How To Operate a Schwintek Slide and Troubleshooting You Can Do 18402

While there are a couple of different types of RV slides out there, one of the most common is the Schwintek slide. This type of slide uses whats called worm gear to move the slide in and out as you need it to. These slides are operated from a control panel inside your motorhome or travel trailer and are very easy to use.

However, sometimes slide experience issues. In the video above, our product specialist and all-around knowledgeable RV enthusiast, Ian Baker is here to share some tips and tricks on what to do if your slide doesn’t move when you want it to or if you have one side moving and other staying put.

What is a Schwintek Slide?

A Schwintek slide as we said above is a type of slide-out that’s commonly used on motorhomes and towable RVs. The slide is unique in that it uses some worm gears to make the slide out move in and out of the RV.

There are motors to either side of the slide that help the slide move when you want it to move, and there’s a panel inside the RV that allows you to control the motor. Schwintek slides are generally easy to use and that’s why you’ll find them on a wide variety of RVs out there.

What Could Make a Slide Fail to Move?

Well, there are any number of issues that could be plaguing your slide-out. However, Ian says the most common one is out of sync slide-out electrical motors. If the motors are out of sync, the slide may not move at all. Othertimes just one side may move, which will cause a bind in the gears and not allow it to retract or extend all of the way.

Other issues with the slide could be a faulty part, such as a burned-out motor or faulty wiring. However, those are far less common, so you should take some time to check to make sure the motors are synced up before troubleshooting anything else.

How to Fix a Stuck Schwintek Slide

If you have a Schwintek slide that’s stuck, don’t worry. There are things you can do to get the slide back on track and operating properly. Here are some things to try.

Make Sure the Electric Motors are Synced Up

As we noted above, Ian says that the number one issue with Schwintek slides is that the motors are often out of sync. This can cause issues when you go to move the slide from the control panel inside the RV.

As a preventative measure, you should hold down the button to retract the slide for a couple of seconds after the slide is retracted all of the way. This will allow the motors to sync up. Ian says to do this a couple of times to make sure the motors are synced and then you should be able to operate the slide-out properly.

An important thing to note here is that you need to have the right amount of power. Hook up to shore power or make double sure your battery is topped up before trying to operate your slides.

Use the Manual Override on the Control Box

If that doesn’t work, or you’re still experiencing issues of some kind, then you need to go down into the basement of your RV and find the control box. The control box should be right underneath the slide-out.

On that box, there will be a manual override button. You can press that six times and then you push and hold on the seventh time and it will trigger a manual override so you can try to get the side in. From there, you really should take your RV in to have it check out by a service center.

Additional Things to Try

What if neither of those things works? Beyond those two things, there are some physical things you can do to the slide-out and control box. First, you can move the slides manually. Ian doesn’t touch on this in the video, and if you’re doing this, you really need to get your RV to a service center ASAP.

In order to do this, you’ll need to disconnect the cables for the slide from the control box. This will disengage the brake or lock and allow you to move the slide by simply pushing on it. Make sure to push the slide in evenly. From there, you’ll need to reconnect the wires for the motors to the control box so the brake or lock reengages.

If that still doesn’t work, and you have a slide stuck out, then you need to take the screws off on the exterior of the RV at the top of the slide. From there, you have access to the motors for the slide. You should be able to move them up about half of an inch, which will disconnect them. Then you should be able to push the slide in. Replace those screws, and then either use a slide lock or a wooden 2×4 cut to the right length on the inside of the RV to make sure the slide doesn’t slide back out.

To learn more about these other two methods, you can check out this video put together by Thor Motor Coach. It walks you through the steps well.


Do you have any questions about Schwintek slides or have any ideas for other topics that should be covered in our How To series? Leave a comment below, or hit up Ian on Instagram!

How to Operate a Schwintek Slide

Wade divides his time among various outdoor activities in both urban and rural environments. An adventurer by nature, he is always up for a challenging hike, fun hunt, or day out on the water with friends and family. When he isn’t enjoying the outdoors, he’s writing, reading, or tinkering with motorcycles and cars.
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14 Comments

  1. Excellent info,,,just got me out of a issue with kitchen slide on new 2021 Alpine 3790FK. Dealer was of minimal help. Thanks to you wife is happy
    Regards
    Ron

  2. My. Schwintek slideout is stuck all the way in, only 1 motor is working. There is no way to get to the bad motor, is there any way to extend the slideout manually, enough to reach and access the faulty motor?

  3. My slide out leaves a small pile of aluminum chips every time I extend it, can someone explain whats going on ?

    1. Hey Chuck. It sounds like it might be off the track or something is grinding. I’d take it in for service. It might just need lubed up, but it could be something more serious.

  4. I have a 2018 Forest River Sunseeker 2800QS and the slide behind the driver seems to be loose and rattles and knocks a lot when traveling? It is sealed and I can’t access any of the parts to look for loose parts or to tighten anything? Got any suggestions what I could do? Thanks

    1. Thanks for the comment, Roger. I’m sorry you’re having an issue, but without seeing it in person, it’s hard to diagnose the cause. If you have time, stop by a local Camping World Service Center and one of the service technicians can take a look. With their knowledge and experience, they’ll have you fixed up and on the road again as quickly as possible!

  5. Hi wade..great info..we learned early on about these slides on our Grand Desgin Reflection. You noted about having power to pull slide in/out. We have not dry camped with our rig due to us and we are bummed. We do have an external Honda generator. Would this helping giving power boost to slide?

  6. The slide moves in and out smoothly and evenly when in manual mode but will not do so in auto mode. The controller has been timed several times (and with Tiffin factory guidance) w/o any improvement. Does this imply a faulty controller?

    1. Hi Gary!

      The controller could certainly be the culprit, but there are too many variables to say the controller is faulty with 100% certainty. I’d really recommend taking it to a service center for a complete diagnosis.

      They’ll need to see what codes are flashing, check that all measurements are correct, make sure shoes are intact and undamaged, and look for other damaged components causing drag and increasing amp draw. In our experience, we’ve also seen broken hall effect wires cause slides to have issues in auto mode while working fine in manual mode.

      So, again, your best bet is to get a complete diagnosis to really know what you’re dealing with. Hope that’s helpful!

  7. I bought a Winnebago Micro Mini recently with a Schwintek slide and immediately the slide quit working. No lights to the controller, no movement from the motors, the reset doesn’t reset and calling their customer service was of no use really when I spoke to them. Short of having my trailer sitting in an RV service center for 4 to 8 weeks I won’t have use of it till the fall.

    1. Hi Dan,

      I’m so sorry to hear this. Have you tested your RV’s coach battery and/or circuit breaker panel?

      Or is this problem persisting whether you’re connected or disconnected from shore power?

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