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Post by janian on Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:51 pm

Hoping someone can help me on this one. I noticed recently that looking inside the wardrobe of my 2003 Nuevo, that the back wall which is obviously part of the main shell, is coming away from the right hand side wall of the wardrobe (the side that shares the washroom wall) I took off the plastic covers over the screws and tightened them up to pull the two parts together. After a shortish journey yesterday, the gap has reappeared so it looks like the original screws are not holding. 
I screwed a couple of plastic corner joints in, to try to strengthen the 90 degree join but am having trouble screwing into the back wall as once the screw has gone through the wood, there is some resistance and I don't want to force the screw through something I shouldn't! 
I am only attempting to screw into the back wall a few mm to the left of where Autosleepers have put their screws so am wondering if there are metal plates behind the outer layer of thin wood which I would need to drill pilot holes in? 

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Hope that all makes sense and that someone will have some words of wisdom  smile!
Thanks in anticipation
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Post by Paramedic on Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:56 pm

This very subject was on a recent post that received contribution from member bikeralw. I've tried to find it but to no avail. I'm sure when seeing your post, he will oblige.

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Post by janian on Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:57 pm

That's great thanks. If I can find out what is behind the back wall to screw into, I can put a neater beading all the way down the join, screwed to both surfaces. I have also emailed Autosleeper service dept  to see if they can help.
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Post by Pete Taylor on Thu Oct 01, 2020 1:12 pm

I have the exact same thing in our Stanton. The internal wall which separates the wardrobe/Truma compartment from the toilet compartment is showing a gap of about 2mm to the external wall. It starts from immediately under the bathroom cabinet and continues right to the bottom. I can push a credit card through from the wardrobe into the bathroom!

I'm not inclined to drill and screw anything because, as Ian says, there might be "something" behind there. I'm going to have a go with Gorilla clear glue- this is fantastic stuff, it's a heavy-duty superglue and REALLY sticks! Obviously I'll have to do a bit at a time and wait for it to dry; at least this will stop the gap from getting any wider.

I've sourced some silicon sealer of the correct shade, for the bathroom side and will seal that after the glueing job is finished.

Not very good good is it? Having had to sort out the bathroom swing-wall falling out I thought was finished in that department!

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Post by bolero boy on Thu Oct 01, 2020 7:56 pm

in construction/conversion videos ive seen, the furniture is put together first and should be self supporting.
the walls are added last and are also self supporting.
its possible the two vertical 'alignments' might not have been exactly correct when the van was first built and any 'connection' made might have been under pressure from day one...in which case, refitting new brackets may restore that pressure..
as long as there is no movement in the furniture, it should be fine...perhaps just a coloured 'filler' to hide the gap if it is annoying?
good luck.

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Post by Pete Taylor on Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:33 pm

bolero boy wrote:.......perhaps just a coloured 'filler' to hide the gap if it is annoying?
good luck.
 The A-S coloured filler has completely split apart- that IS annoying!

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Post by bolero boy on Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:07 am

is the gap consistent? ie, has it come away from its original position and 'sprung' to another but stayed there? this would reflect my point that, perhaps, the two were never really in sync at the bulid, merely pulled together by the original screws?
im wondering if you (one) would be trying to pull the furniture to a place its reluctant to go and therefore any glue/screws etc would always be under pressure and would fail sooner or later.
hence my point that 'the gap' could be filled (with glue/filler as you suggest) but not after trying to close the gap.
there have been a few similar postings and the reason could be a number of things...the van wall or furniture has moved...could even be the floor thats moved fractionally and changed the angle of the vertical....but why...on other vans too?
more likely, imv, is that the furniture (made in large batches) is poorly machined (on a particular batch?) and wall edges may not be exactly perpendicular, making the original abutting to an adjacent vertical wall difficult, and putting the original screws under pressure.
anyway, just a suggestion. good luck with the fix.

