgeable on that practice. It's not foreign to me, but has been 40 years since I used such a backup technique to bypass a bad starter in my first car - a '71 Superbee. I suppose it would give me my yay or nay answer though.
Thank you all in advance.