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Old 12-21-2017, 12:44 PM   #1
8amps
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Urgent advice needed on frame flex repair







Hello fellow Montanaians
We bought a 2017 3950BR brand new in June 2017. In July 2017 we noticed the wall moving/separation when hitched to truck. We happened to be going through Elkhart so thought we'd deal with it head on. Natually, they were booked out and we arranged to have this dealt with this fall once our travel schedule for the year was complete and we had down tIME (we travel in our rig for work and move every 2 weeks or so).
So... flash forward, unit is at dealer. They cut a strip off where the broken welds (in the aluminum) could be accessed and rewelded and reinforced. They are giving us 3 options for the cosmetic end of it.
1. Leaving the cut going horizontal and putting in trim like the vertical expansion joint (aka relief cut) that the factory put in. This is obviously the cheapest and easiest thing for the dealer/keystone to do. They claim however that it is a relief point so that there will be no further cracking.
2. Fiberglassing over the cut and painting and replacing graphics, said it will look brand new. Their stated con to this is that it leaves it susceptible to cracking again since that horizontal relief joint is sealed up.
3. Removing the entire filon (outer wallboard) from the bedroom slide forward. This is obviously the most time consuming and expensive. They say they don't recommend it because it requires removing all the sytrofoam insulation and replacing it and the initial factory application is better. This would also have a relief cut/expansion joint above the slide like they did with golfmedik (I have read that thread).

ADVICE NEEDED: What is the best plan of action? I am also noticing in the 2nd picture that it looks like the wallboard on the inside (probably in the closet) looks splintered. Unfortunately, I am not with the unit to be able to inspect it.

pic 1 - slice in outer wall made to access broken welds
pic 2 - pics of broken welds - look closely at the light wooden board (I'm assuming the back of the closet), it looks splintered.
pic 3 weld towards front of opening repaired
pic 4 piece cut out replaced, how to proceed on repair is the question, put seam/trim, fiberglass over, have them remove whole panel from top to bottom forward of the slide
pic 5 their suggestion, use trim piece (which is obviously not how it comes from factory)


Would appreciate any input. Thanks!
 
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Old 12-22-2017, 07:01 AM   #2
cw3jason
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Had mine done at the factory after 4 failed attempts by the dealer. Factory not only fiber glassed over the cracked area and replaced the decals, but they reinforced with another layer of fiberglass on the inside to make the wall twice as strong. no more cracking. it has been over a year and holding strong.
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:23 AM   #3
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I hope they have contacted Keystone as they will probably be the ones that should do the repair. The reason I say that is they won't want to mess with it if the dealer repair doesn't hold. Good luck in whatever you decide. This can be a time consuming adventure if the factory does it. I do believe there are dealers that can do this, but I would let the factory tell them what needs to be done. If I'm not mistaken, there is a bulletin out from Keystone now as to how to repair this flex. I would let them make the decision on whether the dealer repairs it or not. As I said. good luck. I hate that you are dealing with this.
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Old 12-22-2017, 03:33 PM   #4
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i assume that this at NO charge, right? this is really a situation where montana needed to take the trailer in and not a dealer. i'd demand a new wall. any non montana look will cause your trailer to lose it's value.
regardless, i'd be talking to montana. all 3 of my trailers had 'flexing' and the 2nd one they took the whole wall out and made another wall---that didn't work.
good luck on your flexing issue.
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Old 12-22-2017, 06:12 PM   #5
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It's hard to believe you having your trailer 1 month and having such a major problem as this.This is a problem for the factory to handle. I know you are a long way from the factory but i would try to get Keystone to pick up the trailer and take it back to the factory. With it being winter i wouldn't want to take it up there. This is not the best time of year for most people to travel so if the factory could get it in then you could get it back by spring. If the factory won't pay to send it back then you might get whoever is transporting trailers to your dealer to haul it back very reasonable as they don't like dead-heading back to Elkhart for nothing. I would never want my dealer to tackle something as major as what you have. Let us know how it turns out.
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cw3jason View Post
Had mine done at the factory after 4 failed attempts by the dealer. Factory not only fiber glassed over the cracked area and replaced the decals, but they reinforced with another layer of fiberglass on the inside to make the wall twice as strong. no more cracking. it has been over a year and holding strong.
Being just a little paranoid about this issue because of what you guys have gone through I have put my old 5th Air Borne air ride pin box on my new 2018.5 Montana Rear Den and installed air bags on the truck to try and stave off this problem. I was wondering if Keystone has ever said specifically if the air products help prevent this from happening or recommended this type of set up to people that have had this repaired at the factory. I would have thought they would have. So I was just wondering if anyone has said anything to any of you. Now every time I hook or unhook I look for movement at seams, just a little unnerving
But we all know it`s your fault cause of the roads you drive on and just because it has wheels and brakes doesn't mean you can tow it anywhere. Just sayin`
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Old 12-25-2017, 07:15 PM   #7
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bshgto-- This response is not directed to you but what the real problem is with frame flex. The problem with any frame flex is not because of the pinbox and the tow vehicle it is because of the welds in the frame in the nose of the unit that takes the abuse from the roads and the hitch. The welds have not been done well or heavy enough to take the abuse from the jarring of our great US roadway system. The flex can be fixed but all of the work must be approved by Keystone and if a dealer cannot correctly do the work they should tell the owner and see if they can arrange for some other dealer or Keystone to do the repairs. Many dealers THINK they can do it but it sure seems that this specific dealer has no idea how to work on Montana's what so ever.
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Golfmedik View Post
I hope they have contacted Keystone as they will probably be the ones that should do the repair. The reason I say that is they won't want to mess with it if the dealer repair doesn't hold.
A month after purchasing new, we noticed this problem. We went through Elkhart and spoke to the factory. They directed us to the dealer where we are. (We are FT and bought it in the SE, we are now in the SW). They are directing the repair.

