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Slides out or autolevelers down first?

chompchomp
Explorer
Explorer
We’re now on our third Class A MH and the dealer insisted slides go out first . We have always leveled first. Any thoughts?
2008 Itasca Sunova 35J Motorhome
2003 Jeep Wrangler X Toad
1996 Key West 19CC Sportsman, 115 Yamaha
35 REPLIES 35

Ole_B
Explorer
Explorer
Checked with Newmar concerning this topic and here is why always have air up,means slides out first, especially with the long side. First air will not be up if unit is leveled first. Coach frame has less chance of twisting if on the air bags, not the jacks, this means more support for the entire coach. My long slide will move with the engine running, but the shorter slides will only move with engine off.
Ole B

Sandia_Man
Explorer II
Explorer II
Although our Monaco owner's manual states slides should be deployed first, I go by how out of level our coach is at the site we are currently in. If we are somewhat level I may deploy slides first, but more often than not, we level rig first. Once level our slides go out smoothly without drama from slide motors. When unlevel slides still move in and out fine, but our longer, heavier living/dining slide sure lets us know that being out of level is not ideal circumstances for drive motor.

On our rig slides can not be manipulated when engine is running, thereby they are normally deployed off house batteries which is an easy task with our 4 GC2 6 volt jars. Our power gear levelers however can be manipulated with or without motor running as long as auto park brake is set. Occasionally after we have leveled upon arrival, levelers may dig in and lose initial level after a couple of days. Again, with slides already deployed, we hear that the larger slides in main cabin don't appreciate the movement of the levelers while raising/lowering coach.

What does all that say, we do what we think is best for our rig depending on the scenario we are currently experiencing. Coming from an engineering/technical background, and working with various leading edge OEMS, you cannot simply duplicate every environment in which your equipment can be used. Also spent a few years writing both owners and service manuals, believe me not everything stated in a manual is rigorously tested for every imaginable scenario. I imagine RV engineers do their best, RV mfgs just to cheap to employ better designs.

C20
Explorer
Explorer
Our new to us Essex is slide then level.
2017 Newmar Essex
97 Jeep Wrangler
16 HD CVO Street glide
2015 Challenger Hellcat
2021 Hellcat Durango
2020 ram 2500 Cummins

way2roll
Navigator
Navigator
lonewolf80 wrote:
Way2, are your jacks factory standard, or aftermarket that sort of fold down vs vertically straight down? Friends of ours have a Sunseeker with the aftermarket electric fold down type.


Factory, straight, hydraulic. It's a brand new 2023.

Jeff - 2023 FR Sunseeker 2400B MBS

lonewolf80
Explorer II
Explorer II
Way2, are your jacks factory standard, or aftermarket that sort of fold down vs vertically straight down? Friends of ours have a Sunseeker with the aftermarket electric fold down type.

way2roll
Navigator
Navigator
Rick Jay wrote:
way2roll wrote:
So we just brought home our new MH and my perspective has changed a bit. The new one the MBS chassis requires the engine to be running to put the slides out, but requires the engine to be off to put down the jacks. This literally forces me to put the slides out first - something I have never done on any RV I have owned. granted this is a C but wanted to note that the process really is unique to the unit.


way2roll,

That is interesting. Is that what the procedure states in the manual, or is that the way the system operates as it's wired?

~Rick


The way it's built. The manual is a little ambiguous and covers levelers in one section generally and then for each specific chassis. Mine is the MBS. Same with slides. While it does say in the manual the rv should be level before operating slides, the way my unit is manufactured you cannot run levelers before slides. Slides require that the engine be running - not plugged in - actually running. The control panel greys out the slides until the engine icon is green. The jacks will not operate with the engine running - same thing they wont work until the engine is off. Inversely you cannot start the engine with the jacks down. So you are forced to operate the slides before jacks when setting up and then jacks before slides when breaking camp.

I confirmed it this morning with a FR engineer.

Seems odd to me, but it's a smaller MH and the slide isn't very big with no appliances in it, so, it is what it is.

Jeff - 2023 FR Sunseeker 2400B MBS

Ro_n_Joe
Explorer
Explorer
lonewolf80 wrote:
On my 2014 DP with airbags as I posted prior it is advised to drop air from the airbags, deploy leveling jacks With the engine running (will not operate if not) then move the slides out after the engine is shut down, slides will not operate with the engine running, nor for that matter will the awning deploy with the engine running.


My slides will work while the engine is running. While my directions from Newmar doesn't say to; one very experienced and knowledgeable poster suggests (on newer Newmar DPs) to run the engine while using the slide motors because they are connected to the chassis batteries.

