In April 2008, I began having living room slide problems with my 2000 Alfa Leisure fifth wheel. I have attempted to repair it on several occasions. In October 2010, the living room slide out finally quit working altogether. Since I like to go RVing and take my canine friends and sometimes even a grand kid with us, I had to get this problem finally resolved. I was rather surprised at the the RV shops in my area who were afraid to tackle this problem. I do realize that every fifth wheel manufacturer probably has a different way to get slide outs extended and retracted so maybe this is why they were reluctant. I know that some are hydraulic and others use an electric motor. Alfa Leisure went out of business about the same time I started having trouble with my slide out. I have gotten a lot of incorrect information from a lot of different sources on slide outs. No one knows much about how Alfa slide outs work because Alfa Leisure is now defunct. As such, they can no longer be contacted for information or assistance.
I bought this fifth wheel when it was brand-new so I do have the owner’s manual. Luckily, this manual gave me some key information. This helped me identify where you could buy a motor replacement for a slide out. I also learned that my 2000 Alfa fifth wheel doesn’t have a electronic brake nor does it have a limit switch. I have also learned that the slide out does not have to be removed from the fifth wheel in order to replace the motor. In order to replace the motor, it must be separated from the transmission first and then replaced. The slide out in the bedroom area is totally different and will be discussed in another post later on.
I found my slide out motor located very close to the port or the hole where you put your crank to manually to extend your slide out. I had to take out some of the sheet metal underbelly away to be able to expose this area. The RBW site may be able to provide more information and they can also provide the gears if you have a broken one in your transmission. I have noticed that if you have an older RV, especially a fifth wheel trailer, trying to get work performed on your rig it’s getting more difficult even for the repair shops who specialize in vehicles from your particular manufacturer. I guess this is understandable since parts eventually are no longer available for some coaches. If you have a problem with your slide out, I would recommend that you do a lot of research on the internet about what repair shop might be the best for your particular brand of coach. If you have an owners manual, go through it with a fine tooth comb. If you can’t find one who specializes in your brand of coach, talk to several RV repair facilities in your area to find out who can repair your coach appropriately. Remember that all RV’s may not be the same even if it the same make and model.
In my case, the motor and in/out switch both were defective. I am also in the process of checking out the bedroom slide out. This slide is starting to hesitate a bit when I open and close it. This is not a problem to have on the road for sure. A big thank you to RBW for all of their advice on how I could best solve this problem as well.
If there is any doubt about what motor goes in your coach, I suggest you call RBW at 800 451-7821 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to see if they can help you.
Remember that your own due diligence is always necessary in investigating your particular situation. I am not a technician, do not get compensation from any vendor and am not be responsible for any repairs you make to your own vehicle. I had good luck with seeking advice from RBW but your experience may differ so use your own best judgement before making repairs to your own slide-out units.