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Looking at Full Wall Slides

November 30, 2008 by Lug_Nut · 58 Comments  
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Full wall slides are a relatively new concept being offered on class A coaches today.  These offer a big visual increase to the size of the interior when they are deployed, as they would be at a camping site.  Some makes have floor plans that offer these extended slides opposed, one on the driver side and one on the passenger side.  These certainly are impressive when you first walk in.  Their ability to “wow” you with a spacious feeling is immediately evident. 

But, do they really provide much more interior living space?  Maybe not, if compared to a four slide model.  If you measure the length of each slide on some four slide units, you may find that the aggregate total length of either side not that much different from that of the full wall slide models.  Therefore, many full wall slides may not really be providing additional square footage of living space, just a different way of presenting it. 

Sometime ago I posted a query on the forum looking for comments from members on their thoughts on full wall slides.  There was very good participation, including a few full wall slide owners, with many well thought out views and ideas.  Some of these were as follows.

Pro’s 

  • More interior living space, or at least the feeling of.
  • Less slides to deal with.
  • Most current owners have no issues and love them.

Con

  • Loss of some storage under slide due to lower basement ceiling.
  • Access to basement storage more difficult beneath slide.
  • Can not position tree or other object between slides for more door side room.
  • Additional weather sealing challenges given the immense size.
  • Structurally unproven for service needs over high mileage or age.  

Wait a minute.  Loss of  basement space, and more difficult storage access?  But if a particular four slide has approximately the same linear footage as that of the full wall slide, what’s the difference?  Well, most four slide models have their rear slides over the rear axle(s) and wheel wells where there is no storage anyway.

The full wall slide models available appear primarily to be “bath and a half” models on many makes.   On these, they may make perfectly good sense as no slides can be used on the rear head area on a diesel pusher.  This is due to the engine, radiator and related components requiring all the below floor area.  So this bathroom extends this non-slide area considerably forward to the bath/bedroom wall location reducing the ability to have a reasonable sized bedroom slide.

There is however one thing I’m not completely clear on.  What exactly is the true definition of a full wall slide.  Is it the overall length, a certain length ratio when compared to the coach size, or is it just a manufacturer’s name for an oversized slide?  One thing is for sure.  It is not really even near a full wall slide, but more like a two thirds slide when compared to the vehicle length.

So, is this soon to be the standard in the industry?  Will the multi-slide coach eventually be a thing of the past?  Only time will tell.  How they will perform in time, and how they will be perceived by future buyers, will inevitably be the driving force.  It is doubtful that it would be practical for a manufacturer to produce both on each and every model.  This would probably not be financially viable. 

So, what are your thoughts on this topic?  Do you have a full wall slide now, or will you want one on your next coach?

Just My Slide Thoughts    -    Lug_Nut    -    Peter Mercer

    

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Comments

58 Responses to “Looking at Full Wall Slides”

  1. RayChez on November 30th, 2008 7:31 am

    Nice floor plan, and I do like the full slides. Nice looking coach. Is that the new 45′ Constellation from Gulfstream?

  2. Lug_Nut on November 30th, 2008 7:44 am

    Hi Ray, It certainly is the Constellation, you have a good eye. The interior shot however, is of the Cresendo. Thanks for your input.

  3. Stefan on November 30th, 2008 9:42 am

    I’m currently looking at the Gulf Stream T40F. The “F” model seems to have so much more interior storage compared to the “B” model. There is a full wall closet in the bedroom that you could not have gotten without the full wall slide.

  4. William Andersen on November 30th, 2008 11:04 am

    To answer the last question: do I have one, do I want one?
    No. Doesn’t matter.
    (I have a Class C, plan to buy an A next year.)
    We know what we want in a floor plan, so that’s our primary consideration. The number of slides doesn’t matter to us, as long as we feel that we have enough space. Space isn’t just a measurement of square feet to us: that’s why the floor plan is our primary consideration.

  5. Lug_Nut on November 30th, 2008 12:09 pm

    Stefan, Today we seem to have the choice on some models for either full wall slides or not, with similar floor plans. In the future, I would think it will not be practical for the manufacturer to offer both. Thanks for your input.

