Voltage Wardrobe Slide Issue - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 05-30-2020, 09:07 PM   #1
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Voltage Wardrobe Slide Issue

I just wanted to let you Voltage owners know about another design flaw that I have just encountered. Two days ago while bringing the slide in I heard some loud popping noise when the slide was almost all the way in. I then took a look underneath and saw the motor completely pulled off the wall and the chain bent but still on the motor sprocket. The motor for the wardrobe slide is screwed into the wood directly with wood screws. It looks like there are five holes to screw the motor into the wood but in my case they used four decent screws and one really thin wood screw. Well the entire motor pulled out of the wall and with all the tension on the motor and the limited space to get in there I could not get the leverage to force the motor back in place. I was lucky enough to get ahold of a local mobile repair guy (the guy that fixed my Norcold last time) and he was able to release the tension and make a small bracket to mount the motor on the wall again. This is a short term fix as he thinks I need a big plate and a bracket to mount the motor too so the force is spread out across a larger area and wind rip out of the wall again.

I think this is yet another example of a poorly designed install by Dutchmen. This failure is not the fault of the slide out equipment at all but the result of too much torque or force being put in thin, cheap wood.

I would recommend all of you Voltage owners or any of you with cable slides check your motors and inspect how they are mounted to the wall. The wardrobe motor is hard to see but the kitchen and sofa slides are easy to see (they are above the slides) The skirt on the bottom of the wardrobe can be pulled off and then screwed back in place with wood screws.

Trust me you will all be better off catching this now before these motors rip out of the wall like mine did. I could only imagine if this happened while out dry camping and I was not able to get the slide back in.

I might have a few brackets and mounting plates built for the other slides because they are much bigger and heavier than the one that failed.

I am no expert but I think these slide manufacturers would specify a better attachment process than screwing into thin wood.

Also, be very careful if doing anything other than tightening or checking the screws because there can be a great deal of tension on those motors.
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:26 AM   #2
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When I first got my RV, the motor came loose from my super slide on the RV. Took the geniuses at camping world weeks to figure it out and learn how to adjust the slide. One of them, cut the rubber gasket off so he could see underneath the slide. Was really fun!

I feel your pain!
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Old 05-31-2020, 11:54 AM   #3
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Had the same issue on my 2015 3990. Fixed under extended warranty.
Rusty
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Old 05-31-2020, 11:46 PM   #4
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Old 06-05-2020, 02:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcv800 View Post
Had the same issue on my 2015 3990. Fixed under extended warranty.
Rusty

@Rusty, just curious—how did they fix? Did they just reattach it with new screws in a slightly different location or beef it up somehow? My repair guy mounted to a small bracket he fabricated on the spot and he wants to make a much bigger one as a long term fix but that is probably 4 more hours of labor for me to pay and with travel likely $600 or so. Still way ahead on the cost of a warranty but chipping away....

Thanks
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:14 AM   #6
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Exactly. Moved it over a bit, and larger screws. Actually did the same to the other slide as well, as two screw heads had popped off of that as well. Curious as to why a different bracket if only the screws pulled out.
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Old 06-06-2020, 02:51 PM   #7
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My repair guy wanted to spread the load across a much greater area. He felt that wood screws would continue to be at risk to pull out over time. The odd thing in my mind is this is the smallest of the three slides by a considerable margin and yet it completely ripped out of the wall. My other two appear fine but I am worried.

I suspect your repair just moved it slightly because it was fairly simple and didn’t require any real engineering but this is just a guess on my part. It sounds like your repair worked long term so might be all that is necessary. Maybe my original install was done poorly with angled screws or over-tightened that stripped the holes initially.

I just have to decide if I want to spend a good chunk of money for some additional “insurance” that it won’t happen again or on the other slides.
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:14 PM   #8
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This is how I fixed mine. Large chunk of angle aluminum stock screwed to the steel bar under the slide, then screwEd the gearbox to the upright part of the angle aluminum
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:18 PM   #9
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Closet slide

How do you get the false front off under the closet to get to the motor? I called Dutchman and asked the they couldn’t tell me.
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Old 06-06-2020, 10:01 PM   #10
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I also would like to know how you got the false front off as I would like to do what you did to the motor/gearbox on our 2015 3200.
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Old 06-06-2020, 10:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrypride View Post
How do you get the false front off under the closet to get to the motor? I called Dutchman and asked the they couldn’t tell me.
Along the top front edge of that false front are a series of wood screws that hold it on. Just feel along the front face of that top edge and you will feel the screw heads.
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Old 06-06-2020, 10:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightfoot View Post
I also would like to know how you got the false front off as I would like to do what you did to the motor/gearbox on our 2015 3200.
Mine is a 3200 also. A buddy of mine also has a 3200 and his did the same thing
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Old 06-07-2020, 12:12 AM   #13
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It’s 4

Thanks for the info. I feel the screws and will open up in the next couple days.
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Old 06-07-2020, 07:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Its4 View Post
This is how I fixed mine. Large chunk of angle aluminum stock screwed to the steel bar under the slide, then screwEd the gearbox to the upright part of the angle aluminum

Great looking fix. We mounted a small metal bracket to that steel piece because that is what we had available and will go back later with something bigger.

As far as removing the front wood piece for access if you can’t locate the screw heads just pull on the wood with some force and they will come out and screw it back in when you are done. This is just a decorative piece of wood so no real load or pressure on it. They should have hinged it or mounted to a flexible rubber piece but no doubt they saved money this way.
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Old 06-08-2020, 06:28 PM   #15
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Thank you for the warning. I have a 2016 3605 and already have replaced all motors. I will check the motor mounts to make sure they are stable. Your comment on lack of Dutchman quality is right on. Had nothing but problems with the overall design of the trailer.
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Old 06-27-2020, 03:41 PM   #16
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Voltage Wardrobe Slide Issue

Permanent fix made. We made a stair step type of bracket that is connected to the front and top of the steel bar (this bar might actually be part of the trailer frame) under the slide out and then also screwed into the wall like the original install. Attached the motor directly to this bracket. Also used some bigger screws. This thing is going nowhere now!

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Old 06-27-2020, 03:59 PM   #17
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Thanks for the screw locations I got the facia off and could not budge the motor or gear box on my 3200. They don't even wiggle when the slid goes in or out. I will keep an eye on it and if needed put the angle iron fix on but for now "if ain't broke I ain't fixen it".
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