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Old 12-04-2008, 04:46 PM   #1
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2001 Airstream Classic with S/O

2001 airstream classic with S/O
I need some help in getting the slide out to work, the switch for the arm locks is working but the switch to make it go out is not. I have called the tech help line at Airstream and was told to hold the two switches behind the arms that lock the s/o and bump the switch, this did not work. I called AS again and was told to check the black box that controls the motor for the SO. How do I know if the box is bad? Could it be this or the switch for the SO? I could use some help if anyone knows what it could be.
Thanks, Glen
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:58 PM   #2
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1 possibility-The black box should have a white dial with a slot .turning clock wise should increase force of motor moving room in and out( see if this helps). 2.Also each locking arm has its own micro swith that has to be engaged or the motor will not engage,this makes sure the arms are in all the way (retract) so they can't be damaged. If they are not,the motor will not operate. 3.Also under the slideout on exterior there is a compartment with a cover that opens exposing the motor-shaft and shear bolts, check for loose wires,sheared bolts etc..

Hopefully this makes sense and may even help.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:29 PM   #3
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Lynn, thanks for the information, Jim at Airstream tech had ask me to hold the micro switch in the trip position with the arms retracted back some. This way when I hit the out switch it should work, this did not work for me. The black box is under the front cabinet which is hard to get to, I have looked for the white dial and did not remember seeing one. I will look again tomorrow in case I over looked it and will look under the compartment for loose wires. Everything worked fine the last time I used the AS. The black box in question, does it have a row of wires on the lefthand side and about 4" square? I'll try the things you mentioned and thanks again.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:54 PM   #4
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Hello Glen,

Its interesting how we have the same trailer although mine has manual support struts that i have to physically have to lock in place when the slide is in and the vehicle is in motion. Once level and jacks down i remove the struts on each side and press the only button i have which is in or out. It must have been a running change in design. I would imagine yours is just a few months newer? Anyways. the guys are right. There is a tiny screw that can be adjusted to give the motors more amperage. My slide would move only an inch and then i would have to press the button again and then only an inch once more. Finally after about 4-5 times of this it would go out fully. I removed the panel underneath and lubed everything that appeared lubeable.. is that word? and cranked up the voltage a smidge and everything is fine. The control unit hides under the arm of the front couch. There are two screws that hold the black plastic cover in place . Once the cover is removed you can unscrew the control unit to turn it on its side to get to the screw. Atleast thats where mine was. Its kinda a pain to get in there but you can always lay down on the couch and hang your arms down and work.. or fall asleep.. love that couch..

Vinnie
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:55 PM   #5
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Oh.. sorry.. i just looked again at your profile.. you have a tri axle so maybe yours would have the power locks and my model just has the struts..
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:54 AM   #6
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Vinnie,

Wish mine was a 30', the 34' is a big load. Yours must have the dining area in the SO, mine has the couch in the SO and cabinet across the front. The black box is on the left under the front window. It is mounted on the front wall and getting to it thorugh a small door of the cabinet is trying. I will try to take the mounting screws out so I can pull it toward's the door opening. Hopefully I can get to the screw to adjust the amp's. I'll give an update once I try this.

Thank for your input,
Glen
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:15 AM   #7
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Vinnie,

I just tried truning the screw up on the black box, still nothing, I turned it about a quarter turn the a half and a full turn. Don't know if it's the black box or the switch on the wall I hit for the SO to go out or in?? The only thing I haven't checked is under the unit, it's raining at the time. If anyone has any more suggestion's other than taking it to the AS dealer please let me know what I can try? The AS dealer is 150 miles away and I would like to fix this myself with your help if possible.

Thank's,
Glen
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:29 PM   #8
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Glen,

When you activate the switch do you hear anything happening in the control unit? Do you have a test light? That system is based on 12 volts so you could verify that when the switch is depressed by someone, one of those wires at the control unit would lite up at the same time. That would tell me that the switch is doing its job. I would then look to see that the output side of the control unit is sending voltage out to the motor. You wouldnt have to get too technical to check that. Then atleast we can help you with a direction from there. Either before the switch (ie..no power to it) , or the control unit itself or maybe make your way eventually to the motor that operates the slide. The system seems pretty basic. I think the whole job of the control unit is the measure current draw as a protection in case the slide is binding to avoid damage to things is a problem exists.. i might be wrong but would be logical

Good luck
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:47 PM   #9
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Vinnie,

When I activate the switch I cannot hear a thing, I have a multi tester and I will get a test lite tomorrow. I'm not great at electrical problems, and with your help maybe we can track the problem to the sorce. Do I ground the test lite black wire, and then touch each lead on the box until the lite light's up when some one presses the switch? Do you know which wire is the input and which is the output to the motor? I see the large white wire to the box which should be the ground. Does the 12v go to the black box and then to the switch first or to the switch and then to the box or does it matter?

