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Old 01-27-2017, 10:24 AM   #1
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Closure - Schwintek jammed and immobile.

Follow-up and closure on an old post "Schwintek jammed and immobile... where to start?"

We have been using our 2013 Journey 34B for over a year since the original posting but continue to be paranoid about the reliability of our full-slide. We have held our breath and extended it a only few times.

Last week we were in Quartzsite camping (with the big slide not extended) and decided to spend an afternoon looking at new and used coaches. We were in a used 2016 36 Journey and asked the salesman to extend the full-wall slide. "POP"... "GRIND"... it failed before our eyes. That was the final straw!

We decided to cut our losses and trade the 34B in on a new unit. I am now sitting in our new 2017 Tiffin Phaeton 40ah. Interestingly enough the Phaeton has the Schwinek fixed gear track in the two smaller slides. The motors also seem to be geared a bit lower.

I also saw an example of the new Schwintek gear track in a coach. As others have noted it is only attached at the ends and has a slight "flex" to it.
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:33 AM   #2
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yes, they reEngineered the Shwintec slide rail mechanism to be more 'flexible' between the rail and the drive gear, since that was what seemed to be a problem in earlier models. I think that the change will probably help solve any issues, but many of us with the standard original Schwintec rail system continue to use them daily with no problems. I tend to think that the original issues were more about the factory not building a completely 'square' slide box, therefore the gap between the rail and the gear that could occur would cause binding or issues getting one end or the top or bottom off kilter with the others.
2013 model RVs were some of the first to get these systems, and I believe they didn't have all the kinks worked out yet. My late-2014 Palazzo has the triple track on the large slide.

I do think that they've moved to a more robust 500/1 gear ratio motor for most of the slides, especially the larger, longer, heavier ones. Bedroom slides tend to have much less need for the large motors, though I've replaced the forward bedroom slide motor twice in two years - both myself. CW generally carries these motors.
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rftoo View Post
We decided to cut our losses and trade the 34B in on a new unit. I am now sitting in our new 2017 Tiffin Phaeton 40ah. Interestingly enough the Phaeton has the Schwinek fixed gear track in the two smaller slides. The motors also seem to be geared a bit lower.
So you "cut your losses" and bought another MH using the same brand slide mechanism that has proven to be unreliable in the past?
Hmmm.....
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:50 AM   #4
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As a previous owner of a Thor 33SW (full wall slide) who had Thor perform the 3Trax upgrade...

Yes, the upgraded system and all newer systems do have a 500:1 gear ratio, which is lower than the original.

The Thor technician showed me where things were installed incorrectly from the factory, and from repairs at MHSRV, which contributed to the problem. After he finished the upgrade, which included quite a long time to make sure things were square, I never had another issue with it.
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rftoo View Post
Follow-up and closure on an old post "Schwintek jammed and immobile... where to start?"

We have been using our 2013 Journey 34B for over a year since the original posting but continue to be paranoid about the reliability of our full-slide. We have held our breath and extended it a only few times.

Last week we were in Quartzsite camping (with the big slide not extended) and decided to spend an afternoon looking at new and used coaches. We were in a used 2016 36 Journey and asked the salesman to extend the full-wall slide. "POP"... "GRIND"... it failed before our eyes. That was the final straw!

We decided to cut our losses and trade the 34B in on a new unit. I am now sitting in our new 2017 Tiffin Phaeton 40ah. Interestingly enough the Phaeton has the Schwinek fixed gear track in the two smaller slides. The motors also seem to be geared a bit lower.

I also saw an example of the new Schwintek gear track in a coach. As others have noted it is only attached at the ends and has a slight "flex" to it.