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Post by marconi on Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:07 am

bolero boy wrote:is the gap consistent? ie, has it come away from its original position and 'sprung' to another but stayed there? this would reflect my point that, perhaps, the two were never really in sync at the bulid, merely pulled together by the original screws?
im wondering if you (one) would be trying to pull the furniture to a place its reluctant to go and therefore any glue/screws etc would always be under pressure and would fail sooner or later.
hence my point that 'the gap' could be filled (with glue/filler as you suggest) but not after trying to close the gap.
there have been a few similar postings and the reason could be a number of things...the van wall or furniture has moved...could even be the floor thats moved fractionally and changed the angle of the vertical....but why...on other vans too?
more likely, imv, is that the furniture (made in large batches) is poorly machined (on a particular batch?) and wall edges may not be exactly perpendicular, making the original abutting to an adjacent vertical wall difficult, and putting the original screws under pressure.
anyway, just a suggestion. good luck with the fix.

Sounds logical. I have nothing to add other than, are the shower wall dropping out and the gap problem related, that seems like the floor is going down.

Got some jobs to do in the van I am going to photograph and catalogue those joints in a later Nuevo for reference, its a bit unnerving.
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Post by Pete Taylor on Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:25 pm

The shower wall dropped out because the ceiling went up! There is some sort of padding inserted between the shower ceiling and the roof of the van- this is supposed to force the ceiling down and make "the hinge" work. Utterly rubbish engineering! Evidently my padding moved out of position. The official "fix" is to remove the adjacent light fitting and stuff more padding in! I decided to do a proper engineering job (there is an illustrated thread somewhere on here). It is working fine since I did the job some years ago.

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Post by marconi on Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:37 pm

Pete Taylor wrote:The shower wall dropped out because the ceiling went up! There is some sort of padding inserted between the shower ceiling and the roof of the van- this is supposed to force the ceiling down and make "the hinge" work. Utterly rubbish engineering! Evidently my padding moved out of position. The official "fix" is to remove the adjacent light fitting and stuff more padding in! I decided to do a proper engineering job (there is an illustrated thread somewhere on here). It is working fine since I did the job some years ago.

Oh good, that could have been a worry for us all. Yep, padding, wonderful engineering of course it will never compress over time.

I have taken photos of my joints, the seal in the bathroom is very small and I can't tell if it covers any gap. On the other side in the wardrobe the butt is perfectly tight, it will be good to have this as a record.

I take it your outer wall is ply, I know it is cold comfort but you are very lucky if it is, you have something that takes a screw and can be repaired. One job I wanted to do today was get a wire into the wardrobe I couldn't fish it so I decided to remove the box section in the corner that covers the cables. I was reluctant to do it because inevitably it ruins the dream (that the Nuevo is built robustly).

There are six of the 45 degree corner joints like the ones that you are having trouble with. The three on the internal ply wardrobe side have shorter screws. The three on the outer wall are maybe 4mm longer. When they were unscrewed there was a shower of dust and the holes left were oblong and over twice the size of the screws.

My sidewalls and the roof are foam with a very thin glass fiber skin. It sometimes makes a fixing if A-S were very careful, often they fail as did the shower riser on our first journey, it crashed into the shower tray. 
The screws that hold the fly screen on the Hab Door did the same, the kitchen roof vent leaked on one side, it had lifted above the mastic when I checked the vent fixing screw had fallen out on that side leaving a hole too big for the screw, others were loose. A-S re sealed the vent, it is another place that I don't want to look to see what they did with the screws, normally they stuff in bigger screws, obviously there are limits to that, once only.

The wardrobe box section like other things I have removed has been removed before, perhaps for cable access, it has a piece of masking tape inside with my build number on it, hence the worn out fixing holes, evidenced by the other three fixings into the ply having two sets of holes each, well why locate the original holes and re use them when you can get your battery driver and ram the screws in anywhere.

