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PostPosted: January 26th, 2018, 4:22 pm 
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Location: Upstate South Carolina
Drivers side overhead cabinet must have lost a screw someday today while traveling. The cabinets are full but I didn’t think it was overloaded but any means. I haven’t seen any broken screws or empty holes where I would expect rot see one. How are these cabinets attached?
1999 Concourse
Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: January 26th, 2018, 6:51 pm 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
From the way it's drooping more in "back" (wall side) than in "front" (door side, I'd say one of the wall fasteners has been compromised.

I've had both of mine down (made new ones just on style preference) so I can tell you how mine were attached by Chinook.

First of all, the attachments are basically made in two places:

1) A rail that runs along the top of the cabinet, just inside the doors (up by the built in lights). Screws go through this rail (clearance holes) and then into the lower fiberglass roof skin, and after that the roof core (plywood in those areas on my rig).

2) A rail that runs along the bottom of the cabinet in the lower corner where it meets the outside wall (i.e. just above the valance lights). Screws in this area go through the rail (clearance holes) and then into the side wall of the rig - through the 1/8" fabric covered wall panel, and then into plywood that is in a huge piece that surrounds the window frames (and is held to the outer skin basically by polyester mush, from what I can tell).

On the sink side, I think mine might also have had a couple of screws into the plywood shower common wall (on the after end). On the dining side it connects to the microwave cabinet, so no real end to attach to there.

It's possible that water can leak in, rot the plywood core, and then the screws let go. That happens on boats (core rot). But even without that, these are HEAVY cabinets, and sort of only held in by screws in tension (upper). Granted the wall screws are more in shear.

I weighed one of my upper cabinets after I removed it and as I remember it was close to 100# (or at least 80#). Those oak doors are heavy, and MDF isn't light either.

I'll see if I can dig up a couple of photos....

Oh, so anyway, presuming there is not some giant scary rot issue, you could potentially move a screw over (add one) with a new clearance hole(s) in the rail(s). I think it would be possible for one to fail (break or pull out) even without a rot issue.

BG

PS: Upon reviewing your photos again, I see that it's the driver's side cabinet front end wall side that has drooped. That end is basically hanging out in space (vs. the shower end that has a side wall to attach to), and here is a thought: The large plywood surround for the window DOES end in this area, as of course the shell starts curving. Maybe they missed the end of it (or barely caught it) with the forwardmost screw(s) on the "wall rail" of the cabinet. You could just try to re-affix, but if you want to know more, if you remove the driver's side fiberglass pillar, you can reach in around the wall panel and feel what's going on. [Edited to change something: Actually, the area you want to check is adjacent to the fiberglass entertainment module, not really the vertical pillar. So you may be able to reach around inside the entertainment area, and/or see what's going on by lifting the false floor of the cabinet itself. I had both the entertainment and pillar fiberglass modules out, so I had free access.] I wouldn't think that would be the most likely area for leaks, since it's not below a window or on the roof, so a leak caused problem wouldn't be my first suspicion.

Okay, back with photos. So first of all, here is a wall drawing. This is the passenger side wall, but you get the idea. The diagonal lines around the window represent two 1/2" thick pieces of plywood back-to-back, for 1" total. In this case the upper wall edge where yours has come adrift would be on the left (but opposite since it's the driver's side). You can see how the end of the cabinet fasteners could potentially miss the end of the plywood (if that's what indeed happened, of course we don't know yet).

I had to reduce this, so you'll likely have to click to make it out.

Attachment:
wall detail.png
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And here is a photo of one of my removed upper cabinets. In fact this is the driver's side cabinet, at the forward end, right where yours has come adrift. In the lower left of the photo, you can see a round hole with a wire coming out of it. That's the corner/edge where it looks like yours has come off. You can see a little "cleat" along the lower (in photo) edge: That's the lower cleat that runs the length and has screws through it going into the wall - it holds the back of the cabinet to the wall. At the upper edge of the photo, you can see a wider cleat (board) that also runs the length. That's where the overhead screws go up. That one's wider, IIRC, because it supports the hinges for the doors (I may be mis-remembering it exactly - anyway that doesn't matter at the moment).

