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Old 06-18-2012, 06:56 PM   #1
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Exclamation How To Repair Georgetown side wall failure

Well i never thought this could happen. While driving this weekend I noticed my dashboard seemed to be bouncing more than it should be? Imagine my surprise when I looked over to the passenger sidewall and saw the wall moving up and down with every bump or roll in the road. The sidewall was completely free of the frame. The next exit had a lowes so I pulled in, took the trim off the side and tried to unscrew the bolts. They were all free spinning and I could only get one out. There were six bolts from the front of the cab to the door, all them sheared off. The most surprising thing to me is the size screws they use, 1/4x20 self tapping screws counter sunk through the fiberglass framing into the chassis frame. I feel that is much to small to support a wall with no interior support. I guess I am upgrading. 2008 georgetown 350tsse.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy

You don't have fiberglass framing but aluminum framing.
So what you are saying is the inner wall on the passenger side came loose from the frame in the wall.
So now what are you going to do?
I would consider wht the motorhome is making the walls shake and come loose. What type of roads do yo drive?
When was the tires balanced or rotated especially on the right side.
Are you the original owner?
How many miles on the rig?

Like to hear more.
I didn't think I would have to explain that there is aluminum framing in the sidewall. Fiberglass framing? Never heard of it.
I am saying the sidewall interior & exterior have fallen off the chassis and was hanging in the wind. It was moving at least 3 to 4 inches. When I crawled under to see what was happening the wall had dropped about an inch. The door trim even popped off.
I feel like it should be carriage bolted thru the frame with at least 3/8". That is what I intend on doing.
Original owner, from new.
12,000 miles
Southeast PA. If u don't live in the area I can't explain how crappy the roads are in this part of the country. Still no excuse in my opinion.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:02 AM   #3
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Ripped the floor out 12" from the sidewall and exposed the floor frame. Next I will have to jack the sidewall up to the original location and then drill through the wall and the frame and bolt it together. Using 3/8x16x5"stainless steel machine head phillips screws with stainless steel nylocks nuts. My countersink bit showed up yesterday but it is 103 degrees in PA. so I am in a holding pattern. By the way I am doing both the passengers side and the drivers side. I will also replace the existing carpet with 12x12 vinyl tiles. I have already done this up to the drivers cockpit. I will post some photos soon.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:01 PM   #4
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Got the floor opened all the way today. I choose to hole saw the drivers side to access the frame. It was alot easier. Good solid frame work. Nice job there. Bolts on the driver side already are rusted. Glad I choose the stainless steel. You can see the screws I used next to factory.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:49 AM   #5
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Finished up the interior and exterior yesterday. Since we primarily use our camper for motocross racing 20+ weekends a year.I decided to use interlocking garage tiles for the cockpit. I have already replaced that crappy carpet in the lining area with the vinyl tiles u see in the photo. Just have a little trim work left to do.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:54 PM   #6
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Great thread and very informative.
The photos really tell the story.
Thanks for sharing.

I'm wondering about the thread title--- just Alert doesn't do it
justice.
What should we call it so others will be able to find it when needed.

Georgetown wall to frame bolts sheared?
Something else??
Let's come up with an informative title and I'll edit to change it.

Thanks again for the photos. They really make this post worth reading!
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:54 PM   #7
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Same Problem -- Sidewall Coming Loose

I have a 2009 GTA350 TSSE Diesel with 16K miles. I am facing the same problem although my wall has not come completely off yet.

On a recent trip to the Oregon Coast, I noticed that the dash seemed to move up and down with respect to the rest structure I see from the driver's seat. At first I thought it was my imagination. As I paid more attention, I could definitely tell that it looked like the whole front end was "bouncing up and down" over bumps or heaves in the road -- the dash is not moving.

I can also see a gap of .25" appear and disappear between my dashboard and the side wall.

Then, I started getting a loud (startling) metallic bang during right turns that I can literally feel with my hand on the sidewall. It sounds like someone hitting the inside wall, under the floor and above the left front wheel, with a hammer. Though I suspected a body problem, I took it to the Freightliner service center last week to make sure that there was nothing going on with the suspension or steering since the noise seems to come from under my left foot when driving.

On inspection today, I found the same woefully inadquate self-tapping screws that the OP mentioned. In the coming days, I will be performing the OP's mod plus adding some additional structural support in left front corner.

I know I bought an entry-level coach but this is ridiculous. Although I have been satisfied with the coach in general and the Freightliner/Cummins chassis in particular, I have lost confidence in the fundamental quality of the construction and I will be trading it on a Tiffen Allegro or Phaeton diesel pusher bunkhouse.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:03 PM   #8
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I noticed the same problem in my 2011 327 on the driver's side. There was lots of squeaking when driving and when I looked at the attachment from the wheel well, I saw that there was over 1/4" between the sidewall and the frame. I could see the threads on the frontmost screw holding the wall to the frame. The dealer repaired this under the factory warranty by replacing the first screw with a bolt and retightening the next 5 screws moving towards the rear of the coach.

The passenger side squeaks too now but doesn't show any space between the sidewall and the frame. This problem was reported before the expiration of the factory warranty and I expect to get it fixed later this year when we return home.

