How I solved the broken Fleetwood bunk end caps problem

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by bondebond, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

    Messages:
    2,079
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    People who own a PUP manufactured by Fleetwood, including many Colemans, may eventually run into the issue of the plastic OEM bed slide wedge (part # 4754B4821) and the bed slide end cap (part # 4754-8631) breaking.

    For me, it was the end cap and not the wedge.

    The cap faces outward on the bed rails and helps prevent snagging the tenting on the sharp corners of the rails but more importantly, keeps the bunk-end from sliding right on out of the camper.

    How I noticed that I had a problem was that the bunk-end would extend further out than the edge of the camper's lower wall when it had previously lined up. This allowed insects to enter and heated or cooled air to escape. Upon inspection, the plastic end caps were broken on both rails and needed replacing.

    While they are not expensive, I did not want to use another set of plastic OEM end caps but I also did not want to spend the amount of money being asked for the third-party options. I decided to make my own from left over aluminum stock from previous projects.

    Below are shots of what I did. It is not a perfect match of the design but using only basic power tools, it works out pretty well. I did clean up and polish the final product before installation as it is quite rough in these pictures.

    This little project was:
    1) about saving money
    2) making a stronger part than the OEM part that failed
    3) getting to do a little more metal work (not into welding...yet)
    4) enjoying some time tinkering and seeing if I can solve yet another problem
    Mission accomplished.

    The finished product and the components:
    [​IMG]
    Pictured above is the final product and the two types of aluminum stock I used. The 1/8" angle bar is from a blue tote carrier project (click my camera icon for a link to that and other mods) and the 1/4" flat bar is from a different project.

    Each end cap was made from cutting and stacking two angle bar sections together, transferring the pattern of the original and then cutting it out with a band saw with a metal-cutting blade.

    The section that houses the bolt is the load-bearing portion of the end cap and the most important. With the double layer of 1/8" angle stock in place, I added just a small rectangle of the 1/4" stock on the side that has the nut. This makes it about 1/2" thick and more than adequate for the job. It also helped to give proper spacing within the rail as the original plastic end cap had an additional lip on one side and mine does not, shown better in pictures below. During installation, I also used of couple of washers as spacers to complete the proper spacing and protect the tenting from the sharp edges of the rails that this cap is attached to.

    ----------------------

    [​IMG]
    This is a close up of the bolt side. The OEM part has a chamfer here and observing the location before removing it revealed why. This side rides right up against the fixed support slide rail anchored to the fixed walls with little clearance.

    This was the first end cap I made and chamfered it just a little too much, thus the stainless steel finish washer to help build it back up. With this washer in place, everything sits properly and provides a little extra support in a potentially weak area.

    ----------------------

    [​IMG]
    Just another view to catch the light to show the machining marks. Most all of this was cleaned up before the actual installation. I just did not capture any pictures of it at that stage.

    ----------------------

    [​IMG]
    It's hard to tell in this picture, but the thickness of the wall where the bolt goes through is a little thicker than the OEM part. That's a good thing as this is component is structurally where all of the load comes to bear.

    ----------------------

    [​IMG]
    The plastic part does not look like there is much damage but this is the one that was still partially intact. The other plastic cap basically pulled right out by hand because of the collapsing of the plastic. Thankfully, it held the bolt in place enough to prevent the bunk end from completely coming out.

    ----------------------

    [​IMG]
    This view shows the biggest difference in my version. Notice that there is no lip on the bottom edge of mine versus the OEM part. This lip helps to cover all four sharp edge corners of the slide rail. I made up for it by using a couple of washers as spacers during installation to properly position mine. Another section of 1/4" bar stock might have done the trick but the washers were handier. It lined up perfectly and functions extremely well.

    It does not look OEM or like it was manufactured but this is a part that is never seen when the PUP is up or when it is down, only during setup/takedown. I will be making a set for the other bunk-end sometime but those have yet to show signs of end cap failure.
     
  2. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,933
    Likes Received:
    136
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Location:
    Perry, MI
    Nice work bondebond.
    I opted for the 3rd party replacement (wedgies and end caps bundle deal), which work well but I did have to make the hole a little bigger to match the alignment of my rails/holes.
    Whatever works, right?
     
  3. Rynderz

    Rynderz Lifelong Camper

    Messages:
    1,953
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    very nicely done!! I have a couple of tool and die makers that will be able to make some of these for me from scraps they have [;)] [;)]
     
  4. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

    Messages:
    2,079
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Thanks. If you have access to skilled folks with the proper tools, this could be done so much better than I did.
     
  5. JJustus5

    JJustus5 Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    Fricken ingenius. Beyond saving money you now have the priceless pride of doing it yourself. I totally appreciate your inventiveness.
     
  6. Rileysowner

    Rileysowner New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2017
    I hope I can do this with the tools I have. Right now I am wondering how to remove the current caps as I can't seem to figure out how to access the bolt head that holds them. With the ny-lock nut used with them if I can't access the bolt head I am not sure how to get it off much less how to install new ones. So far Google has failed me in terms of a how to on removing them.
     

Share This Page