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Old 02-26-2006, 03:29 PM   #1
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Hi Everybody,
Just spent the last 5 hours re-attaching the lower sidewall behind the front slide. Appears as though the slide was misadjusted from the factory and was pushing out enough at the bottom rear to pop the screws out. Once the first screw went, the ones behind it went in turn all the way back past the water compartment. Bear in mind that this occurred over nearly a two year period, 40,000 miles, and around 240 slide extensions.

It's a job getting everything removed to replace the screws. Went back together with #10 x 1" Pan head Phillips screws. Instead of one every 12", I pulled a Granddaddy Arnett and went for the overkill. Every 2" or 3" right behind the slide then every 6" back to the wheel well. Pre-drilled all the holes for the #10's.

The slide adjustment was quite simple. After re-attaching the sidewall, it was easy to see the misadjustment. When the slide was extended, the trim piece at the bottom was visibly stopping the slide. Looked at the adjustment front to rear, and the front was set to .5" from the end of the threaded rod to the nut whereas the rear was about .25". After adjustment, the front is still at .5" but the rear is now at about .6" to keep the slide from forcing the trim piece out. All of a sudden, all the compartment doors line up again! And the big gap in the bathroom wall has disappeared.

Something worth checking next time you extend your slide.
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Old 02-26-2006, 03:29 PM   #2
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Hi Everybody,
Just spent the last 5 hours re-attaching the lower sidewall behind the front slide. Appears as though the slide was misadjusted from the factory and was pushing out enough at the bottom rear to pop the screws out. Once the first screw went, the ones behind it went in turn all the way back past the water compartment. Bear in mind that this occurred over nearly a two year period, 40,000 miles, and around 240 slide extensions.

It's a job getting everything removed to replace the screws. Went back together with #10 x 1" Pan head Phillips screws. Instead of one every 12", I pulled a Granddaddy Arnett and went for the overkill. Every 2" or 3" right behind the slide then every 6" back to the wheel well. Pre-drilled all the holes for the #10's.

The slide adjustment was quite simple. After re-attaching the sidewall, it was easy to see the misadjustment. When the slide was extended, the trim piece at the bottom was visibly stopping the slide. Looked at the adjustment front to rear, and the front was set to .5" from the end of the threaded rod to the nut whereas the rear was about .25". After adjustment, the front is still at .5" but the rear is now at about .6" to keep the slide from forcing the trim piece out. All of a sudden, all the compartment doors line up again! And the big gap in the bathroom wall has disappeared.

Something worth checking next time you extend your slide.
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Old 02-27-2006, 03:02 AM   #3
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Mark - are you saying the outside panels were being deformed because of one corner of the slide pulling in too tightly?
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Old 02-27-2006, 04:03 AM   #4
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I thought I was seeing things, but I noticed this very same problem on a number of coaches our friends own. The batheroom and private toilet walls are pulling way from the cabinets at the bottom and cold air is actually coming in. Interesting thing to try, is to go set on the toilet and watch what the end of the toilet paper as it's hanging down against the wall, it's actually being blown-up wards by the air infiltration for the separation.
Mark,I think you have come acrossed an eye
opener. Thanks

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Old 02-27-2006, 01:13 PM   #5
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Hi John,
No, the wall is being pushed out' at the bottom when the slide is run out. It literally ripped the screws out of the steel they are screwed into. Thank goodness the wall itself wasn't damaged.

And Radarr,
Yes, creating a gap between the structural frame and the wall attachment allowing outside air to be pulled directly into the coach like cracking a window. I got to noticing a draft at my feet whenever I walked past the oven area (40WD). The frame is rectangular steel tubing about one by one and a quarter inches and is supporting the floor. The sidewall has a square-ish formed aluminum extrusion along its bottom edge that is screwed to the steel frame.

The extrusion is so designed that the frame attachment screws are recessed into a channel just wide and deep enough to burry the heads of the screws. Then another aluminum extrusion is screwed over the one attaching the wall to the frame. It is used to attach the painted trim piece that runs the length of the coach just above the cabinet doors. On ours, the gap was almost a half inch right behind the slide and narrowed as it went toward the rear to nothing just behind the water compartment, about 6 feet. Once the screws ripped out, they cocked sideways holding the wall away from the steel frame. This caused the water compartment door to be held out away from the compartment gasket.