  6. Lug_Nut on November 30th, 2008 12:11 pm

    William Andersen, I fully agree, the floor plan is the key, and as I pointed out, a multi-slide may in fact be similar in square footage anyway when compared to a full wall slide model. Great input, thank you.

  7. Dan on November 30th, 2008 3:18 pm

    I can’t speak for some of the larger models out there, but I really like the floorplan and layout of the new Winnebago Journey/Meridian 34Y.
    The one full-wall-slide with two opposing slides really opens up the whole inside and you still get the manuvability of a 34′ class A. The biggest drawback is you trade basement storage for larger tanks and more inside storage.
    I’m looking to upgrade our 32′ Horizon to something a little larger for longer term living, and it may be the ticket.

  8. John Ahrens on November 30th, 2008 4:34 pm

    We have a Holiday Rambler Admiral 30 SFS gas rig with a full wall slide. The slide goes out about 18″ and I estimate it to be about 24 feet long (at least 22 feet). We really love it, as it opens up the interior to feel more open and livable (we’re living in it full time). No dark, narrow hallways.

  9. Larry on November 30th, 2008 4:38 pm

    My concern is the weight factor on the motors and breakdowns over time. If not completely level “cocking” of the slide would put a serious stain on the motors. People also tend to carry more weight in cabinets and storage which adds more drag on the motors. How hard would it be to crank in if the motors fail?

  10. Dirk Fleck on November 30th, 2008 5:12 pm

    I bought my wife a 2006 38 ft Fleetwood Bounder with a full wall slide (28 ft) for Christmas 2005. We have about 16000 miles on it and have had no problems and we love it. My biggest fear is having it not retract. It is fairly hard to do manually according to the owners manual………..looks like a 2 or 3 person job but could be done by one. I know smaller slides would be easier to deal with but I would not trade what we have. We spend about 40 nights a year in our coach and the slide is in and out just as many. Full wall slides are great so far!

  11. Mac on November 30th, 2008 6:22 pm

    We have a 2008 Meridian 39Z with fukk slide on passenger side and 3/4 on driver side. Electric drive motors. No trouble as of yet and we love the space of the floor plan.

  12. Yvon on November 30th, 2008 6:26 pm

    I own a 2007 Monaco Monarch 33′ with a true full wall slide. It runs from the back of the driver’s seat up to about 3 feet from the back. It is great, no corridor, plenty of space. Would not change.

  13. Lug_Nut on November 30th, 2008 6:45 pm

    Dan, The Winnebago 34Y has a very desirable floor plan, but as you say, there are trade-offs, the basement storage. Good input, thank you.

  14. Lug_Nut on November 30th, 2008 6:48 pm

    John Ahrens, Great to hear from current full wall slide owners. It seems the full wall is very much appreciated. Thanks for your valued input.

  15. Lug_Nut on November 30th, 2008 6:50 pm

    Larry, I think the weight, and moving that weight, has been a question, however, we are seeing more and more owners that have had some time on their full wall slide units, and all are reporting good things. Thank you for your comment.

  16. Lug_Nut on November 30th, 2008 6:54 pm

    Dirk, You are another happy owner. It is so great to get the input of people like yourself. All the claims in the world don’t equal the real thing. Thank you.

  17. Lug_Nut on November 30th, 2008 6:56 pm

    Mac, Glad to hear that you also have had zero issues with the full wall slide. Thank you for taking the time and resonding.

  18. Lug_Nut on November 30th, 2008 7:00 pm

    Yvon, Your 33′ Monaco sounds very spacious with the extra long slide. Thank you for the very positive report on your rig and the full wall slide.

  19. Carl Stark on November 30th, 2008 7:46 pm

    We wanted a 30 foot Class A for our “empty nester” retirement travels. After considerable research, we decided on a new 2008 Holiday Rambler 30 SFS. It has the drivers side “full slide”, which is approximately 18-inches off the rear bumber, and 4″ behind the drivers seat. WE LOVE IT. It really opens up, gives wonderful closet space, queen bedroom, queen sofa. It is everything we wanted in larger coaches but within a 30-footer. After special ordering it with the features we wanted, we have no regrets. Carl in Georgia.

