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Old 03-21-2020, 02:42 PM   #1
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Slide Gear Box gone Bad

Currently in sunny Florida with my kitchen slide stuck extended. waiting on mobile repair.. There is power to the motor and the slide can go out a bit, but when coming back in the chain just stops and hear a spinning noise. Based on what i've read i think the gearbox went bad.

My question is this, i can't use the manual cable/drill thing to bring the slide in, correct? if the problem is truly the gear box then why would it matter. I have not tried this yet because i haven't pulled off the piece of wood that allows access to the back of the motor.

2016 FR3 30DS, cable slide with electric motor...
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Old 03-21-2020, 04:53 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Urban_FR3 View Post
Currently in sunny Florida with my kitchen slide stuck extended. waiting on mobile repair.. There is power to the motor and the slide can go out a bit, but when coming back in the chain just stops and hear a spinning noise. Based on what i've read i think the gearbox went bad.



My question is this, i can't use the manual cable/drill thing to bring the slide in, correct? if the problem is truly the gear box then why would it matter. I have not tried this yet because i haven't pulled off the piece of wood that allows access to the back of the motor.



2016 FR3 30DS, cable slide with electric motor...


I have a 2015 30DS. I’ve had the trim pieces off on both slides so many times I haven’t even bothered to put the screw caps back on. Your right, if the gear box is bad (the internal gears are no longer meshing), then trying to bring in/out the slide using the emergency method will not work. You should remove the trim and have the motor/gearbox readily accessible for your tech when he/she arrives to save time and money. It will also give you a chance to see how the system actually works. Check to make sure the chains are tightened properly and very importantly the cables. Improperly adjusted cables will kill a gearbox. After going through a few gearboxes, I soon learned that I needed to keep the cables properly adjusted. Haven’t had a problem the last 2 years of 6 years of ownership. The cables (all 16 of them, 8 per slide, 4 inside/4 outside) must be tightened/adjusted with no more or less than a 1” up/down deflection when fully exposed with the slide either in or out. There were also some bad early generation gear motors put in the FR3’s. I hope you can get your problem fixed promptly.
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_FR3 View Post
Currently in sunny Florida with my kitchen slide stuck extended. waiting on mobile repair.. There is power to the motor and the slide can go out a bit, but when coming back in the chain just stops and hear a spinning noise. Based on what i've read i think the gearbox went bad.

My question is this, i can't use the manual cable/drill thing to bring the slide in, correct? if the problem is truly the gear box then why would it matter. I have not tried this yet because i haven't pulled off the piece of wood that allows access to the back of the motor.

2016 FR3 30DS, cable slide with electric motor...
Read my thread:
Stuck in my Driveway with a dead living room slide motor

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Old 03-22-2020, 10:27 PM   #4
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If BAL didn't have a patent on their slide system including the gearbox, I could manufacture a replacement gearbox that gets rid of all the flaws in theirs that would last much, much,much longer.



The recesses in the pot metal gearbox halves are not deep enough to keep things in place and the outside case material of the gearbox is not made of a strong enough material to hold everything in place. If you disassemble a failed gearbox, you will see how the pot metal fails. The gears only fail because the poor quality metal wears out and the shafts holding them in place slip off center. That's when the teeth on the gears are chewed up and everything stops.

The manufacturer has to know this , based on the number of replacement units sold. But this doesn't seem to bother anyone.



A gearbox made correctly and of stronger material, with a very long lifespan, even at 3 times the cost would be a bargain.

I sold my FR3 coach with the BAL slide system and purchased a Diesel Pusher. I never had any troubles with my FR3, slides but I read all about the troubles others had.

I even had others send me their old gearboxes for me to study how they failed to decide how to design a good replacement.


A good replacement unit can be made, but BAL owns the patent, so I can't touch it.

If I still had my old coach, I would have made new gearboxes to replace their low quality units.



Get them to release the patent and I could manufacture a quality replacement.


They have been making this gearbox for many years, and it has been a problem for many years, so I know I would have good sales volume for quality replacements.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:47 PM   #5
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Failed gear box

I have a 2017 FR3 29ds. Last summer on a 6 week trip around the country our bedroom slide gearbox started failing on the third day out. 13 times I had to help the slide out by pushing on it while the wife pushed the switch and 13 times I had to help push it back in all the time praying it would not completely fail. My prayers were answered and we made it back home without needing an on the road repair bill. Dealer replaced when we got home under our extended warranty.
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Old 03-23-2020, 03:01 PM   #6
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But again, if the gearbox was designed to hold up, it should never have happened, especially on a 2017 Model.
I suggest someone start up some type of a list detailing every gearbox failure and send it to Forest River and BAL.
I understand These gearboxes are used on fifth wheel and pull trailers also . That surely adds up to a lot of product failure and customer dissatisfaction for the industry. Contact them and tell them you want me to supply the gearboxes to them for all new and replacement units. I will make a lot of money and there will be a lot of satisfied campers.
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Old 03-23-2020, 03:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentucky Bob View Post
If BAL didn't have a patent on their slide system including the gearbox, I could manufacture a replacement gearbox that gets rid of all the flaws in theirs that would last much, much,much longer.

