I recently upgraded the slideouts on my 337RLS Open Range by replacing the bottom seals and putting sheet metal strips for the rollers to roll on. I noticed that there seemed to be a little wear on a couple of the cables, but thought nothing of it. Now however after our first trip since the rework, the cable on the opposite the door slide has only two strings left. I would not even have known about it if not for hearing some noise as I rolled it out after parking it when we got home. Imagine my surprise to see the damage! This is on the OUT cable which should only be tight when pulling out. The noise I heard was the cable pieces wrapping around the pulley, I think. Anyway it does not appear to be out of alignment. It really looks like they did not allow enough space for the slide inside the frame - looks like 1/2 - 3/4" at the top on both ends. Should be more like an inch as there is at the bottom. I am thinking that this is a design flaw.
Our Open Range 337RLS after about 10,000 miles and many repairs, decided to chew up one of the cables. I ordered three of the BAL kits on Amazon although I only needed one. Everything was there including instructions. (No crimping tool or cutter tool though - about $100 worth of tools.) I watched the video on the BAL site and then used the instructions to complete the work.
The kit comes with 'Chinese handcuffs' to use to connect the new cable to the old. I was working alone so I was not able to maintain tension on the outside as I pulled the old cable out/new cable in. The result was that the handcuff wanted to open up and get stuck in the pulleys - so you really need someone pulling against you to help pull the cables. I removed the cover plate so that I could see what was going on. I recommend this approach because it is easily accomplished and it allows you to view your progress to ascertain that everything is working right. It is not required however.
After I got the loop connected, the crimp made and the cable cut off (to cut the cable I taped it with electricians tape and ground it off with a 4" grinder - the cutter was too expensive. If I had known how big to make it, I would have built a crimper out of two tool steel blocks and used bolts to draw it closed. I found a crimper for $45.) No suggestion was made about how big the loop should be so I tried to make it like the picture. This worked ok, except that as I tightened the bolt, the eye elongated and refused to tighten up.
Don't forget to install the ferrule onto the cable before you put the cable through the eye bolt. I recommend making the eyelet loop as tight (small radius) as possible, but the distance away from the end of the loop not more than 2 inches. The kit did not include the part that forms the loop so it will elongate as the tension is increased. I cut the cable a little long about 4" past the ferrule so that if necessary I could put two more ferrules on there. They indicate that you should put the nut onto the bolt 1/2", but I would say to just give it a couple of threads and hand tighten the cable loop as tight as you can. Clamp it with a vice grips and disconnect the bolt so that you can disconnect the cable eye bolt from the holder in order to make crimping the ferrule easier (possible).
The ferrule is crimped by placing it into the tool with the crease on its edge, ie, you can see the crease of the ferrule - it is not under the blades, but 90 degrees from them. With the cables and the ferrule held in position, crimp the ferrule dead center first and then near each end. The cable is 5/32" but the my crimper had three sizes, none was 5/32" - only the 3/16" would fit the ferrule and it appears to have crimped it sufficiently.
As I mentioned earlier, as I tightened the cable up with the adjustment, it appeared to not tighten. I had marked the crimp in a way that would tell me if it was slipping - it wasn't. So I just kept tightening, retrying, tightening, retrying until I was almost out of adjustment and the cable seems to be about the right tension compared to the other slides (about 1/2 to 1" of deflection when loose, not under tension). All in all, except for the damage to the cable in the first place, not a bad experience.
I think that the cable damage occurred because the rollers are now riding on the sheet metal plates. As we drive along, the slides work back-and-forth and the cables rub against the holes where the cables pass through. What is needed is a short 0.5 - 0.75" tube for the cables to pass through and probably a guide or landing slot with a positive lock to hold the slides from moving relative to the coach body.
If they put a piece of tubing in there, the rubbing surface would be large enough against softer material to keep it from wearing the cables out. I think I am going to put some JB Weld on the cables that look like they are wearing. The trouble is that you can't coat them very far from the end because the cable rolls around the pulley about an inch from where it goes through the frame hole. And any tubing that you use would have to be short to keep it from interfering with the pulleys.
