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Old 02-28-2009, 02:16 PM   #1
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I have a 2002 Diplomat and the roof has separated from the sidewall above the driver's side window. In another forum it is mentioned that you should put in longer screws. There is a strip which appears to cover the seam between the roof, sidewall and front cap. My question is are the screws under the strip? If so can the strip be removed easily? There is only one screw on the strip at the end near the window. I assume it's held on with some sort of adhesive.
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:52 AM   #2
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I'm also interested in this one because my 01 Dip has done the same thing.
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:38 PM   #3
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side seams coming apart - water leaks!

Hi guys: Been learning the hard way about this issue - and it is traced back to an unlikely source - the slide out covers. On our 05 Dip, we have 4 slides. On the driver's side, and especially at the front corner of the kitchen slide (nearest the driver's seat), the slide out cover tension was so great that after three years, the tension caused all of the rivets within 2 feet of where the slide cover attached to the coach to pull out. The problem with this was that these rivets not only held the slide cover to the coach, but was part of the strip where the top cap and the side wall metal were attached (all three pieces were held together by rivets). The moulding that you are talking about simply pops into place on top of the joining strip. So, just take out the one screw near the top of the driver's side window, and use a small screwdriver to pry the moulding off of the attachment strip. It helps to take a razor knife and cut the silicon caulking. Then the moulding can be gently pried off the attachment strip until you get to where the trouble is. On our coach, the only screws were at the front of the window...the rest of the strip is held on by rivets. I replaced all of the rivets (with longer ones - they appear to attach into a header) back to the slide cover and then went back and put extra rivets between the factory ones. You then pop the moulding back on, reseal with good, mold-resistant clear caulk and viola', that should take care of the issue.

This has happened on both ends of the coach with subsequent water leaks (the rear fix is even worse). Just because there is too much tension on the slide covers - they literally tear the sides off of the coach.

Biggest surprise of our relatively short ownership (3.5 years...)

TL
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:19 PM   #4
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The same thing happened to our 07 HR. How did you resolve your problem?
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:07 AM   #5
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Doc what a great observation. I was thinking it was the body flexing. I like your concept much better. Mine appears to be worse above the drivers window and towards the windshield.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:06 AM   #6
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Garranch,
Our '03 Dip had the same issue, in the same spot as you are describing.
Relatively easy fix. It appeared that very few rivets were used. The holes are already drilled in the channel, and there is a base plate behind the channel to drill and add additonal rivets. Difficult part was pushing everything back in place while popping the rivets. I used 3/16" aluminum rivets with a grip length of 3/4". Ended up being on approx. 2" centers.
Put it all back togather and no problems after about 12 months. Have been checking the other side of the coach anticipating a failure but all is well so far.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:54 AM   #7
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roof separation from sidewall

It's nice to see that others are having this issue. Unfortunately, we are now seeing this on our driver's side rear slide that I will fix this weekend. Additionally, there are hints of this occurring on the passenger side as well. So, that will get fixed next weekend.

While I'm at it, I'm going to use the suggestions from other threads on this site to decrease the tension on the slide covers. There is no reason they should be so tight that they are breaking multiple rivets.. So, I'll start with a one-turn relaxation and see how that works....

Cheers all!

TL

And all in the name of keeping the insides dry!
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:17 AM   #8
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Any chance of getting pictures of the problem and the repair process. I would like to inspect to see if I am having the same problem and I am not quite sure where to look.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:09 AM   #9
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Thumbs up

DW was reading this months issue of FMCA Motorcoaching and saw a article for attaching thin materials. The item used was a Avdel Nutsert found on avdel-global.com/products/threaded inserts/thin sheet nutsert. I looked at these and think they may be a solution to attaching the roof/sidewall in a permanent way. What do you all think?
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:30 PM   #10
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My '02 Endeavor has this same problem. So far just above the drivers window. I took all the pop rivets out got some self drilling screws that matched what the factory used and used all screws instead of the rivets. There is some sheet metal back there. The pop rivets seem to only hold the aluminum roof to the fiberglass wall they didn't reach the framing but the screws do.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:30 PM   #11
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Thanks for the information, hopefully I'll pull the molding back this weekend and see what's going on. I'm surprised to hear they only used rivets. I would have guessed that screws were used and they actually screwed the roof to the wall to the frame. Although I just finished fixing a leak above the entry door which required the small aluminum gutter to be reattached, which is all rivets.