  20. Lug_Nut on November 30th, 2008 7:49 pm

    Carl, Interestingly you also have choosen a full wall slide in a shorter coach design. This could be a very popular choice in future. Thank you for your valued input.

  21. William Robinson, Jr. on November 30th, 2008 10:58 pm

    We looked at a full wall FW Providence, but decided that a lot of what you get is a hallway, and a look into the bedroom. We finally went w/the 40X Providence, because as one poster put it, it’s about the living space. Our slide on the DS is 30″ wide. Plus, the full wall was a 39 footer, and the 40X is almost 42″. Better for us all around. Oh, and we have 4 TV’s, too. Robbie

  22. John on December 1st, 2008 1:38 am

    Hi Lug_Nut,

    Great article on the FW slide! It sounds like it is very popular with current owners.
    With similar square footage, the eye is subject to an illusion by the full wall slide. It certainly does open up the area, looks good.

    I would have some concern about structural integrity. When you think of the mass of the FW slide, it could have a major effect on the steel frame that keeps us safe in the event of the unforeseen. It would be nice to see the RV industry do testing and provide us with the results so we can make informed decisions when purchasing a coach.

    I currently don’t have a full wall slide and won’t get one in my next coach until it is tested more by owners and the industry.

    Cheers,
    John

  23. Lug_Nut on December 1st, 2008 5:07 am

    Robbie, That is indeed a large slide. 30″ is deeper than most and certainly 39′ long slide on a 42′ coach is the largest ratio I’ve heard of. Are you sure it’s that long? Thank you for your input.

  24. Lug_Nut on December 1st, 2008 5:15 am

    Hi John, Your feelings are also felt by many. However, I’ve got to say, we seem to only hear of happy people, and some have had their unit a considerable time. I also know personally of several owners all of which are please too, but time will tell. I think there are quite a few that will take a wait and see posture. Thanks for your thoughtout comment. Great input.

  25. Penny on December 1st, 2008 7:20 am

    My friend has an older Dolphin MH Class A with a full slide, and last year they started having trouble with the frame and chassis. It twisted enough that the windshield popped out, and they had a lot of trouble to get it to fit back in.
    I think that if they had supported the slide went it was out, they might have eliminated that.

  26. Yvon on December 1st, 2008 8:10 am

    Hi Lug_Nut
    In addition to the extra space, I appreciate the fact that the day it breaks, I have to fix one, not 2-3 or 4. The odds are in favor of one long slide in term of maintenance.

  27. Stefan on December 1st, 2008 9:00 am

    The coach that I’m looking at, the slide is hydraulic. How do you think that compares to the electric that you all seem to have?

  28. Colin on December 1st, 2008 12:30 pm

    We have a Winnabago Tour, we have two long slides one on each side and enjoy the extra room as we full time and have had no trouble getting into campsights on our travels around the country.

  29. Lug_Nut on December 1st, 2008 2:03 pm

    Penny, Sorry to hear of the problem. Are you sure it was related to the slide? I guess too, with National closing, future warranty may be an issue. Thank you for the input.

  30. Lug_Nut on December 1st, 2008 2:05 pm

    Yvon, You make a good point. Regardless of size, reducing the number may well be a benefit. Thanks for the insight.

  31. Lug_Nut on December 1st, 2008 2:07 pm

    Stefan, There are many trouble free hydraulic actuated slides in use today. Additionally, the hydraulic may offer an increased power for handling a large slide, especially after it gets older. Thanks for your input.

  32. Lug_Nut on December 1st, 2008 2:09 pm

    Colin, The two opposing full slides are certainly roomy. Glad to hear your do not make site positioning an issue. Great input.

  33. Gail Clark on December 9th, 2008 3:43 pm

    I love our 06 Pace Arrow with a full wall slide. We have had no problems with the slides. As to losing storage space I have more then I had in a 04 Souhwind. When the full wall comes out the storage bins come with it.

  34. Lug_Nut on December 10th, 2008 5:44 pm

    Gail, Great to hear you are enjoying your full wall slide(s). It certainly seems to be a great seller. Thank you for your great supportive input.