The reason that I think that the steel plates have something to do with this is that we have had this camper since 2008 and have not seen any wear on the cables. The first time out after placing the steel plates, we have a cable completely worn through in 80 miles of travel. It is true that I might have missed it - but I doubt it.
And also it makes sense - the nylon rollers were rolling in relatively soft wood. They took off the coating as they rolled after a few trips. OR tried placing a sheet of plastic under there (not on mine), but it just deformed the plastic until it "rolled it out". Both of these methods essentially provide a landing zone for the slide until OR replaced them with steel plates. You can see the rollers are pressing into the sheet metal too, but not enough to provide a landing zone. So now they need to provide a landing zone and a latching mechanism to keep the slide from vibrating the cables off.
Update 3/8/2012: I found that after a couple of operations, the crimped ferrule slipped so I removed it (ground it off) and recrimped with an AL ferrule I purchased at Lowes. I put two of them on there along with a horse-collar to force the eyelet form. This appears to be holding.
I studied the damage to the inner vertical seal. There is damage on one side of both the bedroom and the kitchen (opposite the door) slides. The upper edge of the slide hits the frame as the kitchen slide closes - it didn't do that before. I may have even more problems brewing. I doubt that 'adjustment' will fix this.
* This post was
edited 03/09/12 09:34pm by jdubya *
Here is an exchange that I had with the 'customer service' rep at Open Range when I informed them of the problem that had occurred regarding the broken slide cables:
From: Bill Stout
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 10:46 AM
Subject: Slide Room Cables
Fraying cables are an adjustment issue. They won’t fray when properly aligned.
Who serviced your coach?
Open Range RV Company
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 1:09 PM
To: Bill Stout
Subject: Re: Slide Room Cables
The coach was worked on by the now defunct FunTimeRV Dallas north of Denton TX.
What they did was replace the side walls with fiberglass firm (non-flexing) material when they had the coach in for a repair on the bottom seals. They did all of the end sidewalls on the three slides.
After the work was done, the bottom seal failed again, but I fixed it by cutting out the inner seal at the spots that were catching in the rollers. Since then I have redone the bottom seals on all three slides, but the first time I took it out after the repair, the bottom cable on the rear side of the big slide where the seal failed is damaged - just a couple of strands left out of the 9 (?). I have been watching the cables because others had mentioned the problem, but I had not seen anything except a single wire strand on the bottom of the front on the door side slide, not the one that failed. It has not gotten any worse there. We open and close the slides several times while getting
ready and while traveling, but this failure was not expected since I did not notice any fraying at all. The wire bundles appear to be broken right at the ferrule, but there is no evidence of being out of alignment. If there is misalignment, it is fore/aft, not up/down. I don't see how fore/aft could be
adjusted or even need adjustment if the original installation was right.
I have noticed on the door side slide that as it moves to the open position, the cable seems to bend slightly as it rubs on the frame hole, but as it closes, I can't see the cable so can't tell for sure. In any event, I don't see any evidence of rubbing on the cables - at least not obvious. I do notice that
the spacing between the new sidewalls and the frame is something like 0.5" at the top and a little over an inch at the bottom. It is very hard to get in there to measure it for sure, but I have noticed that even the newly replaced inside sidewall seals have experienced trauma in the few times that they have been exercised since the repair. I think that at the top in particular, there is not enough space. As the door goes in and out the seal folds back on itself so severely that it is damaged in just a few operations. I cannot find anything else in there that could be damaging these seals.
I would suggest that the sidewalls should have carriers that they slide up onto as the slide closes so that the weight is taken off the rollers when the slide is closed and they are held in position without movement allowed side-to-side or up/down. Optionally, a locking method could be designed that manually latches the slide in place while lifting the weight off the rollers so that the
rollers are not damaged as the coach is being towed and the cables are not used as the latching mechanism, nor allowed to be anywhere near anything that can rub on them. The cables should also have a guide such as a piece of stainless, brass or copper tubing as a guide through the frame that acts as a protection from rubbing.