Hate to tell you this you can run but you cannot hide. I have seen several of the slides fail on the Tiffen also even though not full wall slides. Was the slide you saw fail the new slim rack that is installed now or the old type? I have not had any problems or heard of any failures of the power gear slim rack system of the ones modified.
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:28 PM   #6
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The motors on the new Power Gear systems have an 800 to 1 ratio as I was told by the tech who installed the new system on our coach in Forest City.
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Old 01-30-2017, 11:28 PM   #7
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I was talking to a dealer and he told me that there will be no slide problems in the future. The quality of the manufacturers has improved to a point that this problem has been solved.
Feel free to buy the new improved models.
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Old 01-31-2017, 10:27 AM   #8
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I was talking to a dealer and he told me that there will be no slide problems in the future. The quality of the manufacturers has improved to a point that this problem has been solved.
Feel free to buy the new improved models.
Sounds like something a dealer would say. From what I'm reading here, they are now on their third revision of that system? Mine was better with the 3Trax, but let me tell you we had anxiety every time we slid the wall in or out.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:46 PM   #9
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Currently own a Vista LX 27N. 2016 with 7,500 miles. At the Tampa RV Show our passenger full wall slide struggled while bringing it back in. Now sitting at Camping World for the parts to replace the complete front assembly that showed "excessive wear" causing it to snap and jump. Pretty sure the cure has not been found. Interested in anyone looking to downsize to a gas 28' rig and trade for older 34-36' diesel.
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:07 AM   #10
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We have a 2016 with the Slim Rack and it failed after only about a hundred +/- cycles. When we were looking, sales people told me that the system was tested under rigorous conditions. The repair tech told me, in so many words that failure will probably will happen again. I know of others that have had failures on their 2016s. Had two 5th wheels for 13 years before this with thousands of cycles on the slides and never had a problem.
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:39 PM   #11
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Our 2016 Sightseer 33C (on 2015 chassis) is at the dealer now having both gear motors and track(s) replaced on the bedroom slide. Apparently one of the motors came loose from the mount, putting a strain on opposite motor causing it to burn out, not before putting the tracks in a bind necessitating them needing to be replaced. Hoping all is well after the repair.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:21 AM   #12
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So you "cut your losses" and bought another MH using the same brand slide mechanism that has proven to be unreliable in the past?
Hmmm.....
Exactly my thought. When we were looking to buy our MH we paid special attention to slide mechanisms since we have read about so many problems with certain systems, "Schwintec" being at top of the heap. We decided we would have nothing to do with any MH that had Schwintec. PERIOD.
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:56 AM   #13
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100 cycles is better than what we got out of the original Schwintek, before they went to 3Trax. I think we used it 10 times before it failed, then it failed again after maybe 4 uses, then again after 4 or 5 uses. My wife was ready to drive it into someone's "you know what". Once Thor put the 3Trax on, it never failed again. They pointed out that part of the issue was the dealership was doing the repairs incorrectly.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:36 AM   #14
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When shopping for a "New to us" coach we decided to look for a 2011 Itasca. They have the old Power Gear slide mechanism. They work great and reliable, once you replace the plastic wheels that support the slide. I purchased a 2011 Meridian after some searching. After arriving home, the first time opening the front large slide, with refrig. the support wheels broke in half. I had a set of 8 wheels made from aluminum and replaced all 4 on each side. That was 2 years and 15,000 miles ago and no more failures. (Dealers could not supply the plastic replacements for 10 days to 2 weeks, at a cost of $22.00 each plus shipping. Had the aluminum ones made overnight at a machine ship for $25.00 each) Everything runs smoother.
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Old 02-09-2017, 12:18 PM   #15
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Has anyone else had a failure with the new Power Gear System on a large for full wall slide?
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:21 PM   #16
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When shopping for a "New to us" coach we decided to look for a 2011 Itasca
2011 Istasca what? What did you end up with that you did this mod to?

Add a signature so we all can benefit.
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Old 02-09-2017, 11:04 PM   #17
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Our 2016 Vista LX 27N has been at Camping World in Midway Florida waiting on parts to replace the Power Gear System on our Full Wall Slide. This unit only has 7,500 miles on it and less than 35 cycles. It has always been noisy but at the Tampa RV Show the upper motor by the door started banging around. Dealer said the motor had come loose and system showed excessive wear. My question is why does it take a month to get replacement parts. Have had way too many issues with this RV
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Old 02-09-2017, 11:39 PM   #18
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Our 2016 Vista LX 27N has been at Camping World in Midway Florida waiting on parts to replace the Power Gear System on our Full Wall Slide. This unit only has 7,500 miles on it and less than 35 cycles. It has always been noisy but at the Tampa RV Show the upper motor by the door started banging around. Dealer said the motor had come loose and system showed excessive wear. My question is why does it take a month to get replacement parts. Have had way too many issues with this RV
If I'm not mistaken, your coach has the old fixed track design?

Are they replacing yours with the new design? I would insist they do so or you're in for a repeat sooner or later. The simple ugly fact is, the old design, although in theory should work......doesn't...at least not for a long time. There have been several factors involved in this mess, but the biggest problem is, it's just not strong enough to handle slides really any bigger than say a bedroom. It has caused Winnebago and other manufacturers a lot of headaches, not to mention owners.

Winnebago is stepping up and fitting out coaches with the new design, I had my kitchen slide done before I had a failure. I treated it kindly, lubed it, calibrated it, etc. But I was listening as time went on, and when I heard the first foreign noise, I made the call. I went to the factory and they, along with the head man from Lippert/Powergear, determined I was correct about imminent failure and installed the new design. So far so good with it's operation.

Regarding the wait time, have you talked to the factory service people directly? I'd give them a call and see what's up. There could be a shortage of parts at the moment keeping up with the retrofitting, being that Winnebago is not the only manufacturer dealing with this.

Sorry for the lengthy reply. If you haven't yet, do call Winnebago Service Administration. They may be able to expidite your situation.

All the best,
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:20 AM   #19
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The coach we purchased was a 2011 Itasca Meridian 40U
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Old 02-10-2017, 03:44 PM   #20
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Power Gear Slide

Our Vista 27N came with the latest Power Gear on the passenger Full wall Slide. it has the floating toothed track that the dealer said was the latest improvement. The other two smaller slides on the drivers slide are the old style. Camping World said there is no other replacement that would be better than what i have now. Anyone with a 27N and Full Body paint should be aware of the paint flaking off. Known problem at CDI in Forest City, the painter of the coach. Had paint repaired in Forest City last July and now in Midway, Florida. Winnebago denied my warranty claim saying they don't cover chips but CDI has stepped up at this time. I argued thst this was not a chip but 1" size flakes of paint coming off with a garden hose.
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