If you go poking in to see what's what, know that you can remove the white carpeted "trim" pieces, and also the floor liner of the cabinets. As I remember it you remove the end ones first, then the skinny strip on the outside wall (under the roof "swoop"), then the oak septum divider in the middle door area, then the "floor."

Attachment:
upper cab construction.jpg
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Last edited by Blue~Go on January 27th, 2018, 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: January 26th, 2018, 7:20 pm 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
A couple more details:

In this first photo, the view shows the carpeted, false floor of the cabinet lifted up to expose what's underneath (wiring, outlet backs, etc.). This happens to be over the sink, but same idea. You can see the cleat along the outside wall with the square-drive screws going into the wall.

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This is just a detail of the upper wall (passenger side I think, but they are essentially the same). This shows the wiring, which is behind the little short false wall at the back of the cabinets (under the roof swoop); then the very top edge of the window surround plywood, which is what the lower edge of the upper cabinet is attached to. The slight indent you see near the upper edge of the fabric wall is from the upper edge of the cleat (cabinet is out in this photo).

Attachment:
upper wall detail.jpg
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By the way, to anyone else reading this, I believe the Premiers were constructed differently, with more of a "stick framed" window surround vs. plywood sheets. So I don't know how those cabinets would differ (or different eras, mine is an early 1999 Concourse).

BG

PS: Just figured I'd add that the larger loom bundle is all DC wiring, and the smaller one is AC wiring. There is an equivalent run up the driver's side in the same area.

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PostPosted: January 27th, 2018, 9:52 am 
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Joined: July 14th, 2015, 6:40 pm
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Location: Upstate South Carolina
Thank you BG for the details and pictures. I’m leaving Biloxi today for Bay Saint Louis, Ms. and plan to stop at a hardware store for some screws. I have limited tools on board but I did bring my drill thank goodness. I’ve got a shower rod wedged in underneath the end of the cabinet for support until I get the screws.
Almost four months and 6k miles on the road and this has been the only issue I’ve had with the Chinook other than the wheel simulator losing its studs. Heading west,slowly. Thanks again.


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PostPosted: January 27th, 2018, 4:37 pm 
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Sounds good. The originals are cap headed, pointy type. I can't remember the exact length, but the cleat must be around 1" thick, and then you have 1" of wall plywood (theoretically). Given that you probably don't want to get partway into the job and have to go get different screws, maybe some 1-1/4" (in case the cleat is only 3/4" and you're nervous) and some 1-1/2" and 1-5/8" for good measure.

I took my cabinets down and then later (and my new ones have slightly larger cleats) put in two new ones (both full length as I eliminated the microwave limbo box cabinet). Even though I did the math, I could just see myself putting screws out through the roof or the wall :o Thankfully it didn't happen :D I actually started with screws that were probably not quite long enough (but did hold the cabinets up), but then got bold and went back with longer (more appropriate) ones.

BG

PS: I want to say they were #8, IIRC

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PostPosted: January 28th, 2018, 7:17 pm 
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Location: Upstate South Carolina
I followed the instructions offered by BG and after removing some trim pieces I found no wood rot nor the ability to remove needed pieces for a repair. I don’t have many tools available so I plan to find a cabinet maker, RV dealer or find the Blue-Go repair shop as we continue westbound. In the meantime, spring loaded shower curtain rods to the rescue. I really need only one but I’m using two for peace of mind.


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PostPosted: January 28th, 2018, 10:23 pm 
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I knew there must be a benefit to having 40# oak valances, and now I know what it is: You can use them to support the cabinets :D

Looks like you are fine for now, but just say the word if you'd like a step-by-step to get to those wall fasteners. Your cabinets look exactly the same as the ones that were original to my Chinook. It's not too bad once you know the magic order of operations. Literally nothing that can't be done with a screwdriver.

Westward, Ho!

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