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Old 04-07-2011, 08:30 PM   #1
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The attachment of the extrusion holding my bay doors on is failing

While on my last trip I lost a battle with a metal fuel pump guard and tore my RH lower cap off. Today I removed the lower cap and took it to the body shop. The body shop would have removed it but it was more convenient for me to remove it and the damaged door to save time my rig is in the shop.

When I got back to the RV I started inspecting the area better and noticed the stripes on the side wall did not line up with the trim piece and the upper cap by about Ĺ of an inch. It appears to me the screws holding the upper cap on have been sheared off. I will address that with the repair shop tomorrow.

A bigger concern I have is I noticed the bottom of the floor where the trim strip above the bay doors attaches is soggy. After pondering the situation for a while I removed the trim piece and inspected the area. This particular trim piece is about 20 feet long. Numerous screws were missing and the ones that were still in place were severely rusted. It appears WRV did not see a need to seal this extrusion nor the screws they installed. I am not sure how to proceed but I will take a bigger section apart so I can better understand as to how this extrusion is attached and how hard it is to repair. I assume I will find issues on both sides of the coach for the full length.

The existing screws are installed at an angel up into the aluminum frame on the lower side of the side wall. One thought I have to repair this is to make spacers the thickness of the rotted lower flooring and drill up into the sidewall frame and seal and install screws every 6 inches or so.

What I donít know yet is how the side wall is attached to the frame. I see several bolts going up from the bottom above the rotted area. My concern is if the flooring was a structural spacer between the side wall and frame will my side walls start to sag.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:45 PM   #2
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My preliminary research indicates the side wall is a metal to metal attachment to the floor structure. So now I probably will just need to use spacers, new screws and seal to fix this and forget about it. They area that is rotted is primary used to locate the extrusion along the length oft the coach.

Why the extrusion and screws were not sealed is only a question WRV can answer.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:54 PM   #3
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We found the same problem in December when heavy rain water leaked into the space under the drawer below the rear closet, and then ran forward from there, under the bed, soaking the carpeting beside the bed near the bathroom sink.

We traced the leak to the extrusion, sealed it (both sides of the coach), and have had no problems since. Apparently, WRV didn't seal any of them.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:03 AM   #4
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John, did you remove the painted trim and seal the extrusion or just seal the trim to the side wall?
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:02 PM   #5
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I was afraid of damaging the painted trim while removing it, plus I'm work-adverse, so I just sealed the extrusion to the side wall.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:05 PM   #6
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Wayne- OldForester sold the floor plywood (actually OSB IIRC) to a host of motorhome manufacturers in a prior life. He probably can draw a sketch of the floor assembly, from which you may be able to accurately deduce the wall/floor connection detail. Might PM him on the issue. It would be a handy detail to have.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:14 PM   #7
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I have what I think may be a similar problem at the front end of the driver's side cargo bays on my Georgetown 325. I haven't gone after it yet because I don't think it's highly critical, and also because I have to stand in my neighbor's flower bed to get to it until I pull the RV out of its wintering slot.

At the very front of the front cargo bay, just aft of the wheelwell, the bay door is sticking out at the top about 3/8 inch when it's closed. Opened up, you can see that the aluminum channel (angle?) is bowing out, away from the body.

If anyone has access to manufacturing drawings of how that bit goes together, I'd love to have a copy.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:50 PM   #8
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Thanks Mike.

As it turns out the sub floor does rest on the frame members. There is also an aluminum frame tube laminated into the floor structure at each out rigger location. What I am doing now is going down the length of the extrusion and drilling and installing new screws every 6 inches with seal. These screws go into the aluminum tube of the side wall. As I go along if the ceiling is soggy. I cut back the moisture barrier and clean out the rotted sub flooring. So far it does not extend up to the main floor. At each outrigger I am loosening the bolt and installing shims around the bolt to compensate for the rotted flooring. I am also installing a spacer and a screw every foot that goes from the bottom of the extrusion up into the sidewall aluminum tube to give added support to the extrusion where the sup floor has rotted.

