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Old 04-19-2024, 06:01 PM   #1
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Slide motor replacement

After reading through some threads here I now realize there are problems with the large slide on the Isata 3 . Just curious what options I have to fix the problem.
First - I always plug in and level before I attempt to operate the slide. This year I started having issues with the slide not going out or not coming back in. Having to reset, etc.
Yesterday nothing worked so I took it to be serviced. The motor needed to be replaced . This is a $1200 repair. It seems like this will probably happen again based on the design of the slide.
My question is - what are you guys doing ? Paying to have it replaced each time ? Replacing with a different motor ? Buying a warranty contract ? I’m now nervous about going camping with an RV that seems to have an inherent design flaw.
Thanks. Karen
2022 Dynamax Isata 3
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Old 04-20-2024, 06:21 AM   #2
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Hi Karen...... unfortunately slides.... any slides..... are a double-edge sword. I don't think it is accurate to call it an inherent design flaw. I would tend to call a slide a necessary evil when people are looking for more living space in an RV.

Slides are great for creating space in the RV when setup but they are often large and can be very heavy in some instances and that can put a lot of stress and strain on the components. Not to mention the constant bouncing and flexing of the slide and its components as you drive down the road.

In my opinion the SlimRack Slide Mechanism used by Dynamax is a better choice than the Scwintek Mechanism used in a lot of other RV's. Certainly being level before moving the slide is very important as is fully charged batteries and having the engine running (plugged in and generator is ok too so charging current is helping to boost the batteries during slide movement).

I don't consider the slide on the 24FW to be excessively large or heavy at about 15 - 16' long and there is not too much weight riding on it. I had a Super C that had a 22' slide and it held recliners, the kitchen, residential fridge and bedroom wardrobe and TV. That was a very large and heavy slide.... and I had issues with it.

I have had a lot of slide experience and can give you a couple tips / recommendations:

1. I always carry a spare slide motor..... two actually. You can typically buy a slide motor online for $100 - $200. The slide motor is probably the component most likely to fail but it not overly difficult to replace.

The slide motor replacement takes a little work and requires a ladder but if you know someone with some mechanical / technical skills, it should not be too difficult to replace it. I think $1200 is highway robbery for a slide motor replacement but I have seen that price before.

One problem is a slide motor purchased directly from LCI is $750. Here are a couple of examples of online motor prices of $165 and $70 from other sources:

https://www.amazon.com/364262-RV-Com...s%2C113&sr=8-3

https://www.ebay.com/itm/38688980009...3ABFBMpLmJsd9j

A good tech should be able to replace a slide motor in about an hour. If you have your own spare and can get a mobile tech or repair shop to replace it, it should cost you under $500 for own motor and labor.


2. I also carry a spare Controller, Key Pad and motor wiring harness. Again you can get these for a couple hundred dollars online. These components are less likely to fail but they are very easy to sway out for troubleshooting purposes.


3. I also carry a set of Slide Locks. If the slide gets stuck out, there is a way to disengage the motors so it can be pushed back in..... by 2 - 4 people. Again, you need a ladder and a little mechanical aptitude. Once the slide is pushed in you can install the Slide Locks inside the coach to keep the slide locked into place while you drive it home or to a repair shop.

https://www.amazon.com/American-Tech...s%2C118&sr=8-5


4. If you end up having a slide that is very problematic with chronic failures and it is gives you little confidence in the coach..... or you are being quoted over $1500 for repairs..... there is another option to consider if you plan to keep your coach. There is a company in Tucson, AZ that has designed a replacement slide system that is far more robust and reliable than the Schwintek and the SlimRack Slide Mechanisms. It is called the Vroom Slide System.

The owner (Brian Vroom) got tired of the failures of his Schwitek Slides in his Tiffin Class A coach. After getting no help from LCI or Tiffin on a more reliable system, being a Mechanical Engineer he decided to design and build his own slide system.

