So This Happened Yesterday... (Slide-Out) - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 10-10-2019, 05:54 PM   #1
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So This Happened Yesterday... (Slide-Out)

Background:
A few weeks ago I decided to swap out my old LR furniture with something new. Arrived in Vegas this week... first time back in a big city since last March... seemed like a good time. Found something I liked, and scheduled the delivery for yesterday.

The Issue:
Delivery guys arrive late afternoon, and come in to remove the old sofa before bringing in the new. As they pull the sofa forward out of the slide-out, and then step behind it...

CRACK!!

The floor of the slide-out drops about 3-to-4 inches for about 3 feet along the long, outside edge!! The sides are still attached firmly, as is the forward 4-to-5 feet of the outer edge. But there's a definite detachment for a good 3 feet or so.

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Immediately called a mobile tech, who arrived about 2 hours later to do an initial assessment... as I was a bit timid to try to do anything myself for fear of making things worse, including just trying to retract the slide and hoping the floor would recess back into place as it came in.

So anyway, the tech arrived... and after an initial disbelief, agreed with what Initially thought: That with a couple of jacks, hopefully we can raise the floor back into place, and then re-secure it somehow with some heavy-duty anchor screws. While it might not (probably won't) be a permanent fix... it should allow us to retract the slide, and get it to a shop.

And that's what's going on for me today. I'm waiting for him to get back to me this morning as to whether they'll get over here this afternoon to start, or first thing Friday morning.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:58 PM   #2
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WOW! Sorry for your troubles. I guess those guys exceeded the GVWR of the slide. UGHH How many and how big were those guys?


What slide system is that??


Good Luck! Hope it works out easy.


Bill
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:44 AM   #3
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Terrible luck Tom. No good deed goes unpunished I guess. What's the long term solution?
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Old 10-11-2019, 12:33 PM   #4
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can you tell what was holding the floor in? was it just that aluminum piece?
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Old 10-11-2019, 04:22 PM   #5
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UPDATE:

Tech couldn't make it over here yesterday... said he'll be here this morning. Sure hope he does, I'm scheduled to leave tomorrow, and the campground has no vacancies for the weekend. IOW, I have to move, somehow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lcv800 View Post
Terrible luck Tom. No good deed goes unpunished I guess. What's the long term solution?
Well, I'll have a better grip on that once the initial repair is made. I'd like to hope that the repairs we make today will not only secure the part of the floor that sank, but reinforce the entire floor all the way around. But again, that's just a best-case scenario. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I'm assuming the entire slide will need to be removed, and the floor rebuilt.

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Originally Posted by franktafl View Post
can you tell what was holding the floor in? was it just that aluminum piece?
I can't really tell yet. As I said, I've tried to not probe too far so I don't make things worse before the pros have a chance to do what they do. That said, it's obvious that the aluminum brace was part of it... but whether it's the entire affair.
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATCguy View Post
UPDATE:

Tech couldn't make it over here yesterday... said he'll be here this morning. Sure hope he does, I'm scheduled to leave tomorrow, and the campground has no vacancies for the weekend. IOW, I have to move, somehow.


Well, I'll have a better grip on that once the initial repair is made. I'd like to hope that the repairs we make today will not only secure the part of the floor that sank, but reinforce the entire floor all the way around. But again, that's just a best-case scenario. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I'm assuming the entire slide will need to be removed, and the floor rebuilt.


I can't really tell yet. As I said, I've tried to not probe too far so I don't make things worse before the pros have a chance to do what they do. That said, it's obvious that the aluminum brace was part of it... but whether it's the entire affair.

Do yu have the extended warranty?
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franktafl View Post
Do yu have the extended warranty?
No, but I have been setting aside a little in an escrow account every month... so that'll help.

UPDATE:

So the mobile tech just left. Raised the floor with a jack in a few places, and inserted a few 6" lag screws.

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The only problem is he felt only 1 out of 3 actually bit into anything... as there seemed to be nothing for them to grab a hold of. Without taking the entire thing apart, he hypothesized that maybe there's other aluminum bracing between the interior floor & bottom of the slide-out... and of that, maybe a weld broke.

Anyway, once he was done inserting the anchors, we came back inside the rig... and although we didn't see daylight between the wall & there floor when wee stepped on it, we did see that the floor was still about an 1" below the point where the 'wallpaper' of the wall ended.

At that point we decided to see if the slide would retract to at least get me down the road... and thankfully it did. So now I've got to find a shop somewhere between Vegas & Phoenix that can hopefully get me in to repair & rebuild the thing properly, and not put me in a hotel for more than a few days.

Fun... fun... fun...
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:45 PM   #8
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I can only imagine they built a 5 sided box and added the Schwintec rails to it and shoved it in the opening.
How they built the box is a mystery of course but I can imagine, once again, they may have stapled the floor to the side walls or stapled the side walls to the floor. Regardless, the extra weight has pulled the mating joints apart and some additional material will be needed to get the box back together again.
You may be spending more than a day or two in a motel.


