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Old 11-28-2021, 06:17 PM   #1
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Winnebago Wall Cabinet Repair Help

Does anyone know how these are held together? I tried clamping this back together but after one trip it is separating again. There is very little weight stored in this cabinet so it is not over loaded, I just need to understand how it is held together, what holds it to the wall and what to do in order to fix it, woodworking is not my biggest skill but I can usually figure things out. Any help appreciated.
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Old 11-28-2021, 06:33 PM   #2
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I pulled it apart a bit more and you can see where the framing was stapled to the 1x2 that is attached to the wall and it came apart. It was stapled before the brushed aluminum trim piece was installed and I don't know how that comes off. I tried pulling on it but it didn't move and I don't want to damage anything. The lower skin un the underside has also dropped away, it may have been stapled up with tiny staples thru the finished surface. If I can't remove the aluminum trim perhaps I can drill and countersink some screws right thru it into the side piece, they won't show when the doors are closed. Everything is so small and fragile I have to think this out so I don't make it worse. I suspect this cabinet may have been overloaded with canned goods by a previous owner.
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Old 11-29-2021, 05:50 PM   #3
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So since I could not remove the brushed aluminum trim piece I first removed the failed staples then fastened the bottom outside piece up with small wood screws from underneath. Once I did that the two pieces of 1x2 were lined up properly and I slipped a small framing bracket in there and fastened the corner together with more of the small wood screws. I believe it is stronger now than factory but seeing what these are made of and how they are held together I can see it doesn't take much weight while bouncing down the road to break them loose. Anyway maybe this will help someone in the future.
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Old 11-29-2021, 06:53 PM   #4
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Great job! I might have added some some wood glue to the corner, but looking at your repair you probably won't need it.
Do you have any issues with the gas pistons holding up the doors? I've got 2 or 3 that are weak and I haven't found a replacement yet.
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Old 11-29-2021, 07:05 PM   #5
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I thought about wood glue but it would have been tough to get any in there. When I got my rig most of the cabinet doors would not stay up on their own so I replaced all the shocks with these https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...0?ie=UTF8&th=1
They are the exact same ones used by Winnebago. That is not saying a lot though, the doors do stay up on their own now but the shocks do not seem the greatest quality and I don't know how long they will last. I would not want to use anything too strong as they would probably break where they fasten. When the door is open you can still lift it an additional 2" or so but it won't stay there, it will settle back down when you let go, not really a problem as they stay open plenty far enough just makes the shocks feel weak and cheap. Time will tell. Like I said a stronger one would probably cause damage.

On a side note the reviews are good.
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Old 11-29-2021, 07:25 PM   #6
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Thanks.......I don't know how I missed them. I'll get some on order.

One other thing is to check the screws in your door hinges.....I had the three screws on top snap the heads off. Replaced them with stainless steel. Also found that the other screws were loose, soooo be warned
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Old 11-29-2021, 07:30 PM   #7
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Thanks will do. Do you have a 25Q?
I've done so many repairs and upgrades I can't remember them all, a lot was Winnebago poor workmanship but some were design improvements like the fridge, it needed a lot of work to make it function as best it can.
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Old 11-29-2021, 07:58 PM   #8
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Yep..... a 25Q. We love it because it fits our travel style, one to three nights at a location, easy to drive (wife likes driving it), economical and perfect for two people.

And I agree that WB could do better. But from what I've determined it's no worse than any other brand, and better than some newer brands.

I thought I had it in great shape before our last trip but had to do emergency surgery on the refer, wouldn't run on propane. So, the night before, in the rain, I had to open up the burner and discovered both wires to the burner were almost broken and rusted poor connections. Clean up the connections and put on new connectors and haven't had a problem with it since!!

