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Old 03-07-2011, 06:46 PM   #1
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Fixing a Loose Grab Rail

I have 2005 Sierra Fifth Wheel. The grab rail near the door is loose. I can't simply tighten it as the screws are rusted out and stripped.

Given that this is an aluminum framed trailer what do the screws actually bight into? Is fixing the problem as simple as using a larger guage Tek screw?
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:31 PM   #2
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The grab rail will be mounted to either wooden backing block within the laminated wall for that specific purpose or the aluminum frame. You should be able to remounted with larger screws. I've had to do this a couple of times with the awning lower arm brackets.

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Old 03-08-2011, 04:05 PM   #3
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Thanks Dave,

Based on what I can see through the hole in the outer fiberglass it looks like it might be a block of wood. If it was purely into aluminum I think the hole would look cleaner than it does. I see debris that looks like rust-stained sawdust.

I suspect the wood block is now quite deteriorated due to the water getting in past the loose mounting.

I think what I'll do is find an epoxy wood filler and inject it into the wood block to reconstruct it and I'll probably also refill the outer fibreglass holes with a fibreglass filler as these look enlarged and cracked around the edges by the screws pulling out.

Hopefully if I do that then redrill the fibreglass and wood block the grab rail will remount securely to the original location!
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:23 PM   #4
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let me know how it turns out. i have a lower awning bracket that did the same thing on the front of the trailer; mounted to a wood back that has decayed. i put caulk in it and put the screw back in just to hold it until i got home. my fix is going to be to go in from the bottom and replace wood. i don't think that option is open to u.
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:08 PM   #5
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Hi Jim,

I think replacing the wood would be the optimal solution, but for me that would be a very major task.

I've heard very good things about the new generation of epoxy wood fillers particularly this one: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

I'll let you know how it turns out...
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:28 PM   #6
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went to the link. that really looks promising. after u make ur repair, let us know. my pull on rail has a little slack now. i'll have to put it on my list to repair.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:47 PM   #7
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We have a 2006 Wildwood trailer and a fellow camper told us we should check the water heater and replace the anode bar? How do I know what moder water heater we have? We bought the trailer used and got no manuals with it.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kathycad View Post
We have a 2006 Wildwood trailer and a fellow camper told us we should check the water heater and replace the anode bar? How do I know what moder water heater we have? We bought the trailer used and got no manuals with it.
Cathy, generally the zinc rod is accessible from the external heater access panel and looks like a drain plug low down in the center of the tank face. Note that water will gush when you remove it unless you have drained the tank previously. Replace the rod if the zinc electrode looks very pitted and corroded.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:33 PM   #9
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went to the link. that really looks promising. after u make ur repair, let us know. my pull on rail has a little slack now. i'll have to put it on my list to repair.
Will do. Its my first job this weekend!
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