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Old 03-10-2014, 10:34 PM   #21
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Love the power pole between the slides picture. Been there before with a tree and a power pole on a previous unit. On the PI and PD stuff, yep, your fortunate. I changed the converter first thing. I'm leaving main panel (WFCO) alone as that's just too much work, and it works fine. We're starting to change out the faucets one by one to residential ones. I find it amazing that you'll see stuff like you've found with higher end electronics, yet sometimes you'll get to something like a towel rack, and find it could've been a cheap easy thing for them to upgrade. Why I'll never know
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:32 PM   #22
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Second Generator

Not a trailer thing directly, but I added a second generator (alternator?) to my TV to ensure I will have plenty of power. This was done with OEM components so everything fit perfectly.

Here's a front view showing the new cable from the second battery to the new generator.
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Top view.
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Side view.
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I went with a new longer Gatorback belt. The idler pulley shield came from a junk yard and is too small. I'll look for a bigger one on my next trip.
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Belt routing with two generators.
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The electrical diagram to connect in the control wire. I soldered it inside the existing harness rather than buying a who new engine harness just to get a connector.
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The bracket diagram showing the needed bolts.
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This is the new 175 amp Mega fuse I needed. This fuse holder was replaced a commercial Mega fuse holder since I will be adding another fuse alongside it and the OEM holder does not have the clip attachments.
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I will be adding isolation relays and a house battery eventually. The house battery will provide for an inverter in the truck as well as powering several 12VDC loads that will be shifted from the start batteries. The trailer power will be via the second isolation relay so the trailer will be supplemented, but not drain the house battery unless I want/need to.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:58 PM   #23
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Sweet!
Was there a reason you thought you would need the extra juice? Usually these settups are more for ambulance and snow plow packages.
You should have plenty of power to light it up like a peterbuilt show truck if you wanted!


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Old 03-15-2014, 05:03 PM   #24
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Sorry, I guess I should have asked what you were powering in the truck that needed that much power. Or is this a boondock type settup to keep from needing a generator?

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Old 03-15-2014, 05:15 PM   #25
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Besides the inverter/charger, the house battery system will be powering additional lights. The inverter will supply computers and WiiU/Xbox both on the road and parked. The ability to power toys and things anywhere is attractive. The generator is just the first step. Then I got distracted with a new trailer!
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:26 PM   #26
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Very understandable!! Have fun!!

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Old 03-22-2014, 03:05 PM   #27
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Yesterday was a maintenance and data collection day. I needed to measure to buy cable to modify our shore power system. I will be installing a Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C and adding some additional shore power connections to the front part of the trailer. This involved removing an access panel in the basement and removing the fake fireplace to get behind the power panel. I think I have a plan for this mod, but need to think it through a little more. The fireplace takes up a lot of the space, but I should be able to fit the EMS in there once I rearrange the cables a bit.

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Before getting into the hole drilling for that mod, I needed to fix a gripe from out first camping trip -- the Level-Up system was not actually leveling the trailer. From the factory, the zero point they set was actually nose down by 0.8 degrees, and left side down by 0.3 degrees. That was enough to pool the eggs to one side of the pan and roll water bottles down an overhead cabinet. To fix it, I did a zero point calibration. It took about four minutes to do. The only tool required was a carpenter's level.

  • With the system OFF, enter the Zero Calibration Mode by pressing the FRONT button ten times, and then the REAR button ten times.
  • The Touchpad will start flashing, beep, and display "** ZERO POINT ** | * CALIBRATION *". This display alternates with "ENTER to set | Power to exit".
  • Use the extend/retract buttons to adjust the trailer to the desired mechanically level position.
  • After setting the new level position, press ENTER.
  • The Touchpad will display "Zero Point | Stability Check". This display alternates with "Please wait…"
  • The Touchpad will beep and display "Zero Point |Set Successfully".
This does not set a jack position, but rather a new set of values of what you consider to be level. Right now, the basement is the level reference. Ultimately, I will repeat the process using a galley location, if needed, so there are no more uneven eggs.

