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Old 09-24-2021, 08:58 PM   #1
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Lost AC shroud

Driving through the windy state of Nebraska I looked in my mirror and saw something big and black flying behind my Dutchstar. I stopped to get it and discovered it was the shroud from one of my AC units. I noticed all the screw holes broken out. My questions for the forum, has this happened to anyone? And does anyone have any ideas on how to strengthen or reinforce those screw holes to reduce the chance of them breaking?

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Old 09-24-2021, 09:11 PM   #2
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Yup. I lost a shroud pulling into a campground, no big deal. You could put large washers under the screws or possibly use strips of aluminum to spread out the forces. After 20 plus years and only losing one shroud, it isn't a big concern to me
2002 Country Coach Intrigue
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:27 PM   #3
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Good evening Mark;I have seen shrouds next to the road before and most of them looked real bad. Not sure if they exploded when they hit the road or not! I am surprised with the age of your coach that you would lose a shroud. This usually happens when the shroud sits in the sun for years and the material weakens with age. I have Dometic A/C's and just replaced my 20 year old shrouds this year with new Dometic shrouds bought at Camping World. On my previous Windsor that was just 4 years old when I purchased it I put large stainless fender washers along with stainless screws in the holes that attached the shroud to the unit as one could see some small cracking around the screws holes in the shroud with small screw heads. Never lost a shroud and I think, as Don mentioned, the fender washers help spread the holding surface on the shroud. Just my experience. I think the small heads of the screws do not provide enough grip on the shroud. You know the manufacture does not want to spend an extra 25 cents on each A/C unit for better hold down of the shrouds!
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:37 PM   #4
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The best fasteners I have found are screws with large washers and rubber grommets. They spread the load out, don’t come loose and cushion the vibration.
2006 Winnebago Journey
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:59 PM   #5
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Had our Essex painted at Newmar and replaced AC covers. They added 2 more screws on the side for a total of 6 and used large fender style washers. Next time get up on the roof will do the same for the LA.
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Old 09-25-2021, 06:00 AM   #6
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Get heavy duty shrouds - they are thicker and the company says they are indestructible. I put one on each of our A/C.
Rick and Larrie Dee
1997 40' Newmar London Aire DP CTA 8.3 (Mechanical) 325 Spartan MM
Bringing her back to her glory.
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Old 09-25-2021, 06:14 AM   #7
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Yup, easy to spread the load:

Replace the bolts/screws with stainless steel.

Use a SS fender washer.

Between fender washer and cover, cut out a circle of tire innertube the size of the fender washer. If you have some Eternabond around, that can be used instead of the piece of innertube.

$5 or less.
Brett Wolfe
Ex: 2003 Alpine 38FDDS. Ex: 1997 Safari Sahara. Ex: 1993 Foretravel U240
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Old 09-25-2021, 06:16 AM   #8
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To add strength to the shroud you could add a layer (or 2 or 3) of fiberglass with webbing on the underside where the screws are. Pretty much any auto parts store, and many big box stores, have fiberglass auto repair kits for patching small holes. That would likely give you everything you need to do what you want.
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Old 09-25-2021, 11:07 AM   #9
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If I remove a shroud, I always add larger rubber backed washers to each screw and add a couple of additional screws into fresh metal.
Don & Mary
2019 Newmar Dutch Star 4018 (Freightliner)
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Old 09-25-2021, 12:22 PM   #10
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Yep seen plenty on the side of the road too. I also have replaced my buddies 2 mini Penguins AC shrouds due to (just about to let loose) age & sun exposure. I've got 2 Coleman Polar Machs that are the original AC's & shroud on my '04 American Eagle but if my coach isn't in RVing mode my AC's are then covered to keep them from rotting away. Well worth the it keeps the various critters from wanted to take up residence as we all know they like to due.
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