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Old 03-05-2016, 07:08 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
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Axis motorized upper bunk

I am unsure of the correct information regarding the opening of the motorized upper bunk in the Axis....When purchasing it at the local RV show the Thor sales rep. said you could open the top bunk partway for extra storage and still be able to sit in the front captains chairs...however another source said it should only be used fully extended otherwise it could be damaged and could cause a timing error in the mechanism....we are still waiting for delivery of our new RUV...just trying to collect as much info beforehand...Thanks. Mary
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:25 PM   #2
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Model: 2015 Vegas 24.1
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The bunk uses the same Schwentek-Lippert system as the slides. The system has two threaded racks and two synchronous motors with gears that ride in the toothed tracks. When you operate the switch, 12 VDC is applied to both motors and they run the gears in both tracks of the bunk lift or the slides.

The key word in the description is SYNCHRONOUS. It is fairly easy to get these two motors out of sync. When that happens one side will lift (or slide) farther than the other side. In some cases, the out of sync will actually jam the slide or the bunk and not fully retract. If the power is not removed from the motors damage to the drive gears or or the toothed rack can result.

Schwentek (and many of us owners) always tell newbies to not lower the bunk or operate the slides partway. Running the motors part way and then reversing them is a quick way to get them out of sync. Here is a link to a YouTube video explaining how to retime the motors to get them back in sync:

In the manual I compiled after much research, I recommend not operating the Schwentek system on the slides or the bunk partway. You just increase the risk of getting the synchronous motors out of sync. In addition, as Schwentek also recommends, when operating the system hold the switch to lower or extend until the motors stop and continue to hold the switch for an additional 2 or 3 seconds after the motors stop. When retracting the systems hold the switch to retract and continue to hold the switch for 2 or 3 seconds again after the motor stops.

Also, on the bunk be sure you pull the two safety pins on the passenger and driver sides. You also have to lower the two captain chairs backs to full recline so the bunk does not hit the top of the seats. Also if you have something behind the driver's seat or passenger seat (like a trash can) move it so the bunk does not get jammed against it. (That would be good old experience talking there).
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:47 PM   #3
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On that note ^^^ ... our overhead bunk has never been run fully down! It gets lowered a bit so that stuff fits up there. You can hear & see the motors sync when hitting the up position. We've even traveled a few times with it down a foot or so.

Please don't take this as a recommendation or instruction on how to do things right it's just a mention that we're a good dozen times out'n about this last year without issues or notice of any bunk movement changes "yet".
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:54 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your timely answers...Mary
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:56 PM   #5
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I was going to do the same Ty, but I talked to a Schwentek rep at the Hershey RV show and he told me that the Schwentek system was very reliable; however, partially extending or lowering can reduce that reliability by 30%. He said improper installation and partial operation caused most of the problems he's seen.

Decided not to tempt fate.
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:11 AM   #6
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I figure I bought it to use and enjoy. No use for a bed though a big storage shelf sure is handy!

Certainly I get the theory that stopping anywhere between full up or down can inherently cause some out of sync, but hey, one thought is; if only lowering 1/4-1/3 ... it's shorter to go up to synchronize the motors

It will take more time to see if motors ever get out of sync enough to cause issue ...
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:21 AM   #7
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Thanks...I agree...that was one of the attractions of the bed device...can use it if we need it for sleeping (which we don't) just maybe when grandkids come...but the extra storage which the Thor representative raved about...I guess we'll just have to wait and see and trial and error.
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:48 AM   #8
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We use the bunk every trip--its my son's bed.

Our unit came with an air mattress that my son found extremely uncomfortable. We've since bought a foam mattress; one about 6". As such when we're camping I leave the mattress on the bunk which means I can't fully retract it.

In the evening I'll lower it all the way and hold the switch for the extra few seconds. In the morning I retract it all the way until about 4-5" from the top.
When we pack up to leave the mattress comes off and the bunk then goes all the way up; holding the switch for the extra few seconds. So far so good; no issues with the bunk in two years now of camping in the Axis.

I periodically inspect the racks of both the bunk and the slideout to ensure there is no excessive wear and/or other issues. At this point all the racks look as good as they did the day we picked up the camper.
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:56 AM   #9
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Thanks for the first hand info...that is really good to know!!! Glad to hear you've had no problems in 2 years...we probably will use it the way we want but will be cautious and inspect the mechanism regularly...otherwise it is wasted space.Keep me posted.
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