Wanderlodge Owners Group  
BuyByeBlueBird.com
Donate

Go Back   Wanderlodge Owners Group > Mechanic's Corner > Vehicle Issues

Vehicle Issues Frequently asked questions about vehicles, parts, maintenance, and troubleshooting

Site Search:
Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 07-13-2011
yesmar's Avatar
yesmar yesmar is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Blountstown
Posts: 1,006
Default What WEARS OUT a slide SEAL?

I replaced my slide seal about 5 years ago. I have been told that 4 to 5 years is typical life time of a seal.

The question is, What causes the seal to develope a leak?

It appears to me that it is the driving down the road that causes the abrasion action that causes the seal to develope leaks. If you are sitting still and never drive your coach, then only dry rot can cause it to leak. However, a seal could stick to the side of the slide over time of non-use and then when you do extend the slide it could stress the material causing a leak. With my slide seal in the deflated state(I can not inflate it, too big a leak), I can hear my slide creaking and moaning some what.

You think this could be the main culprit and if so, then what can be done to extend the life of the seal?

I am having a problem getting a seal. What are my alternatives? The lesser motor homes with slides just have rubber seals that do not inflate. Could this be adapted to a Blue Bird?

I am wondering what my alternatives are to ordering an expensive seal and then waiting 2 to 3 months for it be manufactured. Stephen can get these seals, so if you just think you may need one, lets get together and oder as many as possible to bring the price down to a reasonable level. To make one seal at a time seems unfortunate, but maybe my only alternative.

Thanks for all your help.

Your needy Blue Birder
__________________
Richard Ramsey,

Yesmar@fairpoint.net
Eight 5 zero four four 7 one 7 zero zero
1994 Wanderlodge (sold)
2000 LXI (sold)
1993 Wanderlodge(Sold)
2004 M380 (FOR SALE)
1997 Marathon
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-13-2011
Randy Dupree's Avatar
Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
Forum owner
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Port St Joe,Fl
Posts: 35,656
Default

i have been considering blowing some baby powder in the seal area,to keep it from sticking.
I have also been wondering about a different type seal,that expensive seal and short life is not something i want to enjoy for the time i'll have my Bird.
__________________
DO NOT SEND PM
email me at randy@randydupree.com only.

Randy Dupree
2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

randy@randydupree.com
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-13-2011
davidmbrady
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Hi Richard,

I think you're on to something. Once the obvious causes of failure are attended to: incorrect installation, seal sticking to slide, and over-inflation, the long term replacement rate is most likely caused by ozone and abrasion.

IMPO, all slide systems have mechanical slop in them. When put into a moving platform that itself flexes, the slide has to be able to accommodate. What I like about the air seal is the damping it provides to the slide room while in transit. The slide is 6'x14' and the seal contact is 3/4" wide at 12psi; that means the seal is giving the slide a gentle 4000 lb hug; nonetheless, even with damping there's still movement, however small. I've driven my LXi to Moscow Iowa with a punctured seal and am impressed with the air seal's damping characteristics.

Abrasion can be exacerbated a couple of ways. If the slide seal has a kink, as mine currently does, then dirt and debris can lodge themselves into the kink, and once there it's only a matter of time. Another way is if the slide body is not kept clean, then grains of dirt can exist between the inflated seal and the slide body. Prevost has a system where jets of air are directed at the top slide surface to blow away debris as the slide is retracted and before the seal is inflated. Keep in mind, the slide movement is slight and the grains of dirt are dust particles, but after many miles and many years they cause air seal abrasion.

I'm well into my seventh year on my current seal. It hasn't burst yet so I could realistically get a full 7 years out of it, but how many years of life is reasonable? Michelin is now spec-ing 10 years for a new tire; although, we tend to replace them within 6. Our air springs are easily good for 10+ years, but I've been told that fleet operators preemptively replace them at 10. The difference is tires and air springs are reinforced with belts, plys, and outer covers, while our seals are simply the inner liner. In reality, everything rubber in the coach is constantly degrading, whether a hose, a window, or door seal, a windshield seal, a brake chamber diaphragm, and everyone of these items should be inspected, monitored, and possibly replaced starting at the 10 year mark. Given this, to me 7.5 years seems reasonable.