Next on the list was to look at the rear black tank dump valve. This valve has never sealed since we got the trailer last month. When I collected the drainage and did a flush, I got construction debris out: Styrofoam tank insulation, a crescent shaped piece of the tank wall, and other miscellaneous hard bits. I ordered a new dump valve since I suspect the installed one is damaged--it certainly does not shut. I'll replace it next weekend.

Lippert recommends regular jack rod preventive maintenance. If the jacks are down for extended periods, as they normally are, it is recommended to spray exposed leveling jack rods with a silicone lubricant every 7 days for protection. If your trailer is in a salty environment, it is recommended to spray the rods every 2 to 3 days. I sprayed them, but I will do research into some protective bellows.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:05 PM   #28
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Cool!
I'm looking at the hard wired progressive for my new 5er too.

You might be able to use a couple shock boots over your rods to keep the elements out- just an idea, don't know if they would be long enough or not.

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Old 03-23-2014, 08:06 AM   #29
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You might be able to use a couple shock boots over your rods to keep the elements out- just an idea, don't know if they would be long enough or not.
The land gear jacks have a 21" stroke and the rear jacks have a 15" stroke, so I think a shock boot would be too short. The rams are also much larger in diameter. While a boot/bellows will work, I am also considering just a Herculite shroud or drape which can be attached when needed. The primary thing I would like to avoid is dirt splashing and blown dust while leveled to minimize seal damage. Of course you always have to ask whether it is really a problem or am I thinking too hard?
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:30 AM   #30
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Yep I'm sure your over thinking it a little. I've had equipment and trucks sit out for months with exposed rods, with no problems. For dust, that is what the wiper seal is for. I have had ice on my rods and run them in and out without having an issue with the seals.
But if you live in a saltier atmosphere, you may have more issue with rust.
But I haven't seen anybody yet with any protection on thier landing gear, but maybe I just didn't see it!
Have fun!

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Old 03-23-2014, 05:35 PM   #31
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Sigh. It figures that the easiest place to put the EMS unit is also the place where it will not fit. For both the floor and right side of the enclosure (pictures), the EMS case interferes with getting the fireplace/heater back into the frame. Oh well.

Time for Plan B. Now I am going to put the EMS in the basement and do all the wiring down there with a single cable up to the power panel. Now to determine a suitable location.

First I will do the shore power wiring and get everything in place to run the wires through the EMS. I have two shore power receptacles on order that should arrive this week. The lugs for the wires may take longer. The rest of the pieces I should be able to get at Lowe's or HD.

I fixed a couple of items that the dealer did not do prior to delivery. First was to remove the dried masking tape with the trailer number from the pin box. A good soaking with Goo Gone and some careful scraping with a wood chisel got it all off.

The other thing the dealer did not do was replace some loose Darco tape above the wheels on one side. After trimming off the loose seam tape, I put a couple of strips of Gorilla tape across the seam. I will take a look after the next time I tow in the rain (very common in Central Florida) and see how it holds up.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:50 PM   #32
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Three weeks to the next camping trip. This time it will be a four day Easter Break trip to Daytona Beach. Family events and a line of storms Saturday prevented any trailer maintenance, but I got the trailer opened this afternoon after cutting the grass. Oh you lucky buggers whose lawns are still hidden by snow!

Number one on the work list was fixing the rear black tank dump valve, or at least figuring out why it was not closing. As happens many times, there were multiple reasons. For a job like this, having the rights tools makes it so much easier. Once I cut and bent the Coroplast out of the way, a nut driver and a battery operated drill made short work of getting the bolts out and the valve body free.

As with many problems, there were multiple causes to this one. The dump valve is inside the frame, so the operating rod extended through a square cutout in the metal. Since the underbody needed to be sealed and heated, FR poked the operating rod extension through a piece of Coroplast they screwed to the frame to seal that square opening. This would have been fine if the square cutout actually aligned with the valve stem. The Coroplast seal made the misalignment even worse. All that bending jammed the rod and would not let it close all they way. The fact that there was more construction debris jammed in the valve did not help. The bending also cracked the valve stem seal area which was the source of some leakage I saw.