Hate to see you go through this but something has to be compromised to hit the weight limits of the entire thing.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:51 PM   #9
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I was watching a YouTuber, John Marucci, talk about the soft spot in his RPod. Turns out there was no support for the flooring under the camper and ultimately the Forest River factory installed 2 supports to fix the issue. His estimate was they had used the camper at least 200 nights which might be more than a typical owner.

I imagine the permanent fix for your camper will be the same. The dealer will need to cut some steel tubing, weld a plate to both sides, and use some type of screws/bolts to hold it in place.

I've watched how campers are assembled and they're basically nailing everything together and moving pretty quickly. Hard to blame the workers because they have production schedules and have specific instructions on how to assemble thing.

From what I understand during my buying process the dealer ultimately looks everything over carefully prior to delivery to make sure Dutchmen did everything they needed to and fix anything that isn't right. My dealer was pretty insistent they had a 4-hour long process of reviewing a camper and wanted to schedule a time after they got that done to go over everything before I left the lot.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:16 PM   #10
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I imagine the permanent fix for your camper will be the same. The dealer will need to cut some steel tubing, weld a plate to both sides, and use some type of screws/bolts to hold it in place.
No way... Remember, this is the floor of a slide. There's not enough room.

Like Sundancer says above... my thinking is that the floor was simply attached to the sides, with the floor material itself supposed to the able to handle 'normal weight'. (which is why, in other threads, we've discussed weight limits on slide outs) The big question, of course, remains... exactly how is it attached?

I've got one more thing I'm planning on trying next week. As stated earlier, I've gotta leave this campground tomorrow... so I didn't wanna start something today that I couldn't finish.

I'm headed down to Laughlin, NV tomorrow, and will be there all next week. And as that's a place I've stayed more than once over the past few years, I know there's a mobile tech there who's done work for me in the past, and who I trust. So that's one part of it.

The other is something that today's tech (who, I don't feel really had a good handle on the situation) said. The part about only 1-in-3 screws felt like it bit into anything. And that got me thinking about something I read in another RV forum, where a guy mentions that his floor was attached to the wall via screws from the bottom up into the WALL STUDS.

If that's the case, then maybe today's guy only hit a stud with a screw every so often (1-in-3)... and if that's true, then maybe once the position of the studs are marked, multiple screws can be then be inserted to secure the thing without the removal if the entire slide being necessary.

Anyway, I'll find out more next week either way.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:24 PM   #11
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UPDATE:

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So I'm now in Laughlin, and got the mobile tech guy that I trust to come take a look at things... and he's confirmed that it's gotta go to the shop for repair. Maybe not a complete removal, but gotta be done in the shop.

So looking at the picture, he made the assessment right away. He pointed to the area where I've drawn the arrow on the photo above, and said...

"The white part there below the aluminum is your floor... the aluminum is actually part of the interior of THE WALL."

in other words... the floor didn't fail... the bottom of the wall did. It has actually torn loose from whatever it was attached to further up inside the wall.

Without removing panels or anything... his assessment is that the bottom of the slide-out wall is that aluminum tubing seen in the photo. It is supposed to be connected to the runners (studs) in the wall either via welds, or other means (brackets, screws, etc)... which explains why, when we drove lag screws in from the bottom of the slide in Vegas, there was nothing for them to bite into.

Without removing the exterior wall panel and/or sheet metal, he isn't sure exactly how or where that bottom framing tube is attached. He did say he had a couple of idea of how he could possibly repair it on site... but, was fearful of beginning to remove stuff and then either find something unexpected, or that his ideas weren't gonna work.

So, with no real RV shops here in the area... I called Dutchmen and asked them who was their authorized service center in either Vegas (2 hours away) or Phoenix (3-to-4 hours). Any guesses who they gave me? Friggin CAMPING WORLD. Are you kidding me??

Anyway, just to get the ball rollin, I called & set up an appointment for to tow the rig back up there and let them assess the issue, give me an estimate, etc. The problem... the can't do that until the 30th.

So that's where things stand... and this has now officially become a PITA. Oh well...

Of course... Camping World is definitely not my first choice for the work. If anyone has recommendations for a better place to take this thing... especially in dealing with structural repair like this... I'm all ears.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:14 AM   #12
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Well, at least you're going to CW with your eyes wide open and will know right off the bat if they try to BS you. Keeping my fingers crossed that they don't have to pull the slide out and you get lucky with a tech who has a clue.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:05 PM   #13
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We're pulling for you Tom, keep us updated.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:54 PM   #14
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Best of luck to you! Hope it is not too complicated in the end.


BTW gotta love that "all terrain" floor jack.
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