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Access to HWH slide hydraulics - I need to cut a service door in the steps.

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I have a 2006 Beaver Patriot Thunder and I'm having problems with my hydraulic slides. At the moment the pump only comes on intermittently, and it is getting worse.

I have worked on this system several times - replacing the HWH control box and two of the valves, and it is a huge pain not having access. For some reason Monaco didn't put an access panel in the stair on the Patriot Thunder.

To get access to it I plan to cut out the step and make a new one that I can remove. It would be a great help if any Monaco S Series owners who have an access panel could post a picture.

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That is very helpful. I've started removing the top of my middle step. I am thinking about just cutting out a hole and making a bolt down plate, or removing both the top and the face of the lower step to create more room, and bending some steel for a replacement for both.

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So, if anyone else has to do this I'll post the project. First, Corian is REALLY tough. I tried the angle grinder with a zip blade and made some cuts, then with chisels, a dead blow hammer, and pry bars ripped out the Corian.IMG_18202.thumb.jpg.064b2ab95d7514c0d1612bb5be8ef063.jpg

Luckily the Corian only extended under the rear lip so I could smash out the bottom without damaging the sides.


The plywood underneath was held down by some screws, but it fit under side panels and the rear, and the heads of the ones in the corners were stripped. Angle grinder wasn't the right tool, so I pulled out the oscillating tools, and it worked pretty well.



More brute force and after about two hours I had it all out. Next up, cut an access opening and make a new cover panel.IMG_1824.thumb.jpg.1b11f6e1f2bbc053164106b0eea703c4.jpgIMG_1825.thumb.jpg.ae1bc14495f4c547a195a6eefddefb7a.jpg

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So, with the Corian and plywood out of the way I started cutting with an angle grinder. I made a couple of mistakes - which is to be expected since this is completely blind work, but if any one else tries this it will help to know what is actually under there.



The first mistake is there is a cross bar visible behind the rear cut - it is welded to the step. I didn't know it was there so my initial rear cut was actually behind it. On the right you can see where my side cut extended back to meet the rear cut. It just happened that the cross bar ended just short of my side cut or I would have noticed it. I used a reciprocal saw to finish the cuts, and it slid past the cross bar or I would have noticed it. The really bad news is that there is a hydraulic hose right below and behind the cross bar, and I cut it!



With the panel out I now have access to the top of the manifold. In future problems with the valves will be much easier to resolve, and checking and adding hydraulic fluid will be much easier. Still not trivial to reach some of the components, but it will reduce the number of times I have to crawl under the coach to sit in the generator cavity and try and work from the side.

Next up I need to do some electrical testing to find out why the pump is not coming on. I may just put 12V to its inputs and see if it turns. My suspects are teh pump motor, the relay, the HWH control box, and the multiplex system. The HWH control box is showing a yellow LED when I activate a slide switch, but it should also show a red LED. HWH does not answer user inquiries anymore - they used to be wonderful now they are downright terrible - so getting basic info like what the pin positions are on the plugs going in and out of the box is not possible. 

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Small bit of good news, it was a heater hose, not a hydraulic hose hiding behind the cross bar. Easy fix. 

Now if only I could get the diagnostic information for the slide controller from HWH.

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