Slide Roller Plates

The large wall slide and the kitchen slide ride in and out on a row of white rollers mounted on the edge of the opening in the “hull”. The bottom of the slide is made of what appears to be fiberglass (I’m guessing) 1/4 to 3/8″ thick. Occasionally an aluminum frame member will be bearing the load, but most of the time it’s just the skin. And the “boxes” are heavy. So a known effect of this is that the rollers start indenting the skin, and in some places cracking it.

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This is a known engineering failure and FR’s solution is to mount aluminum plates, 1/8″ thick and 8″ wide, on the bottom of the slide for the rollers to ride on. Numerous owners have reported on social media that they had this repair done so I called FR. After sending them measurements (yeah, you’d think they’d know the dimensions) and 4 months of prodding they sent me the plates. I am told they are now shipping the coaches with these plates on. If yours is more than 6 months old get under there. If you see the white rollers (not all slides have them) and you don’t have plates, feel the bottom of the slide for indentation, and look for damage.

To slide the plates in between the rollers and the box you have to lift the box. I placed a 20 ton jack and some 2×4’s to spread the load at the 4th roller in from the rear. It didn’t take too much to lift it about 1/4″, and this opened up the rollers all the way to the rear.

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Then it was a matter of sliding the plates in and screwing them in to the bottom. Easy. Most of the time all you’re drilling in to is the laminate. Occasionally you hit an aluminum framing member. Also, the screws closest to the outside go into a framing member. These locations require drilling close to the diameter size of the 1″ screw, but the aluminum is compliant enough to get the screw in.

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Four in, 7 to go……

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So thusly I worked my way down the line. 11 plates 176 screws. Some locations I would jack up and several would open up. The one in the middle had enough flex that I had to lift it there and nothing else moved…. All done….

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Kitchen slide was next. That’s another can of wax. The Schwentek slide mechanism does not allow much up and down movement of the box itself without potentially causing problems and we don’t need those. So, more research was required here…. After much of that the call to Forest River was “Sure, you can do that.” So I did it. Squeaking as ever, but so far so good.