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Old 11-27-2023, 05:38 PM   #1
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Measuring amps from slide out

I need to know if my slide out motor is puling a proper amount of amps from the battery only.

My slide is terribly slow and even stop when coming in from the very beginning on the travel. Especially when he is starting to climb over the floor. On shore power its better.

New batt fully charge so should i put my ampprobe , clampmeter on the red cable at the battery to get decent idea ? And how much amps draw should i see there thanks.im on the road now so its out of question to cut my coroplast for now
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Old 11-27-2023, 06:05 PM   #2
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It would be hard to know as larger slideouts have a larger motors so that has to be considered (also different motors have different ratings). With that said, I would expect to see somewhere around 30 amps and maybe 3 times that amount in the stall (stall being where the motor has power but can't go anywhere due to the slide being all the way in or out, or when the motor is first powered on).

So find out the amp draw first without operating the slide and then operate the slide and measure the difference in amp draw and see what you get. Keep in mind that if the amps are higher than expected, that doesn't necessarily mean the motor is bad, as if the slide is binding (or hard to move) the amps will go up for that reason. ~CA
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Old 11-27-2023, 06:45 PM   #3
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First see what it is fused at which would give its upper limit. Put your voltmeter across the battery while operating the slide and see if the voltage is falling off dramatically.

Since you mentioned it is better with shore power that would indicate it needs some extra boost to help overcome the battery drop as the converter would be adding to the available battery voltage.

Yes you can clamp around the positive cable to see what it is pulling and then maybe compare it to the manufacturer's spec.

Another thing that could cause this problem is a poor (resistive) cable connection. This would hinder the current feeding the motor and drop the voltage at the motor. Any cable connection could be suspect - battery positive (both ends), battery negative at the battery and at the metal chassis connection (common failure point), heavy cables feeding the slide motors. If the battery voltage stays mostly constant then the next place to check is at the motors. If it drops way off there then there is a poor connection somewhere between the motors and battery. Don't forget the ground connections at the motors.

Could also be a bind in the slide system.
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Old 11-27-2023, 06:55 PM   #4
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Ok , is it good enough for a ball park area to take the amps reading at the red cable of the battery ?


example of whats happening with the batt. I press the switch SO in. The SO start to climb the floor than move super slowly and even stop, if i keep the switch depress for a few second it will start to move again and all is ok passed the first foot of travel .

Im afraid to damage my motor .... however on shore power none of that is happening

I understand its better with shore power but you dont always have that choice while on the road

And yes the battery is good 😉 thanks for your help sir
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Old 11-27-2023, 06:58 PM   #5
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Thanks Jim ... you gave me plenty of idea , i know now what ill have to do once a destination thanks
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Old 11-27-2023, 07:42 PM   #6
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Ok , is it good enough for a ball park area to take the amps reading at the red cable of the battery ?


example of whats happening with the batt. I press the switch SO in. The SO start to climb the floor than move super slowly and even stop, if i keep the switch depress for a few second it will start to move again and all is ok passed the first foot of travel .

Im afraid to damage my motor .... however on shore power none of that is happening

I understand its better with shore power but you dont always have that choice while on the road

And yes the battery is good 😉 thanks for your help sir
You could take the amp reading on either cable, just be sure to make sure that all (if more than one) of the wires going to the battery terminal are in the clamp of the amp meter. As Jim mentioned it would be good to monitor the voltage as well, if you only have the one meter then just operate the slide once and measure the amps and again measuring the voltage. ~CA
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Old 11-27-2023, 07:52 PM   #7
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Ok .... so the main red cable and the pink cable at the batt + to be in the clamp ill try that at destination ... thanks to you guys ... i can fix millions of thing but as soon as a wire is involved im goog for nothing lol
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Old 11-27-2023, 07:55 PM   #8
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What is the purpose of the pink cable ? Is it coming from the converter to charge the battery ? And the main red served to feed the converter ? Other then the jack, is there any equipment fed directly by the battery ?
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Old 11-28-2023, 07:25 AM   #9
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Load test your batteries.
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Old 11-28-2023, 07:31 AM   #10
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Done and all good ��
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Old 11-28-2023, 10:42 AM   #11
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Another thing to do is check your ground. You may not be getting a good ground between your motor and the chassis. Is your motor mounted to the TT chassis or to the slideout? If there is a ground wire check the terminations, I have added a number of star washers to improve the ground connections.

When you are on shore power your DC voltage is a little higher, my slide and awning always move faster.
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Old 11-28-2023, 02:18 PM   #12
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I havent looked yet but according to the schematic supplied by jayco the motor is mounted to the SO frame ....who knows where the ground is.... and the schematic is so approximative �� anyway ill clran and check all my ground . The way the SO move on shore or genetator i tend to beleive that 1 batt is barely enough to move this big slide out... anyway it cost nothig to take a looks ...thanks Jagiven
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Old 12-05-2023, 11:37 PM   #13
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JimD, and finally found the time for this quick test. When we retract the slide out with a new batt fully charged initially the voltage drop to 10.5v , nothing move and if I keep my finger on the button the Volt.creep up slowly to a steady 11.5 +- 3 and the slide comes in ...slowwwly ... is this what you call a a dramatic voltage drop ?

