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Old 07-04-2018, 06:53 AM   #1
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Slide Lock/Bar - do you use it???

Being new to Forest River /Rockwood products, I wasn't sure what to think when I was shown during the dealer demonstration/walk-through the slide lock/bar and how to install it to ensure that my slide did not engage and inadvertently slide out while traveling down the road. My first thought was, geez, is this a problem??? All of my campers have had slides, none with locks, and I never had nor heard of this problem. Granted, the 2104s indeed has a very large slide, which I am super happy about, but putting that bar in place is a total pain and requires toting around a step ladder to do it.

The guy that did the demo insisted we use it. The guy that moved my hitch system from the trade to the new one scoffed at it and said it was totally not necessary. So..... do you have one and do you use it???
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:05 AM   #2
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Here some reading....

https://www.google.com/search?q=slid...iverforums.com
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:08 AM   #3
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I have two and use one because my dadgum slide is broken AGAIN....and it's about to drive me insane. No one but me uses them, though. LOL At least this time, the slides aren't falling out driving down the road. But there's a gremlin in my hydraulics that they can't seem to find. Have appt. to get it fixed (?) next Monday.

If my slide gets fixed, I obviously won't use these every time. But I do own two, and I will not leave them at home!!! They're available any time I might have another problem.

They were SOP in motorhomes many years ago.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by fonzie View Post

Thank you; good reading. I will continue to use it for all reasons mentioned, including the "just in case the slide fails". Thank you!
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:07 PM   #5
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I use mine. I keep the bright orange warning tag on it that dangles in the air right next to the control panel. It's not a fail-safe approach, but it would take some massively gross negligence to extend the slideout before removing the brace. I also talk about it all the time ... the entire family is well aware of the danger of the brace. But, I'm also the only one who operates the slideout mechanism ... wife doesn't like it, too scary.

In my walkaround, I had a 30 year vet who worked at an assembly factory for 15+ years before moving to RV service. He wasn't super high on the brace. Thought it was good if you were on a very long drive or expected to be on some really bumpy forest service roads ... otherwise, skip it. So far, I've used it on each of my trips.

Good luck.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:21 PM   #6
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When I took delivery of my TT it was obvious that it was transported without the slide lock in place. Bar was still in plastic wrapping.

The first time I towed it I dutifully put the lock in place and tightened it as instructed. When I got home it was laying on the roof portion of the slide.

Next time I towed the trailer I put the lock in place and tightened it to the point that the inner board was just starting to bow slightly. When I arrived at the campground 70 miles away the bar was again laying on the roof of the slide.

I now have the bar collapsed and stored in one of the compartments. The slide never moved out, always in a fraction of an inch or so, over a month long trip and almost 4,000 miles of road. I worry more about the loose bar on the roof material moving around and damaging it than I do about the slide moving out.

Maybe different types of slides have problems. Mine is the "Rack and Pinon" Lippert and the only way it will be moving out is if someone pushes the switch.

For what it's worth, the inner board that the bar braces against is rather flimsy and I doubt it would hold up against the weight of the slide if it did want to slide out on it's own.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:38 PM   #7
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Thank you. Same with mine, the bar was still wrapped in plastic when I took delivery so I assumed it came down from Indiana without it in place. My bar stays in place once installed; had just never had one before and with conflicting advice from the dealership, figured to ask. I can see with very bumpy and winding roads, like the mountains where we vacation, probably good insurance. And I hadn't considered what if the slide failed, definitely worth having on board even if only for that. For me. even with that big tag hanging, and ribbon streamers I added, I still once had reached for the button to put out the slide before removing the bar, so now I put a piece of blue painters tape over the button to make SURE I remember to take out that bar.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by HappyCamper1962 View Post
Thank you. Same with mine, the bar was still wrapped in plastic when I took delivery so I assumed it came down from Indiana without it in place. My bar stays in place once installed; had just never had one before and with conflicting advice from the dealership, figured to ask. I can see with very bumpy and winding roads, like the mountains where we vacation, probably good insurance. And I hadn't considered what if the slide failed, definitely worth having on board even if only for that. For me. even with that big tag hanging, and ribbon streamers I added, I still once had reached for the button to put out the slide before removing the bar, so now I put a piece of blue painters tape over the button to make SURE I remember to take out that bar.

