It is a common problem, but there is no common fix. When the slide is not aligning top to bottom it may be that you have few options to use to fix the problem. There is a lot of work involved to align the top and bottom and it may be work you cannot do yourself
One possible source for this problem could be that the teeth are broken. This seems to take place with the teeth that are about 2 inches from the slide-out flange and covers a length of 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch long. But this may not be the only source of the problem.
To learn more about this problem, just continue to read our article. It delves into the topic so you get the best information possible. Unfortunately, this may not be a DIY fix at all and you may have to leave your RV at the dealer’s for some time.
In one case, if the top track measures to the sidewall the same as the bottom track does, then there is nothing you can do. You will have to leave it at the dealer’s and see what they can do about it.
But there are other sources that will cause this problem. One is an electrical issue. You may have loose connections somewhere so the power is not getting evenly to both sides of the slide-out.
Another problem could be a burned-out motor. This happens more often than you think. Then, the motors may need to be resynched so that they work as one once again.
The resynching process is just time-consuming as you need to extend the slide a few inches. Then fully retract holding the retract button for several seconds after the slide has retracted. This may need to be done several times before the motors are resynched.
The control panel may post some error codes that will help you identify what is wrong. You will need to copy those error codes down as the technician will ask for them as he tries to solve the problem.
If all mechanical options fail, you can try to use the manual override to operate the slide and resynch the motors in that way. TO implement the manual override, you may have to take a tiny screwdriver and press the gray button 6 times and hold it in on the 7th.
Dealers may or may not be of any help in this situation. Yet, this is a dealer-level repair as there is a lot of work involved in fixing this problem. It is possible for dealers to turn this repair away or they may charge you several thousand dollars.
One possibility will be the rollers are bad. This is not a major repair but one that will take time. Other possible sources would include some teeth missing from the track. If this happens then the slide will not work like it should.
When this is the problem, the gears need to be pulled and the tracks evened up. If you call Lippert, who makes the Schwintek slide-out system, they may refer you to the dealer as they just claim to make the system and not install it.
Some mechanics have stated that there is no real process to fix this problem without taking both tracks out and realigning them manually. It is best to let the experts handle this problem.
The following information comes from one of the service manuals for this system:
Synchronizing The Slide-Out Motors
1. Fully extend the slide room using the switch. Keep the switch engaged until the motors shut down on their own.
2. Retract the room 1-2 inches.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until both motors shut down at the same time. In many cases, two or three repetitions are necessary to re-sync the system.
4. Fully extend and then retract the room. Again, always let the motors shut down on their own before releasing the switch.
Then from the Lippert website we get the following information:
The way to retime the Schwintek slide system is simple. You would go to the switch and depress the out button until the slide-out fully extends. You would then depress the in button and bring the slide in 8 to 10 inches. We would then repeat this process a minimum of three times until the system fully retimes. The way you’ll know the system has retimed is because both sides would then extend or retract at the same time. (source)
Lippert says the way to prevent the motors from getting out of synch is to hold the extend and retract buttons for 3 to 5 seconds. This allows the controller to recognize the zero point.
The processes described above do not work for vertical alignment issues. According to LCI, you are supposed to remove the mechanism, including the tracks, and then realign on a bench. After that, you simply reinstall the mechanisms and tracks.
Of course, the fix depends if you have the original Schwintek rails with slots or if you have the upgraded version with the rails on teeth. For this fix, some owners are recommending bypassing the dealers and going straight to the factory for help.
It seems that while many RVers are very mechanically inclined, even this problem is above their skill set. The vertical misalignment may be a simple problem and it may not be.
Whatever the case may be, be prepared for some sticker shock when you see the repair bill. This is not going to be an easy fix especially if you have to remove the mechanism and realign it manually.
While this problem is very common, the solutions are often not that common as it depends on exactly what is wrong before a solution can be applied.