btw thanks for the help
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Old 12-06-2023, 07:11 AM   #14
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On my 2013 33RLDS , the 2 massive rear slides even when new, would not move without shore power. Would trip the breaker. My guess is voltage drop with wires not heavy enough and runs to long . This spring I plan to run 8 gauge wire right from the battery and use the OE wire for a trigger on a continuous duty solenoid right at the motor on the heaviest slide (sofa bed, pantry , refrigerator, stove and microwave) and see if it makes a difference.
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Old 12-06-2023, 08:54 AM   #15
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On my 2013 33RLDS , the 2 massive rear slides even when new, would not move without shore power. Would trip the breaker. My guess is voltage drop with wires not heavy enough and runs to long . This spring I plan to run 8 gauge wire right from the battery and use the OE wire for a trigger on a continuous duty solenoid right at the motor on the heaviest slide (sofa bed, pantry , refrigerator, stove and microwave) and see if it makes a difference.


Hummm interesting ... I would be curious to know if its common for a lot of peoples to see their large slideout struggling on a battery. after all the voltage is there and the amps are surely available. So in think you are on the right path. In my case Im not blowing fuses and its coming in ....who know for how long :-)
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Old 12-06-2023, 09:07 AM   #16
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Hummm interesting ... I would be curious to know if its common for a lot of peoples to see their large slideout struggling on a battery. after all the voltage is there and the amps are surely available. So in think you are on the right path. In my case Im not blowing fuses and its coming in ....who know for how long :-)
Did you have a chance to determine how many amps are being pulled when operating the slide? With a good and fully charged battery I wouldn't expect to see such a large voltage drop as you mentioned in post #13.

With that in mind, I suspect that the motor is still good but something is binding with the slide mechanism. ~CA
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Old 12-06-2023, 09:16 AM   #17
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Did you have a chance to determine how many amps are being pulled when operating the slide? With a good and fully charged battery I wouldn't expect to see such a large voltage drop as you mentioned in post #13.

With that in mind, I suspect that the motor is still good but something is binding with the slide mechanism. ~CA
Ill have to find a clamp meter ... im afraid that mine stayed on the propane tank cover and flew away somewhere on I10 .... there is some day like that :-)

For the binding... well maybe but i do not think so, the Slide Out is so smooth on shore power and without making any strange noise ...

My problem for sure is between the batt and the slide out, and I say my problem .... maube I dont have a problem after all thats why I would be curious to know if its a common occurrence with large slide out on battery only, Thanks for your help and suggestion CraigAV
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Old 12-06-2023, 09:55 AM   #18
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Ill have to find a clamp meter ... im afraid that mine stayed on the propane tank cover and flew away somewhere on I10 .... there is some day like that :-)

For the binding... well maybe but i do not think so, the Slide Out is so smooth on shore power and without making any strange noise ...

My problem for sure is between the batt and the slide out, and I say my problem .... maube I dont have a problem after all thats why I would be curious to know if its a common occurrence with large slide out on battery only, Thanks for your help and suggestion CraigAV
It is almost impossible to determine why the problem exists simply over the internet here, an AMP measurement is what I would suggest when you can as that may be the most helpful information.

Keep these things in mind, Binding doesn't necessarily mean noise will occur or the operation will not be smooth so something to keep in mind. Also, which you may already be aware of, when operating the slide with shore power it is not a difference between battery only or shore power as when on shore power you have both the battery and shore power (converter's amps) supplying power to the slide's motor which increases the amps available and keeps the voltage a little higher.

Another thought to share while I am thinking about your issue. The same wiring is in place between the battery and the slideout motor in either case as the converter power goes to the battery first. If there was for example a bad connection between the battery and slide motor, then it would still be a bad connection when using shore power. Just something to keep in mind.

Last thought for now, I suspect my slideout is similar in size and weight as yours (but older) and it is not normal for such a slideout to stall or struggle simply because the slideout is large. The only time I have had such an occurrence was when I had a bad battery however I am not saying that you have a bad battery as there are quite a few possibilities. ~CA
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Old 12-06-2023, 12:30 PM   #19
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JimD, and finally found the time for this quick test. When we retract the slide out with a new batt fully charged initially the voltage drop to 10.5v , nothing move and if I keep my finger on the button the Volt.creep up slowly to a steady 11.5 +- 3 and the slide comes in ...slowwwly ... is this what you call a a dramatic voltage drop ?

btw thanks for the help
Dropping to 10.5 is indeed a noticeable drop and could be causing problems. A momentary drop is ok but it should jump back up to 12+ volts right away if the battery is strong. To see what I mean you could try measuring the chassis battery when the engine cranks. It will drop low initially but come way back up quickly. This is with a 100+ amps being pulled by the starter.

Since the slide isn't blowing fuses it is not exceeding what it is fused at. My thought is that if it was binding while moving it would be pulling a lot of extra amps and blowing its fuse. It also wouldn't work a whole bunch better under shore power which you say it does. Out of curiosity, try measuring across the battery while connected to shore power and running the slide.
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Old 12-06-2023, 12:53 PM   #20
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The other side of the equation is is there something restricting the movement of the slide? High resistance to movement would equate to high amp draw and voltage drop.
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