Fortunately my repairs using PVA and wood shims to produce a plug have been successful and have lasted longer than all the A-S fixings that failed. I have plugged the wardrobe ones and they are now setting overnight.

I do hope that somewhere in the construction they put something a bit solid to screw into, foam doesn't take screws well.
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Post by Pete Taylor on Sat Oct 03, 2020 2:34 pm

Actually I don't have any of the 45 degree corner brackets! The only thing holding the walls together is whatever is behind the round plastic covers on the bathroom side of the wall; I'm not going to prise one of those off because I'll probably make a mess of it!

As for a fly-screen on the hab door.... we can only dream of that! Ours has the rubbish Hartal door.

I've taken some photos but cannot find a simple way of posting them here, without hosting via Flickr, or something like that.

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Post by marconi on Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:52 pm

Pete Taylor wrote:Actually I don't have any of the 45 degree corner brackets! The only thing holding the walls together is whatever is behind the round plastic covers on the bathroom side of the wall; I'm not going to prise one of those off because I'll probably make a mess of it!

As for a fly-screen on the hab door.... we can only dream of that! Ours has the rubbish Hartal door.

I've taken some photos but cannot find a simple way of posting them here, without hosting via Flickr, or something like that.

I didn't think I called them brackets, I called them joints, we are talking of the same thing, the recessed round joints which join two panels at 90 degrees, the present the screw at 45 degrees. We better call them by the right name KD panel fittings. The caps don't take much prizing off, finger nails will do it, its only a cap which gives you access to the screw.

Grommit will be here to tell you that there is a How To on the group for posting photos. It is easy after the first fiddle to get it sorted.

I have taken some photos today. I should never have mentioned the Kitchen vent. Today my water leak was back that the Nuevo went in to Willersey for at the beginning of August. They re-bedded the vent on new mastic the moron 'engineer' then put all his fixing screws alongside the original holes and overtightened them and ripped out the thread. Two screws had fallen out, all the others were loose. 

Vent fixing screw hanging out.
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A-S Service Center (bottom hole) thread ripped out. Other hole was repaired by me when the first Factory overtightened screw fell out.
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Overtightening the screws merely compresses the foam roof.
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On other foam panel motorhomes I have seen there is a wooden frame surround inserted to take the vent fixings. The above picture shows the thin fiberglass skin which is all there is to fix to on A-S panels, the foam is not a viable material for screws, A-S overtighten fixings and destroy the fiberglass layer both in production and at the Service Center. When will they realise, set the torque on their screwdrivers and carry out some staff training.

I am still working on repairing the fixing holes in the side wall in the wardrobe to give them some strength to take the screws.
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Post by modelman on Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:43 am

janian wrote:Hoping someone can help me on this one. I noticed recently that looking inside the wardrobe of my 2003 Nuevo, that the back wall which is obviously part of the main shell, is coming away from the right hand side wall of the wardrobe (the side that shares the washroom wall) I took off the plastic covers over the screws and tightened them up to pull the two parts together. After a shortish journey yesterday, the gap has reappeared so it looks like the original screws are not holding. 
I screwed a couple of plastic corner joints in, to try to strengthen the 90 degree join but am having trouble screwing into the back wall as once the screw has gone through the wood, there is some resistance and I don't want to force the screw through something I shouldn't! 
I am only attempting to screw into the back wall a few mm to the left of where Autosleepers have put their screws so am wondering if there are metal plates behind the outer layer of thin wood which I would need to drill pilot holes in? 

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Hope that all makes sense and that someone will have some words of wisdom  smile!
Thanks in anticipation
Ian
Please don't take offence, but to me, that looks just about irreparable, so if it were me, i'd bite the bullet & change the whole setup.
A steel or alloy plate say, 100mm square, the same thickness as the original screwed-in bracket, with a bend to fit the panel edge can easily be fabricated with the matching 'hinge-ball' fitted in the correct position, this can then be put in place with HD double-sided tape, 4 small screws in the corners or both, this plate can be either painted as near to or covered in vinyl/fabric or whatever. If done nicely, I doubt it will look out of place or even 'seen'.

