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Super_Dave

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Posted: 04/20/19 01:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm starting my second season with the new 5th wheel and just brought it home last week from storage. I noticed that one of my plastic fenders has several cracks in it starting from the screw holes. It is obvious that the screws were over tightened causing stress on the plastic. I have no idea whether the cracks started with wind stress while driving or Winter cold making the plastic more brittle. Thought that I would just mention it so those getting new rigs can add one more item to their pick up check list.


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Twomed

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Posted: 04/20/19 02:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yep...they just jamb a self drilling screw in them. Best thing you can do is remove them, carefully drill the hole a little larger, rubber washer or o-ring on both sides. Also a 1/4" aluminum backer plate if the screw is just stuck into sheet metal.

Kind of a pain but...a couple of hours now may save you trying to find a replacement on down the road.


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RobWNY

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Posted: 04/20/19 02:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had that happen on the travel trailer I had before I got our 5th wheel. I bought new fenders but they're very expensive for what they are. When I installed the new ones, I put a dab of color matching silicone caulk over the screws (I know Silicone is a bad word in the RV world but it's a plastic fender that gets replaced if it breaks so no harm/no foul). It did the trick. No issues from then on. It was one of the first things I did to our 5th wheel when we got it. It survived the first year travels and winter storage just fine.


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Posted: 04/21/19 03:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fairly common if you look at used RV's.

It's likely not over tightening but differential contraction when it gets cold. Sidewall of the trailer contracts more or less than the plastic cover, the screws can't move...so something gives...in this case the plastic cover.

Drilling them out a little larger and putting a rubber washer in should help by allowing a little movement around the screws.


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jrs1871

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Posted: 04/22/19 06:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have seen that happen on lots of trailers from the entry level to the high end. When that happened to ours, we took the fender off and used a fiberglass repair kit to reinforce around the hole from the back side. We drilled the holes slightly larger when we replaced them. Because we hadn't caught it before the fender cracked, one had a fairly large crack but was otherwise intact. That repair held for the remaining eight years that we owned that trailer. So far we haven't had to do that on our new one but we do keep an eye on it.

Learjet

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Posted: 04/22/19 07:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

Fairly common if you look at used RV's.

It's likely not over tightening but differential contraction when it gets cold. Sidewall of the trailer contracts more or less than the plastic cover, the screws can't move...so something gives...in this case the plastic cover.

Drilling them out a little larger and putting a rubber washer in should help by allowing a little movement around the screws.


Maybe...but in my case it's all the flexing while in motion. If you look in the rear view mirror while at highway speeds... there is some aerodynamic buffeting going on with those plastic fenders.


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bpounds

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Posted: 04/22/19 02:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For those who have, where did you purchase replacement fenders?


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Itinerant1

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Posted: 04/22/19 02:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is a place.
https://www.icondirect.com/categories/RV-Exterior-Parts/Fender-Skirts/

Allworth

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Posted: 04/22/19 02:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Call Jason at ICON.


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jrs1871

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Posted: 04/23/19 07:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know some folks that attached a piece of aluminum strapping to the back of the fender between the wheels and attached the strap to the frame. That definitely stops the flopping that you see when driving at highway speeds.

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