  35. John on December 14th, 2008 6:13 pm

    I have looked at these full wall slides and Have just one problem with them . When parked at camp site wall slide is next to power post move over no more room at site to expand out passenger side. !!! What about water and electric hookups? crawl under? Just my thoughts think hard before we bought 4 slides, give us same room and no problem with power/posts.

  36. Lug_Nut on December 15th, 2008 5:18 am

    John, These can be issues, but as many current owners have stated, they have no problem positioning their rig to accomodate the power post. The need to be crawling under that slide however, I believe an issue that people must live with. Thank you for your input.

  37. Paul on December 17th, 2008 12:20 pm

    John, I own a 2007 Fleetwood Expedition with a full wall slide. When I get to my site I simply start by lowering the air bags and then the jacks. While the jacks are leveling the unit I hook up my electric, water and sewer, etc. Then I extend the slide, this way I don’t have to crawl under the slide to get to the utilities. As to parking, It just as hard to fit the 4 slide models between the power post. Once you know your width you take that into consideration when backing in or pulling into a site. The full side slide is what sold us on the coach, so much more open feel, its like a small apartment.

  38. Lug_Nut on December 17th, 2008 6:49 pm

    Paul, Great first hand information. Thanks for sharing it with us and for your valued input.

  39. James Brannan on January 8th, 2009 7:00 pm

    I am looking for some comparison information relative to different class A coaches.

    I currently have a 2004 Monaco Dynasty -42 Ft. We love the Moterhome but I am not really happy with the power ( 400HP Cummins ) or the ride. The coach lacks power on most grades and the ride seems to be very hard at the front end. Feels almost like someting is bottoming out when we hit bumps in the road. I have had it checked and the airbags are set properly and the shocks are in good shape

    I am planning to retire in 12 months and am looking at a new motorhome. I have heard that the ride of the Country Coach is far smoother than the Monaco but I get concerned that this the deaker”s pitch

    How does a buyer get the truth on therse types of questions

    Jim

  40. Lug_Nut on January 9th, 2009 6:28 am

    James, The Monaco generally rides a little stiffer than many other chassis’s. I presume the 400 h.p. engine you have is a Cummins ISL. If so, the engine should not feel under powered in that coach. The ISL is a very popular engine that performs well in almost any coach. Perhaps you should have it checked by a Cummins shop. The best way to compare the ride of various coaches is to take them out on a test drive. Try to match each with similar driving conditions.
    Thank you for your input.

  41. Sande W on January 24th, 2009 9:03 pm

    Hi interesting forum, we have a 2004 Monaco Diplomat and are looking at a Holiday Rambler Endeaver with a full slide on the DS. I need more closets. We are fulltimers and travel weekly to dog shows to work. We put a lot of miles on our coach and was wondering if anyone out there has any information on this model of the Endeaver

    Sande

  42. Robert Ruff on January 25th, 2009 7:35 am

    Hey gang, I have a 2007 Tiffin Phaeton, 42′ with two full wall slides in the living/kitchen area and two slides in the bedroom. I love the roominess in the living area as we are FTRV’ers. We did have a problem a couple of months ago with one full wall slide and it was the biggest of the two full walls with the most weight from storage and furniture on that side of the RV. I called the service dept. of my RV dealer (Yes, this dealer is pretty good), and they gave me instructions on how to manually close the wall slide. He did warn it would take some time and effort. Actually it took a large crescent wrench, my wife pushing on the slide as ’screwed’ it back into place, and about 15 minutes. If I had to do this myself, my guess it would have taken about an hour due to the weight and ‘workout’ by trying to close this heavy wall.

    I’ll add that the slides are electric and a solenoid switch had malfunctioned. Like anything else, when something goes wrong, it’s an opportunity to learn and one more ‘knowledge nugget’ for when on the road light years away from help.

    Penny, I’m going to assume that you, or your friends were correct that the slide out caused the windshield problem for the sake of my feedback. I’ve seen more times than not people opening up their slides BEFORE they set their jacks. That’s a no-no. Also, if we boondock sometimes we opt out of using the jacks for the short stay (overnight parking, for instance). IF we need or want to open a slide for some room, we open just one slide, usually the slide that opens the least, depending on the level-ness of the road we’re stopped on.

    I hope this helps.

    Sincerely,
    Robert Ruff

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