What is a cable slide patch?
The cable slide patch located on the BAL Accu-Slide cable slide out system serves two purposes. One is to provide a seal around the cable when the slide is extended out. The seal is there to prevent water from trailing into the camper via the cable. Secondly, it acts as a bumper when the slide is in the closed position to keep the slide outside standoff bracket from coming into contact with the slide framing mounted around the perimeter of the slide opening.
Cable Slide Patch Failure
One of the first items to fail when we purchased our Keystone Premier in 2016 was the cable slide patch. It did not completely come off the trailer but I noticed it had separated from the sidewall slide frame and was just hanging from the cable when we put out our slides. Instead of repairing it, I would just push it in towards the frame and make sure it was properly aligned before bringing the slides in.
As time went on a couple more lost adhesion and did the same when finally one must have torn completely off and let the outside standoff bracket rub the slide frame during travel. The slide frame looks to be made of aluminum and the bracket is steel. The slide does move around when traveling and this caused the bracket to wear a groove into the aluminum slide frame.
Of course this happened while on the road so we made our way to the local hardware store and purchased a rubber sheet that was about 1/4″ thick and cut it to match the cable slide patch. The frame was cleaned with alcohol to remove any oils or wax where the pads were to be placed. Contact cement was used to mount the pads onto the frame. I thought this would be more durable than the factory version but they only managed to hold up for a year or two before starting to stretch and rip after a long trip out West.
We then decided to try the factory type again thinking maybe the originals weren’t properly installed at the factory causing the early failures. These only made it for a couple of trips before failing so I needed to try something different.
What Causes the Cable Slide Patch Failure?
I noticed that the rubber pads always curled out on the top and bottom beyond where the outer standoff bracket pushed an impression into it. I feel that the curling around the end when coupled with the slide bouncing up and down during transit causes the rubber to roll and flex until it either causes an adhesion failure or the rubber is destroyed and begins tearing. The patches on the upper cables on our RV seem to get more abuse and always show more wear than the lower. We still have a couple of the factory lowers still clinging to life on our trailer.
Based on this theory I felt that the bumper mounted on the slide out frame should be made of a material that would be rigid so the slide offset bracket did not compress into it and it may then also allow the bracket to glide up and down on it with minimal wear. I decided to go with UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight) Polyethylene sheeting. It is known for its abrasive resistance, impact resistance, and anti-aging performance.
I did some research and ended up buying a UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight) Polyethylene sheet (smooth, ASTM D4020, White, 1/16″ Thick). The original cable patch was thicker but I determined that a hard bumper would only need to be about half as thick as the original rubber because the original compressed when the slide was pulled in. Going too thick or the slide bracket could bottom out before the slide makes good contact with the bulb seal around the slide wall perimeter.
UHMV Plastic Sheeting
Factory Cable Seal Replacement
Cable Replacement Kit
I cut pieces of the plastic to match the dimensions of the original cable slide patches and cut a V-notch to one side to allow the cable clearance. You could just drill a clearance hole in the middle but you would need to remove the cable from each point for the install and I did not want to do this until I knew this method would hold up.
I then removed any remnants of the old patches and cleaned the mounting locations with isopropyl alcohol. Installation was done using contact cement as an adhesive being careful not to get any on the wiper seals.
These have now been on the trailer for two years and are only showing minor wear on the surface where the bracket rubs it. So far they have performed as expected and as long as all looks good this season I may go ahead and create a new set to replace the couple of rubber patches that are still holding on at this point.
You can help support our site by clicking the Amazon link above if you plan to try this repair and would like to purchase the material through them. Please comment below if you have had the same issue with the pads and let us know what you did to resolve the issue.
Click here to check out our article on changing your Keystone wiper seals yourself to save some money.