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View Full Version : Question about Keystone Owner's Manual RE: Slide Outs


Stargazer
05-04-2010, 06:37 PM
I've never owned an RV with slide outs before and I'm trying to understand something that is in the Keystone Owner's Manual. It says:

"DO NOT step on the floor of the slide out when the room is retracted. The slide out floor is not supported by the main floor and stepping on the floor may cause structural damage to the slide room."

When our slides are retracted, everything is fully accessible. I'd like to be able to sleep and use the dinette and sofa with the slides retracted for those times we're parked somewhere and putting out the slides is not feasible.

First, I'm assuming that the slide out floor is the carpeted area--but not all the carpeted area because there's that strip of carpet along the edge that moves with the slide. Would it be OK to step on that part?

In the bunk area, there's only that strip of carpet visible when the bunks are in. So does that mean the kids can just climb up the bunks and I don't have to worry about stepping in the wrong place? The sofa is the same. Since the Sofa covers the slide out floor, then we're OK to use it because we're not actually stepping on it? (The sofa must have it's own support?)

The biggest area of concern is the dinette. There's storage under the benches. If I put something heavy in there, is there the potential of causing damage when the slide is retracted because there is no support there? Would it be OK to sit on the benches if we don't step on the carpet?

Festus2
05-04-2010, 09:28 PM
When our slideout is retracted, I am positive that it fully rests on and is supported by the main floor. There is no gap or space between the two. One member did previously mention that there was about a 1 inch space between the slideout floor and the main floor when it was retracted. In his case, it would not be supported but I believe this is not the way the two should come together. One should be flush with the other.
We have continually stepped on the slide out floor in the retracted position without any noticeable "structural damage". We have also sat on both the couch and our chairs at the kitchen table.
Our 5th wheel is an '08 and the 4-5 page Keystone "manual" that came with it, makes no mention of this (or anything else of any use for that matter).
If your slide out floor does not fully rest on the main floor when retracted, then I would be more concerned about putting any additional weight on it. I would think that if it doesnt lie flush and sticks up in the air, then it needs adjusting so that it will lie flat.

MightyMike
05-05-2010, 01:56 AM
First, lets clarify- retracted means when it's in, like when you're traveling. Second, I'm not familiar with your model, I have an 08 Raptor. We had a damaged slide out floor at delivery- Dealer said someone must have stepped on it during cleaning for delivery. It actually pulled the floor off of the slide out wall. It was the rear slide, in the garage area, and was dragging the floor and damaged the linoleum. Service guy told me they were going to replace the floor board and put extra screws in, as the factory only uses a couple screws. Said he would send me pictures of the repair. Still waiting, and that was over a year ago. Noticed by accident how much the living room slide flexes when it's in too. We make sure we never step on them when the slides are in. Seem to only be made out of 1/2 inch plywood and there are no supports under there. When it's out, that inside lip rests on the main floor, so you don't notice the flex. As far as the couch being supported itself, it's not. Sits right on the floor. Did you try to move it? I can pick mine righht up and carry it where ever I want. I'm not sure how your bunk beds are built, but I would think your kids could use them as long as they don't step on the floor to get up in them.

Jim W
05-05-2010, 04:43 AM
I would follow the manufactures warning in the owners manual. If you want further information on your slide operation and maintenance, see this web site.http://www.lci1.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54&Itemid=66
This is the Lippert manufacture that makes the frame and slides for Keystone.
At least with my slides all three raise up as they are retracted into the camper. The floor system on the slides need to be support to maintain there integrity and they are not fully support when they are retracted. So if you wish not to have any structural issues with the frame and floor follow the manufactures warning.
Just my $0.02
Jim