The draft is gone! And the electric heaters like to cooked us last night. If you sight down the side of the coach, i.e. looking in the rear view mirror, you can see the outward bulge at the trim line and the cabinet doors don't seem to line up very well.
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:30 AM   #6
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Mark, when we talk to high end coach manaufactures, they refer to this type of construction of a coach as "wall hangers". A high end coach probably won't ever exerience this type of problem because their walls are welded to floor/chassis. I've view the Wall Hanger assembly practice at Winnebago and you were right about the number and length between attaching screws. Aluminum saves weight, but there is no substutuion for the strength of steel.

So it doesn't look like I'm taking credit for this issue, some one should rate this topic and get a copy to Winnebago Engineering.

If they did one of those upside down drop tests on your coach before you took the corrective action, I have to bet, that the box would have collapsed. This is not the design feature they intended. The question now is, what happens when a coach is envolved in either a frontal or rear accident? Are the side walls going to buldge out at the weakest point and detached from the floor?

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Old 02-28-2006, 09:57 AM   #7
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The walls do not actually hang on a Winnebago unit. The aluminum frame extrusion has a notch which sits on the steel floor framework. The screws do not support any sidewall weight, as a hanger would imply, they screws only hold the aluminum against the steel.
So yes, the unit would survive the drop test, because the framework would hold the weight of the unit, not the screws.
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Old 02-28-2006, 12:52 PM   #8
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Hi zertrider,
Correct on the design of the aluminum extrusion. But a few more screws (don't you hate those self drill screws that Winnebago uses) wouldn't hurt and a little more attention to detail when adjusting the slides might also be nice.

Anyone out there who would like to check their coach for this problem? Easy, just open a compartment and look up between what the hinge is attached to and the steel framework. If you can see a gap, the screws are probably loose or stripped out of the holes.

One additional indicator is that the compartment light switch won't stay adjusted and the bulbs burn out repeatedly.

Radarr, you are right, an engineer at Winnebago should revisit this design with the focus on screw spacing.
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Old 02-28-2006, 02:47 PM   #9
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That's just Great, I've noticed that my one slide is out of adjustment front to rear, The rear portion is about .50" lower that the front portion of the slide. Measuring that painted trim piece, which tells me it's off a bit. I always open my window when either extending or retracting the slide. It's like a wind tunnel as the gush of air comes in or out as the slide is moving. Do any of you open your window also? I hope my slide doesn't pull my wall apart!
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Old 02-28-2006, 04:08 PM   #10
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Hi bobpie,
Interesting handle! It sounds like you have a different problem, I would suggest you have it looked at by a dealer.

And yes, the slides do move a lot of air but I normally will only open a window in the summer. Haven't noticed any ill effects by not having one open. Although, now that my big crack is sealed, I'll have to check that.
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Old 02-28-2006, 04:17 PM   #11
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Well Mr. Transistor, your right, in the winter I forgot to mention that I wear my coat while deploying the slide. have a great night!
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Old 03-01-2006, 04:33 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Radarr:
Mark, when we talk to high end coach manaufactures, they refer to this type of construction of a coach as "wall hangers". A high end coach probably won't ever exerience this type of problem because their walls are welded to floor/chassis.( I thought a Horizon Motorcoach was a high end coach, My mistake.) Aluminum saves weight, but there is no substutuion for the strength of steel. (Tensle strength of aluminum is as strong as steel but lighter.)




radarr </div></BLOCKQUOTE> I'm so confused
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Old 03-02-2006, 02:26 AM   #13
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Boy bobpie, your are confused. I'm sorry, but I can't help you there.
There is a big difference between aluminum and steel, if it weren't for the weight difference, steel is by far the stronger of the two, especially when the assemblies are welded and not screwed.

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Old 03-03-2006, 06:34 PM   #14
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Perhaps I'm confused as well. I've never adjusted a slide so I don't know exactly what to look for. Can you explain it to me and how to adjust it if it is out of alignment?

