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aztec7fan

A Rookie Question About Slideouts & Jacks

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Ok, so I've owned two motorhomes in the last 20 years, but both were old enough that they didn't have slideouts.  In the next year or so, we may purchase a newer coach, and more then likely, it will have at least one slide.

Just wondering, assuming you are already parked on a level surface, do the leveling jacks need to be deployed before extending the slide(s) for stability purposes?  Can you extend the slides without your leveling jacks, or can this cause damage, frame/chassis flexing, the slides binding, etc.?

Thanks,

Chris G. F3508s

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Hey Chris

If you are already on a level surface, and you do not have your jacks down, the slide if it is big enough will tilt your coach slightly to one side where it wont be level anymore.. The jacks provide a great deal of stability because your shocks and springs are not meant to handle that type load (of course I am assuming its a gas coach). I have no clue about a diesel but I would safely assume when the air is let out of those bags you would want stability for those heavy slides as well. 

My Bounder slide has the couch, and the dinette on the slide and the slide is almost 10 feet long. Add several butts to the seats and she will move.

The also make slide jacks but never saw anyone using them ... they are strictly for stability and it takes the weight of the slide mechanism from what I read.  

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The slides should be about equal in weight.  I have a full wall slide on the street side and two smaller slides on the curb side.  My manual says to "level first" before putting the slides out.  For me that means either air level or put the jacks down.  The bottom line is the coach needs to be level before extending the slides.

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Five is correct, the coach needs to be level before extending the slides. This will help in preventing them from binding. 

I have made is part of setting up to relevel once the slides are out.

Herman 

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Yes, jacks first is the more common procedure. 

BUT, some coach makers have theirs designed to deploy slides first.  Just follow the recommendation of the coach manufacturer you choose.

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Yes, I was surprised by Herman's response.  Our Monaco Windsor owners manual indicates slides move in and out at ride height and leveling comes after.  Darn it, you just have to read the manual.  Maybe you could get your wife to do that.  Everyone knows real men don't read instructions!  :P 

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14 hours ago, HayesFamily said:

Hey Chris

If you are already on a level surface, and you do not have your jacks down, the slide if it is big enough will tilt your coach slightly to one side where it wont be level anymore.. The jacks provide a great deal of stability because your shocks and springs are not meant to handle that type load (of course I am assuming its a gas coach). I have no clue about a diesel but I would safely assume when the air is let out of those bags you would want stability for those heavy slides as well. 

My Bounder slide has the couch, and the dinette on the slide and the slide is almost 10 feet long. Add several butts to the seats and she will move.

The also make slide jacks but never saw anyone using them ... they are strictly for stability and it takes the weight of the slide mechanism from what I read.  

I would never use slide jacks unless they were supplied by the manufacture. To much chance of damaging the slide and components. 

Happy New Year

Bill

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20 hours ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

I would never use slide jacks unless they were supplied by the manufacture. To much chance of damaging the slide and components. 

Happy New Year

Bill

Yes, think about what would happen if you had jacks under your slide and the jacks on your coach lost just a little pressure.  If your coach shifts and the jacks under the slide don't move with it, you would be lifting the slide with those supplemental jacks.  I would never consider using slide jacks.

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8 hours ago, TBUTLER said:

Yes, think about what would happen if you had jacks under your slide and the jacks on your coach lost just a little pressure.  If your coach shifts and the jacks under the slide don't move with it, you would be lifting the slide with those supplemental jacks.  I would never consider using slide jacks.

You make a valid point, thus the reason I never let the guy in Camping World talk me into getting them. 

On 12/31/2016 at 2:39 PM, WILDEBILL308 said:

I would never use slide jacks unless they were supplied by the manufacture. To much chance of damaging the slide and components. 

Happy New Year

Bill

To me it looked like deploying them would bend "The TRACK" the slide is on if used to support weight  but I read somewhere (And If i find out where Ill post it) that they are used to stop motion when walking not to "Support" the slide. I am too new at this to mess up anything so I wouldn't try it but I do Level the coach as best I can before deploying the slide. I never have to "relevel" as the slide does tilt or do anything funny even with its size. 

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Thanks everyone for your responses! They were helpful and educational.  Looks like the definitive answer is, deploy the levelers before extending any slides.