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Old 12-05-2008, 08:07 PM   #10
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Glen,

I will go outside and figure it out and post my results for you.

Vinnie
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:51 PM   #11
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Hello Glen,

Here are my results. My control unit is made by "Power gear" p/n 510116. Assuming that is what your rig is equipped with then the following should make sense. You will need a multimeter set to DC volts. When i refer to 12volts i mean that as a full charged battery. Your voltage may vary if your rig is plugged into shore power or not. So here we go.
Lets make sure all the wires are correct.
Starting from one end.
White wire - Ground
Black wire with red stripe - Motor "1"
Green wire - SW forward
Orange wire - SW reverse
No wire - Alarm
Black wire - 12 volts battery
Red wire - Motor 2

Since you already cranked up the voltage with the adjustment your probably missing power somewhere.

Clamp the black lead of your multimeter to the ground wire (white)
Now go down the line and verify voltages.
Touch the red wire of you multimeter to the solid black wire and verify you have 12 volts.
Both of the SW wires "Orange" and "Green" should have a 5 volt reference voltage that wont change.

If all thats correct try the measuring the voltage at the Motor 1 (black with red stripe) and press the slide switch "IN". You should get 12 volts when depressing the switch. When you depress the switch "OUT" on that same wire you will see about 2 volts. This is normal.

Now try the same thing with the Motor 2 (Red wire) and press the switch "OUT" and you should get 12 volts. The same will be true as above when you measure that wire and press the switch IN you will see that 2 volts again.

If all those voltages are correct I would think you have some kind of mechanical bind that is not allowing the slide to move. It should make a clunk from the motors momentarily if you are putting all that current to them and there is a binding condition though. One other thing could be that there is an open circuit from the controller down to the motors somehow if you hear nothing and the voltages are correct. Now my rig doesnt have the electric locks like yours does. I dont see a provision on my control unit for that feature so yours may be different?

If for some reason you dont have a good power or ground to your control unit then you will have to check your supply power from the fuse box located (mine anyways) under the front window area. You could simulate a ground from another source like the negative battery post and run it into the trailer and right to your control unit as a test. If you keep at it your going to figure it out i just know it.

Good luck.

Vinnie
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:51 AM   #12
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Vennie,

These are the kind of directions I can follow. My unit has the box made by Power Gear. I have printed the instructions and will go down to where my AS is parked. It's about 8 miles from the house on my lot on the St tropical storm Fay came thorugh. When the water started rising I put the SO in and pulled the AS out. Its a good thing, the water would have gotten about 3' deep in the AS, thats how high the water got. About 6 weeks later I trailered the unit back down to the river and stayed in it on the weekends for awhile without putting the SO out. My wife ask me last weekend to put it out, thats when I discovered it wouldn't go out.

One other question before I go check it out. The control unit you mentioned, could this be the "distibution panel" with breakers that when tripped, you press the small reset button? I have pressed all of the reset buttons on the "distribution panel" in doing so I noticed a heavy copper wire at the ground link on the bottom left side. This copper wire looks like it was cut short and has never been grounded. The SO has always worked in the past so I wouldn't think this would be the problem. I have tried to pull the copper wire over to the ground link but it will not pull that far and it's in a place where you can't add to it.

I will try your last instructions with a multi tester and test light, the test light may work better for me since I see the light better.

Thanks again,
Glen
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:14 PM   #13
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Hi Glen,

Just got in tonight and reading your post. My slide uses the fuse box located in the front of the coach,




Here is a picture just above my battery boxes with the couch removed showing the location. I you have your owners manual it might refer to the location in the wiring charts. Once you go through the wires on the control unit you will know more about whats going on and we can go from there. Let me know and i will stick with you till you figure it out.

Vinnie
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:13 AM   #14
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Glen,

I am glad your slide out is "In" and not in the "out" position.
What would you do if the unit had to be moved in a hurry?
For instance when Fay came thru?

You are lucky to have moved your unit before the storm came in.
Your insurance company would have declared a total loss with that amount of water damage.

