Fleetwood/Coleman Sun Valley Rear Body Panel is Separating

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by sk91709, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. sk91709

    sk91709 Chino Hills, CA

    178
    1
    Jul 8, 2008
    Chino Hills, CA
    Hi all,

    I've had my 99 Sun Valley for a little under a year. On the last trip out, I noticed that rear ABS body panel seems to be pulling away from box on the passenger side. Looking into the crack between the ABS and the body, I can see a thin piece of plywood (maybe 3/8") that appears to be at an odd angle.

    I've looked around and haven't seen a lot of posts discussing removing and reattaching this part. Looking at the piece itself, it's not obvious to me how it's attached to the rest of the box. I'm wondering if it's attached by fasteners that are covered by interior furnishings that need to be removed?

    Has anyone done it? Got any advice for a relative newbie?

    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  2. sk91709

    sk91709 Chino Hills, CA

    178
    1
    Jul 8, 2008
    Chino Hills, CA
    I guess I'm on my own on this one?
     
  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    11,599
    10
    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    I believe that the panel is riveted on, screws along the bottom. Can you see in the top edge of the panel before you pull the buck out, or remove a taillight.
     
  4. NE_FL_CAMPERS

    NE_FL_CAMPERS New Member

    176
    0
    May 18, 2007
    Jacksonville,Fl
    Hey Scott,,sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner, I've been away from my computer for few days.
    I have removed the rear panel from my 95 Avalon several times.
    Most are held on with rivets along the bottom and top.
    You can get these at one of the box type stores
    When you raise the roof they should be visible. Just drill them out with the proper size bit,can't remember what the size I used.Remove any brackets attached to the rear panel,bed support brackets,bumpers.
    Gently work the panel off from the bottom,along the edges then the top.
    You will more then likely get some cracks or even breakage.
    These can be repaired from the INSIDE of the panel with Marine Tex or a solution of ground up ABS chips mixed with MEKP to make a pancake type mixture.
    Mix small amounts of the MEKP & ABS chips it will dry fairly quickly.
    Drill small holes at the ends of any cracks you have,sand the inside area to clean it.I used a finger nail emory board to sand the inside of each crack to to in larger area for the ABS/MEKP mixture to work in.
    any small pieces that broke off I put back in place with PVC clear glue then bonded the back with the ABS mixture .The only areas you should need sand will be the outside for cosmetic,the paint.
    Hope this helps.If not feel free to contact me.
    Phil
     
  5. sk91709

    sk91709 Chino Hills, CA

    178
    1
    Jul 8, 2008
    Chino Hills, CA
    Thanks for great reply. That ABS repair sounds suspiciously like work... :)

    I'm somewhat hampered by the ability to work on the thing at my home (steep driveway, low overhead in garage). But, from what I remember last time I had it up, there are rivets or screws holding a metal 'L' shaped bracket across the top (looks like the bunk-end stop), but I don't remember that it spanned the gap to the ABS panel. Hence, my confusion on what is actually holding the thing on across the top.

    There are screws along the bottom edge that do connect the panel. What's the deal with the channels along the rear edge on the metal side panels? Is the ABS supposed to lock into those channels?

    Can I get the panel off with a half-pop, you think?
     
  6. NE_FL_CAMPERS

    NE_FL_CAMPERS New Member

    176
    0
    May 18, 2007
    Jacksonville,Fl
    "There are screws along the bottom edge that do connect the panel. What's the deal with the channels along the rear edge on the metal side panels? Is the ABS supposed to lock into those channels? "

    The sides of the rear panel slips into the channels for support and aligenment.
    The top strip should be secured to the camper,,the panel slips under & into to strip,,rivets are the put in the strip from the top down into the abs.
    Caution needs to be used her,,if you drill the holes to large the new rivets will not fit and lock in to place.
    I used a the Arrow 3/16" dia X 1/4" grip.
    I would suggest useing a longer grip,,the 1/4 does not allow enough to always catch and pull the panel in to place.
    Also these rivets are very hard to set with a manual gun.
     
