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Old 07-04-2018, 03:01 PM   #1
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Big Slideout Finger Pointing

Has anyone else had a problem where the big ¾ length driver side slideout track system had to be replaced with a beefier 3-track system?

Current Status:
My RV repair guy was afraid to tackle the repair of a huge slideout until he talked to Lippert (LCI). When he did, LCI interrupted him and said: “Let me guess … the slide is out of sync back to front and top to bottom – right?” After a few confirming questions, LCI said: “Winnebago installed the wrong system. There is no way that little two-track system can handle that huge slideout.
My guy called Winnebago (who seemed to know that there is a problem with system that had been installed) and they told him that, since Camping World did not report the problem (see below) when the rig was under warranty, they are no longer responsible for its repair.
I’m using bullets to shorten this history as much as possible
  • Purchased a new Adventurer 37F in 2015
  • It has a huge driver’s side slideout that carries everything including the kitchen sink, closet, washer & dryer, 80% of all inside storage, 42” TV and lift system, table and a residential refrigerator.
  • Noted right away that the front end was out of sync with the rear and there was a gap on the bottom that was greater than on the top
  • Even if I could sometimes get the slideout to snug-up, it would move out again after driving a few miles
  • Four months after purchase, took it in to CW for several warranty fixes including the slideout
  • CW told me that it was “within spec” – saying in general that it was as good as it will get and they documented that in writing (evidently did not report this to Winnebago)
  • The slideout moved in and out and we were having no problem with leaks … so we have been using it for almost three years (We are on the road 6-7 months of the year.)
  • Recently, after bringing it in and was starting drive, I heard a loud pop. It was so loud that I stopped and inspected – saw nothing
  • The next time I had the slide all the way out, I noticed that there was damage to the lower-front gear track in the form of damaged teeth near the outer end
  • Took it in to my RV repair shop (not CW) and this is where this story above began
We are going to fight this – but that’s a story for later
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:03 PM   #2
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Wow. Good luck to ya.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:27 PM   #3
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In 2015 I think they were installing Schwintec slide outs in the Adventurer for the full wall slide and the bedroom slide. Prior to that they had a 3-ram underfloor mechanism on the big slide. They stopped using it, I'm told, because it used too much basement storage space.

In 2016 or 2017 they switched to Power Gear slide outs on the full-wall and the bedroom slide out.

If yours has the Schwintec slide out mechanism WBGO knows that those don't work and when I was at the factory for service I met other owners that had their Schwintec slides updated to Power Gear - at the factory - for free - and out of warranty.

I don't have proof of this, just the word of other owners I met there.

Also, I spoke to the guy at the factory that is in charge of fixing the sides for Customer Service. He said they were nuts for getting rid of the underfloor ram slide system. But he felt the Power Gear system was miles ahead of the Schwintec system.

If I were you I'd make an appointment in Forest City, IA at the factory. That's the only way that you're going to get things fixed.

PS. I had my Adventurer there to have that slide adjusted and worked on. The guy I mentioned above told me that he added two new rollers under the slide in the kitchen area to help it work better and stay in sync. Those new rollers helped a lot.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:39 PM   #4
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Chances are whoever told you "Winnebago used the wrong system" was stating their own personal opinion and not speaking for their company. You should document who and when told you this. If you got it in writing or can get it in writing do so. It might also be enough to get a law firm to initiate a class action lawsuit, or to get Winnebago to cover your repair even though your warranty is expired.

It appears to me that the physics of long slides is the problem. The fixed tracks on the slides and the fixed drive rods and gears in the coach wall need to mesh with tight tolerances and the sidewall and slide boxes are just not stiff enough once a slide is beyond a certain length. It appears that no one knew what this length actually was until Winnebago and other coach builders took it too far and found out the hard way. To minimize the abnormal premature wear on the system:

- make sure coach is level = in particular before operating the long slide
- lubricate the 2 drive rod to track interfaces at both ends of the long side every 60 days
- always operate the long slide with coach motor running to maximize slide motor power

The new side track system does not have the tracks hard mounted to the entire side of the slide box like the Lippert "Swintek" system did. The tracks can "flex". I assume there is some sort of guide that holds the track against the drive gears. Guess time will tell if this is better.
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:57 AM   #5
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OP, I would take my coach to Forest City if I was you.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:51 AM   #6
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Answer: YES. Been to the Forest City factory. Slide track problems were lined up. Has been a major problem for several years now.
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Old 07-05-2018, 04:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerichorick View Post
Answer: YES. Been to the Forest City factory. Slide track problems were lined up. Has been a major problem for several years now.
What year and model is your rig? When were you in Forest City?
Did they only re-align it?
Thanks,
Ben
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Old 07-05-2018, 04:40 PM   #8
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Once the long slides have been operated enough times, the LCI Swintek tracks and gears start to get worn and there is no adjustment that can un-do the wear.