I also routinely check the cables for tightness when they are out and also sometimes when they are in - the right cables have always been loose, but not too loose until this failure. Even after the failure, the cable where I tested it was tight enough to pass the tightness test, but now I could see the broken ropes. Up above the slide, it is way too loose, so the test method was not adequate to check for impending failure.
I think this design is a good one, but I don't think the designers realize the forces in play when the coach is rolling down the highways, bouncing and jostling all over the place. I never put anything heavy in the back compartments just because of that alone - it gets beaten to pieces. So we put
bedding, pillows, etc in there.
The trip we went on was 40 miles each way. One stop, stayed 10 days and return nonstop. The road is freeway, no off-road. All of the roads are cement or tarmac including our driveway.
My question to you is, could the damage be from the seals somehow? This is the side where the bottom seal failed initially and was never removed although pieces of it keep showing up - I just pull them out and toss them. I have not noticed any hard pulling or jerking around when I open and close the slides except for the time when they repaired the slide seal and it kept getting stuck
in the rollers - it pulled hard so I stopped, located the problem and fixed it by notching out the inner seal that was causing the problem.
Second question: I am pretty certain that the upper clearance is less than the bottom - would that make a difference? According to the BAL the clearance is supposed to be 0.5" , but with these seals, I doubt that is enough, especially since there is a rib at the top and at the bottom that is like a quarter inch outside of the sidewall and seems to be the place where the seals get pinched or
damaged even though the clearance there seems to be at least 0.5" or more.
Third: Any suggestions?
From: Bill Stout
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2011 8:42 AM
Subject: RE: Slide Room Cables
I forwarded your response to Norco for their input. Perhaps they will be able to shed some brighter light on the issues you experience. I await Tim’s response sometime next week as he is out of the office now.
If he doesn’t address you directly, I will forward his response. Maybe pictures would aid in your description?
Sent: Saturday, December 17, 2011 12:28 PM
To: Bill Stout
Subject: Re: Slide Room Cables
I have not heard anything and have purchased and installed a replacement cable on the coach.
I think that the cable damage occurred because the rollers are now riding on the sheet metal plates. As we drive along, the slides work back-and-forth and the cables rub against the holes where the cables pass through. What is needed is a short 0.5 - 0.75" tube for the cables to pass through and probably a guide or landing slot with a positive lock to hold the slides from moving relative to the coach body. If they put a piece of tubing in there, the rubbing surface would be large enough against softer material to keep it from wearing the cables out. I think I am going to put some JB Weld on the cables that look like they are wearing. The trouble is that you can't coat them very far from the end because the cable rolls around the pulley about an inch from where it goes through the frame hole. And any tubing that you use would have to be short to keep it from interfering with the pulleys.
The reason that I think that the steel plates have something to do with this is that we have had this camper since 2008 and have not seen any wear on the cables. The first time out after placing the steel plates, we have a cable completely worn through. It is true that I might have missed it - but I
doubt it. And also it makes sense - the nylon rollers were rolling in relatively soft wood. They took off the coating as they rolled after a few trips. OR tried placing a sheet of plastic under there (not on mine), but it just deformed the plastic until it "rolled it out". Both of these methods
essentially provide a landing zone for the slide, but not so when they replaced them with steel plates. You can see the rollers are pressing into the sheet metal too, but not enough to provide a landing zone. So now they need to provide a landing zone and a latching mechanism to keep the slide from vibrating the cables off.
From: Bill Stout
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011 5:51 AM
Subject: RE: Slide Room Cables
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011 2:53 PM
To: Bill Stout
Subject: Re: Slide Room Cables
Sorry, I don't understand your reply - what would I take pictures of? The cables are being damaged approximately 1" from the end where they attach to the slideout. This is a given based on reports from several people on the forums. This position is very approximate to where the cable would be at the frame member or jamb when the slide is in. The frame jamb is a 1/8th inch thick piece of metal. The ONLY thing that changed in our case was that the metal sheets were
installed and the rubber seals replaced. Yet within 80 miles of travel, the one cable wore through enough to break all but two of the cable's ropes. During that usage, the slides were all moved either in or out a total of eight times. Two of the new inside seals are already compromised (damaged) at the top, and the cable is bad as I said. We traveled approximately 10,000 miles without wearing out one cable, although one of the other cables has a broken strand at the one inch mark. When I did the repair work, I did not remove or modify the slides and when it was complete, I operated them in and out a few times. I checked the adjustment - none was needed.
