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Old 09-18-2021, 06:50 PM   #181
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mebden View Post
Just curious if the screws are just loose has anyone just removed the screws and then drilled out and put the bolts thru the exact same holes?
Looks to me like they used #10 drill point screws, that don't have anywhere near the shear strength of a structural screw or appropriate bolt.
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Old 09-19-2021, 09:20 AM   #182
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Where did you put jack to raise wall?

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Originally Posted by Interacsol View Post
Update:

I completed repairs today. All of the self-drilling screws installed at the factory (3 on the driver's side and 5 on the passenger side) had sheared. I have never driven on anything but paved roads, BTW.

Using the technique described by the OP, I installed 9 stainless through-bolts on the driver's side and 12 on the passenger's side. I had to use a 12-ton hydraulic jack to raise the passenger-side wall back up into place. I also used 50 #14 self-drilling screws to reinforce every place I could find where the sidewall met the floor or firewall bulkhead. The whole project took about 10 hours.

I took it for a test drive today and it felt solid as a rock -- there was also much less body sway when pulling out of parking lots, etc. All squeaks, rattles, and groans have disappeared too. This is how it should leave the factory.

I had concerns about the wall/floor joint last year, before my warranty expired. I described the noise I was hearing to my local dealer and, after a "thorough inspection" they informed me that I was hearing the fire extinguisher by the door squeaking and rattling. One year later the entire front end my coach was close to collapsing to the ground.

To see if your coach has this problem, drive 25-30 mph and pulse the brakes in a rythm to gently bounce the front end up and down on the suspension. Watch the floor/sidewall intersection ahead of the passenger's seat and by your left ankle. My sidewall was moving up and down 1 inch relative to the floor.

This project gave me glimpse of the overall quality of construction. The materials are fine for this level of the market but there was no pride in the workmanship. I won't go into details but I'm not impressed.
Hey Interacsol I'm just curious where did you put the jack at to raise the wall up? And did you use the any of the existing holes where the self tappers were at or did you drill all new holes? also did you remove both seats to do the job and did you just use hole saw to get at bolts to put the nuts on? thanks any clarification appreciated
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Old 10-04-2021, 06:41 PM   #183
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I have the same question, and haven't seen a reply as to where to put the jack.
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Old 10-12-2021, 09:54 PM   #184
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Jacking up wall

I completed the wall repair on my 2013 329 DS. The only answer that I couldn't get from this thread was how to jack the wall back up into place.

I cut two 2x4's to fit the space between the rear of the wheel well and the bottom of the door by the steps. On my camper there is a curved piece of trim that stuck out below the bottom of the wall. I 45'ed one of the edges of the 2x4 so that it would fit against the curved inside edge of the trim below the wall. I place the second 2x4 on the jack with a towel between it and the bottom of the trim. This kept the bottom aluminum trim from bending under the pressure. I jacked it up very slowly listening for cracks. I was able to get the wall to within about an 1/8th of an inch from where it belonged. Luckily the only thing that happened was that the wall bowed out about an inch between the steps and the door frame.

After the wall was jack up I used 1/4" drill bit to drill through the wall and and then changed to a long (probably 12") 1/4" drill bit that I bought at Lowes to punch through the back side of the square tubing. The total thickness of the wall and the frame is about 3 1/2" but with the wall bowed out by the door the 4" bolt was a little too short to reach by the door, so I ended up starting from the front of the RV and worked my way back to the door.

I drilled 7 holes spaced 8 inches apart. I used 1/4" x 4" stainless steel bolts with a tapered head with a washer, nut, and then a Teflon locking nut backing up the first. I have Grade 8 bolts ordered and will replace the stainless steel when they come in.

There were 5 original bolts all of which were sheared off.
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Old 10-13-2021, 12:33 PM   #185
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Wow, nice description! I think you just helped everyone who will experience this issue in the future.

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There were 5 original bolts all of which were sheared off.
You wrote "bolts". Were they actually bolts, which implies nuts on the other end, or were they self-tapping screws?

