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Old 07-14-2009, 04:42 PM   #1
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Convex (or Concave?) floor on slideout anyone?

The largest of the three slideouts in my fifth wheel has a bow to the floor, where the lowest point is in the middle. The couch and free-standing dinette are located in the slide. This causes the dinette chairs to tilt towards each other, which can be slightly irritating when eating.

When I jump on the floor right in the middle of the slideout, it dips a little. Definitely seems to be weak, but not due to water damage or anything like that, just a weak design.

Has anyone else experienced a convex floor shape on their slideouts? I don't notice it on my galley slide, of course, because it's not possible to walk on the floor of that section since there are cabinets, fridge, etc located there.

I could take a pic but I have a feeling the camera would not show the dip... unless I maybe held a straight-edge across the slideout.

Jeff
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:44 PM   #2
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Hi Jeff

Your bow, and you said the chairs tip together, well no I do not have that issue but have had 2 other ones I worked thru.

The long couch/table slide when it is retracted on mine is way up off the floor. Which is a good thing as the carpet does not touch. We had a lengthy psot going here about a year ago on how the slides where built and they changed over the few years of models we had. Mine is a 2004 model built in Oct 2003 and mine lifts up off the floor higher then 2005 and later models it seems.

The issue is when the slide is in walking thru the camper and not stepping on the slide and bowing it down in the middle. One of our members had really stressed the dinette I think as his DW loaded the cabinet over the couch each trip and had to get there. After he figure this out he made a carpet board to go under it to take away the soggy feeling when retracted and where it could eventually damaged the slide.

So I copied the idea. Here is my rug board. It goes in when the slide is in and we can set over the slide are now when loading/unloading and it stiffens it’s up.

This is it laying on the floor not yet installed


This is it


And here it is installed


Now the next issue was the table and the slide floor. This drove me nuts real quick so this mod came early. The slide out at the wall was lower then the area by the main camper frame. Well when you put a free standing table on that slope the table top was running down hill to the wall. By 3/4 of an inch. I really notice the table top not being level, DW it didn’t bother her, but it did me. So I added 2 feet on the wall side to bring it back up. Since we only use it in the camper it is not a problem as if you put it on a level surface it is tipped.

Here is how we travel with the table


And here is the shim foot. One on each end




We do not have the problem of the chairs hitting. Since it is most time the 2 of us, we take 2 chairs out and put in the basement to give more room.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:39 PM   #3
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John,

Thanks for posting the pics. My issues are a little different than yours, but I'm trying to understand the carpet bar and what purpose it serves in your case. Is it to protect the edge (innermost) of the slideout as it hangs in mid-air, so that you don't damage that lip? Because on mine the slideout edge is up in the air quite a bit (1-2" maybe?) and this only occurs on the very last part of slide retraction as it seats itself into the seals. Sometimes when walking along this edge I feel as though it is very weak and could snap off under my weight.

To compound my issue, the sofa (also in the slideout being discussed) folds out to a bed. When folded out, assuming the trailer is *perfectly* level, the individual sleeping on the sofa will have their head slightly lower than their feet. My kids dont seem to mind, but if it was me I would wake up with a monster headache. I'm considering removing the sofa, and doing as you have done to raise it up just enough to make it perfectly level, when the trailer is level.

Thanks for responding and especially providing pictures!!
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihsolutions
John,

My issues are a little different than yours, but I'm trying to understand the carpet bar and what purpose it serves in your case. Is it to protect the edge (innermost) of the slideout as it hangs in mid-air, so that you don't damage that lip? Because on mine the slideout edge is up in the air quite a bit (1-2" maybe?) and this only occurs on the very last part of slide retraction as it seats itself into the seals. Sometimes when walking along this edge I feel as though it is very weak and could snap off under my weight.
Yes, the carpet bar is to add support when the slide is all the way retracted, slide is up off the floor about 2 inches and if we step on it, it sinks quick like it is going to break something. Stuffing the carpet board under it when it is in adds support to not sag under our weight.

H'mm the couch going down hill to the middle. Gee don't know. I'm assuming if you go outside and look up with a 4 foot level you should see the bow down form teh bottom side of the slide looking up. Do you? Now what to do about it? Good question.