I am merely pointing out to you and hopefully the designers, that there is still a problem with the design of the slides mechanism. And I am suggesting that some form of retention needs to be designed into the slideout that allows it to "park" and be held in place so that the cables are not used as the only keepers. This might require a larger frame opening to allow more space for the
slide seals which are being pinched as the slide goes in and out, and an adjustable landing block to take the weight off the rollers ( I can't believe that you are able to put that much weight on them without them being destroyed as the unit travels down the highway (mine seem to be ok, but I think you are just lucky that they do not disintegrate.) In addition, I suggest that any landing block also provide fore/aft positioning to prevent the slide from moving during transit. It would seem like a cam and finger type of latch would work so that as the finger hits the cam, it slides between two flanges on the cam in a way that rotates the off-center cam to lift the slides up approximately
1/16 inch as the slide moves in. The finger against the cam front and rear flanges would keep the slide in place fore and aft and act as a latch to hold the slide against the frame. You would probably need one of these for each roller so they could probably be designed as part of the roller, ie, a receiver for the fingers - the roller bracket has the cam in it and receives the fingers which are mounted to the slide at the outside edge of the sheet metal pieces. As the finger moves into the receiver, the cam mechanism lifts the rollers and latches the slide so it cannot move except out again when the cables pull it out.
My suggestion about the tubing refers to the wear on the cables due to being in contact with the 1/8th inch frame material where it passes through the frame. If you installed a tubing, it would provide a longer surface for the cable to rub against thus spreading the force and reducing the wear that we are seeing. Perhaps something like JB weld would do just as well. But the real problem is that the slide can move around too much because only the cables hold it in place when the sheet metal protectors are installed. If one of the cables starts to fail, the whole cable loosens up and then it fails rapidly. You need a landing block.
My point about the slideout's wood bottom acting as a landing block is based on the fact that we didn't see any wear on these cables on our rig even though the slides were reworked by the dealer during our first year (2008 or 2009) and the opening was not increased. The rollers impressed themselves into the material on the bottom of the slide acting somewhat as a damper for the slides
motion fore and aft because they have to jump out of the material to move for and aft, plus the wood is more flexible, keeping the fore/aft motion from occurring. With the rollers on the sheet metal, however, the slide can move fore and aft with hardly any restriction or dampening so the cables ended up taking the brunt of any movement.
I don't see how I could give you pictures of this.
From: Bill Stout
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011 2:02 PM
Subject: RE: Slide Room Cables
You are describing a problem with the location of the standoff brackets behind the t-molding. Run the room out about 8 inches off of the sidewall. You will see weather or not theres a binding going on when the room is in the ‘in’ position. See mockup.
Let me know what you think.
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011 7:50 PM
To: Bill Stout
Subject: Re: Slide Room Cables
As I said, the alignment of all of these brackets was apparently done correctly when the end caps were replaced and the cables were also tight enough. We have travelled a few thousand miles since that work was done - all with no issues. However, in 80 miles and 8 exercises of the slide after the installation of the sheet metal pieces, the rear bottom cable on the opposite the door slide
failed (it was the one that connects to the slideout at the bottom on the outside). I saw nothing to indicate that it was misaligned - the sheet metal pieces raise the slideout less than 1/16". I can see where the rollers ride on the slideouts bottom (the paint is already coming off). The sheets are
perfectly positioned all the way. If there is any misalignment it would be fore/aft. It is hard to tell without removing the rubber seal. But as it stands (without driving along) the cables appear to be perfectly aligned and not in contact with the frame holes. The other cables have no appearance of damage except the front cable that attaches to the outside bottom of the front end of the door side slide which has a single strand on one of the cable ropes that is broken - it has not changed since I noticed it several years ago.