Looking at the pic, another idea comes to mind, another 100mm square plate, PUSHED into the foam above the ceiling-sheet, fit the original bracket in place, pilot-drill through it & then self-tappers through & into your 100mm plate in the foam.
If you're not 'into' meatalwork, then how about digging out the insulation locally & insert a suitable sized wood block to screw into.
I'm sure something like this will stop any future failings.

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Post by marconi on Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:58 pm

modelman wrote:
janian wrote:Hoping someone can help me on this one. 
Please don't take offence, but to me, that looks just about irreparable, so if it were me, i'd bite the bullet & change the whole setup.
A steel or alloy plate say, 100mm square, the same thickness as the original screwed-in bracket, with a bend to fit the panel edge can easily be fabricated with the matching 'hinge-ball' fitted in the correct position, this can then be put in place with HD double-sided tape, 4 small screws in the corners or both, this plate can be either painted as near to or covered in vinyl/fabric or whatever. If done nicely, I doubt it will look out of place or even 'seen'.

Looking at the pic, another idea comes to mind, another 100mm square plate, PUSHED into the foam above the ceiling-sheet, fit the original bracket in place, pilot-drill through it & then self-tappers through & into your 100mm plate in the foam.
If you're not 'into' meatalwork, then how about digging out the insulation locally & insert a suitable sized wood block to screw into.
I'm sure something like this will stop any future failings.

Odd, quote from janian crept in there but I am sure your reply is to me.

Offence the only people who should take offence, no notice, is Autosleepers. Its great isn't it that their worker, Paul, makes it irreparable in the view of a skilled man in one Warranty visit

Yes ideally AS should mill out the foam and fit a wooden frame bonded in. I have thought about doing it but its a new van I shouldn't have to. Give me three days and I will have built up a nice firm screw hole that will hold the screws, one of my pics shows a repaired hole I did quickly when in Spain that was still useable, I will reinforce it more and re use it.

This is only a roof vent. What worries me more is the original posters problem and the whole van construction, if the whole van is constructed relying on a thin bit of glass fiber which powders away and they strip a percentage of screw holes on assembly. The box section in the wardrobe joints to the skin had all failed. 

I am now beginning to doubt that there is anything substantial in the construction, maybe we should avoid high winds. Although the glass fiber outer is tough maybe that is fixed to something.
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Post by Pete Taylor on Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:16 pm

@Marconi- now I get it! KD fittings (or cam-lock fittings generically) are those things found on nasty flat-pack furniture; quite suitable for static book-cases etc, but perhaps not so clever when the thing is being rattled and twisted along bumpy roads for thousands of miles!

I'll go and see if they have come loose.

EDIT: Not cam-lock fittings at all! That would be too sophisticated for A-S. There is a round plastic plug "thing" with a hole at 45 degrees through which a rather small self-tapper is screwed into the back wall of the bathroom- of course it fell out when I touched it because it had unscrewed/worn out the MDF, just like you described above!

To think that A-S used to be the watch-word for motor-home build quality... when they used real wood and skilled craftsmen.

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Post by modelman on Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:30 pm

Sorry marconi, I got it all wrong again, must try harder.  scratch head

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Post by marconi on Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:32 pm

janian wrote:That's great thanks. If I can find out what is behind the back wall to screw into, I can put a neater beading all the way down the join, screwed to both surfaces. I have also emailed Autosleeper service dept  to see if they can help.

Surely the next thing after the back wall that you are screwing into is the outer skin of the Nuevo you don't want to drill into that unless you fancy a strip of 2X1 timber down the side of the van.
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Post by marconi on Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:36 pm

modelman wrote:Sorry marconi, I got it all wrong again, must try harder.  scratch head
But your reply was to me, yes?