On my 2015 Vista 27N with the long passenger side slide I started having loud noise when operating the slide after about 22 months of ownership and I took it to factory service in December 2017. I had taken the long side in and out aproximately 100 times over that 22 months. They diagnosed it as "abnormal wear" and replaced the system except for wiring and slide controllers (tracks, motors, drive rods with gears and bearings, rod mounts.

Unfortunately the replacement looked pretty much exactly the same as what they said had "abnormal wear" so I fear I will be going thru this again after another 100 times of putting the long slide in and out.

Extended warranty paid for the repair other than my copay. I have enough years left on the extended warranty that if it happens again I'll be covered again. This time around I am being more proactive about keeping the slide track to gear/bearing interface points well lubed and the sleeve bearings in the slide rollers under the long slide well lubed, too.
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by powercat_ras View Post
Once the long slides have been operated enough times, the LCI Swintek tracks and gears start to get worn and there is no adjustment that can un-do the wear.

On my 2015 Vista 27N with the long passenger side slide I started having loud noise when operating the slide after about 22 months of ownership and I took it to factory service in December 2017. I had taken the long side in and out aproximately 100 times over that 22 months. They diagnosed it as "abnormal wear" and replaced the system except for wiring and slide controllers (tracks, motors, drive rods with gears and bearings, rod mounts.

Unfortunately the replacement looked pretty much exactly the same as what they said had "abnormal wear" so I fear I will be going thru this again after another 100 times of putting the long slide in and out.

Extended warranty paid for the repair other than my copay. I have enough years left on the extended warranty that if it happens again I'll be covered again. This time around I am being more proactive about keeping the slide track to gear/bearing interface points well lubed and the sleeve bearings in the slide rollers under the long slide well lubed, too.

Thanks for the info Randy. You probably have less weight on your slide than we do, but you still have too much weight for the system installed. My guess is that they are no longer using the two-track on big slides.
I have the specs and images for the beefier three-track and it is hugely different.
I'm sure you know, but using dry lube on the gear tracks and rollers can extend their life, My RV guy only uses Protect All brand because it's the only brand that does not collect dirt and gum.

However, it is weight and leverage that is doing most of our damage.
Happy Travels,
Ben
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:59 PM   #10
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“Also, I spoke to the guy at the factory that is in charge of fixing the sides for Customer Service. He said they were nuts for getting rid of the underfloor ram slide system. But he felt the Power Gear system was miles ahead of the Schwintec system.”

Creativepart, what “guy” at the Winnebago factory said Winnebago managers and engineers were “nuts?”
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:01 PM   #11
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Read my post Larry.
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJFogelberg View Post
OP, I would take my coach to Forest City if I was you.

Or Junction City, OR. Make an appointment first if you can.


When at the factory (both locations) I talked with folks having slide issues. I know that, in some cases, the complete system was changed to another brand. This type of track system is all under the Lippert https://www.lci1.com/ but branded in groups. The brand names were all independent until a few years back when they became acquisitions of this company.
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:53 AM   #13
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I've heard of some folks taking their coaches to Lippert, as well. Or to the sub-brand's location. It seems a great many of these are in the Northwest Indiana area all around Elkhart.

You do see that when folks have gone to the manufacturer that they fix things that are caused by their product at no charge. But I think depending on age you might need to be prepared to pay for repairs. I just don't know.

Here's a page with all their locations:
https://www.lci1.com/locations

They are a huge conglomerate with dozens and dozens of divisions.

On that list I don't see Power Gear listed but I did find this listing:

Axles, Slides, Entry Doors
2703 College Avenue
Goshen, IN 46528
574-584-7478

Here's the website for Power Gear and Schwintec:

Power Gear Slim Track (this is what's installed on newer Winnebagos):
https://www.lci1.com/power-gear-slim-rack

Schwintec In Wall Slide Outs (older system that's been trouble):
https://www.lci1.com/in-wall-slide-out

Here's the one for the "Underwall Slideout" used on Adventurer:
https://www.lci1.com/through-frame-slideout
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Old 07-06-2018, 12:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bh2oman View Post
Has anyone else had a problem where the big ¾ length driver side slideout track system had to be replaced with a beefier 3-track system?
Are you talking about a 3-track in wall system? I don't think I have ever seen one.

PS - Lippert LOVES to bash the RV manufacturer as the cause for failure of LCI junk. We had issues on our last RV LCI suspension. Lippert was NASTY about the manufacturer and I'm sorry I ever called them. It would seem if Lippert feels all their junk is being installed incorrectly, they should get out of their boardroom and go visit the factories to help them.
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Old 07-06-2018, 01:52 PM   #15
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Are you talking about a 3-track in wall system? I don't think I have ever seen one.

