Boring technical diagnosis stuff follows.
“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” But, our kitchen slide is broke and I need to fix it. I have spent the better part of a week off and on dealing with diagnostics to determine what happened to our kitchen slide on our 2005 Newmar Northern Star.
After leaving Tucson and arriving in Lordsburg, NM (for a bomb cyclone layover) our kitchen slide would not deploy. Before we went full time we had a similar problem but the slide would not come in. I learned a lot about the operation of the slides on our coach and I also learned that diagnosis and repair (which was done professionally) is expensive.
This time I decided that I knew enough about the slide out system to tackle the diagnosis and repair myself. I tackled the project methodically by first searching for the problem on the internet. Doing this search revealed a troubleshooting guide for our 2005 Newmar’s slideout control boards. This is what I used for my diagnosis. So, I tested as follows:
- Test – for the correct incoming voltage for the control board. I had 12.8 Volts DC present – No issue with the circuit that supplies power to the controller.
- Check – Insure the slide out wall locking arms are in the released position. This was quite a task as one was visible (the forward lock) and I could see that it was retracted and not holding the room in. But the aft or (rearward lock) was not visible because it was hidden by our refrigerator wall.
The rear locking arm required a lot of work just to see if it was deployed or retracted. I had to access this one from one of our upper kitchen cabinets near the back of the cabinet. It was really tough to get the screws out of the inspection plate so I could see the mechanism
I had to understand what I was looking at and how it works, I found the following YouTube Video that shows the lock actuated and working in both locking and unlocking modes.
Watching the video showed me that when the locking arm is unlocked or retracted the threaded rod would be fully extended meaning that both fore and aft locks on my RV were in the unlocked position.
Knowing this tells me that the portion of the controller that controls the fore and aft locks works fine. Next up was to determine if the slide out motor is good. Once again YouTube helped me to determine this. I found the following video that shows how to extend or retract the slide out by bypassing the control board using jumper wires. If this works it will tell me that that the motor is good, if not the motor is bad. When viewing the following video skip forward to 5:04 to see the motor jumper positions and what they do.
At this point I was able to apply this technique to determine that the room both extends and retracts. So in this case, the slide out motor is good. Which may indicate the the portion of the controller that move the room in and out MAY be defective. So, what else could be wrong? The control board also relies on input from the ignition key position, meaning that if the key is in the on position (motor running or not) the controller assumes you are trying to move the coach with the slides extended and will not allow you to move the coach. I don’t know if this feature works yet.
There are also supposed to be magnetic position sensors located on the room. The slide is supposed to have two pairs of these sensors. Two on the coach body, and two on the slide. When the coach sensor contacts the slide sensor, a signal is sent to the control board telling the motor that the slide is fully closed and to shut off.
When deploying the slide (to it’s outward position) the sensors are in contact already, So, this tells the control board that it is O.K. to deploy the slide.
Our slide outs are supposed have them but I have yet to find them. One person indicated that they are inside the locking mechanisms themselves. I will have to remove one of the slide locks to visually verify this. If they are indeed inside the locking device then they may be defective or not adjusted properly. This to will have to be verified