All this leads to as per stated previously, each needs to follow the directions for their units.
2020 Dutch Star 4328 on FL Chassis
2018 Grand Cherokee Limited
Ready Brute Elite Towbar & Road Master Wiring

lonewolf80
Explorer II
Explorer II
On my 2014 DP with airbags as I posted prior it is advised to drop air from the airbags, deploy leveling jacks With the engine running (will not operate if not) then move the slides out after the engine is shut down, slides will not operate with the engine running, nor for that matter will the awning deploy with the engine running.

jorbill2or
Explorer II
Explorer II
I think most of those that want the engine running also say in the guide “or plugged in or generator on”. In the several coaches we have had I never unplugged until the final walk around, slides and jacks up ready to go. Parking the plug-in is first on my walk around before slides or leveling. The only reason for the engine on is to not overload the battery. With the converter still online no engine is needed. As a plus the neighbor is happy
Bill

Rick_Jay
Explorer II
Explorer II
way2roll wrote:
So we just brought home our new MH and my perspective has changed a bit. The new one the MBS chassis requires the engine to be running to put the slides out, but requires the engine to be off to put down the jacks. This literally forces me to put the slides out first - something I have never done on any RV I have owned. granted this is a C but wanted to note that the process really is unique to the unit.


way2roll,

That is interesting. Is that what the procedure states in the manual, or is that the way the system operates as it's wired?

On my rig, the slides are electrically "locked out" from going out if the engine is running at the slide controller module. I'm assuming this is to make sure they don't extend while travelling down the road. I always liked that safety feature as we usually had a good collection of kiddos buckled into the slide. 🙂 But the slides WILL retract with the engine running and that's what I usually do because my main slide has to lift and then slide in, and the extra couple of volts on the battery with the engine running allows that slide motor to work with much less strain. At least audibly.

As for the jacks, they will extend or retract with the engine running, BUT there is this ear-piercing alarm that goes off as a warning as soon as any jack is no longer fully raised and the ignition is turned on. It gets my attention, for sure. Again, to give the motors a slightly easier time of it, I often keep the engine running while extending the jacks lifting the rig. Once leveled, I shut off the engine and extend the slides. Extending is less work for the motors because they just slide straight out and then drop down.

When we pack up, I start the engine to bring in the slides, tolerate the "jacks down" alarm for a short while, then raise the jacks.

When the rig was newer, I didn't need to run the engine to do all of that, but after 15 years or so, I noticed a few extra volts for the motors seems to help.

Anyway, I was wondering if on your rig, someone mis-wired the slide controller so it will extend with the engine running instead of the engine being shut off? It just seems a bit odd for them to be able to deploy while trucking down the road.

As to the other posts, it seems like the majority of rigs which say to extend slides first THEN put the jacks down have airbags. So perhaps, that's the difference? Just guessing. My rig doesn't have air bags and the manual states "Level first, then extend the slides.".

~Rick
2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (27-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (22), 2 boys (23 & 20).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.

way2roll
Navigator
Navigator
Racklefratz wrote:
phil-t wrote:
Common sense (regardless of what the coach builder says) dictates being level before deploying slide(s). That's all there is to it! Slide mechanisms are not designed to operate when out of level. Read the slide out manual, or call the slide manufacturer.

I have to agree.

I'm not one to countermand whatever an RV manufacturer says in its literature provided with the RV, but it makes zero sense to me to extend slides if the vehicle is out of level.

It's simple physics - gravity's going to come into play if things aren't level, and the energy required to move slides in/out will obviously not be the same.


Unless it's mechanically impossible - like my new coach.

Jeff - 2023 FR Sunseeker 2400B MBS

Racklefratz
Explorer II
Explorer II
phil-t wrote:
Common sense (regardless of what the coach builder says) dictates being level before deploying slide(s). That's all there is to it! Slide mechanisms are not designed to operate when out of level. Read the slide out manual, or call the slide manufacturer.

I have to agree.

I'm not one to countermand whatever an RV manufacturer says in its literature provided with the RV, but it makes zero sense to me to extend slides if the vehicle is out of level.

It's simple physics - gravity's going to come into play if things aren't level, and the energy required to move slides in/out will obviously not be the same.
2012 Tiffin Allegro Bus 43QGP (All Electric)

Ro_n_Joe
Explorer
Explorer
Two Jayhawks wrote:
Bruce Brown wrote:
Ro"n"Joe wrote:
On our rig, while aired up slides out first then level. On leaving air up bags, slides in then jacks up.

That must be something new for Newmar, they were always level first then slides.

I'm thinking maybe the full wall slide has changed things from the old days.


My 2015 Dutch Star instructions says to leave aired up, don't level first, deploy slides. Same as Ro"n"Joe. I believe this instruction is there to protect the full wall slide. Yes it's backward to some but that's why you follow mfg's instructions. I'm 8 years in following Newmars instructions & no issues.


I'm guessing you have the newer "Star Chassis". I was told at factory pickup that the slideouts are setup to work with airbags inflated. Nothing was mentioned about protecting the full wall slide.
2020 Dutch Star 4328 on FL Chassis
2018 Grand Cherokee Limited
Ready Brute Elite Towbar & Road Master Wiring

lonewolf80
Explorer II
Explorer II
An interesting question asked often on this and other forums. My rig is on a Freightliner XC chassis. I always dump my air first as I was told I could damage my airbags leveling aired up, then deploy the slides. Reverse, slides in, jacks up, air up.