Pictures. Glad they help. They go a long way I know. We like it when folks post pics as we see other things too plus it is more clear.

John

OK so how was the 1st camping trip???
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:05 AM   #5
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John, yes, if I go under the slide I can see the bow there also. I was thinking I could take a floor jack with a piece of plywood (say 2" square and a post to reach up, and see if by lightly jacking the bow is removed. If this works I could then rig something up to use during trips that would temporarily fix the problem.

As for the couch, later this week when I pick up the trailer from storage I'm going to see if I can remove it easily in order to add some shims as you have done, to level it out...

First camping trip was awesome. We went to a state park on the lake and the large windows on the back of the 5th wheel provided a great view. We wish that the day/night shades provided a bit more darkness for the kids to sleep, but overall no complaints. There is just SO much more room in this coach than our old one, it's a whole different way of life. We actually enjoy being inside sometimes now, as opposed to wanting out as quickly as possible.
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:58 PM   #6
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Jeff,
I have the same slight dip in my large LR/DR slide. It isn't a big issue, but is noticed when I walk by the kitchen table. I'm a large guy (too much good food and good beer) and figured maybe that was the issue. I'm not too concerned about it now that I know mine isn't the only one like that.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihsolutions

First camping trip was awesome. We went to a state park on the lake and the large windows on the back of the 5th wheel provided a great view. We wish that the day/night shades provided a bit more darkness for the kids to sleep, but overall no complaints. There is just SO much more room in this coach than our old one, it's a whole different way of life. We actually enjoy being inside sometimes now, as opposed to wanting out as quickly as possible.
Jeff

That is GREAT! I know you are working thru some issues right now and we all have them at some level. You are handy we can tell and most I’m sure you can do yourself. Your coach has not had a lot of TLC since new but at least it was not abused. So you have a coach with the majority of the good side to start with.

My T310SR was not used very much and I got a good deal on it. The biggest prior owner issues was from the sun and lack of any kind of UV protectant. The stuff on the roof plastic is not that expensive to replace if you can do the work yourself. The biggest factory issue was my axles. Lucky me, Alko made a large error twice on the toe of the axle which was way out on both axles. Then Lippert welded the hangers on out of alignment and not square. The combo of bad on bad turned out to massive tire wear. While out of warranty, if Sunline was still in business I know they would of at least gave me technical support which was the hardest thing I had finding. I finally got thru to Dexter and they helped. I replaced both axles and realigned everything most likely better then most coaches out there. I did the work myself, I know what I have and I learned a ton in the process. Now I have new tires with over 3,000 miles on them and just about zero wear.

Point: While problems we may have, we still have great coaches. Every time we go camping in ours, which is very often, I’m glad I have a Sunline as that great feeling you had on your first trip happens for us just about every time out.

Keep at it, you will over come these issues and you will know what you have. Then the rest of the time, go have fun camping….

John

PS Now that we have more room inside, we too spend more time inside and more comfortable in any weather. And we camp all year round.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:06 PM   #8
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OK, I couldn't stand it anymore so I pulled the camper back out of storage today (4 days before the next trip, let the HOA fine me!). I bought a new pair of 28" scissor jacks to be installed next to the tires, midship. Before installing though, I used them under the slide with 4x4" posts running horizontally along the length of the slideout, to see if I could remove the bow by applying light pressure upwards.

While it did remove most of the bow, it also lifted the inside lip of the slideout off the nylon runners where it's supposed to rest. The floor did NOT like bending back to a flat shape. I measured the thickness of the wood and was surprised to see it is 1" thick!

I was dying of curiosity, is this slideout floor made of OSB (hope not) or plywood (hope so) or something in between?? The metal lip that screws into the top of the floor (John, right where your carpet bar goes) was pulling the screws out of the floor from being stepped on with no support underneath. So, I drilled new holes, installed new screws (ground down to appropriate length) and it seems like it will hold this time.

Long story short, I'm not sure it's possible to cure the bowed floor. Also, I'm pretty sure even a flat floor will not solve the couch bed issue discussed earlier. I think it's just due to the fact that the couch sits lower than the bar supporting the end (where your feet go) which sits on higher ground, atop carpet.