Seems like it always something!!
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Old 11-30-2021, 08:11 AM   #9
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Exact same thing happened to us in NM. Power at campground went out and fridge wouldn't work, found connection to thermocouple badly corroded and heat damaged from proximity to coils. Got it working enough to get home then replaced with gold plated connectors and covered with heat shielding.
I did major upgrades to the fridge including a Fridge Defend, extra cooling fans on condenser and at top vent, sheet metal to eliminate square "air trap" at top of outside compartment, additional 1" of foam board on wall behind fridge to reduce space per Dometic instructions (forces air thru condenser instead of around it), sealed around opening from exterior to interior which Winnebago screwed up as air and dust were leaking into coach, ran #8s direct from battery gaining 2 volts and 35% more watts in 12 volt mode, repaired and re-einforced top door hinge which is cheap thin plastic and ovals out causing loose door fit, added a gas flue extractor kit so when on propane hot gasses vent directly to the outside instead of rising up thru the condenser and venting inside the outside compartment (Dometic instructions do not allow this but Winnebago and others do it anyway), Fridge is now functioning as well as an absorption fridge can.
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Old 11-30-2021, 09:35 AM   #10
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Almost forgot, the floor where the fridge sits is too short causing the back feet to hang over which results in the fridge being tipped back about 1/4" so even if Winnebago had installed the seal on the correct surface (which they didn't) it wouldn't have made contact all the way around. Fixed it by adding two adhesive furniture leg pads further in so original feel still hang off edge but fridge stays level and tight against weatherstripping that I applied to the correct edge where it would actually touch the fridge and seal the gap!
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Old 11-30-2021, 11:18 AM   #11
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Jeeez, more projects.
Wife had the refer door open when I stopped going down a slope and it slipped out of her hand......broke away from the fridge and was laying on the floor. Used super glue to glue the pieces I found around the pin hinge and it got us home. Took the door off, cleaned out the plastic pieces and packed the corner of the door with JB steel putty and re drilled the hole. If it eggs out I'll re drill the hole and add a metal sleeve.
I'm really interested in how you addressed the vent between the micro and refer. Not only wind and dirt coming through, but LP smell from the propane refer when driving and when the wind is right going down the road. Been switch to 12 volt while driving so I will need to look at increasing the wire gauge in order to raise voltage.
Like your other mods also, but think my refer is level.....I'll have to take a closer look.
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Old 11-30-2021, 01:03 PM   #12
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We must think alike, I filled in the whole hollow section with JB Weld but first placed a #10 machine screw wrapped in thread tape to save the hole for the hinge pin. Then I used a piece of plastic straw from a box juice drink and pressed it into the hole as a sort of bushing and the whole thing fits tightly in the hole. I used the plastic bushing because I was unsure how the JB Weld would hold up to repeated motion without wearing away. The pin now rotates in the plastic bushing instead of on the JB Weld.
On my fridge they installed the weatherstripping on the wrong edge of the wood so it was useless and left a 1/4" gap all the way around especially since the fridge was sitting off level. Once I addressed the levelness I applied new weatherstrip to the face of the wood stop that faces the back of the fridge, not the edge like they did at the factory.
To see if yours is off level open the lower outside vent and see if the rear feet are hanging over. If so the fridge will be resting on the shelf with no gap underneath. You can also see it if you look up and down the edge of the cabinet on the inside. Once level it created a new 1/4" gap underneath which I fixed by pressing round foam backing in. Before putting the fridge back I insulated both walls and the top.
For the flue gasses I installed a flue gas extractor kit from ebay, https://www.ebay.com/itm/17452501366...QaAu3oEALw_wcB Dometic clearly states in the installation manual that a flue gas extractor must be used in all installations.
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Old 11-30-2021, 01:14 PM   #13
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Here is a pic of the outside with the flue vent. I have pictures and a write up I can send you later, I also have Dometic manuals on pdf. Since I retired right at the start of Covid I had a lot of time to get this rig in top shape both chassis and coach.
Another benefit of the flue vent is that it gets the hot gases outside instead of rising up thru the condenser since the chimney location is right beneath the condenser. I had some Kaowool left over from a forge build and I wrapped the pipe with it to eliminate the heat in the compartment and where it passes thru the coach wall
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Old 12-01-2021, 06:08 PM   #14
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Thanks! I would appreciate the pic's and write up. We didn't really have a problem with the refer after I repaired the wiring but I'm always looking for ways to improve performance!
Larry
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Old 12-01-2021, 10:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lov2roam View Post
Great job! I might have added some some wood glue to the corner, but looking at your repair you probably won't need it.
Do you have any issues with the gas pistons holding up the doors? I've got 2 or 3 that are weak and I haven't found a replacement yet.