Phil
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:24 PM   #9
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Same Problem -- Sidewall Coming Loose

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.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:38 AM   #10
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I'm courious if anyone has contacted FR about this problem or reported it to anyone? There was a recall for a loose piece of trim under the main slides earlier but the whole body coming loose due to poor choice of fasteners and the lack of them as well is a way more serious problem. If enough were reported it may lead to at least an inspection of the fasteners at FR expense.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2011George.360 View Post
I purchased a new 2011 George 360. Hope I don't have that issue. You coming to the FROG rally in August ? Wonder what Forest River would think ....

Yea I purchased the 2012 360 I really hope they did away with these small screws seems really sloppy.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:04 AM   #12
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I emailed the link to this posting to John Armstrong, April Connor, and Dan Evans at FR. Don't know if they will look at it but I gave them the chance to see what's happening to some of the coaches produced at FR.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:14 PM   #13
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Georgetown side wall bolts sheared off- and a fix!

We have FR Georgetown 350 - gaser 2009. While traveling in New England in 2011, there were scraping sounds coming from the driver's side wall and then a bang and the wall separated from the floor. My husband checked it out upon our return, saw that the screws had broken off. We contacted the Camping World we bought it from and were told that it was not covered under warranty. So my husband replaced the 3 broken off screws with 6 new screws. This year, in June, the "fix" broke again on drivers side. We were not too concerned and continued our trip. In Aug, in Canada, the passenger side started making odd sounds and two days later a big bang, bang and the wall separated from the floor and I could see the ground below as we went down the hiway. We continued towards the US and in the next few days we could see the dashboard moving from side to side; our chairs we wobbling up and down, there was a snapping sound in the cap, the front door would not close properly, we had a short in the outlets in the cab and the dashboard started to crack. Upon arriving in Bellingham, WA, we contacted a CW who told us it was not covered under warranty. I asked for FR's number and contacted them with a detailed message. We continued towards CA very slowly and the next day FR contacted us and said it was covered and asked us to go to Indiana. That was not possible, so they hooked us up with a repair facility in Fontana, CA. We took our RV there and 6 hours later it was fixed. We were in CA for 9 days and then headed east towards FL our home. On day 4, in TX, the driver's side snapped again. On day 5, in LA, the passenger side snapped again. Contacted FR and they hooked up up with a repair facility in Ocala, FL and that is where the RV is now. Repairs are done but they are awaiting the strip that goes on outside. Question - what guarantee do we have that this will not happen again?
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:54 PM   #14
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No guarantee at all. From prior posts in this thread, the best solution is to not use screws to repair the problem. Ask the repair facility to drill out the screw holes, drill the holes through the floor rail that the sidewall is attached to and use stainless steel bolts, nuts, lockwashers, and I'd even add some Loctite on the threads to make sure nothing will come loose again. Stainless steel bolts are much stronger than the same sized mild steel ones that are commonly available.

Phil
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:40 PM   #15
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Thanks cfsoistman for sending this proplem some owners have with there sidewall comming loose to Forest River I,m sure many owners will watch this thread to see what Forest River will be doing about this .Please keep us posted
George
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:35 AM   #16
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Is this only a problem with the side walls from the front of the rig extending to just behind the driver and passenger seats, about 6ft or so? My 2011 330TS has a bad rattle mid-ship which sounds like it is coming from the floor area under the dinette slide (curbside). The dealer is going to go into the floor from underneath the slide, through the basement so to speak after the camping season ends in November in my neck of the woods.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:20 PM   #17
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Georgetown structure issues

Sounds like we are not alone in this issue with the interior walls breaking free and having lots of fresh air rush into the RV along with a view of the great outdoors thru the gaps created with stuff breaking. We are to have our driver side repaired under warranty but I'm a bit concerned that the repair will be done correctly. The dealer told us that it would be rather extensive and would take several weeks.They said they would need guidance from Forest River. The bump out on the driver side bump out rivets were popping apart . The dealer fixed it twice but since the last fix it makes all kinds of thumping noises as we are traveling. We love our RV. Sounds like FR will take care of us. Besides this and the seats not wearing well we are very happy. We travel about once a month so it gets used hard. Hope you all have a satisfactory repair.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:54 AM   #18
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The wall is supposed to be attached to the steel frame that supports the floor. If there's a gap, you can easily fill it with foam but that's not a repair. The screws that hold the wall to the frame probably came loose which allowed the wall to pull free. When this occurs at the front of the RV, it allows the front of the coach to bounce up and down, independent of the lower frame which will only make the condition worse. The correct fix for this problem is to get the wall tightly attached to the steel framing so that it doesn't come loose again.

Phil
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:53 AM   #19
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This problem was found about a month after purchase.There is no movement over in that area.I will look it over again next time I visit the mh.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:01 PM   #20
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Eric 52,
How's your repair holding up?
We are dealing with Forest River and our warranty dealer Grumbines in Harrisburg PA today with this issue of our 2007 GTX toy hauler. Seems that both left and right walls are detaching. They told us that this would be covered under warranty since it is structural.
We like your fix and thought about letting both these parties see your repair. We question the long term repair of just replacing the self taping screws that it came with from factory. It seems obvious that these screws are unable to hold up under the demands of weight and movement.
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