The only reason I caught this problem before the cable broke was that after we returned from our trip I opened the coach to unload near the house as I usually do. As it was going out, I heard a crunching sound which turned out to be one of the ropes catching in the pulley. The slide did not crank to the side or misalign and I stopped as soon as I heard it. That was when I noticed the
damaged cable. I was able to close the slide without incident, but when I put it into its parking spot under the shed overhang and tried to open it again, it made the same noise again so I tried to pull the busted ropes out of the pulley but was unsuccessful. So I left it partially open. After I purchased the replacement kits from BAL on Amazon, I took the inner cover frame support off to
see what was going on - the cable's broken ropes were wrapped around the pulley so I cut them off and pulled them out. I then followed the procedure to replace the cable with the new one from the kit. It seems to have worked, but I haven't driven anywhere with it yet.
The opposite the door slideout contains the sofa, refrigerator and stove. It has a damaged inner seal on the forward end at the top where it has pulled away from the frame. I just replaced this seal at the same time as I did the sheets and the bottom seals. The front inner seal on the bedroom slideout is also showing damage at the top, but it remains intact and connected - it is showing
some stress, however. This seal was also replaced at the same time as the others. If I watch the slide as it goes out there does not appear to be enough room for the seal to fold back on itself along that bottom extrusion as shown in your diagram. But again - if the slide is going wrong, I sure can't tell it. It goes in and out smoothly with no twisting or odd motions at all. Even when
the seal was broken and binding the unit years ago, it moved smoothly and straight except that it pulled hard. As soon as I noticed it pulling hard, I stopped to find out what was wrong. The bottom seal was binding under the rollers because it was broken. I just pulled it out. Then after the repair, I found that the inner bottom seal that they installed was catching in the roller as it went out. Again it was just pulling hard so I used a scissors to trim that inner seal back about 3/8" so it wouldn't catch in the roller. The seal was damaged but it worked ok until I replaced it along with all of the other seals on all three slides this spring - I got the parts from Open Range.
From: Bill Stout
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 5:50 AM
Subject: RE: Slide Room Cables
Without seeing it… it’s all Chinese.
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 12:08 PM
To: Bill Stout
Subject: Re: Slide Room Cables
I don't know what the point of your comment is. Of course I don't have a picture of my suggested fix - it is a suggestion of how to fix the problems we are experiencing. A picture of the area would show you a perfectly aligned cable system. Without actually drawing you a picture of the suggestion to fix the problem, I don't know what else I can do. I have been around machines,
worked on cars, designed and built things all of my working life, so I think I have a good understanding of how things should work and how they should be built.
Your company is selling an inferior product as though it is superior, claiming that misalignment is the culprit when the real culprit is faulty design. However, if you recognize the faulty design, it can be fixed. The first faulty design was too few rollers rolling against soft wood covered with thick black coating (paint) which 'rolled off' after just a few uses. The second faulty design was the plastic sheet used to attempt to repair the first one. The plastic sheet just "rolled out". A person on rv.net reported that and what happened when he tried to get you to use sheet metal. But then later you started using sheet metal. The third faulty design was the failure to realize that the soft bottom of the slideout was actually helping to preserve the cables from wearing out - even though you were receiving reports of the damage to the cables. This was blamed on misalignment, but it was really faulty design because the holes in the frame had to be made much larger than the original design in order to protect the cables. Now that the correction for the first
and second design flaws is leading to the unintended consequences of exacerbating the problems of the third faulty design, you are sticking to your misalignment story. Well, you are not entirely wrong on that, but there is no amount of alignment that will "fix" this. The slideout is apparently jumping around when the rig goes down the road and the cable is rubbing itself apart on the frame. I explained why I think this is what is happening, too.
I suggested three ways to overcome this wear problem after the alignment is verified to be ok.
- One is to put JB Weld on the cables to reduce the damage due to rubbing along that inch affected during transit (I have a hunch that it won't hold up to the chaffing),
- The second is to put a piece of tubing as a guide to protect the cable and spread the load on the cable when the slide is misaligned and when it is just being jostled about.