My point is, a different type of seal may have it's own set of problems: damping, decay, unappealing slide body flanges, etc. Brainstorming ways to make our air seals live longer appeals to me, rather than engineering a new approach. In that light, I'd say:

1) install the seal correctly, i.e., no kinks, properly adhered, optimum slide to seal gap, proper operating pressure,
2) keep slide mating surface clean, waxed, brushed (air jets or wiper), and
3) adopt a realistic preemptive replacement plan (slide seals are a maintenance item)

Anyone have any ideas on attaining longevity?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-13-2011
Rob Robinson's Avatar
Rob Robinson Rob Robinson is offline
Forum Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Victoria
Posts: 4,384
Default

I witnessed abrasion from road grit with a nose cover on a Madza RX7. The combination of road grime and vibration did a number on the hood paint. I would think the same principles apply with grit under a rubber membrane.....something is going to wear out.
__________________
Rob Robinson
Victoria, British Columbia
1999 LXi
Moderator
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-13-2011
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: okc
Posts: 3,843
Default

What about some type of Teflon coating or lube for the seal? That would help minimize the abrasion affects.
__________________
John
96 WTOS 42'
OKC USA!


don't waste your time with a usa-spec ipod adapter- poor products with poor support
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-14-2011
yesmar's Avatar
yesmar yesmar is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Blountstown
Posts: 1,006
Default

Thanks. I am still recovering from marthon driving home(1800 miles) in 3 1/2 days with a half day stop at a repair shop.

I intend to begin addressing the slide issue tomorrow. Ah yes, Tomorrow is the perfect time to start anything.
__________________
Richard Ramsey,

Yesmar@fairpoint.net
Eight 5 zero four four 7 one 7 zero zero
1994 Wanderlodge (sold)
2000 LXI (sold)
1993 Wanderlodge(Sold)
2004 M380 (FOR SALE)
1997 Marathon
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-29-2011
davidmbrady
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

After 6 years, 6 months, 14 days, 7 hours and 15 minutes, (but who's counting) my slide seal developed a leak. Replacing it no longer qualifies as preventive maintenance; now it's required maintenance. At the rearward top corner, the slide seal had or developed a kink/buckle. In time, abrasive material worked it's way into the kink and eventually wore through the seal. HWH's most recent installation instructions recommend inflating the seal to 5psi to check for kinks/buckles in the corners before the seal is fully adhered and the slide put back in place. IF we can eliminate kinks, maybe we can prolong the air seal life. When I install the new seal, you can bet it won't have any kinks!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-29-2011
Itchintogo
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Oh there is so much that could be said...but I will sit here quietly in the forest David..... and chuckle under my breath!!!

Good luck on your seal on your seal and the elimination of kinks in your life!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-29-2011
davidmbrady
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Itchintogo View Post
Oh there is so much that could be said...but I will sit here quietly in the forest David..... and chuckle under my breath!!!

Good luck on your seal on your seal and the elimination of kinks in your life!
Ha, LOL, the kinks... Yup, that's where the rub is! Or, inflate our way to kink free life!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-30-2011
yesmar's Avatar
yesmar yesmar is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Blountstown
Posts: 1,006
Default

I have a slide seal in my possession. David, I will sell it to you.

The only problem is that HWH called and told me it was part of the batch that was bad. I am waiting on Parliment to call me and tell me what to do. By the way, they have another seal. When they get mine back, then they will return both to parliment.

I have been told by Blue Bird mechanics that patching a seal is almost impossible and I have yet to talk to anyone who has successfully patched one. If anyone can, then Brady can.
__________________
Richard Ramsey,

Yesmar@fairpoint.net
Eight 5 zero four four 7 one 7 zero zero
1994 Wanderlodge (sold)
2000 LXI (sold)
1993 Wanderlodge(Sold)
2004 M380 (FOR SALE)
1997 Marathon
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Front Slide Seal Joe Crocker M380 (Unique Issues) 9 08-10-2012 01:40 PM
Need slide seal, where to get one? yesmar LX and LXI (Unique Issues) 26 07-20-2011 09:51 PM
M-380 slide seal Joe Crocker M380 (Unique Issues) 5 08-24-2010 10:12 PM
Rear slide air seal MARK M380 (Unique Issues) 5 01-27-2010 08:48 PM
Slide out air seal rbbuscher General 12 10-13-2008 05:50 PM

Web Search:

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.