Image of the Bent Omega Arm

Slide 1, Lost Ramblers 3, We Have a Winner!

Today, we witnessed the triumph of men (a one woman, who admittedly did nothing but hold the ladder and hand folks things) over slide. It was a tough battle, but we managed to get the slide arm replaced! Cue trumpet fanfare.

Above is an image of the slide arm after Richard and our BG friend got it off. As you can clearly see, it was super bent. Those slide mechanisms are pretty strong to do that kind of thing.

Image of an acorn nutThe first step was to remove the bolt at the bottom of the arm. This proved to be a little tricky, and the bolt sheared at the acorn nut (for those not up on their ‘nut’ terminology, this is like a hexagonal nut with a little dome on the end). Tapping the bolt out from the other end solved this problem.

With the arm now free and Dave from Florida on the phone helping the guys through it (Thank goodness for Bluetooth headsets!) the menfolk took the tension off the spring through muscle power.

Then commenced the search for the right hole. Now, from what I understood witnessing the issue, there are two holes drilled through the anti-billowing device sprocket and into the shaft around which the awning is wound. Richard needed to insert a pin (such as a hex wrench) through one of these two holes, and then our friend from BG could stop physically fighting the spring’s tension.

Well, these holes could not be found. We weren’t discouraged, however, because Dave told us that sometimes he couldn’t find the holes, and he’s a professional. So Dave told us to drill a hole, and leave the drill bit in to serve as the pin. That worked great.

With the tension off the arm, it slid out of the shaft relatively easily. The new (old) arm slid in just as easily. We removed the drill bit carefully, and the arm took up the tension again.

At this point, a trip to the hardware store was in order to get a new bolt and furnishings.

Richard and I went to the Ace Hardware in downtown Bowling Green, which is a lovely college town. The Ace Hardware on Main Street was pretty complete, and the workers there were knowledgeable and helpful. It wasn’t the usual trip to the mega store with lots of walking around feeling lost, trying to find the right fitting. A Santa Claus looking gentleman helped us with what we needed right away.

Back at the coach, we replaced the screwdriver we used to secure the arm with the new bolt, and everything was hunky-dory again with the living room slide.

Unfortunately, now the menfolk moved on to the cabinet. They removed all the trim and examined the situation. Some attempts were made to move the cabinet back by brute force, but those failed. The idea to use some mechanical aid was brought up, and I suggested the little stair support we have. It is two metal plates with a screw lift connecting them. This approach lifted the cabinet a whole 1/4 of an inch.

I’ll take this opportunity to say some thing about the way our particular cabinet was secured to the wall. Although I generally follow the rule of, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” this was so egregiously stupid, I’ve just got to say something.

The cabinet was connected on the side next to the range by one piece of pine (!) 3/4 of an inch by 3/4 of an inch by six inches. It was stapled on from the microwave side by about 10 staples reached less than a 1/of an inch into the side of the cabinet. Not only had all the staples torn out, but the piece meant to secure the cabinet to the slide frame had cracked through where it had been stapled.

Now, I’m going to proceed to give Holiday Rambler the benefit of the doubt because we really like their coaches. I’m just going to imagine that maybe the worker in charge of our particular cabinetry was either a) having a really bad day or b) hurrying to finish the job because his wife was in labor/her family was in trouble.

After examining the cabinet, we all decided to tackle it in the morning, especially since it was clear the microwave would have to come out to properly re-secure the cabinet. But! I consider today to be a great win in the history of human’s struggle versus slides! Yeah humans!

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