- The third is to provide a good design where the slide is positively captured and held in place during transit using some form of landing blocks, which is what you should do.
Faulty design four is the failure to provide enough space between the slide body and the frame. This faulty design is causing the seals to be ripped apart at the top and the bottom. A heavier seal will not help - too thick. The seal folds back on itself and apparently hangs up on something. It is happening on every one of the slides including the bedroom one. I had inserted screws to help
hold them in place previously which delayed the damage, but they still get torn up. I have watched the slides as they go in and out, and have never seen anything that suggests a problem. Yet after a few uses, torn seals again. That is a problem. It has existed since day one when we bought the coach and it has yet to be fixed.
The fifth faulty design was the inadequate seal under each of the slides - that was a travesty. There was a one inch opening to the outside as the seal failed. I finally had to fix that myself, although I appreciated the support I received from the dealer and eventually from Open Range.
I suggested how the slide landing block could be made because I think you are going to start to experience failures of the rollers - the weight of the slide should be reduced on them during transit too. I realize that this is BAL slide design and trust that you are pursuing these problems with them. Or should I be working with them?
I like this 337RLS coach a lot, but it has been the poorest towing, hardest to maintain coach I have ever had. It was almost impossible to get it to ride level. It should have had 5000# axles and 16" tires - most of which your company subsequently fixed, but I still have the same old 4000# axles with 15" tires and no shocks. And consequently a coach that nobody in their right mind
would buy from me if they read about these problems.
We just traded a Keystone Passport with a cable slide system. The cables were always catching and the slide wouldn't retract. Finally left the cabinet covers off so I could lay on the floor and hold the cables apart while my wife worked the slide switch. Real pain in the behind.
2010 F250 6.4l Diesel
2012 Keystone Alpine 3600
Ray, Kay, and Tessa & Reba. Tessa is a 5 year old American Cocker. She thinks that she is the co-driver. Reba is an 9mo old Australian Shepard that is learning about traveling.
rayrbrooks: Please don't read into what I said in my posts that I think the cable system is poor. I don't. I think it is a good, lightweight idea that needs to be done right. They used us as test rigs and should stand behind getting this stuff right. Even the Open Range Users Group is a sham - protecting these charlatans from being shown to be what they really are. When somebody pays nearly $40,000 for a coach, this kind of cheap stuff should not be considered to be acceptable.
Update 3/16/2012: Well, as I predicted, the Open Range Users forum shut down the thread I was on over there about this stuff (cables, seals and now frame issues). Eventually, the thread will just happen to disappear. First they took off my post about how disingenuous OR was being toward me and then they bad-mouthed me claiming I have an agenda, violated their own forum rules at least twice and continued to ignore what I responded to them with, acting as though I was the 'bad guy' (well, I guess I was - I actually called them on it - big no-no).
I knew they would try to get my posts off the site, but they were pretty clever about it and closed it off claiming that all that could be said had been said - nevermind that my posts were totally ignored in their responses on their posts to me. By taking me out of context, it appears to someone not reading through all of it, that I am some kind of maverick nay-sayer. Oh well, they have to live with themselves.
The last poster said "OK, I think this has gotten a little out of hand and probably a little too far and definitely off the original topic (hence the splitting of the discussion)". No, the topic was OR quality, the split was done so that no one could easily find the dissent I was making that said the quality was not all that good.
He also said, "I think we all understand your frustration with your trailer..." No you don't or you would know that I am unhappy with OR, not the trailer, and with the apparent willingness of the OR community to accept such poor workmanship when in post after post they themselves describe the shoddy stuff. And though the others are also pretty bad, OR is really bad - just nicer about it.
Then finally he said,"We need to get back to what this forum is about. Talking about camping, and yes some problems we might be having with our trailers(that other brands also get and have) and advice on how to fix them." What? That is precisely what I was doing until the admin and moderators prevented it. They have done everyone a disservice. What really ticked them off is that I called them on it and pointed out that their disingenuousness was not helping anyone but OR who is playing them (us).