I have just about finished the RH side I am up to the front Bay. I donít see any soft spots forward of the 2nd bay door back.

I would high recommend Alpine owners of the 05 vintage take a good look at the ceiling area in their bays. Look for a soggy ceiling. I suspect I am not the only Alpine with issues in this area. Both sides of the rear RH wheel well were bad, I suspect the wheel well was not water tight and the tires threw water up into the area. The black moister barrier WRV put on the bottom of the Basement ceiling also contributes to the problem. Moisture that gets in above the barrier cannot get out. Bad design! If the water could have gotten out the dry rot would have been minimal. The fact the un-sealed screws holding the extrusion on are above the moisture barrier. Is a problem waiting to happen. Again if you have a 05 vintage Alpine take a few minutes and look. To take this to a shop to get it fixed would run into the thousands of dollars IMHO, if it is as bad as mine.

After the ceiling area dries out I will reattach the moisture barrier an inch or so in from the side wall so if water does start to leak in again it will not be trapped by the moisture barrier.

It appears my accident tearing up my rear cap was a bit of good luck. I believe I have found this problem early enough and the repairs I am making will last.
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:05 AM   #9
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It is not just 05 models that have this problem, it appears the design had not changed from the original 98 models. I drilled holes along the underneath of the subfloor to try to get the moisture out and used an epoxy wood hardener to firm up the edge the screws go into. Using longer screws pointed slightly upwards did find a firmer purchase.
I sealed along the top edge of the strip to try to stop water getting behind it but not sure how long that will last.
Can you post some pictures of your repairs?
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:44 PM   #10
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John, I drilled many of my holes at an angle also. On my extrusion there is a line about 1/3 of the way down from the top. I start my drill there and if I hit the bottom edge of the aluminum wall frame I angle the drill up at a 45 degree angle. On mine I also removed all the screws and ran a bead of seal along the top edge. As I installed the screws a small amount of seal oozed out indicating a good seal

I also used a pilotless countersink so I could countersink the hole at the same angle. With the metal trim cover, pan head screws get in the way. I will take some pictures on the next section I do. I plan on cutting the moisture barrier back the full length of the coach to allow any moisture that gets in there to escape. If you drill into the bottom edge of the extrusion going up you will hit the aluminum frame. I found a 3/8 nut is the right size. I center it on the hole and run a screw up into the sidewall tube. This prevents excess torque being applied to the screw seal connection as doors are opened and closed. I also suspect the gas struts are applying a twisting force to the extrusion when the door is closed and we are going down the road. Again the spacer and screw from the bottom up should take most of this load.

These are just my guesses as to what’s going on. What I do know is wont fix it's self. If the area is soft, I am leaning toward cleaning all the press board out up to the Styrofoam insulation and then finding a way to reattach the moisture barrier away from the extrusion so that any more leaks will drip down onto my cargo and get my attention before any damage occurs
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:48 PM   #11
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The channels on my 03 are silicone sealed.

Hmmmmm
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:09 AM   #12
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Mike, Sounds like at some point WRV sealed the area. Probably a different worker in 05 did not see the need.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:27 AM   #13
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Jphn's 98 was unsealed....

Perhaps the previous owner sealed it???

Or WRV had another overlooked quality issue..(ala rear end bolt holes)
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:28 PM   #14
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This is the worst area I have found. I am guessing the wheel well caused a lot of this by allowing tire spray into the area. My preliminary check reveals thr particle board above the metal ww enclosure is rotted also. The aluminum block on the top of the outrigger is what I plan on using as a temporary fix.

I plan on running a 1x2 x1/4 aluminum angle from the front of the hyd compartment to the back of th 2nd bay door. the only thing holding the extrusion for the doors on is screws going into particle board and a thin break bent sheet of .062 aluminum.

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