Denali Trim Loose - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 04-20-2015, 11:34 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Peoria
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Illinois
Denali Trim Loose

I have a 2013 Dutchmen Denali 262RLX purchased new in March of 2012. After the first trip or two, I noticed the outside corner trim at the front left and right corners was pulled loose, breaking the caulking joint. This is where the horizontal under-bed area meets the fiberglass front cap. Each side was pulled down about . I took it back to the dealer and they secured the trim and resealed. After another trip, the trim again pulled down. I removed the corner trim pieces on each side and could see a metal flange that the trim was attached to vertically with self-drilling screws. This flange is welded to the frame. There were about 9 large wood screws per side, 1-1/2 long by about diameter, through this flange going up into a 1 thick plywood side wall. The fiberglass side wall exterior is bonded to this plywood. All these screws are a stripped out of the plywood. A few were rusty from moisture exposure from the broken seal, but the plywood is not rotted. There is a gap between the metal flange and the bottom of the plywood wall on each side. On one side it is about 3/8, and about on the other side of camper. As I cycle between standing on the jack stands and being loaded on the pin box, the frame moves up and down about this 3/8 vertical distance relative to the side wall as measured near the cap. This is what is pulling the trim loose, and with this arrangement, there will never be a way to keep the corner trim sealed unless the frame is secured to the wall. Has anyone else had this problem and been able to find a fix? The dealer does not know what else to do, and my calls and messages to Dutchmen have not resulted in any help since it is out of warranty. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:49 PM   #2
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British Columbia
Hi Danfiver. I have the same model Denali as you, but a 2011. I have experienced some flexing of this trim, and have re-caulked it a couple of times. But the movement has not been as extensive as yours.
We will be heading out in the RV for a few days next week, but I will have a detailed look at this when I get back home. I will probably pull off the moulding to see what is underneath.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:21 AM   #3
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Tollyman,
I will be interested to hear what you find on your rig. I was at my Dutchmen dealer Monday, trying to get some assistance. They had a couple o Denali's in for service. At least one appeared to be having the problem.
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:58 AM   #4
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Denali Trim Loose

Hi Dan. Well I finally got around to looking at this trim on my unit. Mine only had the issue on the left side, and the caulking and trim had separated by about 1/8 " max. So I decided to remove the trim and have a look. I removed all the trim - wrong move. Some of the screws were rusted and not really holding anything. It looks like they went into the edge of the plywood. They had also used float heat screws, without countersinking them. And it looks like they used a router to trim the side panelling (Filon) and just went up and over the screw heads. Made for an odd pattern.
I replaced the screws with stainless, used a larger size (#12) and put the screws into the metal frame. (Drill appropriate size screw hole so that the screw will tap into the metal frame.) Then I put the trim back on, with caulking on the inside of the trim. But you cannot bend an L-shaped angle trim without some distortion (unless you heat it). So my trim had a few minor blemishes now from me trying to force the outer edge to the side of the unit. (Thus, my comment that I should not remove the entire trim). But it is now caulked properly. Previously there was no caulking behind the metal trim, just on the edge, so when the caulking separated, it allowed water to penetrate.
We'll see if this holds and has any more caulking separation. Going up Island in a couple of weeks.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:38 PM   #5
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Same camper, I pulled the plastic and resealed by resetting new screws in the alum. track then using upholstery washers to hold the plastic insert in place. Haven't notice the severe movement that you have but will be watching. Did experience the truss just in front of the front axel making noise when walking on the floor in the area in front of the Refrigerator. Really poor welding. See my post on frame and chassis.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:14 PM   #6
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Location: Scottsdale
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Arizona
I am having similar problems on the REAR corners of my 2013 Dutchmen Denali 259RLX. I just emailed photos of the damage to my dealer in AZ. It appears to me the rear wall is flexing enough to pull the skin out of the rear trim strip.
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Old 05-22-2017, 05:40 PM   #7
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Arizona
2013 Denali 259RLX Rear wall separation

After 2 months at the dealer, my 5th wheel was repaired (I thought!). After the first short trip skin cracks appeared again and this weekend the rt rear wall lower corner separated again. The left lower corner has again developed stress cracks. When the original repair was made it was determined the factory drilled through the frame when installing the lower clearance lights. When presented with this fact the factory paid the dealer to repair the structural damage. Now it appears the dealer did not properly repair the damage to the frame. Customer service told me to return to the repairing dealer because they won't t participate in a second repair. I have no confidence in the dealer and I'm back to square one! Has anyone else experienced this rear wall separation problem?
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