Stuck Slide

posted in: Repairs | 0

Slide out will not retract, seems stuck on one side! Help!!!!

If you have slides, one day you will have problems! This was our day!

We put the slide out in a park after a long hard drive down New Mexico’s US-491 and went to bed. That night in rained like few rains we have seen. So much rain came we began to wonder if 40 days and 40 nights from now the sewers backup would and drown us right out.

When we got up in the morning, the living room was a swimming pool! We decided to put the slide back in, hoping it would leak less in the retracted position. We hit the button to bring the slide in, and only one side of the slide came in. We were figuring it was a hardware issue.

Athena trekked down to the basement to have a look, the shafts all moved, and the teeth were good.

I then had her lay under the slide and see if the rack and pinion set were stuck. Both sides were spinning. Though both rack and pinion sets were moving the slide was still stuck at the back of the coach. This became a real head scratch, and we could not ignore the itch.

The following is our story. We think it is helpful to know before we address the slide out. The moral of the story is “In a Class “A” Diesel pusher, it really does pay to stay on the interstate, even if the trip is a day longer.” 

Traveling down from I-70 to get on I-40 we had to take a road called US 491 which was great, until we crossed into New Mexico. From then on, the trip became very interesting. The roads were beat up so badly that one might think they were in California. Believe it or not, the highway deteriorated as we made the trip. Just after it smoothed out, the pavement became rippled causing the RV to bottom out on it’s suspension, and the car to begin altering its front end parts; that really blows, we just had the front end replaced two weeks ago! It turns out the road also destroyed the windshield, caused the slide to fail, and now the car to wonder around without our permission. Why did we not slow down? There were no warning signs, and the lighting at the time rendered the bumps invisible. They say what you don’t know will not hurt you. I say it will eventually hurt you when you suddenly learn of it.  Being a Christian is a lot like that in my mind. If you choose to bury your head, and ignore the forces of good an evil, you will suffer the consequences of the evil you could have avoided. If you head the warnings and accept Christ as your savior and allow him to be your guide, you will be injured by fewer unknowns. If there is no Christ and no God, I have lost nothing. If you ignore God, and he exists, you lose everything. I see God as my navigator, my mechanic (or Dr.), and my defense attorney, and my insurance company. Look at the signs of his presence, their everywhere. Blindness is no excuse.



We arrived at our park at the Dancing Eagle Casino in Casa Blanca New Mexico. It does not have all the amenities, but it does have really friendly management, full hookups at 50 amps, and a fee of only $10 a night. That is getting tough find these days.


We noticed the window popped out, probably from the bumps on 491.


The glass cracked too. Sometimes the fact that I take too many precautions does pay. I bought Windshield insurance from Geico and payed for a rider that brings the deductible down from a $1000.00 to $50.00. Athena had a little bit of a time getting Geico to understand that we had this low deductible rider, as the claims computer showed otherwise. Finally the claims person got hold of someone else, and all is good. Now they’re looking for a windshield, and an installer. Probably will have some issues in getting the pair to us, but it will resolve at some point down the road.


This is the rack and pinion system, it needed greased but appears to be functioning. (We saw the pinion gear turning and the rack gear moving with it.)


Athena lubed everything with silicon slide lubricant. Don’t use real grease, the slide moves over the carpet.


Found a jammed bit under the corner of the slide. Athena cut the jam out, checked the entire slide for debri.


She is verifying there are no nasty bits in the slide area. Lubricate the leading edge of the slide too.


All clean, but it still will not come in.


Athena lifts the slide while I push the button, but the slide is still stuck!


Athena goes back down in the basement to further observer the situation. We set the phone up so we can communicate with her.


We move the slide in manually by slipping the pipe wrench over the the shaft one turn on each side of the motor. We were able to get the slide in one turn at at a time. When we put the pins back in at the gear sets, and tried to put the slide out it again looked like it was stuck  on one side. I was sure the gears in the motor were messed over.  So I started shopping for a new slide motor. They were asking $450 to $950 for them. I started looking at rebuild kits. In studying the rebuild kit parts, I noticed the gear holding the shaft on each side was one gear, and the shafts should turn the same at each revolution. The slide motor could not be the problem. This time I just reviewed all our photos. Look at the next picture, can you see the problem? We completely missed it.


There it is, plain as the zit on my nose. We had found a brass colored hardened steel bolt out side the RV, but we find so much of that kind of thing, we thought nothing of it. After all we saw no empty holes. The spot was not obvious to the un-initiated, as the hole did not go all the way through. This image told the whole story. Athena put the bolt in and now all is well.


We hard torn the entire slide decor out looking for a sticking point, and as normal, the problem was just hardware issues in the running gear. Now we had to put the house back together.


We got a $20.00 finishing nailer from Harbor Freight. We did not need a $300 porter cable, this works just fine.


Make sure you are shooting over the wood behind the piece you are repairing so the nail will stick.


Shoot in the grooves so the nails don’t grab the eye.



Trim is as good as new.


God shines on us all. Our slides are good, the insurance is getting on repairing the windshield, and Athena is still married to me after all this.

Happy trails

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