Fifth Wheelin'
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Thursday, August 02, 2007

5th Wheel RVers, Don’t Get Caught With Your Slides Out!

My 2004 Hitchhiker 5er had three slide-out rooms. Twice my largest slide-out sheared a pin and was stuck in the out position. The first time it was repaired under warranty but the second time I had to do it myself – warranty or not because I was out in the middle of the Sonora Desert. I highly recommend that if your slide out is the rack and pinion type, that you find out what size the shear pin you have and keep a couple of them in you tool box. In my case the shear pin was a small grade 8 bolt. On my Hitchhiker, each slide-out has only one motor. The motor drives the one leg of the slide-out gear and also turns an extension arm that turns the parallel slide-out gear. The shear pin keeps the extension arm turning in unison with the main motor gear. When the pin shears off (and it will eventually) one side of the room comes out while the other side does not, leaving the room in a cockeyed position. To remedy this, detach a portion of the plastic under-cover opposite where the slide motor is located. Remove any pieces of the old pin and replace it with a new one. Make sure the room is completely closed when you do this so as to align the gear teeth properly so they will move the room in and out uniformly. You may need to use a cargo strap to pull the slide back in once it is extended. Helping to keep your prepared for the inevitable – Jim Twamley



  • Do you know the diameter and length of the shear bolt used on the slide dirve bar?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:30 AM  

  • Jim I do not understand the need for a sheer pin/bolt. I thought a sheer pin is to prevent something from breaking and causing big damage. I would think the slide drive bar should be made not to break as you said it will break at some time. Seems like a design problem. I just got a Bighorn by Heatland and am going to check the type of slide mechanism. Thanks

    By Anonymous Dick Todd, at 11:04 AM  

  • I am happy that my Rexhall slideouts are Hydraulic. However the manufacturer must think they can fail so they give you a schematic in the manua showing how to open the control valve and then they also give you a come a long and two places to hook it up to pull your slide out in. If it don't go out, well Darn :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:40 PM  

  • Carry a spare, stock replacement shear pin. There is a reason why they use a shear pin. It is designed to fail before something else more expensive is damaged. Using a grade 8 bolt (made of a much stronger material) will result in the "something else" being damaged the next time there is a failure. Using a regular bolt instead of a shear pin; is akin to replacing a 20-amp fuse with a 100-amp fuse. It may work for a while, but something more expensive than just the fuse is going to be damaged eventually.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:13 AM  

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