I was an early adopter and had it installed on my Super C about 3 years ago. When they showed me a side-by-side comparison of the Vroom components vs the stock components it was clear how much better it was in terms of design and manufacturing. My slide was quieter and moved smoother after the Vroom system was installed and I stopped worrying so much about whether the slide was going to extend or retract.

Vroom's slide business has taken off. They opened a new facility about a year ago just north of Tucson dedicated to replacing Schwintek Slide Mechanisms. They also have signed on and trained a few RV repair facilities around the US.

I spoke to Brian a few weeks ago as I prepared to purchase an Isata 3 24FWSFX and he said he has replaced about 20 SlimRack Slide Mechanisms with his system so far. It is not an exact drop in like it is for Schwintek but he said it is very doable. For the record, Brian also thinks the SlimRack slide is better than the Schwintek slide.

Now there are two downsides. One is the price. Between the high demand for the system and inflation it now costs ~$5000 to have the system installed. It was $2500 when I had it done 3 years ago. Personally, knowing what I know today I would not hesitate to spend $5000 for a reliable slide system. It was the best upgrade I have ever done to any RV.

The other downside is the Vroom slide motor is more difficult to replace than the SlimRack design. The Vroom Slide motor mount uses four bolts to mount it into place. It typically requires removing the outer wipe seal and inner trim / seal to get to all four bolts.

However, there is another great feature with the Vroom Design. They have made it easy to disengage the motors to push the slide in manually in the result of a complete motor or power failure. Two nuts are loosened at the bottom of the slide and the motors are disengaged so the slide can be pushed in by a couple people. Then slide locks can be used to keep the slide in place.

Once we decided on the Isata 3, I contacted Vroom about the possibility of having their system installed..... only if I had a lot of slide issues with the 24FWSFX. I don't want to spend $5000 on top of what I am paying for a brand new coach but if we intend to keep the coach a few years, it would be worth it if reliability becomes an issue.

https://vroomslidesystems.com/vroom-slide-system/




When we started to look at downsizing from our Super C one of the requirements was for a very small and light slide or no slide at all because we know slides are potentially problematic. I don't care if you buy a Dynamax, Tiffin, Renegade, Winnebago or Thor RV. If it has a slide, you are playing a little Russian Roulette.

But once we started looking at RV's with small or no slides, we decided we did not want to give up that much space since we were already downsizing as it was...... so a slide became inevitable.

I'm not sure how much I've helped you but hopefully you have a clearer picture now and some options that may make you sleep easier on the road. If not, then you may need to consider moving to an RV with no slide in it.
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Old 04-20-2024, 08:30 AM   #3
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I know this is of no help but we have a different slide system on our 2017 Wildwood, currently I have replaced the solenoid last year at just under $200, easy change out. I could still get the side in and out though. The system operates 3 slides. Other than that no issues.

Our 2006 and 2013 Pumas had no issues with slides while we owned them.

So for us for 18 years we have had one slide issue...... Our campers before that did not have slide outs.

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Old 04-20-2024, 08:55 AM   #4
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Thank you!

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain all these options. This is exactly what I was looking for. I am intrigued with the Vroom slide replacement. I am disappointed with my RV technician that he didn’t try to find a less expensive motor replacement option. The motor actually cost $916.89 including tax.
I am definitely going to take in your recommendations on slide locks, etc. I did not know ( probably should have) that the engine should be running when I operate the slide. I always made sure I had power connected.

Thanks again - you made my day!

Karen
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Old 04-20-2024, 01:37 PM   #5
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I will echo Judge64's comments. We do not see that many issues with the 24FW (it feels like a lot because you only see the complaints, not the ones working fine). We had one guy that we replaced the motor 3 times in two years....but when I finally dug in, this slide seal was damaged, as well as the topper and water was getting in on the motor. Once we fixed that, I don't expect any issues.