  7. sk91709

    sk91709 Chino Hills, CA

    178
    1
    Jul 8, 2008
    Chino Hills, CA
    Thanks again... I just popped it up a few inches to get a better look. The top metal strip is held on by phillips head fasteners, so that's good (no rivets). And I see what you mean about the panel going under that strip.

    However, it appears that the problem may be more structural than I originally thought. For example, if I give a tug to the spare tire, it moves the rear panel in and out. So, I'm thinking that it's actually the framing that the panel (and the spare) is attached to that is coming loose.

    Any thoughts on what the framing is like? I hate to take it apart to check it out. I may not be able to get it back together before the next trip (2 weekends).

    I'd also hate to lose the back of the trailer on the road... [:D]

    I can see some wood under the strip through the crack (like a 2x2). I assume there's metal framing in there somewhere... What's the framing like?
     
  8. bobhcs

    bobhcs Colorado Springs

    178
    0
    Apr 13, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    Hi Scott,

    I had what sounds like a similar problem on my 2000 Coleman Cheyenne last year. The inside back panel was starting to break loose from the sides and then pushing the outside back panel back. I uploaded some pictures that might help.

    http://community.webshots.com/album/563992493TbYAFu

    The 1x2 on one side of the back panel was breaking loose. My fix was to make a small piece of metal to reinforce it. I just used an L bracket that I had laying around.

    [​IMG]

    I went ahead and reinforced both sides while I had it open. I think it was stronger than the original construction after this and the fix was simple. I'm not sure if you have the same problem or not but I thought it might help to see this. There are more pics at the link, including what the back looks like with the panel fully removed.

    Bob
     
  9. bobhcs

    bobhcs Colorado Springs

    178
    0
    Apr 13, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    By the way it wasn't too bad getting it back together afterwords. I just had to take my time and get everything lined up. I only spent a couple hours on the whole process.

    Bob
     
  10. sk91709

    sk91709 Chino Hills, CA

    178
    1
    Jul 8, 2008
    Chino Hills, CA
    Bob -

    You rock! Yes, I think I have the same problem.

    Thanks for the great pics. I feel much better about opening it up now that I have seen those. I'm pretty sure the construction will be similar on mine.

    Thanks to you, Phil, and Ray for your help!
     
  11. bobhcs

    bobhcs Colorado Springs

    178
    0
    Apr 13, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    Glad I could help!
     
  12. sk91709

    sk91709 Chino Hills, CA

    178
    1
    Jul 8, 2008
    Chino Hills, CA
    All - I wanted to post a quick after-action report.

    I stand before you today on the shoulders of giants... Okay, maybe too dramatic, but I wanted all to know that I completed this repair with plenty of time 'til my next trip. You can see some pics at photobucket.

    http://s634.photobucket.com/albums/uu64/sk91709/99%20Coleman%20Rear%20Panel%20Repair/?albumview=slideshow

    I had a split rail on top, and I was missing a wood screw holding the wood frame to the angle-iron frame of the camper. Like Bob, I reinforced mine with a metal bracket, and then bolted and lock-nutted that bad-boy on there. It's better than stock, fo' sho'.

    Phil's recipe for ABS repair with MEK was spot-on, and I fixed the cracks along the bottom of the panel where the bottom screws hold it on. The repair doesn't look great, but it's a hidden part of the panel, and it seems plenty strong.

    This is why this is the best PUP community on the 'net... Thanks again, gents!

    For me, a few things to note:
    • Getting the panel off required me to use a putty knife under the metal trim piece on the top of the panel. There was some kind of tar-like stuff under there. I'm not sure if it was original weatherstripping, or if it was someone's earlier attempt to fix this problem. Once I cut through that stuff underneath the length of the metal trim, the ABS panel came right out.
    • Replacing the panel was a little dicey, because that metal trim piece wanted to push back under the bunk-end. I had to pull it out with pliers while I pushed the ABS panel underneath it. Getting it lined up with the screw holes through the metal, ABS, and wood deck took a little effort, too.
    • All told, the repair too me a few hours. It wasn't that bad at all. Now that rear panel and spare mount are solid as a rock. I'm good to go!