Festus2
05-05-2010, 09:08 AM
Jim and MightyMike have raised some interesting issues with regard to Stargazer's question about walking on or putting weight on the retracted slideout floor. I based my response to his question on the basis of having no warning or caution from Keystone in any materials given to me by them and the way the slide sits (flat and flush) on the main floor when it is retracted. I assumed - perhaps incorrectly - that it was supported and it was okay to step on or to put weight on it.
I have looked in my Lippert Slide Manual and read through most of the manuals given by Jim W on his link above and can't find any warning or caution about walking/stepping on the slide floor when retracted.
When I am bringing the slide in, it does "tilt" upward slightly and then slowly moves downward until it comes to rest - flush and flat with the main floor. Perhaps my slide is not adjusted properly as it seems that some slides seem to come to rest in a raised position - as mentioned in the above posts- ande others don't (like mine).
Do different Lippert slide models behave differently? What differences are there from Keystone model to model in the operation of the slide?
I would be interested in hearing from other Cougar 5th wheel owners - 2008 model - and hearing their comments and experience about this question ----- should you walk/step on a retracted slide??????

Jim W
05-05-2010, 01:51 PM
In my owners manual and the electronic version of the manual on the Keystone site on page 54, item 9 there is a bold warning. This warning states " Do not step on the floor of the slide out when the room is retracted----may cause structure damage to the slide room."
I believe this could be caused by placing a bending moment on the floor were you step, because this loading is uneven. As far as storage, if there is a compartment were you can store items, then I believe you can do this. My reasoning is; these item are supported in a uniformed manner and the loading is spread out over an area instead of a pinpoint load such as when you step in a small space.
With my 318SAB I have two different types of slide mechanism's the bedroom is flat when retracted into the compartment. The two rear slides raise up and stay raised a slight amount when retracted. I can place my hand spread flat under the rear two slides.
Jim

Festus2
05-05-2010, 05:04 PM
Interesting. My owner' manual (Sept, 2006 Chapter 8 "Slide-Out systems) makes no mention of this question..."to step or not to step". The latest version of the owner's manual issued in 2009 does indeed caution you not to step on slide floor while retracted. I guess my next step is to contact Keystone to see if this caution applies to earlier models. I will tread softly from now on.

Stargazer
05-05-2010, 10:16 PM
Thanks for the info everyone. I will definitely take a closer look at the slides when they are in. We just took delivery of our TT on Saturday and I won't have a chance to check it out again until the weekend.

It's a bit of bummer. Since our slides open street-side, we were hoping that we'd be able to still use the TT with the slides in.

Festus2
05-07-2010, 07:28 AM
I phoned Keystone Service who informed me that you shouldn't walk or step on the slide out floor when it is retracted. Sitting at the table or on the couch are also things you shouldn't do. These cautions are not be found in the 2006 Owner's Manual but are in the 2009 version. Guess we will have to change our habit of sitting at the table and eat standing up - or eat in bed - when we pull off the road to have lunch or a snack.

Stargazer
05-07-2010, 10:32 PM
Thanks for clarifying it with Keystone. I guess we're going to have to plan our road-side stops a little more carefully.

Jim W
05-08-2010, 05:46 AM
If you are ever in a rest area on the interstate and see a 5er with it's slides out this might be me and my wife. We have always open the slides when we pull in to a rest area, if we are going to have lunch.
I usually pull in to one of the first spots for trucks and campers farthest away from the washrooms. (LOL, wife has to walk at least a 1/4 mile to the rest room and back) We make sure that we do not interfere with the semi's when putting out the slides, we have done this ever since we have own a 5er with slides.
I have seen other campers with their slides out too in rest area's.
Jim

Stargazer
05-08-2010, 10:16 PM
I got a chance to look at my slide outs. I looked under the flap of carpet and couldn't really see anything. The floor around the dinette definitely didn't sound solid when I knocked on it. The air-bed sofa is quite heavy--it didn't seem to move when I half-heartedly gave it a shove--and it seems to cover the entire slide floor so at least there's no chance of accidentally stepping on it when it's in.

