Troubleshooting Slide Electrical Issues

We’ve had our RV for one week and have already encountered our first maintenance problem. Welcome to the RV lifestyle!

We’ve had our RV for one week and have already encountered our first maintenance problem. Welcome to the RV lifestyle!

Last week we noticed that the lights in the slide were not working. This really wasn’t a surprise because the same thing happened when we went through the walk through of the RV on the day of purchase. When it happened then, the RV technician showed me the location of the electrical panel in the bedroom and how to test the fuses using a fuse tester. After finding the bad fuse and changing it the lights started working. Easy!

When this same issue arose after returning from Georgie’s maiden voyage, I wasn’t too worried about it. I ordered a case of 120 fuses and a fuse tester from Amazon. When they arrived, I got to fixing the problem right away. It took a moment to find a way to ground the tester, I ended up using a copper wire coming out of the back of the fuse box. Once grounded, the tester worked great and I found the blown fuse right away.

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I pulled the 15 amp fuse out with a needle nose pliers and inserted a new one. The second the fuse connectors touched the socket there was an ark of electricity and the fuse blew. After a couple more tries I was beginning to get frustrated and turned to Google. I quickly learned that these symptoms were likely being caused from a short somewhere in the wire. To begin troubleshooting, I removed all of the lightbulbs from the light fixtures in the slide and tried inserting a new fuse. No luck. Then, I unscrewed the light fixtures looking for anything that could resemble a wire short. Still no luck. Finally, I decided to follow the wire through the walls of the RV as best I could. This led me outside below the slide where I found some exposed wires. This had to be it!

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Sure enough, after some further investigation, I found exposed metal on the wires outside and below the slide. This made sense because the slide moves in and out regularly, and anything mechanical that moves is prone to failure. The wire was attached to the sliding arm. It looked like this had been a problem before because there was old electrical tape and zip ties attempting to hold the wire in place. The original factory bracket meant to hold the wire had been torn apart, I’m assuming by the hydraulic sliding motion.

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To fix the issue, I simply wrapped the portion of wire that looked like it is regularly exposed to friction. Then, I encased the wire in plastic tubing that was already there. Finally, after wrapping everything in more electrical tape I used zip ties to fasten the tubing to the slide’s frame.

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Lindsey went inside to close the slide so I could watch the wire to make sure it didn’t get pinched. Unfortunately, nothing happened. The hydraulic pump didn’t make a sound. After investigating the pump, this is what I found…

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In case you can’t tell, the pink fluid is supposed to be INSIDE the tank. Between a problem and the solution is always another problem.

To be continued…

3 thoughts on “Troubleshooting Slide Electrical Issues

  1. Good find Gerrit! Glad you guys are figuring this all out now rather than when super traveling. 🙂

    Can’t wait to see how you decide to fix the hydraulic issue. I enjoy how you used the zip ties. I had to do that to a wire in my engine bay a few years ago. #MecanicalProbs

    Like

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