The reason I asked was twofold. 1) I had no idea about this issue, and 2) there are times we might pull into a parking lot (like Walmart) late at night, and I wanted to know if I would have to use the levelers if I just wanted to access the bedroom area.  I know some floor plans allow plenty of access with the slides in, and some limit the access somewhat.  I will have to find coaches that have good access to the bedroom to simplify the quick "park and go to bed" situations.

Thanks again,

Chris G. F3508s

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Chris, You bring up a good point. Always when looking at coaches (if you are interested in one) have them bring in the slides so you can see what it looks like and what if any acess problems you might have. 

If where I am is mostly level I don't use the levelers. The only restriction I have with the slides in is no acess to the drawers at the foot of the bead and you would need to go over the bead to get to the big closet in back/the outher side of the bead. This is not a problem for us as we seldom spend nights outside of a campground. We can use all the outher features when stopping for lunch ect. I haven't seen many coaches you could walk around the bead with the rear slide/slides in.

I have a friend that didn't look at his 5er with the slides in and found he couldn't get to the bathroom or refrigerator with the slides in.:huh::angry:

Bill

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22 hours ago, aztec7fan said:

Looks like the definitive answer is, deploy the levelers before extending any slides.

Not really. It depends on the coach manufacturer as to what to do first. That is the reason you should RTFM (read the full manual) and not what someone does with their coach.

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We have a 2002 Fleetwood Revolution 40 ft diesel pusher.  With both slides in, we have full access to everything except six cabinets.  We even have a small space to walk around the bed.

JC

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2 minutes ago, JC said:

We have a 2002 Fleetwood Revolution 40 ft diesel pusher.  With both slides in, we have full access to everything except six cabinets.  We even have a small space to walk around the bed.

JC

Welcome to the forum JC. I have a walkway on the near side of the bead and guess who claims that side. The last trip was the only time we stayed a Pilot. I parked on the side and ran the back slide out.:P

Bill

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My 2003 Windsor manual also mentions extending the slides first than level. I have both an air level and hydraulic system and no matter which one I use I always level first,my thought being that it has to be easier on the slide mechanism if the motorhome is level prior to extending. Just my thought, Smokeater75.

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Hmm, this topic prompted me to read the manual :o. let me start by saying there is No hydraulic leveling on our coach, just air.

According to the manual the coach is to be on the air bags at its ride height when bringing them in or out. Which makes sense as when we bring out two slides on the same side the coach leans to that side (only have slides on the drivers side), then I press level and walk away, the coach will dump the bags and level.

It also states if no air is in the suspension start the engine, when the air suspension is fully inflated, turn off the engine and retract the slides.

Summary; read the manual for your coach, enough will break on its own, don't help it :lol:.

 

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On 1/1/2017 at 10:28 PM, aztec7fan said:

Thanks everyone for your responses! They were helpful and educational.  Looks like the definitive answer is, deploy the levelers before extending any slides.

The reason I asked was twofold. 1) I had no idea about this issue, and 2) there are times we might pull into a parking lot (like Walmart) late at night, and I wanted to know if I would have to use the levelers if I just wanted to access the bedroom area.  I know some floor plans allow plenty of access with the slides in, and some limit the access somewhat.  I will have to find coaches that have good access to the bedroom to simplify the quick "park and go to bed" situations.

Thanks again,

Chris G. F3508s

This is just my opinion but most of what I've read or have seen in either YouTube videos or other forums state that you are not camping

at a Walmart and should NOT extend slides or make campfires or start grilling your dinner etc.

If you are really just wanting to get some rest, I don't think there are any motorhomes made that you can't lay on the bed with the slide closed.

Yes I can't access a few drawers and 1 cabinet but laying on my bad is not a problem with the slide closed.

I suppose that IF I knew I was going to stop and rest somewhere and I needed something (like a change of clothes) out of one of those drawers I would take

it out before I started my trip.

Now with that being said IF you went to a Walmart and parked along the back row and your bedroom slide was facing away from the store,

well I doubt that you would have any problems or hear any complaints.  Being a good temporary resident at a Walmart is what will keep them allowing us 

to use their parking lots for a one night stay at no cost to us.

 

As far as to your question of jacks down and level before slides out:

Yes my manual says to level first and I think there is a interlock switch so the jacks (at least one) has to be off the home position before the slides

can be extended.  But the coach doesn't have to be level for the slides to be extended.  Now I personally think that is partly do to the fact that I have hydrolic

slides and feel that they are stronger then any of the gear or cable systems that are on some coaches.  So that might be something you would want to look for

in your next MH you purchase.  Again just my opinion.

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