Have you pulled the trim on the other side and checked those yet?

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Old 10-13-2021, 01:10 PM   #186
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NXR,

I used bolts (threaded to the end) with a tapered head, so that I could counter sink them flush. I drilled through the 1 1/2 " tubing frame with an extended drill bit and double nutted the bolt. I'm thinking that a self tapping screw only goes through one side of the tubing, and the weight of the wall and the vibration equal the failed factory issue. I'm hoping that by going through the tube and putting nuts will help prevent some of the vibration.

I haven't pulled the trim on the other side, because the trim on my RV is a two piece all aluminum trim. The top piece of trim actually locks into the bottom track. I had to use a multitool with a metal cutting blade to slice the top piece down the middle and then pop it out. I did visually inspect the drivers side, and everything still looks tight. Now that I know how to do the fix I'll keep the supplies with me in case it becomes an issue on the road, but I'm hoping for the best.

I had originally brought my RV to a local repair facility, because I didn't want to mess up the trim, and figured they would know how to take it apart. I received a call from them saying that they were going to have to order the trim, but that I could pick up the RV for a trip that I was going on, and bring it back to them when the trim came in. I was told that they had temporally fixed the wall, and that it was good for the trip. When I arrived to pick up the camper they had tried prying the trim apart, and screwed it back on as a temporary fix. Basically what I was trying to prevent.

We were surprised when my wife could stick her hand in the crack on our drive to Orlando. I ended up doing most of the repair at the campground, and finishing it up at home.
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Old 10-13-2021, 01:45 PM   #187
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NXR,

Sorry, just reread your question. I think the factory used a self tapping screw as it only goes into the outer side of the frame and not the back side, but that's just a guess.
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Old 10-13-2021, 07:22 PM   #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n1acguy
Looks to me like they used #10 drill point screws, that don't have anywhere near the shear strength of a structural screw or appropriate bolt.
That question, at least for 2019 and later model years, was answered by an FR salesperson recently: https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ml#post2638802

Sorry for the delay as I was getting info on the screws we currently use. Here is what I found out....

We are still using the 1/4-20 self tapping screw. This screw has a Tensile rating of 4,275 pounds and a Shear rating of 2,700 pounds. In our current floor plans we have anywhere between 24 to 40 screws that goes into 1.5" steel tubing we have banding the steel trusses together.

So, I dug a little deeper! If you take our GT7 36K7 for example, the weight of the wall with the roof load and everything attached to that wall is about 1,500 pounds. IF I understand how the Shear rating works.... that leaves about 1,200 of Shear pounds to break just one screw! Plus the fact we have at least 24 screws in our smallest floor plan. I'm not an engineer and don't pretend to be but I feel our current screw goes above and beyond.

As for the screw we used in 2006 - 2018... I couldn't find out any information on how many we used, Tensile or Shear ratings. Sorry you had this issue! Hope this helps? Safe travels


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Old 10-13-2021, 09:15 PM   #189
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Block to place in between the bottom of the wall and trim

This is the 2x4 that I knocked off the edge to fit in between the bottom of the wall and the rounded aluminum trim. Once I took off one of the edges it fit perfectly, and allowed me to jack up the wall without bending the trim. Nothing fancy.
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Old 10-21-2021, 11:00 AM   #190
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NXR - The FR sales person that gave you the shear #'s for the bolt/screw is correct. There is plenty of strength for shear. The problem isn't shear as much as vibration of the bolt/screw rubbing against the metal of it's hole in the frame's tubbing. The metal frame against the bolt/screw is chewing (sawing) through the bolt/screw, or at least removing enough material to make it weak enough to shear. In short, the bolt/screw isn't snapping from the weight of the wall, it's being sawed through by the tubing. The only possible fix is going to a harder material like a grade 8 bolt/screw.
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Old 11-20-2021, 09:36 AM   #191
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More than one area that needs addressing.
I partially had a sidewall failure. My sidewall frame appears to be attached on top of the frame. Not on the side of the chassis frame. But, I still have the sidewall frame bolts breaking. I started under the hood then decided to remove the trim pieces on the side where I found more bolt issues.