Now I have a clean pipe, a new valve, and an almost correctly aligned operator. I am not going to cut any pipe so I will live with the misalignment and just be careful operating the dump now that I understand what is happening.

Another important piece of info I determined is that my emergency kit will need a 5/32" Allen wrench to manually override the Hydac valves in the event the Level-Up electronics die on me. The documentation had both 5/32" and 1/8" as possible sizes, so now I know.

I also finished installing the Oxygenics shower head. The stock unit got the heave ho after one pathetic weekend. I will see where else I need to make improvements, but I am considering a real pressure regulator like these Watts units.

Going through the paperwork, I see many warranties that require no activation. These generally need proof of purchase date for the RV to make a claim. One exception is the Intervac central vacuum. They need model number and manufacture date when you register the warranty on their website. Also, the Progressive Dynamics PD9270 converter has a two year warranty, but you can purchase a third year for $30. I am not sure that is cost effective based on its reliability. I may have purchased it for $20, but not $30.

Next weekend I get into some serious electrical hacks. This will be fun.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:59 PM   #33
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Basement Disassembly

I had to fix a water leak and install my EMS, so I ended up disassembling my basement. It went from this
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Once the rear walls were gone, it was easy to pull the electrical input feed to its new location and wire a new line into the power panel. There is lots of stuff in this picture. The converter is on the left under the blue/red low point drains for the washer prefab.

The big vertical black pipe is the toilet to the black tank. The middle small black pipe is the washer drain to the gray tank. The right black pipe is the shower and sink drain to the gray tank. It also functions as the vent. The gray tank is directly below the basement floor. You can see the top of the gray tank where the washer drain enters. The black tank top is just below the elevated floor; you can see its front side in the picture. It has lots of room under it and could have been much deeper.

Here is what it looks like aft of the gray tank and below the black tank. The patch on the far end of the tank is the stick-on tank heater. The horizontal black pipe is the gray tank dump with its remote control isolation valve. This is what they mean by "Protected/insulated pull waste valves" in the advertising.
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The white octagonal water heater is next to the white plastic water bay (AKA the "universal docking station") where all the water valves are. The water pump is mounted on the floor directly below.

The wood on the left are the steps. The two inside vacuum connections and the door open LED are under there. The gray spiral hose is for the vacuum. The power unit is on a removed section of the basement wall near the water pump.

There is lot of extra length to the DC power cables, in some cases it is 6-8 feet extra. The AC cables seem to have been installed with somewhat less waste.

I am going to neaten things up after we finish this camping trip, but at least the EMS-HW50C is installed.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:16 PM   #34
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We just got back from four days at Daytona for Easter Break. The kids got fully sanded and salted. They had a blast boogie boarding in the surf. The weather was perfect.

The trailer was great to use. I got four thumbs up for the new Oxygenics shower head. We had a small shower leak that was easy to diagnose and will be something fixed next weekend. We also had a leak from inside the body of the bathroom faucet. I suspect an internal crack so I think we will be getting a new faucet. The DW also informed me that the half bath faucet was impossible to use because of its side mount position. There is no room to wash hands, which is important to facilitate in a kids' bath.

This was also the first time I could use the OC awning support poles. I have the brackets painted and the upper pair installed. The poles are next. The storage brackets are to be installed next weekend also. I used the Camco RV awning anchor kit for its screw anchors and tension springs. I substituted light duty yellow cargo straps for strength and visibility for the kit's super lightweight black nylon straps. The cargo straps connected directly to OC's bracket and were easy to assemble.

Pictures of everything to follow.
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:44 PM   #35
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Shower Leak

Sunday was a good day for fixing things. The rain of the past two days moved out with cool, clear skies behind the front. I went to the storage lot and opened up the slides and doors to let everything dry and ventilate.

While I was there, listening to tunes on my Nokia 520 I use as an MP3 player, I fixed a couple of gripes from the last trip. We head out again next weekend.