I once had a couple weak door supports (technically they're not shocks or gas struts, just a simple steel spring inside the tube. My Winnebago dealer's service department had a jar of those on their parts counter. That leads me to believe the springs weaken over time. They're very easy to replace, but if you have a wobbly screw into the face frame, just replace it with a longer one or a slightly larger diameter.
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:37 AM   #16
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While on the subject of cabinets in the Via, my wife and I are both tall and the first thing I did after hitting my head sideways on one of the front cab cabinet door handles the very day we brought the rig home I took them off and later replaced them with these. It's very easy to hit one sideways when getting up from your seat and moving sideways and believe me it hurt big time and I had a lump there for days after. The PO had pool noodle pieces in the cabinet that they must have used but I like my solution much better.
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Old 12-02-2021, 08:49 AM   #17
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Larry, here is a link to a thread over at Sprintersource, I joined in on page 2 post #30 and subsequent posts show all my improvements. Some important things I did different than the others were the large, slow speed fans at the top vent, I did not want high speed aggressive fans like some because I am only trying to aid natural convection, a higher speed fan would cause turbulence and mess with the smooth, natural flow. I also installed 1" foam on the back wall which brings the clearance required by Dometic to the proper amount, which Winnebago paid no attention to. The heavy wiring upgrade to the 12 volt side was also something I didn't see anyone else do as 12 volt performance leaves a lot to be desired on this fridge. (Look at the link in my post #52 on the Sprintersource thread to see what I mean about the rear wall clearance and the 12 volt wiring) Keep in mind I live in a hot climate although most everywhere has hot summers so you may find in the summer yours is not up to the job like I did. Here is the link, you may need to register in order to view the pics: https://sprinter-source.com/forums/i...threads/61435/
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Old 12-02-2021, 04:58 PM   #18
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Thx akeagle, I'll have some on hand!
Bigb, you shouldn't be drinking in the drivers seat!!
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Old 12-05-2021, 06:51 PM   #19
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I hate most of the poor quality and workmanship of my 22 year old MH. I have fixed or modified almost everything on it. One cabinet I hate the most is by my exit door where I have drawn blood many times. The other is the cabinet over the front seat that almost jump out to smack you head. Not even going to list the 30 other things that broke or did not work as expected or anything about the stupid design of the roof channels, rusted front glass frame with glass perches that rot out to allow it to crack and crack and crack or the vacuum hoses that rot and disappear to control the dash air and heat. just junk.
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Old 12-05-2021, 09:22 PM   #20
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The cabinets are made using stress skin construction to keep the weight down so that the chassis will have enough capacity left to be able to store items in the cabinets.

In a Winnebago the inner top and bottom panels are installed after the cabinets are hung on the walls and attached to metal plates built into the wall structure specifically for the cabinets so any repair usually involves gently removing the false top and bottom panels inside the cabinets which are usually a 1/8 inch chip board panel held in with small brad nails and no glue otherwise you would not be able to easily repair them or access the wiring run inside them for lights, speakers, etc. The end panels may be hollow with similar frames or may have foam board inside them to make them stronger without adding significant weight.

The on-line parts diagrams at Winnebago's website can be a great help plus if you call Winnebago Customer Support and explain nicely what you are trying to accomplish most often they will send you out measured architectural drawings showing how things are built and installed.

I was trained as a cabinet maker and the construction really is not that bad considering the weight constraints they have to accommodate to give you storage capacity while not consuming all the available load capacity of the chassis and then still leave you with the ability to drive down the road with passengers.

Heavy items really should not be stored in those cabinets since you don't want them flying about in an emergency nor do you want your coach top heavy.
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