The two biggest issues with this slide are low voltage and lack of use. If you are in wet areas, salt water areas, etc...the motor can seize if it sits for a really long time unused. Also, it is not always just when using, but if it gets low voltage while in storage, that can be an issue. Zero voltage (unhooking batteries) is better than low.
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Old 04-20-2024, 02:26 PM   #6
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Thanks! I did not know low voltage could create an issue. I used to disconnect the battery when I wasn’t going to use for a month or two but found out that without battery connected the control monitor/panel need to be reset ( the internal battery in the monitor would drain and the screen would go black) It required another service call to get the control monitor/ panel working again. I might be doing something wrong. Sorry for rambling probably need to research another thread on disconnecting battery . Thanks
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Old 04-21-2024, 09:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judge64 View Post
Hi Karen...... unfortunately slides.... any slides..... are a double-edge sword. I don't think it is accurate to call it an inherent design flaw. I would tend to call a slide a necessary evil when people are looking for more living space in an RV.

Slides are great for creating space in the RV when setup but they are often large and can be very heavy in some instances and that can put a lot of stress and strain on the components. Not to mention the constant bouncing and flexing of the slide and its components as you drive down the road.

In my opinion the SlimRack Slide Mechanism used by Dynamax is a better choice than the Scwintek Mechanism used in a lot of other RV's. Certainly being level before moving the slide is very important as is fully charged batteries and having the engine running (plugged in and generator is ok too so charging current is helping to boost the batteries during slide movement).

I don't consider the slide on the 24FW to be excessively large or heavy at about 15 - 16' long and there is not too much weight riding on it. I had a Super C that had a 22' slide and it held recliners, the kitchen, residential fridge and bedroom wardrobe and TV. That was a very large and heavy slide.... and I had issues with it.

I have had a lot of slide experience and can give you a couple tips / recommendations:

1. I always carry a spare slide motor..... two actually. You can typically buy a slide motor online for $100 - $200. The slide motor is probably the component most likely to fail but it not overly difficult to replace.

The slide motor replacement takes a little work and requires a ladder but if you know someone with some mechanical / technical skills, it should not be too difficult to replace it. I think $1200 is highway robbery for a slide motor replacement but I have seen that price before.

One problem is a slide motor purchased directly from LCI is $750. Here are a couple of examples of online motor prices of $165 and $70 from other sources:

https://www.amazon.com/364262-RV-Com...s%2C113&sr=8-3

https://www.ebay.com/itm/38688980009...3ABFBMpLmJsd9j

A good tech should be able to replace a slide motor in about an hour. If you have your own spare and can get a mobile tech or repair shop to replace it, it should cost you under $500 for own motor and labor.


2. I also carry a spare Controller, Key Pad and motor wiring harness. Again you can get these for a couple hundred dollars online. These components are less likely to fail but they are very easy to sway out for troubleshooting purposes.


3. I also carry a set of Slide Locks. If the slide gets stuck out, there is a way to disengage the motors so it can be pushed back in..... by 2 - 4 people. Again, you need a ladder and a little mechanical aptitude. Once the slide is pushed in you can install the Slide Locks inside the coach to keep the slide locked into place while you drive it home or to a repair shop.

https://www.amazon.com/American-Tech...s%2C118&sr=8-5


4. If you end up having a slide that is very problematic with chronic failures and it is gives you little confidence in the coach..... or you are being quoted over $1500 for repairs..... there is another option to consider if you plan to keep your coach. There is a company in Tucson, AZ that has designed a replacement slide system that is far more robust and reliable than the Schwintek and the SlimRack Slide Mechanisms. It is called the Vroom Slide System.

The owner (Brian Vroom) got tired of the failures of his Schwitek Slides in his Tiffin Class A coach. After getting no help from LCI or Tiffin on a more reliable system, being a Mechanical Engineer he decided to design and build his own slide system.

