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Thread: Slide out hydraulics question

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    CinC of Everything Else OldSlowHans's Avatar
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    Slide out hydraulics question

    Our 2011 Big Country (4 slideouts) has a hydraulic system to deploy/retract the slides.

    There are no individual controls per slide, just a single control to activate the pump. So, for example, when you deploy the slides there is pressure applied to all slide rams, and the slides deploy in order depending on their weight (least resistance moves first, and so on). This means that the three street-side slides (bedroom, kitchen, entertainment center in that order) deploy first, and then finally the large curb-side slide. When retracting, they retract in the same order as they deployed.

    There are times when we would like to open just one side, usually the curb-side.

    Looking at the layout of the hydraulics, I see that the plumbing is "split" near the pump, probably to facilitate the routing of the tubing down each side of the unit. If that is true, it would seem that I could install gate manual gate valves on each of those two lines and gain some control of which slides move when the pump runs.

    Two questions:

    1) Does anyone know if my assumption is true - that the system is split in a leftside/rightside fashion?
    2) Regarding the installation of gate valves - can I use brass PEX fittings, or do the hydraulic lines require something more rubust than water lines?
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  2. Print this Post   #2
    Prolifically Gabby Member JohnDar's Avatar
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    Re: Slide out hydraulics question

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSlowHans View Post
    Our 2011 Big Country (4 slideouts) has a hydraulic system to deploy/retract the slides.

    There are no individual controls per slide, just a single control to activate the pump. So, for example, when you deploy the slides there is pressure applied to all slide rams, and the slides deploy in order depending on their weight (least resistance moves first, and so on). This means that the three street-side slides (bedroom, kitchen, entertainment center in that order) deploy first, and then finally the large curb-side slide. When retracting, they retract in the same order as they deployed.

    There are times when we would like to open just one side, usually the curb-side.

    Looking at the layout of the hydraulics, I see that the plumbing is "split" near the pump, probably to facilitate the routing of the tubing down each side of the unit. If that is true, it would seem that I could install gate manual gate valves on each of those two lines and gain some control of which slides move when the pump runs.

    Two questions:

    1) Does anyone know if my assumption is true - that the system is split in a leftside/rightside fashion?
    2) Regarding the installation of gate valves - can I use brass PEX fittings, or do the hydraulic lines require something more rubust than water lines?
    I thought all older hydraulic systems had some kind of isolation valves, but I may be wrong. The photo shows the ones in my 2009 Bighorn, located at the hydraulic pump (I added the labels). As for using PEX fittings for the hydraulics, I don't think they're rated for that kind of pressure. You may need to have some hydraulic hoses made up to your length specifications to complete the modification.
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  3. Print this Post   #3
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    Re: Slide out hydraulics question

    Back in the day, the price point of the big country, and big horn was all about some of the included features. The big horn came with selector valves, for the individual slides...the big country did not. I know the landmark also has the valves from the factory.

    Pex would not withstand the pressure created in these hydraulic lines.
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    Moderator danemayer's Avatar
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    Re: Slide out hydraulics question

    Things change by model/floorplan/model year, and sometimes within the model year. So I wouldn't rely on how another Big Country is built. You should investigate more fully to establish whether your hoses are actually arranged the way you hope.

    To add a cutoff, I'm pretty sure you'll need cutoffs built for this type of hydraulic pressure, and crimps, and probably special tools to get a good crimp. Might be better to pay someone with experience working on hydraulic systems.


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    Senior Member carl.swoyer's Avatar
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    Re: Slide out hydraulics question

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDar View Post
    I thought all older hydraulic systems had some kind of isolation valves, but I may be wrong. The photo shows the ones in my 2009 Bighorn, located at the hydraulic pump (I added the labels). As for using PEX fittings for the hydraulics, I don't think they're rated for that kind of pressure. You may need to have some hydraulic hoses made up to your length specifications to complete the modification.
    Are the black knobs able to turn? Looking at the picture you might be able to lock out slide movement individually by turning the black knobs. This is how it was with our 07 Cedar Creek.

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    Prolifically Gabby Member JohnDar's Avatar
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    Re: Slide out hydraulics question

    Quote Originally Posted by carl.swoyer View Post
    Are the black knobs able to turn? Looking at the picture you might be able to lock out slide movement individually by turning the black knobs. This is how it was with our 07 Cedar Creek.

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    Carl, yes they turn. Ive been using them to selectively operate the slides since we got the rig.


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