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PostPosted: December 10th, 2017, 8:09 pm 
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I've located a water leak on my 1995 Chinook Concourse that originates at the right side awning mounting bracket. This water leak travels down the inside of the wall, meets the floor to the rear of the furnace and migrates from there. The attached photo details the awning mounting bracket and lack of a sealant.


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File comment: Gap between awning bracket and fiberglass. No sealant in place.
IMG_1503.jpg
IMG_1503.jpg [ 383.06 KiB | Viewed 77 times ]

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Chinook Concourse Manufactured 6/1996
1995 Ford E350 Chassis, 7.5L 460
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PostPosted: December 10th, 2017, 8:26 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
I'm not sure if I'm seeing what I'm seeing correctly (if that makes sense), but has the bracket pulled slightly away from the wall? If so maybe it overcame the sealant?

At any rate, you'll likely want to dismount the awning and then re-do the brackets.

If you have the same or similar awning to mine (Fiamma F45+), then the way it works (if you don't already know) is that the Fiamma supplied brackets are sort of like glorified aluminum angles. The leg on the Chinook is tall, and has three fastener holes; the leg that supports the awning is short, and usually also has a fastener or two up into the awning case to hold it in place.

The way it's installed in the first place is that the brackets are mounted to the RV body, and then you put the awning in place and then tilt the bottom outward (so just the top is against the brackets) and then when you rotate it into position it sort of "clicks" into the brackets. Then the screws up into the case just keep it from decided to change position.

Reason I know this is my buddy, whose RV had a longer version of the same awning, drove into a tree and mangled the original awning. He bought another one and we installed it, thus I learned the details.

Back to the Chinook, on mine (I know because I had the walls pulled away) the brackets are just screwed into the shell with pointy screws into the fiberglass (the points come through...). If I were going to be re-bedding mine, I'd consider through bolts and backing plates. Not that I know of any that have fallen off, but you can do a better job of sealing them when you can get some "purchase" on the fasteners. But you could just remove the brackets and re-bed them. OTOH, if one has pulled away (I may not be seeing that right), then the backing plate/through fastener plan might be good.

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2017, 9:04 am 
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Thanks for the information, I'm not sure how I would do a through mount, so any information about that would be good. Here are some additional pics.


Attachments:
IMG_1515.jpg
IMG_1515.jpg [ 97.3 KiB | Viewed 41 times ]
File comment: All mounting brackets are loose.
IMG_1514.jpg
IMG_1514.jpg [ 87.56 KiB | Viewed 41 times ]
IMG_1513.jpg
IMG_1513.jpg [ 111.93 KiB | Viewed 41 times ]

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2017, 9:07 am 
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More pics...


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File comment: I haven't touched the screws, they are backed out, hopefully will tighten up.
IMG_1517.jpg
IMG_1517.jpg [ 83.53 KiB | Viewed 41 times ]
File comment: This bracket is very loose.
IMG_1516.jpg
IMG_1516.jpg [ 60.25 KiB | Viewed 41 times ]

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2017, 9:16 am 
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If you look at all three mounting brackets, the installer added a large hex head self tapping screw 2/3rd's down from top of each bracket. They must not have been comfortable with the awning hanging on each mounting bracket and secured to the mounting brackets with one screw at the bottom of each bracket.

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2017, 9:26 am 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Okay, yes, those look exactly the same as mine (and as my buddy's that we completely remounted).

What I mean by through fastening is this. Right now, presuming yours is done like mine was by Chinook, what is holding those brackets in place is "pointy" screws just screwed through the fiberglass outer shell and that's it. Now obviously people's awnings aren't falling off right and left, but still, fiberglass only provides a certain amount of "bite" for pointy screws, and it's not that hard to strip the threads (in the fiberglass). As a result, you can't really "clamp down" on any bedding compound (which is what seals the water out), and too, they could work loose (as yours might have a bit).

A better way (how it would typically be done on boats) is to have through fasteners (such as machine screws, washers, and nuts) and a backing plate (another piece of fiberglass, aluminum, stainless, or even just fender washers) on the inside. Now you have something that you can tighten well, compressing any bedding compound, and it won't be prone to loosening. Also it spreads the force (although that doesn't seem to have been an issue since the glass is not cracked at all).

Of course the challenge is always access to the backside. I had my cabinets out so the triangles of pointy screws (three for each bracket) were clearly visible and accessible. As I remember it, one is more-or-less behind the wall separating the closet from the fridge area (more toward the closet), and the other two are in the wiring "chase" in the outside wall of the cabinets (accessible by removing some carpeted pieces).

If you can't or don't want to do backing blocks and through fasteners, then there are a few other options (not as good, but it's not always in the cards to do the best way). If the holes aren't enlarged, you could simply re-bed the brackets and re-fasten (but I would imagine they are). If the brackets will or could accommodate them, you could go to larger screws in the same holes. Or if none of that will work, you could consider shifting the brackets slightly (and using thickened epoxy to close out the original holes, plus hopefully keeping them under the bracket/bedding.

Does that make sense?

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2017, 9:44 am 
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Something I didn't mention:

If you are through fastening, and/or the screws feel like they have really good grip, then I'd probably choose to use butyl tape (but only the good stuff from Bed-It). Even so, don't compress it all the way in one go, but rather tighten part way and let it sit at least overnight, then tighten again, and then even maybe again if you have time. It likes to slowly compress. Helps too if the butyl is not cold.

If you feel the screw grip is not the best, but you are still going to go with it that way, then I'd use something more soupy, such as 3M4000 (polyether) caulk or similar.

Clean the fiberglass well, clean the fasteners, then bed the entire bracket (the underside). If you are using something soft, it will well up under the screws too. If using butyl, you can make long thin "worms" of butyl and wrap them around the screw just under the head, forming them into a little cone. That will seal the screw head.

If there are any small cracks in the fiberglass emanating from the screw location, you can lightly chamfer that area (even better if it's done that way in the first place). That will eliminate the stress from the screw (at least in that particular way) and also provide a small well for the bedding compound. Just be sure not to go too deep if you are using just the pointy screws, since they have little enough to grip as it is. But you don't have to go much past the gelcoat (which isn't providing any grip anyway).

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2017, 9:54 am 
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Ok, I'll check that out, so when you had the back side exposed, there was no plywood anywhere? Also, I did get the Bed-It butyl. Love that stuff.

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2017, 9:57 am 
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So, you would use one layer of butyl on the back side of the whole bracket?

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2017, 6:45 pm 
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I removed the awning mounting brackets and there is no evidence of any sealant anywhere, amazing. I'm sure there were other water leaks associated with the other two loose brackets. I'll get them sealed correctly and be good to go.

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