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Old 09-10-2023, 05:56 PM   #1
Winnie-Wise
 
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Fender separation in 2019 Micro Minnie 2108DS

I was poking around under my 2108DS today doing a little inspecting. I had noticed some wires drooping from the frame over my street side wheels and thought I had better check the brakes. Sure enough, my brake wires on the side had pulled from the crimp connectors (or whatever they are called -- I just asked over in the running gear forum so I can order some to fix that issue).

BUT...it turns out those wires I initially spotted had nothing to do with the brakes! They were wires drooping out from under the slide. It turns out the fender is separating from the trailer frame/floor joint. In fact, I am really starting to wonder if the fender was ever properly slid into place in that joint. I'm mainly posting as a warning to double check this on your trailers. Mine was built back in the day when there was more quality in the build (haha, yeah, I mean that in a relative way -- let's call it "rv good quality").

The first photo is the street side under the slide. Note that galvanized fender isn't in the frame. All but one screw was missing (I removed the remaining screw) as I don't think they ever really went into the frame. It's really open air up into the slide area and the gob of random "quality wiring" up there is finding its way down the opening. The second photo shows the curb side under the stove/sink and it's just fine if you look closely.

I'm not sure how I'll fix it. I tried tapping with a mallet some from one edge to see if I could coax it into the gap, but I really don't think that's going to work. Also, it's really hard to even start on this as it's tough to get those wires to want to stay put under the slide. All I need is to pinch them and short them out.
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Old 09-10-2023, 09:15 PM   #2
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Hi Todd,
I wonder if you could slide some fiberglass insulation up into the cavity to force the wires up & hold them out of the way. I would buy larger self-tapping screws, double the number of screw-points, and use Loctite. It looks like they just vibrated loose and fell-out, rather than tearing-out.
Good luck; Eagle5
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Old 09-16-2023, 05:21 PM   #3
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Well, I took a stab at fixing the fenders over the past couple of days and I managed to do it! I drove up on a block on one wheel so I could take the other wheel off, and started working the sheet metal from there. I found a putty knife worked well to help sneak it back into the slot, so I grabbed a couple more drywall knives and that did the trick. When it was half done, I re-installed the wheel and did the other one. The room to work with the wheel off was what it took to get the job done.

I pulled out the loctite, but in the end I decided to smear each screw in a little JB weld before driving it in. I'm not sure it'll help, but it made me feel better. I found the screws on the curb side were also coming out, so I gave them a little treatment too.

Yet another thing to check annually, I think.
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Old 09-16-2023, 08:04 PM   #4
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Hi Todd,
I love the idea of using the JB Weld. That stuff is the best, and I am sure it is better than the Loctite of which I was originally thinking. I bet it will stay together now.
Thanks, Eagle5
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Old 09-18-2023, 09:16 AM   #5
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Be advised - JB weld is hygroscopic. Meaning it will absorb moisture over time and eventually fail. If you use JB weld ensure you paint over it. If you can get to the parting area from the inside paint that too.
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Old 09-18-2023, 09:31 AM   #6
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I had the same problem with those fender liner screws backing out on my Micro Minnie. I tried larger self tappers, loctite, and eventually a bunch of silicon on the heads of the screws (which worked for a couple of years). Last year the silicon was failing and I lost one more screw, so I removed all the screws and replaced them with rivets.
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Old 09-18-2023, 09:49 AM   #7
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Hi jvdb,
The rivets sound like a good idea.
Welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-18-2023, 03:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jvdb View Post
I had the same problem with those fender liner screws backing out on my Micro Minnie. I tried larger self tappers, loctite, and eventually a bunch of silicon on the heads of the screws (which worked for a couple of years). Last year the silicon was failing and I lost one more screw, so I removed all the screws and replaced them with rivets.
Have the same problem, replaced a bunch of screws this spring half missing again. This last trip out found a mouse in the house under the kitchen sink. Thinking he came in here and up through the hole where the fresh water tank inlet lines enter.

Rivets are a great solution, I was considering going that route when I repair it. Is the outer fender liner (in question) supposed to be tight against whatever its attaching to?

How long of rivets were required to get the job done. Did you use 3/16" Dia. rivets as you increased the hole size via larger self tappers.

Thanks,

Lyle
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Old 09-18-2023, 04:00 PM   #9
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Close. I had a few different sizes on hand, and 5/32" seems to be what fit perfectly in the holes the larger self tapping screws left.

I actually didn't disassemble it and get a good look at what the backing is. I suspect it's thin sheet metal. The rivets didn't substantially compress the fender liner, so they must be adjacent?
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Old 09-20-2023, 02:24 PM   #10
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Close. I had a few different sizes on hand, and 5/32" seems to be what fit perfectly in the holes the larger self tapping screws left.

I actually didn't disassemble it and get a good look at what the backing is. I suspect it's thin sheet metal. The rivets didn't substantially compress the fender liner, so they must be adjacent?
Thanks, reason I asked on backing, I noticed my screws caused a little indent too.
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Old 09-21-2023, 06:09 AM   #11
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Using aluminum rivets to fasten steel, especially in high moisture areas will subject the rivets to galvanic corrosion, and early failure. Best to use steel self tapping screws and red loctite.
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Old 09-21-2023, 12:01 PM   #12
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Using aluminum rivets to fasten steel, especially in high moisture areas will subject the rivets to galvanic corrosion, and early failure. Best to use steel self tapping screws and red loctite.
You can get Stainless Steel rivets!
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Old 09-21-2023, 12:49 PM   #13
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You can get Stainless Steel rivets!
I'll have to keep that in mind if they eventually start failing. I'd still choose rivets. I don't like the idea of screws in my (or someone else's) tires. I cleaned (with brake cleaner) and loctited the hell out of those self tappers. They just continuously backed out on me.
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Old 09-21-2023, 01:44 PM   #14
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I'll have to keep that in mind if they eventually start failing. I'd still choose rivets. I don't like the idea of screws in my (or someone else's) tires. I cleaned (with brake cleaner) and loctited the hell out of those self tappers. They just continuously backed out on me.
You might try putting some Lexel on the threads, pretty good holding power! Loc-tite won't work because it needs to be sealed from air.
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Old 09-21-2023, 02:06 PM   #15
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You might try putting some Lexel on the threads, pretty good holding power! Loc-tite won't work because it needs to be sealed from air.
If you read my earlier post, I put a ton of silicon on the screw heads, and that did work for a couple of years. It looks like Lexel would be an improvement. I have no experience with that adhesive.
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:50 PM   #16
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My earlier post was addressing the use of aluminum rivets. It is always advisable to use similar alloys when fastening materials in high moisture areas, especially in areas subjected to road spray. In the rust belt, we are exposed to road salt which is not limited to just the winter as it dries on the road surface and is rehydrated after every shoulder season rain storm. We travel to Florida every year around late March, and it's frightening how much rust occurs in one trip if the underside is not flushed immediately. Galvanic corrosion excellerates the process.

Rivets are probably the best long term solution, however use steel rivets rather than aluminum, better yet use galvanized rivets. I'm not sure if they can be installed with your typical DIY TruTemper pop rivet tool, but I think you can find a solution on the interwebs if you're set on using rivets. I do spend a lot of time before and after trips, inspecting the TT for loose fasteners, tightening and/or replacing them. It is what it is.
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