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Old 07-15-2019, 05:37 PM   #1
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Smile A214HW windows don't latch and water mystery

We just took our rig on a 6000 mile trip. Had a great time. One thing I noticed however is that only one window latches closed; the other two will not latch at all and the latch gets "close" to the groove in the window frame but will not engage. Is this common? Are the channels adjustable so that I can fix that? I don't like popping up only to find the windows have slid open when I wanted them closed.

Also, we were driving during a torrential rain storm near the SD border in ID and when we parked at our camp in Rapid City we found water all over the floor that looks like it came from under the fridge. I seem to remember reading a post about this happening to someone else but I don't remember the solution.

The A-frame worked great on the entire trip except for these two issues. And we averaged 17.8 MPG towing with our V6 Tacoma at 60 MPH. Beats the pants off the 9 MPG of our last rig with the same truck.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:56 PM   #2
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Well,I figured out the windows at least. The channels of the windows are too tight on the ends to allow the windows to fully seat. This prevents the latch from lining up correctly with the slot in the metal vertical brace.

I used a flat screwdriver to gently widen the slot until the window would slide in with only mild resistance and the latch lined up perfectly.

Looking at the slot it appears that the windows might have been overtorqued at the factory causing the warping in the channel. At least they are fixed now.

Still haven't figured out how water splashed up into the TT while driving in a rainstorm. I did find some dampness in the lower refrigerator compartment behind the grill but there is a drain there and it isn't blocked in any way.

Any ideas?
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TrailerTexan View Post
Well,I figured out the windows at least. The channels of the windows are too tight on the ends to allow the windows to fully seat. This prevents the latch from lining up correctly with the slot in the metal vertical brace.

I used a flat screwdriver to gently widen the slot until the window would slide in with only mild resistance and the latch lined up perfectly.

Looking at the slot it appears that the windows might have been overtorqued at the factory causing the warping in the channel. At least they are fixed now.

Still haven't figured out how water splashed up into the TT while driving in a rainstorm. I did find some dampness in the lower refrigerator compartment behind the grill but there is a drain there and it isn't blocked in any way.

Any ideas?
I have a new A213 which has the same configuration as you on the outside. I've driven through at least 14 hours of really heavy rain on the highway and had no issues with water in the camper. I've seen a few threads on this site that mention something similar to what you state. They suspected water coming in through the vents. I would check how much clamp load you have holding down the roof and dormer sections. Make sure there is a lot of compression on the gaskets. Check for any gaps on all sides where the rubber seal sits. Also check that the roof ventilation fan is fully closed and locked closed. You might check the gasket and seals around the fan. Worse case, I think you might be able to open the lower section of the door before the roof and dormer is fully secured. Leave this open and then secure the roof and dormer up the same way you would when traveling. Then crawl inside the camper and have someone blast the camper with water from a hose. You'll be able to do this on the left side. On the right side where the door is you'll need to be careful not spraying the water inside the open door. Maybe this helps you see where the water is getting in. Just some thoughts. I hope it helps.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:54 PM   #4
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All good suggestions. I have checked the clamp load and I don't think that was it. One thing to note is that when we opened the door we saw the water before I raised the walls. We looked carefully at the folded walls and door at that time to see where the water might have come from before moving anything (comes from my engineering background to disturb nothing until fully investigated).

The folded walls were "bone dry" as well as the inside of the roof and top of the sink/stove cabinet. Once I folded up the walls we looked everywhere to see if any lower walls or the microwave cabinet was wet. All were dry except the floor starting in front of the refrigerator and running back toward the bed. The floor under the table and in the entryway were dry; it was only wet from the refrigerator to the cool cat.

While my wife dried that up I inspected the vents to see if that was the culprit.

Our towing setup has the front of the trailer slightly elevated from the truck hitch a degree or so because of the adjustment holes in the coupler. The bolt hole beneath the one I use causes the trailer to tilt down about 5 degrees and the one I used has it "almost" level with a small tilt up. My WDH can't compensate enough to level it in the lower hole. The WDH lets it tilt down about a degree when the chains aren't connected and it tilts up about a degree once the chains are secured. That means I really don't need the WDH but I already had it from my previous trailer and it stops sway so the slight tilt up is OK. A bubble level is still "in the lines" when I'm on level ground. The tilt is negligible however it would help explain why it starts at the middle of the refrigerator and runs backward.

No sign of water in the front compartment but some dampness was found on the wall between the exterior refrigerator compartment and the furnace towards the center of the trailer when viewed with the vent off. This makes me think it did come in through the lower vent since it was wet on the floor behind the refrigerator and on this wall at that corner. None of the refrigerator components were wet and the flame was still on so it had to be low on the vent when it came in.

My question is more what was done to prevent it by people who have seen this before or do I have to live with it.

Our previous trailer had a mysterious leak that only happened twice during two torrential rainstorms with high winds over a 16 year period. I never found the true source although I suspected the water heater vent taking on water. The irony is that both times it happened were during different years at the Amarillo KOA so we eventually decided the trailer didn't like that park

Never happened again. So maybe this trailer doesn't like Rapid City? LOL.
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