I read about the problem with the awning toppers being too tight, but my separation is actually about 2 feet in front of the end of the awning. I'll attempt to get pictures once I pull off the molding. I too thought the problem was chassis flexing. Having a DP is definately more of a learning experience than my class c was. Thanks to all for the information.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:49 AM   #12
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In our case i really don't think tension from the slide toppers or awning played a role. I think it is just a quality control issue. As stated the channel on our coach is predrilled with hole spacing of approx. 2" centers. We had an area about 24" in length that had one rivet (which had sheered). I expect it to be a flex without proper securement issue. 3/16" rivets on 2" centers makes for a strong and forgiving securement.
Good luck to all who are dealing with this repair. Its really not a tough one to fix.
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Old 04-05-2009, 03:58 PM   #13
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roof separation from sidewall

Hi all:

Let me correct an earlier post - I'm not glad that others are having this issue and the more I get into this, the more disappointed I become at the lack of quality in attaching these parts together on Monaco's behalf. I just hope that everyone can use this information to correct these issues on their coaches....

In answer to some requests, I've attached a few photos to help others.

So, here's the story, so far. I dealt with our driver's window issues a few weeks ago. The first picture below shows what the sidewall looked like near the slide-out. This was taken care of by removing the broken rivets, replacing with longer rivets (with 5/8" pull) that pulled everything snug up against the frame header. So, I think that it is now really secured.

I noticed the rear corner of the rear slide on the driver slide was starting to bulge a bit, so I figured, at worst, I'd replace 8-10 rivets. I figured the hardest part would be pulling off the molding cover and replacing it and making sure it sealed properly. Was I wrong...

First, you need to make sure that you take off the slide cover so you can get at the whole attachment area. There are at least a couple of threads here in the forums that deal with this - but I found that the best tool ever to use is a rubber-strap wrench. I've included a picture on how you can use this tool (plus, a #1 phillips screwdriver is just the right size to lock the roller) to rotate the roller without concern of losing grip on it. With the strap wrench, it became a cinch (it is worth the $3.!).

Next, pull off the moulding (there's another picture). I tried to carefully cut the sealant, but realized that if you pull gently, the moulding will separate from the sealant and then the sealant is easier to remove later. I was afraid of breaking the moulding, but it is fairly pliable - but don't bend it too much or you'll wrinkle the paint on it.

And here's where the surprise came. Instead of rivets, everything was held together with 1/2" self-tapping screws (see other picture). Unfortunately, Monaco used an extremely poor quality steel screw (in this and other places) and as a result I found that approximately half of these screws were broken. (I've had the same issues with these screws breaking around the windows and the door.) You can see from the pictures that the screws were rusted....and I think flexing of the body probably caused some of the screws to break.

So....because all of these screws fastened to the frame, I drilled and riveted the whole attachment plate from the bottom of the coach all around to the front slide. Additionally, I doubled the rivets over the slide area given that the slide cover pulls on that area. After seeing the broken screw heads in the molding, I feel a lot better about the coach now. The passenger side gets completely done next weekend....

VERY IMPORTANT: If you decide to do this - and after going through all of this and the leaks this issue has caused in our coach, I think it should be a mandatory repair on all of these coaches - you need to buy a air-driven riveter (about $25 at Harbor Freight). The great thing is that you can run the riveter off of your coach air tank....(I got the extra long 3/16" rivets at Northern Tool. Make sure you have sharp 3/16" drill bits....)

In conclusion, be sure and check this on your coach and if you're somewhat adventurous, take it on. It isn't a hard repair - it just takes awhile.

Cheers!

Tim (aka: Dr. Thump)
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Old 04-05-2009, 04:00 PM   #14
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roof separation from sidewall

Sorry - here's the last picture of the rusted screws and attachment plate.

TL
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