Thanks
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Old 03-05-2006, 04:24 PM   #15
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Hello BigTrace,
I've posted photos of the side wall re-attachment and the location of the slide adjustments in the photo galleries (Motorhomes, Class A, MrTransistor). Basically, the in' and out' adjustments are set so that a good seal and alignment are achieved without driving the slide in too far or having the slide press unnecessarily hard against the wall when out. It takes two people for this, one actuating the slide switch while someone else watches the slide and sidewall. If you see the side wall flex outward when the slide reaches its end stop, then its coming out too far and the adjuster nut and outer jam nut need to be run in on the threaded rod a turn or two and tested again. The out' adjustment was the one that was so far off on our Horizon, the nut on the left in the image was within 3 or 4 threads of the end of the threaded rod. The in' adjustment is even simpler, just set it so the seal and alignment to the side is good.

I would have attached these photos to this thread but for some reason I don't seem to have that permission, or expertise (so much for Net Plus certification), and I can't figure out how to add a link here to the photo galleries.

?? Has anyone else discovered this problem, mild, severe or otherwise, with their coach ??

Thanks to all who suggested the pool noodles as a bumper guard for the edges and corners of the slides. One is visible in one of the photos. We now have 4 each, 2 feet long and they store nicely in the electrical cabinet when we travel.
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:13 PM   #16
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Thanks Mark. I'll look at mine to see if I find these points as shown in your pictures. Mine will be a bit more tricky as none of my bins show the types of screws you show in your photos. Perhaps they are buried within some panels I can access.

Thanks again.

BigTrace
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Old 03-06-2006, 02:27 AM   #17
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Hey Mr. Transistor, how hard is it to remove that horizontal trim piece that covers your screws and the compartment door hinges. I've looked at mine and frankly, I'm hesitant to start prying with a screwdriver or putty knife for fear of bending or breaking it. What's the technique? Pry from the bottom up? Use a wide putty knife? Does the trim just "clip" back on with a little push from the heel of your hand?
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Old 03-06-2006, 03:23 AM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MrTransistor:
I would have attached these photos to this thread but for some reason I don't seem to have that permission, or expertise (so much for Net Plus certification), and I can't figure out how to add a link here to the photo galleries.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Mr. Transistor,across the top of the post reply frame are several boxes with items to select. The third from the left is a URL tool where you can add a link in a post like this...Mr. Transistor's pictures The next to the last box is where you can "paste" a link and add a picture to a post like this....


As you know,simply right click on the picture and select "properties" and then "paste" the URL in the box abd hit ok....There ya have it!
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Old 03-06-2006, 11:12 AM   #19
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Hi troth,
For removing the trim see Twekes post How to Remove Storage Panel on Journey'. The screws shown in the photos are under the aluminum rail that the trim is secured to.

Thanks rebelsbeach Ill give that a try next time.
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Old 10-26-2006, 06:27 PM   #20
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Hi All,

Please be alert for side wall separation. Our left side from behind the front slide to the rear wheel well let go at about the 25,000 mile mark. I know it came on gradually but I didn't discover it until around 40,000.

The right side let go recently from the front door to the auxiliary furnace then from behind the furnace to the rear cap. Again unnoticed except for unusual squeaks, rattles, and vibrations. The final clue was compartment lights that wouldn't turn off. Looked up and there was the gap between the wall assembly and the box steel framing.

The left side took around 6 hours to disassemble, pre drill all the holes and re-secure the side with #8x1" sheet metal screws. The left side has not budged since the repair.

The right side as you can imagine took quite a bit longer. My wife Dony and I took around 14 person' hours in the front yard of my brothers house northeast of Baltimore to repair this one. Somewhere around 200 screws later, it's as tight as it'll ever be. Most of the squeaks and rattles are gone and nothing shakes on the sidewall when traveling now.

Not the kind of thing you expect to happen at 50,000 miles but I really don't think #8 self drill screws every 8 inches is the most secure design.

If anyone discovers this problem with their coach, I'd be glad to detail the repair procedure.



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