Mechanical Drama

Hey, like life, driving around the country in an RV – even a brand new one – can have it’s little challenges.  Soon after departing on our year-long journey, our slide out decided to stop working.  The slide out, which pushes the dinette section out 18 inches, gives us a lot of extra living space so is a key part of living comfortably in a tiny space.

We began by calling the 1-800 Roadside Assistance number and after several operator requirements (name, policy number, VIN number…), we were transferred  to a 24/7 technical support, a fellow named Bob from Bend, Oregon.  Bob, in his thick cowboy accent, explained to us that it probably just required a reset of the slide out “controller” and proceeded to direct us on a full-scale search of the RV for the 3 inch device.  After emptying out both large bench seats (which had been meticulously jam-packed) as well as all the upper dinette cabinets without success, he suggested we call the manufacturer the next day.

The next morning, we left a message at the factory, with no reply.  We then called the RV dealer and had a response back from the Service department.  Nadine didn’t know where the controller was either so she sent an email to the factory.  About 2 hours later, she forwarded an email response from the manufacturer that said it was in the “Galley cabinet.”


Well, there’s several frigging cabinets in the galley so we emptied them all.  Nothing!  It’s not that big an area and yet it was harder than trying to find Waldo.  Our well packed RV now looked like a bomb hit it.  We then called the factory again (with a little more irritation) and asked for Daryl, the guy who sent the vague email reference to the galley.  Hallelujah, a live voice!  Daryl, who was surprisingly helpful and knowledgable, explained that you have to pull out AND REMOVE the lowest cabinet drawer in the galley to access the controller (Geez Daryl, that would’ve been useful info to include in the email…)


The problem, however, was that you needed to push out the slide out in order to fully remove the drawer.  Fortunately, one of us has petite feminine features so Mama Bear managed to squeeze her hand behind the drawer, find the reset button, push it six times in rapid succession, then hold it on the seventh for five seconds until the green LED light started to blink.  At this precise moment, you need to press the slide out button, which we did and thankfully, out it went.

We know we’ll probably have a few more technical issues along the way – particularly since MaBel seems to have electronic systems like the Space Shuttle – but we’re already learning the basics: 1) hopefully there is cell coverage when you break down because the owner’s manual (in a 4 inch thick binder!) doesn’t have any of the solutions, 2)  Mennonites are sneaky where they hide things and 3) have lots of patience with so-called “service” and “support” people.  Oh well, here’s to sliding out in the groove…





6 thoughts on “Mechanical Drama

  1. Great, entertaining so far happy trio — ‘velocity’ writing Alan. Good stuff — moves right along.
    Eric down the street.


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