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Old 12-04-2012, 06:56 AM   #1
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Broken Awning Arm

Our awning arm mounting base broke this weekend and I'm curious how others may have fixed the same problem. It's the base portion that is attached to the body side of the coach. The arm itself clips into the base, or can be released if you want the arms on the ground. The body panel looks to be about 1/4" thick, with the gelcoat on the outside and wood and metal backing. It was fastened to the body with 2 fairly stout looking self taping bolts about an inch long each. It was very sturdy, withstood some pretty substantial winds and only broke because I goofed up and forgot to remove our flag pole before folding up the awning.

Slightly larger self tapers? Some sort of expanding anchor? Those are the only options I can think of aside from nuts and bolts, which would require removal of an interior panel to access the nuts.

Looks like it'll be an easy enough repair, I'm just curious what techniques some others have tried. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:27 AM   #2
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Wolfpack Fan:

Brand/model of RV and, more important, Brand of Awning would help. A BIG help would be a photo if ya can.

Steve
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:28 AM   #3
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Broken awning arm

If the base is broken, you can probably find a replacement on-line. The remounting may be able to be done using JB Weld. Just fill the attaching holes with the stuff and then reinstall. Make sure there is no load on the bracket until it sets up. This may seem like a funky repair idea, but I spent 30 years using a similar repair on some of the helicopters you probably rode to work on. It was called metal set, but similar to JB Weld.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:37 AM   #4
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Base isn't broken. Just the screws pulled out from the wall. It's a hollow wall, similar the sheet rock in our home, just thinner and made of fiberglass, wood and metal. The screws that pulled out were threaded into the metal backing of the wall.

RV is 05 National Dolphin. Awning brand? Who know's, not sure it's relevant, since no components of the awning are actually broken. Sorry if I didn't make that very clear in the OP. Only screws pulled out of their mounting holes and stripped threads they were screwed into. Thank you though.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:05 AM   #5
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I would look for toggle bolts and use heavy duty washers
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:05 AM   #6
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Visit a fastener store, one that only does fasteners, they know what they have and how to use them.

There are toggle fasteners as well as inserts, also sold at home depot, but good luck there

I would suggest an insert type, they lock into the wall and allow removal, the toggle type are one time use.

If you can get to the back side you could add a plate of aluminum glued to the panel to spread the load, would be best repair but most work
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:16 AM   #7
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Suggest 1/4 pop rivets. Very strong and you can get at any ford dealer parts counter.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:03 PM   #8
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Drill completely through to inside of unit. get stainless steel bolts long enough to accommodate a nice oak finished "block" on the inside. This block will be a good looking "scab" that will anchor the outside bracket quite well. Use nice "cap nuts" on the inside.[sometimes called "acorn nuts"]..
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:24 PM   #9
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I'm also a JB Weld fan. I would maybe patch holes with the JB Weld and predrill pilot holes and reinstall existing screws
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:11 PM   #10
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Another thought...

Adding epoxy alone is no good, it will just run down the inside...but..

If one was to spray in some rattle can foam sealer, just enough to fill the back without causing a buldge, you then can carve chambers in the foam and force the epoxy into them.

Adding extra stuff like small wires will make it stronger.

Tape the hole to keep it in.

After a day for cure then drill hole and carefully install screws only, will need to be carefull to not break epoxy.

Once all screws will go in remove, add some epoxy to screws and mount bracket, since epoxy is on the screws it does not need as much torque to break epoxy
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:45 PM   #11
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I would go with the size or two larger dia lag screws.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:24 PM   #12
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I wouldn't use JB Weld because it's permanent. If someone bashes into it with a car it'll rip something out you don't want ripped out then you'll really have a problem. I'd probably fill the holes with sealant then drill new holes nearby, perhaps a half inch away from the existing holes. I would reuse the existing screws if possible. You'll need to make sure you have a good backing to screw into. Depending on where the existing backing is located you may have to go up/down or left/right.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:47 PM   #13
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I would MAKE IT BETTER with my repair.

Forget screws - use a "blind nut" insert so you can use a bolt for the mount.
Like this:
Blind Rivet Nuts - Bolt Products, Inc.

There's no need to access the backside of the wall with these.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:23 PM   #14
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unless you go all the way through the wall and then through a backing plate and use nuts and machine screws/bolts, you will always be relying on the pull-out strength of the material the wall is made out of. the lower brackets on our rv are still in place, but sagging a bit. time for bolts (stainless steel), nuts (SS), and backplates (aluminum, epoxy painted).
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