And a very welcome assessment from a man of skill.
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Post by marconi on Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:29 pm

Pete Taylor wrote:@Marconi- now I get it! KD fittings (or cam-lock fittings generically) are those things found on nasty flat-pack furniture; quite suitable for static book-cases etc, but perhaps not so clever when the thing is being rattled and twisted along bumpy roads for thousands of miles!

I'll go and see if they have come loose.

EDIT: Not cam-lock fittings at all! That would be too sophisticated for A-S. There is a round plastic plug "thing" with a hole at 45 degrees through which a rather small self-tapper is screwed into the back wall of the bathroom- of course it fell out when I touched it because it had unscrewed/worn out the MDF, just like you described above!

To think that A-S used to be the watch-word for motor-home build quality... when they used real wood and skilled craftsmen.

Not MDF I think, toooo heavy, usually light weight cream wafer biscuit, without the cream layer, ply. If so you are lucky because that can be repaired with the result stronger than the original.

I don't know when they went over to this foam stuff with a thin hard layer on the inside skin, I was told it was fiber glass but it goes to powder very easily. And can't stand the abuse from the craftsmen at A-S.
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Post by janian on Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:47 pm

marconi wrote:
janian wrote:That's great thanks. If I can find out what is behind the back wall to screw into, I can put a neater beading all the way down the join, screwed to both surfaces. I have also emailed Autosleeper service dept  to see if they can help.

Surely the next thing after the back wall that you are screwing into is the outer skin of the Nuevo you don't want to drill into that unless you fancy a strip of 2X1 timber down the side of the van.
The existing Autosleeper screws that go through the plastic joint into the back wall are longer than the ones I am trying to use for the corner joints when screwing into the back wall only a few mm from the current screws. Unfortunately, as I mentioned previously, they are hitting something like metal which I could drill and self tap into, if I only knew what it was. I am going to try a solution found in another thread of using pva glue and matchsticks in the current holes to beef them up and then rescrew in the existing screws to see if they hold better. Another suggestion was to rotate the plastic circle that holds the screws, about 30 degrees and make fresh holes.
Thank you all for the very helpful posts.
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Post by marconi on Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:32 pm

janian wrote:
marconi wrote:
janian wrote:That's great thanks. If I can find out what is behind the back wall to screw into, I can put a neater beading all the way down the join, screwed to both surfaces. I have also emailed Autosleeper service dept  to see if they can help.

Surely the next thing after the back wall that you are screwing into is the outer skin of the Nuevo you don't want to drill into that unless you fancy a strip of 2X1 timber down the side of the van.
The existing Autosleeper screws that go through the plastic joint into the back wall are longer than the ones I am trying to use for the corner joints when screwing into the back wall only a few mm from the current screws. Unfortunately, as I mentioned previously, they are hitting something like metal which I could drill and self tap into, if I only knew what it was. I am going to try a solution found in another thread of using pva glue and matchsticks in the current holes to beef them up and then rescrew in the existing screws to see if they hold better. Another suggestion was to rotate the plastic circle that holds the screws, about 30 degrees and make fresh holes.
Thank you all for the very helpful posts.
The angled screw will be able to be longer than one at 90 degrees into the panel.

I think suggestion to use PVA glue and wood carved to imitate the 3 sections of a plastic Rawl Plug (matchstick wood is good because it is straight grained) on the other thread is mine.
Random stuffing of matchsticks as they are is not good. Remove the plastic fitting before starting the reconstructive surgery. I use a hypodermic syringe to inject PVA into the hole first, leave it for an hour, inject PVA again thoroughly coat the plug sections with PVA and insert, put a small nail point in the middle to define the screw hole, leave overnight at least, then insert the screw to test. You can tell how much bite it has, bigger holes may need more wood and more PVA, the process can take 3 days but its worth it.

I have had internal panels that have been split by the screw. These can be injected with PVA clamped and left overnight, then the reconstruction in the hole can start. The result is very strong and the original damage unnoticeable.
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