    Next thing to do is lube the lift system. Never done it before, but I know there's lots of posts about it...

    'Til next time... Happy Camping!
     
  13. 505coleman

    505coleman New Member

    7
    0
    May 10, 2009
    Great pics to add to the first batch previously posted. Very helpful info. Mine was doing the same thing but I did notice a crack in the top of my ABS panel by the first screw. That crack was the culprit! There was water getting in and it wrecked the wood in that corner as well as down below. I have a lot of repair to do to the wood. I'm thinking of replacing the top 1x4 piece with a piece of plywood and replaceing the upright suport pieces with some trex. We'll see how it goes. I also need to repair the ABS. I'm going ot give Airsoft BB's a shot to see if they make a good patching mixture. We'll see how that goes. I'll post up results if it goes well. Great info guys! [:D]
     
  14. 505coleman

    505coleman New Member

    7
    0
    May 10, 2009
    Well, the repair went pretty well. I ended up replacing the two vertical pieces in the corners, the top 1x4 piece, and a small piece of the lower wafer board with a synthetic wood material. It held together very solid once all the screws were set. Remember to pre-drill all holes if using this material as it tends to crush if you don't. I used Crossman white airsoft ammo with M.E.K. for my ABS patching material and it worked amazingly well. It was a bit warm the day I did the patch so it stayed a little flexible for my taste, but once it sat overnight and had a chance to harden, it was a great patch with no need to paint it. Great info from everyone on this repair. Thanks!
     
  15. sk91709

    sk91709 Chino Hills, CA

    178
    1
    Jul 8, 2008
    Chino Hills, CA
    Sounds like you improved on OEM on that repair, no question.

    Great tip on the ABS material, too. I've got some patches to do on my front panel and would hate to have to use black ABS! [:(O] That MEK/ABS repair is kind of magical, isn't it?
     
  16. monkeyheadboy

    monkeyheadboy New Member

    29
    0
    May 6, 2009
    North Carolina
    Hi,
    I am having the same problem with the rear panel pulling away form the frame. The repair looks
    like it's something I have the technology to do but what is MEK and where do I get some?


    Thanks
    John
     
  17. sk91709

    sk91709 Chino Hills, CA

    178
    1
    Jul 8, 2008
    Chino Hills, CA
    Methyl Ethyl Ketone, available at big box hardware stores in the paint or plumbing section.
     
  18. lkaskel

    lkaskel New Member

    9
    0
    Jul 14, 2009
    Maryland
    One thing that was not obvious. Is the rear panel held on with screws on the bottom and then screws on the top? Is there double sided tape anywhere? I had to replace my trunk lid assembly and it used a lot of tape. Did you need to remove any lights to get the panel off?


    Thanks Again!!!!
     
  19. sk91709

    sk91709 Chino Hills, CA

    178
    1
    Jul 8, 2008
    Chino Hills, CA
    On mine, there were about 8-10 screws along the top through a metal strip, through the ABS, and into a top 1x4 wood framing member. There were 4 screws along the bottom through the ABS and into a metal frame along the bottom.

    No double-sided tape, but there was some sort of adhesive under the metal strip; I believe it was caulk. I had to use a putty knife to separate the strip from the ABS along the top.

    I did not have to remove the lights along the back panel, but I just pulled mine away enough to get to the parts I needed to repair. If you were to fully remove the rear panel, you'd have to remove the lights or wiring to the back of the lights.
     
  20. lkaskel

    lkaskel New Member

    9
    0
    Jul 14, 2009
    Maryland
    I got it. That seems simple enough. Thanks for the fast reply. There calling for rain here in Maryland so I may need to wait a day or so. Your help has been much appreciated!!!!

    Now.......any quick fixes for a sagging ABS roof out of warranty :) (just kidding of course). I wish tere were and easy answer for this!
     

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