I noticed the OP posted this thread in August of 2010 and I made some comment of no consequence at that time as I too was interested in the reliability of cable slides. As it turned out, a couple on months after that we purchased our Big Country with one (bedroom) cable slide. So far, it has functioned great! No issues with fraying/stretching etc. I like the fact that it moves quickly, quietly and with a very positive (for lack of a better term) motion. It also allows for more storage space under the bed. It wouldn't have hurt my feelings if all the slides would have been hydraulic but I certainly have had good service with the BAL AccuSlide to date. I personally don't think it should be a "deal breaker" when choosing the rig you prefer.
2011 Heartland Big Country 3450TS
2007.5 Chev LMM Duramax/Allison
2010 FLHTC Electra Glide Classic Red Hot Sunglo
Heartland Owners Club - Washington Chapter Leaders
I own a 2009 Open Range JF335BHS purchased Nov. 21, 2008 build date Sept. 08.
It has 3 slides that are all cable operated and I did have one cable replaced
just before the 2 year warranty expired in Nov. 2011. This cable had been slightly frayed since I bought the FW and I decided to have it replaced to be on the safe side. This is my 5th trailer and by far the best built and easiest to pull. Without a doubt my next trailer will be Open Range. BTW I did experience frame cracks 6 weeks after warranty and Open Range covered the repairs with Lippert supplying the material. Open Range is very easy to work with if you do have problems--your dealer may be a different story.
2009 Open Range JF335BHS
Me and Her 52yrs
2002 F250 7.3 PSD CC Lariat 2WD
Retired elect./instrument tech
41yrs papermill/West Monroe Louisiana
USAF 1958-1962 Home of Duck Dynasty
sandyhillbill: I am most interested in why you had to deal with Lippert at all - is this not an Open Range issue? I went to check mine and found that both the cracks in the frame rail and the crack in the gel coat are showing up. Funny that it lasted this long. Did you happen to ask either Open Range or Lippert why they did not notify owners to check about this - clearly they are well aware that there could be problems. Does someone have to die first? Or isn't it that bad?
About cables - mine is a 337RLS 2009 built in 7/2007 and bought May 2008. I have had a 2005 Cedar Creek and a 1993 Winnebago Itasca Suncruiser diesel before this one (plus small trailers) - I have never had so many problems with anything I have ever owned like what I have experienced with this one. Sad.
I had good experience with OR on the seals and slide out metal, but I still wonder why it took so long to get anything done. I had to stay after them for several months and then they tried to let it slide until I called them again. By then it was out of warranty, but they did send the parts finally.
For the underslide, they tried to fix it with tape first - if you can believe it. Then they used plastic strips and refused a guy who asked for stainless steel plates, finally ended up with steel plates to be glued on - I used the glue but used screws too. Actually worked pretty well except now a cable frayed.
The new seals I put in on the kitchen slide are already destroyed at the top and now the slide is hitting at the top - apparently the brackets are hitting the side frame which they didn't do before. I can see the slide as it goes in and I would have noticed it move as much as it does now. The rollers seem to be ok so I don't know what has happened.
I have exercised the kitchen slide several times now (no traveling) without failure so I think my two-ferrule fix (aluminum) is working. I'm a little concerned about galvanic action but... What is clear is that the single one didn't work, but that might have been due to my swage tool (it is for 3/16", 1/8" and a couple of smaller, but not 5/32" required by OR's cable kit. I had read somewhere that if the tool swaged the ferrule, it would be enough - apparently not so. The tool I have is for the AL ferrules, but the ferrules are a little larger than the cables.
Update 4/3: After I returned from getting an estimate on the fix for the frame problem ($2800), I opened the slides to check how the cables had done on a 32-mile round trip. The cables appear to have held and the cable end on the repaired cable seems to have held. There is now a little damage on the forward end bottom cable about an inch from the end. Also before getting it completely opened, I noticed that a piece of the old seal had not been removed and was sticking out so I pulled it out. When I ran the slide the rest of the way out, it didn't interfere with the top front any more. Not certain this resolves the "alignment" problem, but I'll just have to keep watching.
* This post was
edited 04/03/12 09:58pm by jdubya *