Put a paper clamp above the switch and make a new 'Warning' card out of a colored file card. Put the card in the clip so it covers the switch. The tape is not a bad idea but the the card serves warning to all while the tape doesn't really block the switch from use.

I've even considered putting a switch cover over the slide switch that has to be lifted (just like a weapons arming switch used by the military) before you can touch the switch. Arriving at a campground one is usually tired and brains don't function at full speed, especially when combined with "old". It's not just removing the slide lock (for those that use it) but also checking to see that you aren't going to knock over the power post or hit a tree when extending the slide.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:40 PM   #9
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LOL! Amen to all of that!!!
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:48 PM   #10
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My reply to the question is yes, I use my slide lock every time and during storage. My reasoning is that all the stuff that works the slide is under the slide. I am concerned that the top may not seal well without it. The biggest problem I had was installing it and it staying in place while towing. I cured that by building a "picture frame" out of quarter round trim and lite plywood to capture the wall side while fishing it into place. Works great and never had it fall out after that.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:18 PM   #11
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Great idea to put the "bumper" on to help guide the bar during installation. I am definitely going to do that! Thanks!
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:23 PM   #12
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I agree with the point that FR wouldn't have provided the slide lock if it's totally worthless. If they're trying to avoid a lawsuit, that's fine - tells me there's a chance of a problem even if it's a small chance. So I use mine every time. Also put a crude paper cover over the switch as a reminder, and always have the paper flag hanging down when installed. For our first trip, turns out I was installing it incorrectly, between the side wall (big sticker "Place Slide Lock Here") and the wood trim. Should've been installing between side wall and the lower edge of the slide, below the wood trim. The dealer kindly pointed this out when I had them straighten the wood trim after our 3-month maiden voyage. As for needing a stool to help, I step on the lowered dinette table for a boost.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:05 PM   #13
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Good point about installing below the wood trim. It can be hard to hit it just right; I check from the side to make sure I am missing the trim.
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:11 PM   #14
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Yes, I use it every time.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:35 PM   #15
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Had a Flagstaff 5th wheel for 8 years, now have a Micro Lite 21DS ... never used the slide lock.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:53 PM   #16
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I agree with the point that FR wouldn't have provided the slide lock if it's totally worthless. If they're trying to avoid a lawsuit, that's fine - tells me there's a chance of a problem even if it's a small chance. So I use mine every time. Also put a crude paper cover over the switch as a reminder, and always have the paper flag hanging down when installed. For our first trip, turns out I was installing it incorrectly, between the side wall (big sticker "Place Slide Lock Here") and the wood trim. Should've been installing between side wall and the lower edge of the slide, below the wood trim. The dealer kindly pointed this out when I had them straighten the wood trim after our 3-month maiden voyage. As for needing a stool to help, I step on the lowered dinette table for a boost.
"I agree with the point that FR wouldn't have provided the slide lock if it's totally worthless."

You might think so, but that's the kind of thing these manufacturers do. Why would FR talk about using the slide locks and NOT supply them? Schwintek slides don't require slide locks, but FR still talks about using them. I have a Schwintek, but they put slide lock stickers on the trailer, but provided no locks. Schwintek manual never mentions slide locks, but says when retracting, "Release the switch, which will lock the room into position."
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Old 07-19-2018, 03:53 PM   #17
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I've owned trailers and motorhomes over the years that some manufacturers said to use them and others didn't provide them. If they say "use them" and they're provided, then I do. Never had a problem with the ones that did or didn't use them. The manufacturer can walk away from it if you don't use one they provide and there is a problem.


As far as a rack and pinion slide moving out by itself, it shouldn't....but, if the sheer pin is broken or breaks going down the road for some reason, it will have a mind of its own and can roll out if it wants. That's reason enough to use the brace.


Your mileage may vary.
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Old 07-19-2018, 04:22 PM   #18
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If you have the white stickers on the wall that say “place slide lock here” (or something to that effect) then I’d suggest your slideout mechanism doesn’t have a built-in lock and you should use the locks provided with your trailer to avoid the slide getting out of alignment.

Edit: Here’s a picture of my sticker.
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