Since I could not wrap my mind around a solution just yet, I abandoned the project and installed a new huge ball bearing level thing to the kingpin arm, instead.
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:30 PM   #9
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Hi Jeff

Was out camping this weekend and thinking about your slide problem. First I realized your slide is longer then mine. Maybe by a foot or up to 2. You have a pull out bed, I have the jackknife sofa. And I can see you have more wall room on the left and right of the overhead cabinets.

See here: here is Jack and Family’s.


Now looks at John and Cindy’s. The left view


The right view


And now what I think helps mine that yours does not have.


The end of the jackknife sofa is made from 2 x 4’s and a piece 1/2" OSB board that fastens the wall to the floor.

Here see inside


That rectangular 2 x 4 box and OBS is a stiff structure that can resist a bow up or down of the middle of the floor.

I also came upon the tip here on the forum about the rug covered shim board I put in place when ever the slide is in. So I do not stress the center stepping over it. To get thru the camper when the slide is in, we have too the way the cabinets are. I think I picked that up from Rich2500.

Now my floor is 1” thick too. This black wrapped bottom is 1” thick


Mine has the plastic under belly fabric on the bottom of the slide. I have come to learn the newer ones, at least 2006, have just plain wood painted black.

So in all this maybe you can make an end for your couch bed that attaches to the floor and the wall. The wall needs a stud there and hopefully it lines up right with the end of the couch. While I have fabric covered OSB board you can make a nice veneer stained end panel you see. While this will not solve the couch drop at one end, it might help stiffen up the center of the slide.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:02 AM   #10
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Painted black wood instead of wood wrapped in Darco? That's horrible! What happens when water runs down the side of the slideout and hits that unprotected wood?? The darco wrapped wood is a bad enough design as it is.

I have not made the modification you suggested yet, because I've been contemplating, how will I get enough "grip" into the floor, with screws, to remove the dip, and hold a person's weight in that area. If the wood is 1" thick, that means I'll have LESS than 1" of screw into the material. If I used screws very close together, that would help, but I'm still not sure it would hold over time.

The best way to do it would be to go through the floor and secure on the other side somehow, but I can't do that because it will drag on the nylon runners. So until I can come up with a solution that will be bullet-proof (in my mind) I'll probably just live with the dip.
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:59 AM   #11
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I have one of those slides with the paint instead of the material and what I did was put plastic corner moulding along the bottom edge that wraps 1 inch underneath and that keeps any water from contacting the wood.I can take pics if anyone is interested.

for anchoring into the slide floor what I did is from inside the camper I figured out where I needed screw holes then drilled through the slide floor(with the slide extended) with a 3/16 drill bit then ran the screws(deck screws) from the bottom up and countersunk them.you will need a second person to hold the wood until you get it screwed fast,then just get a roll of gorilla tape(it's black)and place a piece of that over the small holes in the darco material.I don't have the material so I just smeared a bit of sealer over the countersunk screws.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:01 AM   #12
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Rich

A few pics of your drip edge would be helpful when you can get it it.

However, while I have the Darco, and I'm glad I do, I was worried that during heavy rains even the outside of it would get wet and then I would have to crawl under there and wipe before retracting.

While I always climb up on a ladder and dry/clean the top, (no slide topper yet) I have not yet found the bottom to have even a film of moisture. I'm going on close to 2 years now and have not had the problem. And we camp all year round. There is a flat strip on the side of the slide that may act as a bump in any water coming down the slide and therefore re-direct it. However an actual drip edge I think would be better.

Here is the strip I was referring too. I believe it holds the slide side plastic siding on.


To your point about coming up from the bottom to screw into some structure above. Yes, now that you mention it, that will work. Get like a number 10 or 12 outdoor treated heavy deck screw and go into a 2 x 4 or 2 x 3 up top. 4 or so of those heavy screws and that creates a structural member. Good point. If you flip the 2 x 4 on edge, (the 1 1/2” to the carpet) it is them even more rigid to hold the floor in place. Can even create 2, 2 x 4’s or even a 2X 6 screwed together to create a 5 ½” tall beam to hold a heavy bow in the floor straight. Or at least have a fighting chance. Need to jack the floor straight first, then add the beam. The screws may not have enough grip to draw it down if the warp is bad enough.

John
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