The first was a shower leak from under the track that dripped out onto the floor. Here is the leak source. Can you see it? I had to be far enough back so the flash would not wash out the picture.
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Here is the same picture with the leaky point circled.
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During installation, the caulk blob did not seal across the full corner joint. To ensure a good repair, I removed the existing caulk from all three slide grooves using a wood chisel. I then fully caulked all three slide grooves. We will check on the next trip, but this should fix it.
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I also had to caulk the outside seam between the lower slide and the shower base. That is a tough place to get a big production caulk gun, but it was easy with my small disposable tube.
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Old 05-04-2014, 11:24 PM   #36
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Faucet Leak

The next leak was from the bathroom faucet fixture. It leaked from under the fixture and down the water supply tubes underneath. I figured this was a fixture replacement because the leak occurred whether we opened the hot or cold tap. The leak was likely in the cross tube, so I went to Lowe's with the DW and she picked the new faucet.

She also informed me that the rear half bath side-mounted faucet was unusable because it was too short. We did not want anything to discourage the kids from washing hands or brushing teeth, so I bought two faucets. Here's the old faucet in the half bath.
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In the bathroom, it was easy to disconnect the water line from the faucet, but it proved to be a challenge to remove the mounting nuts. The nuts on the old faucet were super tight – way beyond finger tight. I guess FR has a "wiggle test" for fixture tightness. The holes drilled through the countertop and the sink edge seemed somewhat oversized and the installer or PDI correction process thought it was loose. By cranking down hard on the mounting nut, the strain cracked the cross tube. This type of damage would not have happened to an all-metal fixture like the Moen faucets we went with.

This apparently was the cause of the leak. Although not visually obvious, the entire FR faucet is plastic. When they cranked down on the hot water side mounting nut, they bent the interior cross tube and cracked it. I found the crack when I unscrewed the valve cartridges and aerator to remove the faucet body.

I eventually got the cold side mounting nut off using the handle ends of a pair of lineman's pliers. Without a good way to get a grip on the other side, I resorted to a destructive removal technique. I used pliers and a screwdriver to break the cross tube and remove the cold tap. With only the hot tap remaining, I spun it around until it was loose enough to remove the mounting nut from underneath by hand.

Once the old faucet was gone (in pieces), it was easy to install the new one and connect the water lines. Here's the new faucet in the half bath.
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I did a similar mod in the half bath to solve the poor arrangement problem. The picture also shows how I mounted the TP holders in each sink cabinet.
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Old 05-04-2014, 11:37 PM   #37
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Minor Stuff

Another small mod I did was to resolve an irritation rather than a gripe. As delivered, the water cabinet hose hatch interfered with the operation of the front dump valve pull handles. Here is what was delivered.
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I rotated the assembly 90 clockwise to clear the dump valve pull handles. When I removed the hose hatch, I found there was no gasket installed, so I will have to fix that. Unsealed, the water will drain under and around the hatch assembly, soaking the basement underfloor wood.
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I also reset the Level Up zero point calibration again. This time I placed the carpenter level on the Galley counter. After the adjustments, I also checked our bed and found that the head of the bed was slightly lower than the foot. I suspect this is a slide issue, but I will take the simple way out and put some kind of wedge under the mattress.

In my never ending quest to remove construction debris, I have been sticking vacuum hoses everywhere and pulling out pounds of sawdust, metal and plastic shavings, and many lost screws. Sunday's site was under the entry transoms. This was driven by a piece of construction plastic trapped under the main transom. I needed it gone, so I made it go away. I also found a few chunks of debris in both sink drain traps when I checked them.

I went around the outside of the trailer and lubed the exterior slam latch locks with powdered graphite, fixing the jammed open key slot covers along the way. If only the locks keep operating this smoothly forever...
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Old 05-05-2014, 03:14 AM   #38
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The next leak was from the bathroom faucet fixture. It leaked from under the fixture and down the water supply tubes underneath. I figured this was a fixture replacement because the leak occurred whether we opened the hot or cold tap. The leak was likely in the cross tube, so I went to Lowe's with the DW and she picked the new faucet.

