Our 5th wheeler was purchased after much research and finally seeing them in person at the Melbourne Caravan Show in 2011 and again at Agfest near Carrick Tasmania in early May 2011.
After deciding that they were out of our price range and we would hopefully find a 2nd hand one in good condition at a reduced price. After keeping an eye on the internet, low and behold, a brand new one came up for sale at a great price in Queensland but it had to be paid for and collected before the end of financial year. No tow vehicle and the Japanese tsunami effectively meant no new ute until late August at the earliest.
Some quick measuring and a little bit of luck, our new 5th wheeler would fit behind our Volvo prime mover. We packed everything that would fit into the sleeper section of the cab and off we went. A trip to Queensland, a holiday for 4 weeks and more attention than we could ever of expected, a steep learning curve almost 2000km from home and we were officially grey nomads.
The first 2 days were spent transferring everything from truck to the van and learning how things worked and where things went. It is amazing how much “stuff” can be fitted into the sleeper cab.
Repairs to Slideout (for Ted)
The below photo shows the locating screw hole after screw removed. The screw has a square head that require a special tool bit. I used a phillips head to remove (it wasn’t tight) and bought the square bit for installation. The screw can be removed with slideout approx 400mm out. It is located behind rubber seal. Remove the screw and the motor can be lifted approx 15mm to make slideout mechanism move along tracks freely. This is done before removing anything else.
Slideout side bracket half removed. The slideout must be completely supported as this bracket takes the weight on one end. Stabiliser legs should also be down to stop van rocking. As far as I can see, this wall bracket must be removed off the van wall and slid along track to remove motor. There is 4 locating pins on motor that take the load. The locating screw just holds it in place.
Slideout motor removed. Note the elongated holes in motor. This is where locating screws slot into to. The locating screw just stops motor from lifting up. (please double check, going on memory). Also note which direction wires face for re installation. There is minimal room to work in and may be frustrating.
Slideout mechanism, note the roller. There are 4 rollers that take the weight of slideout when stationary and when moving in and out. 2 each side. 1 on top track,1 on bottom track.
What happens when a bearing collapses. I just replaced bearing the first time. All was OK for a while but in the end I had to place track where the collapsed bearing was located. The track only had a small amount of wear in retracted position but it caused slideout to bind up when initially starting to slide out from the retracted position. All other times was smooth.
Windscreen sealant was used as sealant to hold main brackets and tracks to slideout and van wall. It was easy to remove the second time without doing damage to fibreglass panels.
Two paint scrapers to remove slideout to remove tracks. I thought they would spread the load over fibreglass panels better than a screwdriver.