PS - Lippert LOVES to bash the RV manufacturer as the cause for failure of LCI junk. We had issues on our last RV LCI suspension. Lippert was NASTY about the manufacturer and I'm sorry I ever called them. It would seem if Lippert feels all their junk is being installed incorrectly, they should get out of their boardroom and go visit the factories to help them.

I think Winnebago is a good company and LCI may produce junk, but Winnebago installed that junk when a backyard engineer can see that it was too flimsy to do what is being asked of it. Even good companies make mistakes and both of them made this one.

Can't give you specific info on the beefier system because it is in the rig and I am not. It certainly looks like it might do the job. I understand that, in addition to significantly beefier cog-gear style "tracks", the roller base plate support system is replaced with one that is visible when the slide is out. It has the appearance of something that just might work. I will try to provide more details on the system when it's in my hands again. Thanks for the reply, Ben
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Old 07-07-2018, 09:39 AM   #16
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I think Winnebago is a good company and LCI may produce junk, but Winnebago installed that junk when a backyard engineer can see that it was too flimsy to do what is being asked of it. Even good companies make mistakes and both of them made this one.
Unfortunately for the industry, it wasn't just Winnebago that bit into that apple. We parked next to a Tiffen last fall with his slide in and he said it hadn't worked for several years and after several trips the the factory and replacement he just gave up.
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Old 07-07-2018, 10:32 AM   #17
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I think Winnebago is a good company

Sorry to do the edit, Ben, WAS should replace IS. They are just another manufacturer subscribing to the business model "Make it cheaper. Charge them more. Employees are expendable."The great morale of the folksin the service center (Forest City) has spiraled down over the years I have visited them. The attitude and service results is now nothing to write home about. Years ago this was a truly great company to work for and buy products from. So sad.
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Old 07-07-2018, 01:19 PM   #18
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Sorry to do the edit, Ben, WAS should replace IS. They are just another manufacturer subscribing to the business model "Make it cheaper. Charge them more. Employees are expendable."The great morale of the folksin the service center (Forest City) has spiraled down over the years I have visited them. The attitude and service results is now nothing to write home about. Years ago this was a truly great company to work for and buy products from. So sad.
You seem to be consistently negative about Winnebago, and I suppose there has to be some like that, but I wonder why you spend so much time on the forum spreading your misery to every post.

I myself came here to get Winnebago happy about my purchase, (which I love) and I feel good supporting a US company that has held on for 60 years and has even acquired some good companies recently such as Country Coach and Chris Craft. I have had many RVs, and there are tons worse, believe me! In fact, none of the companies I bought from before (even 2014) exist anymore, as they have bought out by the big Thor and homogenized into the Thor template.

I'm not a Winnebago chearleader, but I am impressed with the company and I'm thrilled to have a coach with drawings and parts lists and craftsmanship near aircraft quality in my mind. I've seen their wiring, plumbing, cabinetry, and they are near the top of their game compared to some. I also understand they top out where other manufacturers start, so it would be a big stretch to say they are a top high end builder, but what they do produce is pretty impressive. Sure, they got spanked with every piece of junk LCI they used, but what manufacturer hasn't resisted the dark side of LCI.

I'm heading to the rally, and I really hope what I see is far different than what you continuously describe, and I that you are just a party pooper.
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Old 07-07-2018, 06:00 PM   #19
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I don't think calmly expressing his disappointment with a major purchase that's caused problems in use with a doubtful future is being consistently negative except in an incidental way. OP has a right to express his feelings as far as I'm concerned. I'm happy to read the good or the bad about a product I might purchase in the future. What to expect, how bad is it, how the manufacturer reacted to the issue...that sort of thing.


So I hope the OP keeps us informed with his struggles.


I bought a Winnie Journey in '16 and you can bet I'd read a lot about various slide issues on these forums...which is why I opted for a '02 and the HWH hydraulic slide system. Very few reports of major issues. If there hadn't been some posters expressing their negatives about the various products, how would I know what to buy that suits me?
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Old 07-07-2018, 08:31 PM   #20
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2014 Itasca 37F Big Slide

I am heading to Chesapeake, VA in a couple weeks for warranty repair (I hope) where I had to have the Shwintek system replaced last August. The Power Gear worked well approximately 40 times, now it is binding on the bottom front again the last four inches prior to closing. Also the roller under the buffet has worn the surface off of four floor tiles during travel. As has been mentioned in this thread, the slide opening, framing, is just not strong enough to hold all that weight bouncing down the road. I have around 26K miles on my 37F. Getting concerned we may not be able to keep it.
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