...
Get them to release the patent and I could manufacture a quality replacement.


They have been making this gearbox for many years, and it has been a problem for many years, so I know I would have good sales volume for quality replacements.
If BAL has been making the product for many years, the patent has expired. Go ahead and start designing.
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Old 03-23-2020, 03:10 PM   #8
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I know this is no help but that's the worst slide system out there . it would do you good to keep an extra motor, gear box, and cable fixes handy you, will need them all .
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Old 03-23-2020, 04:40 PM   #9
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I think I will call them tomorrow. I am sure they will give me the lawyer talk etc, etc

My system is designed so (if) my new style gearbox ever fails, you only need to pull the motor off and pull the gearbox down. The sprocket and cables all stay in place. No need to loosen and readjust cables. Not sure why they never thought of that. I spent a lot of time on the design when I had my FR3, but lost interest when I sold my coach.

I rate the changeover, if mine ever fails, about a 3 beer timeframe changeout max , from beginning to end. VS changing out a standard BAL gearbox start to finish, with all the cable disconnect etc for me including me coining a few new curse words about a 12-24 beer project.
That much beer for the job gets expensive.

Mine would surely be patented and last me well into my twilight years. Just think about how many of these are in the world. They are not only used here in the good ol USA.
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Old 03-23-2020, 05:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentucky Bob View Post
If BAL didn't have a patent on their slide system including the gearbox, I could manufacture a replacement gearbox that gets rid of all the flaws in theirs that would last much, much,much longer.



The recesses in the pot metal gearbox halves are not deep enough to keep things in place and the outside case material of the gearbox is not made of a strong enough material to hold everything in place. If you disassemble a failed gearbox, you will see how the pot metal fails. The gears only fail because the poor quality metal wears out and the shafts holding them in place slip off center. That's when the teeth on the gears are chewed up and everything stops.

The manufacturer has to know this , based on the number of replacement units sold. But this doesn't seem to bother anyone.



A gearbox made correctly and of stronger material, with a very long lifespan, even at 3 times the cost would be a bargain.

I sold my FR3 coach with the BAL slide system and purchased a Diesel Pusher. I never had any troubles with my FR3, slides but I read all about the troubles others had.

I even had others send me their old gearboxes for me to study how they failed to decide how to design a good replacement.


A good replacement unit can be made, but BAL owns the patent, so I can't touch it.

If I still had my old coach, I would have made new gearboxes to replace their low quality units.



Get them to release the patent and I could manufacture a quality replacement.


They have been making this gearbox for many years, and it has been a problem for many years, so I know I would have good sales volume for quality replacements.
I recently replaced a gear box and I am sure it was an upgraded model. In fact I recall some forums stating make sure you get the upgraded model. The number on my replacement was different I know that.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:59 AM   #11
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The gearbox that I need to look at to see if any improvements have been made to it is part # R25076-1

Does anyone have this gearbox that has failed ?
If so can you let me know and disassemble it and take pictures
of the inside of both halves of the gearbox casing.
Or send it to me (I will pay shipping)

Thanks
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:47 AM   #12
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Slide Motor Conversation with FR

Below is an email with FR in Nov 2019 about these gearboxes.....


I did speak with Michelle at BAL support. She had very limited information about the FR3 slide gearboxes but did confirm that the gearboxes have supposedly been upgraded by the manufacturer but could not confirm what was done and would not confirm who the manufacturer is. She said if the serial number starts with "18" it is the upgraded version. She said they were upgraded sometime in 2018 but could not confirm what date. Hopefully that info helps with future customer inquiries.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:25 AM   #13
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2014 Coachmen Encounter slide out gear box

I also had a gear box that self destructed with our large slide fully extended. I took the old gear box out and was able to push the slide back in, then block it with 2" X 4"'s in 4 places to get us home.

By the way this task is NOT for the faint of heart and requires at least 2 strong adults with nerves of steel.
BAL did replace the gear box with a different model that is supposed to be a better / more durable design.

I highly recommend talking to Michelle at BAL- Norco Industries, Inc. to get her advice. She was exceptionally helpful to us. We called their main number 800-347-2232 and they put us in touch with their Technician Michelle.
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