They have already made the repair as far as the welds and reinforcing gussets go. But the question is what do they do with the whole they cut in the wall to access the bad welds? Option 1. Put molding (cheap, easy fix that of course they and Keystone want to do. Option 2. Fiberglassing over the cut section. Option 3. Replacing wall (Filon) from bedroom slide forward. This would seem to be my first choice, but they contend removing the cap and replacing that wall would be worse for seals, insulation, etc.











I thought I attached pictures last time but they didn't post so I'm sure it was on my end. I'll try again. While looking closer at these pictures to post here, I noticed there is splintering on the inside wall, in what I'm guessing is the closet. About 300 miles from RV so can't go look at it. I'm also concerned with the black at the bottom and if this is water damage.
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:16 PM   #9
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:18 PM   #10
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Ok, not sure what I'm doing wrong. I have the pics in Google photos with a web address, I click on the "insert image" and copy the link. But no pics.

I've made the album public (only a few pics) in case anyone can look at it.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/H1zoI6N4YKg8e3pg1
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Old 12-26-2017, 08:58 AM   #11
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With such a small area, I'd opt for leaving the joint and covering it with the flex moulding. Have you had them check out the main frame for cracked steel? I'd be more concerned about underlying causes.
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8amps View Post
Ok, not sure what I'm doing wrong. I have the pics in Google photos with a web address, I click on the "insert image" and copy the link. But no pics.

I've made the album public (only a few pics) in case anyone can look at it.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/H1zoI6N4YKg8e3pg1
I am a novice with this new forum software too, but it sure looks like the "Insert Image" tool expects the URL to be a plain http:// and not the secure form (HTTPS://) used by Google photos. When you click on the icon the pop up box is primed with "http://" which is a clue. I played a lot with your Google album pictures and failed miserably.

What will work is to Upload your pictures from your PC. Hopefully you have the pictures stored there already but if you don't, just download them from Google photos. Then while composing your post, page down to the "Manage Attachments" clicky.

This feature helps you to upload pictures from your PC to the MOC server. Having completed that exercise, you now want to insert the pictures in your text. Position the cursor in the text where you want the photo to appear and click on the Paper Clip icon (just to the right of the one at the top). Click on the photo name and shazamm something like "[ATTACH]nnn{/ATTACH] will appear in the text area. Hit the Preview Post clicky and your picture should appear looking something like this.

Click image for larger version

Name:	MOC - 2017 3950BR cut wallboard with trim (instead of fiberglassing).jpg
Views:	102
Size:	52.4 KB
ID:	921
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by phillyg View Post
With such a small area, I'd opt for leaving the joint and covering it with the flex moulding. Have you had them check out the main frame for cracked steel? I'd be more concerned about underlying causes.
I know on mine, Keystone and the dealer ripped it all apart. The frame was good, but the wall kept cracking due to a bad cut out for the slide out. it was not a nice router job like you see on the video, but a hacked up edge with lots of sharp edges. the crack emanated from the slide cutout and the more I drove the longer it got. started as a 1/4in crack ended up around 7 inches long by the time the driver from the factory came and picked it up. now I have a whole season on the repair and no cracking. I would have Keystone fix the wall, and like you suggested look for the underlying cause.
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8amps View Post
Ok, not sure what I'm doing wrong. I have the pics in Google photos with a web address, I click on the "insert image" and copy the link. But no pics.

I've made the album public (only a few pics) in case anyone can look at it.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/H1zoI6N4YKg8e3pg1
I don't think I would be happy with that seeing as how mine was repaired(no disrespect intended at all). On mine the entire area in front of the slide was taken out and replaced. Another joint was put at the top of the slide like the one under it. I looks like they are trying to find a way for dealers to do the repair without peeling back the sidewall. I hope that it will hold, but that looks like an economical repair at their expense. I do not mean to insult the rig or the owner, but if this is what we have to settle for for their lack of engineering, then maybe we have bought the wrong campers. I know if no other manufacturer having this problem. It appears form the pic that the front cap was not removed. If what they told me was the truth, then the real problem is in the three stacked aluminum beams, one of which you can see in that pic. However, I will say that after dealing with them so ling, they will tell you anything to get out of a conversation with you. I'm hopeful that the welding holds, just like mine every time I take it down the road, as this is pretty stressful to deal with. I find myself inspecting those areas at every rest stop, fuel station and every time I drop the rig.
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:17 PM   #15
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I believe the problem is not in that thin wall aluminum. It is deeper in the steel frame welds.
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:43 PM   #16
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I believe the problem is not in that thin wall aluminum. It is deeper in the steel frame welds.
The repairs were made in this area on mine and they tore again the first trip out. The nose had to come off and the beams that run on the bottom of the overhang had to be strengthened. That's where the problem with several of people's have been.
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:12 AM   #17
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we'd all love to have an update on your issue.
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:35 AM   #18
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We picked up our 2018 3950BR in early September and have had issues with the interior master closet wall bowing out and trim coming off. The dealer has made repairs to the wall and trim twice now in an effort to reinforce it. Sounds like if it happens again I need to make them get Keystone involved to determine if there is an underlying issue with the frame!
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:47 PM   #19
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TWC84. I see this is your first post hopefully there will be many more.
This sounds like classic front frame break up.
How much does your pinbox move in relation to the bottom front of your camper when you book and unhook your camper?
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