I guess we'll also try to park at rest stops so that having the slides out won't interfere with others. Maybe I should put some reflective stickers to put on the slides to make sure no one runs into them?

badge4
05-09-2010, 06:22 PM
Just found this in owners manual;

Chapter 10: Slide Out Systems
Keystone uses two (2) basic types of slide-room systems depending on the product application, Electric and Hydraulic. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for Care & Operation of the system in your unit.
Before operating the slide-room, assure there are no objects (or people) in the path of the room or the slide room awning.
Basic Slide-Out Tips
Before operating any slide-out:
The unit must have a fully charged RV battery (having the shore-line cord plugged in may NOT be 1. enough)
Turn off all necessary lights and 12V components prior to extending/retracting2.
The unit must be leveled and stabilizer jacks extended.3.
Make sure the room has clearance, inside and outside, to extend/retract.4.
Make sure water and debris are removed from the top of the room before retracting5.
Avoid injury by keeping all body parts out of the way of the slide-room6.
Make sure other parties are clear of the slide-out before extending/retracting7.
DO NOT ride in the slide-out when extending/retracting8.
DO NOT step on the floor of the slide out when the room is retracted. The slide out floor is not 9. supported by the main floor and stepping on the floor may cause structural damage to the slide room.

Stargazer
05-10-2010, 11:16 AM
Just found this in owners manual;

Yes, that's what I was looking at when I asked my question. I got a reply from Keystone today and I think I have a better understanding of why we're not supposed to use it:

Quote:

"Keystone recommends
that when any slide out is in the retract position that it does not get
stepped or walked on for the well being of the unit. Walking or
stepping on the s/o floor can cause the floor to pull away from the
walls and take the s/o out of adjustment and cause further damage."

fiddlinrver
05-25-2010, 07:34 PM
In our Hitchhiker, we hauled a 2 drawer file cabinet - full, a banana box of grapefruit as well as other stuff on the floor by the table and chairs. We often sat on the sofa or chairs, walked on the slid in floor and never had any issues.

We are aware that the Cougar is different (Lippert frame and electric slide, HH was a Young's frame and hydraulic).

Is the issue the individual weight of a foot/person on just one area of the floor or weight in general? I do know that the outer edge of the Cougar is raised and that wasn't true in the Cougar.

We will be careful not to step on the floor when in and can still get to kitchen, frig, single rocker and steps to bedroom to snack at a rest stop. That is really the only time we use the RV with the slide in.

This has been a good topic and I think more people should be informed about the DO NOT STEP ON SLIDE WHEN IN issue. I did read the manual through and noted that as something new to us.

Dianne

Jim W
05-26-2010, 04:53 AM
In our Hitchhiker, we hauled a 2 drawer file cabinet - full, a banana box of grapefruit as well as other stuff on the floor by the table and chairs. We often sat on the sofa or chairs, walked on the slid in floor and never had any issues.

We are aware that the Cougar is different (Lippert frame and electric slide, HH was a Young's frame and hydraulic).

Is the issue the individual weight of a foot/person on just one area of the floor or weight in general? I do know that the outer edge of the Cougar is raised and that wasn't true in the Cougar.

We will be careful not to step on the floor when in and can still get to kitchen, frig, single rocker and steps to bedroom to snack at a rest stop. That is really the only time we use the RV with the slide in.

This has been a good topic and I think more people should be informed about the DO NOT STEP ON SLIDE WHEN IN issue. I did read the manual through and noted that as something new to us.

Dianne

Dianne,
I think the warning is about point loading from a human foot. When an individual steps and moves about all of the loading is placed in a small area. The reason is they will transfer their entire body weight to this one portion of their foot. The loading is then transferred to the floor and could cause the walls to separate from the side walls, since the entire structure is not supported correctly.
When you load the cabinets and place items in them along with other items the loading is uniformed and over a wide area. Thus this can support the load without damage to the floor and side walls.
As far as Cougar (Keystone) being the only one to mention, this I think others manufactures do also. I purchased a used 2006 Ameri-Camp in 2007 from dealer who sells Titanium, Mobile Suites, and the full line of Jayco trails. He stated not to walk on the slide when in and he tells this to all of his new trailer owners. The Ameri-Camp owners manual also stated not to walk on the slide when in.
Jim

wheelygoode
06-23-2010, 07:36 PM
We just bought our 2009 266RL (5th wheel) and there is no mention of not walking on the slide areas when slides are retracted. Interesting. We have had slide outs on previous units with no warning of not walking on the retracted slide.