I was an early adopter and had it installed on my Super C about 3 years ago. When they showed me a side-by-side comparison of the Vroom components vs the stock components it was clear how much better it was in terms of design and manufacturing. My slide was quieter and moved smoother after the Vroom system was installed and I stopped worrying so much about whether the slide was going to extend or retract.

Vroom's slide business has taken off. They opened a new facility about a year ago just north of Tucson dedicated to replacing Schwintek Slide Mechanisms. They also have signed on and trained a few RV repair facilities around the US.

I spoke to Brian a few weeks ago as I prepared to purchase an Isata 3 24FWSFX and he said he has replaced about 20 SlimRack Slide Mechanisms with his system so far. It is not an exact drop in like it is for Schwintek but he said it is very doable. For the record, Brian also thinks the SlimRack slide is better than the Schwintek slide.

Now there are two downsides. One is the price. Between the high demand for the system and inflation it now costs ~$5000 to have the system installed. It was $2500 when I had it done 3 years ago. Personally, knowing what I know today I would not hesitate to spend $5000 for a reliable slide system. It was the best upgrade I have ever done to any RV.

The other downside is the Vroom slide motor is more difficult to replace than the SlimRack design. The Vroom Slide motor mount uses four bolts to mount it into place. It typically requires removing the outer wipe seal and inner trim / seal to get to all four bolts.

However, there is another great feature with the Vroom Design. They have made it easy to disengage the motors to push the slide in manually in the result of a complete motor or power failure. Two nuts are loosened at the bottom of the slide and the motors are disengaged so the slide can be pushed in by a couple people. Then slide locks can be used to keep the slide in place.

Once we decided on the Isata 3, I contacted Vroom about the possibility of having their system installed..... only if I had a lot of slide issues with the 24FWSFX. I don't want to spend $5000 on top of what I am paying for a brand new coach but if we intend to keep the coach a few years, it would be worth it if reliability becomes an issue.

https://vroomslidesystems.com/vroom-slide-system/




When we started to look at downsizing from our Super C one of the requirements was for a very small and light slide or no slide at all because we know slides are potentially problematic. I don't care if you buy a Dynamax, Tiffin, Renegade, Winnebago or Thor RV. If it has a slide, you are playing a little Russian Roulette.

But once we started looking at RV's with small or no slides, we decided we did not want to give up that much space since we were already downsizing as it was...... so a slide became inevitable.

I'm not sure how much I've helped you but hopefully you have a clearer picture now and some options that may make you sleep easier on the road. If not, then you may need to consider moving to an RV with no slide in it.
I think this same slide motor 364262 fits the Isata 5 also? Trying to confirm as a spare sounds like a great idea.
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Old 04-21-2024, 10:27 AM   #8
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Thanks Judge64 for the very informative reply. Some great info... Really appreciate the detail...

I too carry 2 motors when I travel just in case, but have yet to have any slide issues after 4+ years of ownership of our coach.
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Old 04-21-2024, 01:36 PM   #9
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Seven years of ownership of both Isata 3 24FW and Isata 5 30FW with full wall slide. Never a problem, not even a single slide stop reset. Like Brian said, you only hear about the problems. I do carry a spare motor with me just in case.
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Old 04-21-2024, 01:56 PM   #10
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Seven years of ownership of both Isata 3 24FW and Isata 5 30FW with full wall slide. Never a problem, not even a single slide stop reset. Like Brian said, you only hear about the problems. I do carry a spare motor with me just in case.
Same experience here on my Isata 5 30FW. I picked up my unit in Feb. 2019 and also not had any issues. I have confirmed my slide part # is 364262.....So now the search starts to buy one for a spare.
Leaving for "Crooked River State Park" Ga. in May.
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Old 04-21-2024, 06:22 PM   #11
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3 and 5 are same motor. We only use one style of slim rack across all brands....motor wise anyway.
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Old 04-22-2024, 08:00 AM   #12
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Thanks Brian.....Still loving our 2019 Isata 5 30FW.
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