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Old 02-04-2009, 12:42 PM   #29
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I used a strong magnet and located all the structural steel studs in the walls. Stangely enough, there is a stud within 6" of where the walls bows the most. Either that structural steel member is really inadequate and the thermal expansion is bowing it with the wall, or I have no idea what is going on with it. I'm hoping the guys on the Yahoo forum have some advice. Keep you posted.
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:15 AM   #30
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With major help from Norberto on the Yahoo forums group, I have determined the problem with the bulging side wall. Now I understand the problem. I opened up a window in the interior paneling to see what the steel member inside looks like. The wall is improperly engineered. The vertical steel stud where the wall bows the worst is located 5-1/2' forward of the rear cap, the next vertical stud is located 6' forward of that, right by the refrig. and furnace. That leaves 11-1/2' of wall panel supported by only one stud. That stud measures 1"X1"X7' long. The thermal load on the panel easily bows the stud. Just to be sure, I had a piece of 1X1X1/8" steel in my shop. I set it up between 2 saw horses 7' apart. With your hand in the middle of it, you can easily bow it 3/4" or more. No problem! So, the repair that was suggested will definitely fix this problem. I suspect that the
elimination of the bedroom window on this particular model has contributed to the problem. I would have hoped for more from NRV.
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:19 AM   #31
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Jim, wow, that is odd! I am glad you have found the problem but sorry to hear as to the cause. It is a good thing you have the closet to perform the repairs in. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:26 AM   #32
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Thanks Mike, If you're interrested, you can see some before and after photos of the distortion by going to Yahoo forum groups, National RV, photos. It's pretty amazying. I'm pretty much ready to start the repair and will post some before and after photos of that as well. Jim
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Old 02-12-2009, 03:42 PM   #33
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The repair is finished and it came out great. If interested, go to Yahoo NRV forum groups, photos, and you can see the repairs. Thanks for everyones help. Jim
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:20 PM   #34
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Jim you are one handy guy. I hope you are around if anything major happens to mine.
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:26 AM   #35
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Dadeaux, Thanks for the compliment and I would be glad to help if something comes up for you. The repair itself was not that difficult, what I had a hard time with initially was understanding what was going on with the side wall, and why. Once I discovered only one factory stud in 12 feet of wall length, and then found that stud was 1"X1", it became more clear. An NRV engineer (Norberto Davila) who lost his job when they filed BK was a big help as well. Jim
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:26 PM   #36
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Jim, the fix looks great; I believe the additional strengthening of the wall stud will prevent the wall from moving. Looking at the weather forcast you will have to wait a while for a warm day.

Needless to say, it sure is great having ex-factory personnel for guidance.

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Old 02-13-2009, 01:53 PM   #37
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Fred, This whole thing would not have been possible for me without the expert help and advice from Norberto. I am very grateful to him, and to this forum for directing me to him. My one worry is that strengthening the wall at this location, will lead to other problems elsewhere as the wall trys to expand, or delaminates the outer panel. Time will tell.
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:10 PM   #38
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Jim, I thought about the possibility of a delamination, however I didn't want to mention it a bring you bad luck. Like out of sight, out of mind.

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Old 02-14-2009, 05:55 AM   #39
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Hey Fred, The possibility for delamination has never been out of mind, but I hope it stays out of sight. Norberto has done this repair several times and has never had a delam. problem so I'm hoping not to tbe the first. My next project is going to be raising the fuel tank up about 5". The protective skid bar drags on everything. The tank sits about 5" below the top of the frame rails. I can't understand why Ford, or NRV didn't place it as high as possible for additional clearance and safety. Jim
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:31 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by redboots:
Hey Fred, The possibility for delamination has never been out of mind, but I hope it stays out of sight. Norberto has done this repair several times and has never had a delam. problem so I'm hoping not to tbe the first. My next project is going to be raising the fuel tank up about 5". The protective skid bar drags on everything. The tank sits about 5" below the top of the frame rails. I can't understand why Ford, or NRV didn't place it as high as possible for additional clearance and safety. Jim
I was speaking with the National rep at LazyDays in Sefner just before National went under and low center of gravity being one of their primary design considerations was the reason offered for many of the height differences I noted between the National and others brands offered on the same chassis. This design he said would allow the coach to handle better than the competition.

As far as rasing the tank I would check with Ford before doing that and facing the possibility of drivibility problems with the tank too high relative to the engine and other fuel system components.
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:54 AM   #41
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Neil, The F53 chassis underwent a fairly major upgrade in 2006. Prior to that, Ford used a small raised tank above the fuel tank for some reason, I think they referred to it as a 'pony tank'. In '06 they eliminated it, but it was probably too costly to modify all the tank hangers, fuel lines, filler and vent lines, etc. If you look forward from the rear of the tank, there is at least 5 to 6" between the top of the tank and the bottom of the floor of the RV. That 5" along with moving the skid strap up a like amount will go along way towards eliminating the bothersome drag going into just about any gas station, etc. The low center of gravity is a big plus, but IMO not at the expense of dragging every time you go through a dip. Jim
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Old 02-14-2009, 01:17 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by redboots:
Norberto has done this repair several times and has never had a delam.
WOW!! I thought yours was the first unit to experience this issue.

Fred
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