Here is my story I wrote up on another forum.

The bolts that either broke or were loose is where the side frame attaching to the plate that attaches to the chassis.

Here are some pics.

I will attempt to add a video to my YouTube channel that can better explain where the issue is.

Here is my story and temporary fix.

We traveled to Denver from Whitehouse Texas. 900 miles. Leaving home, I had the famous snap and pop. It was getting worse and now air and light was coming into the cab at both the driver and passengers' floor where it meets the firewall/sidewall.

When we arrived, I looked under the hood and noticed a gap where I mentioned. These screws were not broken but were sliding in its drilled hole, causing it to rub loudly or pop in and out of the hole. This noise was really noticeable while driving and bouncing up and down on bumpy parts of the road. I purchased four stainless steel self-drilling bolts from Lowes. I predrilled a few holes and then secured it with said bolts. I secured the sidewall frame to the "firewall" frame.

On the way home not one pop or creak was heard, nor was any air coming into the cab.

After arriving back home I removed my outside trim pieces (Not hard to do) that cover up the sidewall bolts to the chassis frame. Six bolts on the passenger side had two broken in half and two stripped. The driver side had three stripped and two broken.

Since I cannot find replacement bolts, I will be replacing them with self-tapping stainless-steel screws when they arrive.

The first pic is of the drivers side and the second is the passenger side. As you can see the factory installed bolts are still there but they appear to be sliding in its hole cause the noise. I just added more bolts to bring the sidewall frame and chassis frame together. There was at least a 1/2" gap.Click image for larger version

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Old 11-20-2021, 10:08 AM   #192
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Thanks for adding your fix. I hadn't thought of trying to screw the wall from the underside as a temporary fix. What size and length self tapping bolts did you use? I only had to repair my passengers side. Think I'll pick up a few self tapping bolts to throw into the toolbox in case my drivers side has an issue on the road.
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Old 11-20-2021, 10:48 AM   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff DeRouen View Post
Thanks for adding your fix. I hadn't thought of trying to screw the wall from the underside as a temporary fix. What size and length self tapping bolts did you use? I only had to repair my passengers side. Think I'll pick up a few self tapping bolts to throw into the toolbox in case my drivers side has an issue on the road.
Here is what I used.
I first predrilled an ⅛" hole then a 3/16" hole. It really facilitated an easy screw install. Four dollars a bag with 5 screws. Very strong bolts. Click image for larger version

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Old 11-21-2021, 08:44 PM   #194
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I recently repaired this issue on the passenger side. All the self-taping screws from the door forward and up the firewall to the windshield were either broken off or pulled out. I replaced them with 5/16 x 5" machine bolts. Had to reuse a few of the original self-tappers on the upper regions of the firewall due to the limited access for turning nuts on a bolt. The self-tapping screws appeared to fail generally because of rust getting in the threads weakens and then allows them to pull out. Then movement of the wall shears the bolts. My driver's side appears to be intact. If my repair fails, I'll repeat with larger bolts. The following link has pictures with descriptions. https://www.evernote.com/shard/s286/...30c9f3c3b2b113
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Old 11-27-2021, 12:05 PM   #195
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Great writeup rjohnso3a.
That is what happened to ours. I will also have to take off the molding up to the lower windshield. The original screws were either broken or stripped.
Thanks again.
Bob
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Old 01-09-2022, 07:12 PM   #196
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God I love this forum. My 2008 GeorgeTown 350 is having this exact problem. Sidewall gap on passenger side. Now at least I know how to fix it. Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-02-2022, 02:56 PM   #197
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Thank you for all the help. Just completed the fix on our 2015 Georgetown 328. We used 3/8 grade eight bolts, maybe bigger is better? Six on passenger side and 3 on driver side. The front had dropped about 1/2 in. We had trouble removing the trim strip. Is there a tool you get to make that easier. Thanks
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Old 02-02-2022, 05:12 PM   #198
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