She also informed me that the rear half bath side-mounted faucet was unusable because it was too short. We did not want anything to discourage the kids from washing hands or brushing teeth, so I bought two faucets. Here's the old faucet in the half bath.
Attachment 51670
In the bathroom, it was easy to disconnect the water line from the faucet, but it proved to be a challenge to remove the mounting nuts. The nuts on the old faucet were super tight way beyond finger tight. I guess FR has a "wiggle test" for fixture tightness. The holes drilled through the countertop and the sink edge seemed somewhat oversized and the installer or PDI correction process thought it was loose. By cranking down hard on the mounting nut, the strain cracked the cross tube. This type of damage would not have happened to an all-metal fixture like the Moen faucets we went with.

This apparently was the cause of the leak. Although not visually obvious, the entire FR faucet is plastic. When they cranked down on the hot water side mounting nut, they bent the interior cross tube and cracked it. I found the crack when I unscrewed the valve cartridges and aerator to remove the faucet body.

I eventually got the cold side mounting nut off using the handle ends of a pair of lineman's pliers. Without a good way to get a grip on the other side, I resorted to a destructive removal technique. I used pliers and a screwdriver to break the cross tube and remove the cold tap. With only the hot tap remaining, I spun it around until it was loose enough to remove the mounting nut from underneath by hand.

Once the old faucet was gone (in pieces), it was easy to install the new one and connect the water lines. Here's the new faucet in the half bath.
Attachment 51671
I did a similar mod in the half bath to solve the poor arrangement problem. The picture also shows how I mounted the TP holders in each sink cabinet.
Attachment 51668
Attachment 51669
Very nice looking faucets, and I bet they don't blow apart......
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:09 PM   #39
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Warping Trim

From the "What were they thinking?" School of Design, I present a side view of the rear portion of our trailer. (Ignore the water spots from a bad dealer prep.)
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In the picture, note the rear jacks are mounted directly aft of the rear door. There is a very good mechanical reason for their placement. If you draw a line from the rear wheel contact point to the rear bumper, the jack is mounted as far aft as possible to still clear that line when retracted so it will not hit the ground if you drag the rear of the trailer pulling off an incline.

Inside the trailer, the effect of that jack placement is another story. When levelled, that jack supports everything rear of the wheels, with both bunkroom slides cantilevered aft of that point, including the outdoor kitchen. That also happens to be the point where the designer put the front wall of the bunkroom. The stress change of a leveled trailer does this inside.
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It does this every time we level. I have removed the door trim pieces so I can cut them shorter to see if they will stop warping when the floor flexes. The wallboard will likely be a warranty repair.

This trailer has a 12" frame and came from Lippert with the Level-Up brackets welded on. I have to conclude that this bending behavior is "by design".
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2014 Blue Ridge 3715BH <- Read the saga
2013 Sierra 3500HD Denali CCLB DRW 4x4 Duramax w/ Reese 20K

USN Retired (26 years), but not Retired retired
Home Port Orlando
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:57 AM   #40
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Join Date: Jan 2014
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The repairs in the previous couple of posts work. The shower door leak was from the incomplete factory caulking. After five showers last night, all the water stayed inside the enclosure. The new faucets are appreciated.

I removed about a half inch off the bottom of the plastic door frame trim using tin snips. It went back on easily and did not warp when we leveled. The bowed wall panel is keeping me from fastening the inboard side, but I think I can trim that board with an oscillating multi-tool. The wall is hollow framing with the thin wall panel stapled to the studs. Getting the half-bath sliding door off to do the repair will not be a challenge either.
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2014 Blue Ridge 3715BH <- Read the saga
2013 Sierra 3500HD Denali CCLB DRW 4x4 Duramax w/ Reese 20K

USN Retired (26 years), but not Retired retired
Home Port Orlando
Narboza is offline   Reply With Quote
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