During 2004, Sunline redesigned the slide floor system used on the SR model travel trailer campers. We had thought before this new design effort only came with the 2005 to 2007 SR models. However, we now have a member with a late build 2004 SR camper (built May 2004), and it has the new floor system. It appears the changeover started to phase in on some of the late build 2004 model SR campers. Which models and was it all of them, is unknown at this time.
The basics of the design upgrade were to improve on the manufacturing techniques and eliminate the issues that could occur on the older slide floor system. This slide floor change was implemented in some other higher-end brands across the RV industry during this same time frame. Sunline was among the front runners to take the next steps and address the slide floor rot issues that existed on many brand campers.
The new system used a 1Ē thick OSB slide floor with a smooth plastic coating on the bottom and coated on the ends of the slide floor. No Darco membrane wrapped flooring exists on the new design as the prior design had.
The new slide system also changed the embedded slide floor trough in the side of the camper that the slide room slides on. The old system used an all sheet metal formed trough, while the new system a metal fabricated trough with plastic wear guides to run against the slide floor.
As with any new design, after the design is out in the field under consumer operating conditions, problems can be seen not found during the design and test phase. In this case, it took about 2 to 3 years to show up across the industry. The problem was with the ends coating on the slide floor. The ends of the OSB floor where cross-grain and rough as compared to the smooth bottom. Over time, cracks would develop in the coating on the end of the slide floor, and small separations in the coating showed up. Rainwater running down the open slide room would reach those exposed separations which could vary in size and then the bare wood behind the coating cracks could get water infected. The ends of the slide room floor would be compromised over enough exposure. The conditions the open slide were exposed to could advance the problem faster. Some being, seasonal site campers with the slide left open all summer could have the problem sooner versus the weekend warrior who has the slide closed in storage. By the time the issue was understood, Sunline was in the process of going out of business. The rest of the RV industry still had the issue for those who did the same conversion.
The industryís answer to the problem that I have seen across several brands was to create a barrier over the ends of the slide floor. Each manufacturer created the barrier different, but the purpose was to protect the slide ends from sun damage and water from reaching the coated end of the flooring. The barrier was incorporated into the slide design and put in place at the factory. I myself have not seen a field retrofit kit; however since I had slide floor rot on the prior design slide floor system, I came up with a few options I will share that Sunline members can use to address the problem.
First, letís see how the slide floor was built and what you are looking for.
These are from a 2005 T280SR.
2005 Coated slide floor end
2005 Coated slide floor end 4
A close up of the coating and chips in the coating near the screw holes that hold the floor to the walls of the slide.
2005 Coated slide floor end 2
2005 Coated slide floor end 3
The vertical dimension of exposed slide floor end did not follow an exact pattern. The aluminum flat molding between the siding of the slide and the slide floor changed from camper to camper. Since they did not know about the cracking problem, some campers had a lot of slide floor end exposed while others had very little. It sort of all depended on where they put the aluminum flat molding on.
Here is a 2006 T264SR
2006 T264SR slide floor1
2006 T264SR slide floor
Here is a 2007 T286SR
2007 T286SR Slide floor 2
2007 T286SR Slide floor
2007 T286SR Slide floor 1
I cannot find the pics of the 2005 T264SR where I saw the coating very cracked and delamination of the OSB starting. It looked like the cross-grain end of a piece of OSB plywood starting to come apart and swell. If anyone has a camper with this issue, please post.
Here are some methods on how to overcome the issue. There are two issues to overcome, the exposed end and the exposed screw holes with bare exposed wood, and plastic chips in the bottom coating of the floor.
The need is to seal the exposed end to keep the sun and water from getting to this area to address the exposed coating ends of the slide floor. One repair method is to clean the end of the slide floor and remove any loose particles. Using Dicor non-leveling caulk, apply a thin to 1/16Ē caulk film over this area. Using a soapy finger will allow smoothing of the caulk and not get it all on you. Caution to not get Dicor on the exposed bottom of the slide as it will smear over time and make a mess. But on the side of the slide in this area, it will be OK.
The Dicor will help on the ends but is an issue for the bottom exposed screw holes and any bottom chipped coating. The heavy part of the slide room is carried by the slide wall ends. Dicro on the bottom slide surface with extream pressure from the weight of the slide is not good. It will smear over time. A different type of exterior waterproof caulk should be used to plug the screw holes and coat what you can on the missing coating chips. The intent is that the caulk is above the bottom riding surface of the slide. In the screw holes let the caulk be concave up a little and wipe the bottom surface clean. On the exposed chips, make the coating very thin, enough to keep moisture out by not thick to be below the main slide floor, wipe the bottom surface clean.
The next method takes a little more time and materials, and is a different approach and has better features. Create an aluminum drip edge to cover the ends of the slide floor. The drip edge approach also deflects the water off the slide floor bottom, which can wick to the screw holes and exposed chipped coating.
In this method, you remove the flat aluminum molding on the slide, and install a white aluminum drip edge then re-install the flat aluminum molding. You can Dicor caulk the coated end and then put the new drip edge right over it before the caulk cures. This method seals the ends, and the drip edge diverts the water away from the bottom of the slide. You can also caulk the screw holes as described above.
This link will drop you into to the middle of my slide floor repair back in 2010 where I created the drip edge Iím referring to above, and the following pages describe how it was installed, and the water tested. It has been in 9 years since the install and is still working today as it did on day one.
It looks like this when done. The front of the slide, done as a precaution to prevent an issue.
A picture of the drip edge during install on the rear of the slide as part of the final fix, the end that rotted out.
Here are a few pics of the water wicking issue. How the slide was built originally.
As rainwater flows down the wall, it wicks under the slide floor. And on the older slide floor system, it wicked up the slide floor screw holes and up above the Darco membrane where it cannot get out.
Now with the drip edge
Hope this helps folks in the future.