You are Very lucky.....
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Old 12-07-2008, 02:03 PM   #15
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Greg,
Yes, I'm very lucky. I procrastinated until late afternoon, if I had gone back the next morning to get the AS it would have been a total lost.
Thanks, Glen



Vinnie,

Maybe we're getting somewhere, after going down this morning (Sunday) I checked the wires on the gear box. I had the white, black with red stripe, orange, green (the orange and green was reversed on mine) then I had the round white dial with the slot to turn it. Then I had the no wire terminial, then the black and red. I couldn't get to the box with my multi reader in the small space without removing the box from the front wall, so I used the test light.

Here is what happened, I clamped the black wire with the clip and touched the black wire, the light lit up. Then I touched each other wire at the box and my wife pressed the in/out switch and nothing happened. This may be because I didn't test it with the milti meter. (Low voltage)

I removed the switches from the wall and grouned the black wire with the clip from my test light and touched one leg of the in/out switch and heard a bump from the motor.

I then looked at the black box and saw that I had been turning the white dial clockwise to min. and should have turned it counter clockwise towards max. I have two switches one for the locking arms and one for the in/out. I attached the test light wire to the ground of the locking arm switch and touched the point of the test light again to the other switch "IN/Out". When I touched it to one side of the in/out switch the slideout would go out, and I touched it to the other side of the in/out switch and it would go in.

Do you think it could be a bad switch? After getting home I got to thinking maybe it could be a ground wire that needs to jump to the slideout switch from the locking arm switch.

I think we are getting close to having it figured out.

I sure wish mine was as easy to get to as yours! Maybe next time I'll remember to take a picute of the front cabinets to send you.
Glen
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:08 PM   #16
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Hi Glen,

You are getting close. What we do know it that the motors are fine. We also know or assume that the wiring from the switch to the motors is intact and fine. Remember that the control unit has those 5 volt reference signals measured when tested. I wonder too that by touching the switch with your test light its becoming a switch itself. What if you mark the wires coming off the switch, remove them and use your Ohm meter to see what the switch does when you measure across the terminals and press the switch? Did you remove the switch off the wall mount? Is it just in there with screws? Maybe i can test mine to see what it does and how it behaves when i ohm read it. What if you press a bit harder on the switch incase it has a bad spot in it? Is the switch coming apart, like the plastic tabs broken causing the guts of the switch to come apart? maybe a good visual check will provide some information. The cheapest thing to try would be a switch before a control unit. If it were me i would be pulling that switch apart to see what makes it tick. Only do that if you feel confident on putting it back together. Your real close now glen.

Once we figure out how that switch works it should determine what direction to go. Now you mentioned that the amperage adjustment was being turned to minimum. I had to crank mine up about a half a turn. Did you try that? What were the results?

Let me know.

Vinnie
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:00 AM   #17
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Vinnie,
I did remove the screws off of the switch plate to get the switch out of the wall. Then I could unpluged one of the wires from the switch to see if it was getting good contact.(I should have tested all of the wires) I moved all of the wires on the switch back and forth and then pushed the switch button and it worked, both in and out. I put the switch back in the wall and it wouldn't work again. The switch is not broken or coming apart, I will like you said test it with the ohm meter. I hope with it working for a minute that it may be the switch or loose wire on the switch and I 'll try pushing harder on the switch. If I remember there was 4 wires on the S/O switch color coded.

Maybe I should check the orange and green wire on the control box for the 5 volts if I can get to it.

Thanks, Glen
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:13 AM   #18
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Glen,

It sounds like no only did you and i learn abit about the slide operation but figured out the problem. Either you have a bad switch.. loose terminal at the switch or bad crimp to the terminal that connects to the switch. Let me know what fixed it.

Thanks Vinnie
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:39 AM   #19
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Vinnie,

I was wrong about the four wires going to the switch, there was only three. The orange and green coming from the control box. The 3rd wire was purple with a black stripe which I guess is going to the slide out motor. There is a loose terminal at the switch which the purple wire connects too. I checked the orange and green wire at the switch with my multi tester and both have 5 volts. I have tested the switch set on the Ohm setting, I touched one lead to where the orange terminal connects and the other where the green wire connects then pressed the switch nothing happened on the meter. I hope this is the correct way. The only thing is I may have to order the switch from the switch from the airstream dealer. I am going to go to the local Fleetwood rv dealer first and see if they have one.

I'll let you know if this works.

Glen
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:22 AM   #20
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Sounds great!
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