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Old 04-14-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Idaho
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Default CAUTION: Spare tire bracket LEAK into bathroom wall

This is posted as a precautionary notice to all of you who have a rear wall mounted spare tire!

So our 2012 trailer has sprung another leak ... or at least it has now made itself known. From the looks of the bolts, it has likely been leaking 'slightly' since we got it .. or before.

I took the cover off the unit a week ago, we're cleaning up and de-winterizing and we find a tad of water at the back bathroom wall, rear wall in our 214. It was raining at the time and I find a trickle of water seeping under the bottom of the rear bathroom window, running to the floor. I figure since it had been raining a couple days since I removed the cover, I had a small leak in the window ... that would be the third window with a leak in our 19 month old trailer. OK, warranty is now gone, but I can pull the window and re-caulk that ... I'm thinking what else is new.

To test for the leak, I got out the hose to lightly run water over the back of the rig. As I run over the wall above the spare tire bracket, my wife yells from inside, "whoa, water's running down the wall here". Yup, there is a substantial leak at the bolt holes for the spare tire support.

After removing the little sorta "cosmetic" cover behind the toilet that covers the T nuts holding the tire bracket in place, I find those screws are rusty, one of the T nuts is rusty and the other 3 have definite oxidation from moisture. I unscrewed the tire bracket outside and 3 of the 4 bolts have rust, the worst one fully rusted. Lovely, he says to anyone who will listen, another Cruiser QC issue.

When I pulled off the bracket, it was clear (have pictures to share with Cruiser) that whomever assembled this item did not understand what butyl caulk is for and how it is applied, because 2 of the 4 holes THROUGH THE EXTERIOR WALL had no caulk at all around them and the other 2 holes were insufficiently caulked. There was a 'glob' of caulk applied horizontally between the holes, but not past the holes or around them!

So now I'm looking at all the newer 2013 trailers and they ALL have bumper mounted spare tires! Anyone else think there is a connection? As a result, I'm not sure if I should repair this (new bolts/T-nuts and real caulk) or opt to reinforce the bumper and put the spare on the bumper?!! I'm not sure if the plywood backer in the wall there is still sound enough to support the spare, though the spare never 'seemed' to be even slightly loose or wobbly. Suggestions welcome! I think I'll trust some of your input more than the dealer or factory, or at least use it to help temper what they say.
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Fred n' Jeri

2012 FF X-214WSD
2010 RAM 1500 Crew Cab 4x4, 5.7 Hemi MDS, Huskey 1200lb trunnion WD, Prodigy Brake
Yamaha EF2000i
Prion Seayak Kayaks
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:02 PM   #2
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Were it me, I'd properly caulk the bolts and re-mount the spare tire to the back wall. There is sufficient backing in the wall to take the weight and had the bolts been installed properly from the git-go, I think you wouldn't have had a problem. Most people I know, myself included, that have the spare mounted to the rear bumper want them gone...for the same reasons you don't want a bicycle mount mounted to the bumper. The mount is prone to metal fatigue from bouncing and vibrating down the road and the bumper itself is ill suited to having the tire on a long lever continually torqueing the bumper away from its welds. Quite a few remove the tire and mount and add something under the trailer or just carry their spare in the back of their tow vehicle...



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Bronwyn
2 Cats; J-Lo and Ragamuffin :R

2014 Thor Tuscany 40RX DP
2011 Ram 2500 Longhorn CTD HO
2011 Keystone Cougar 318SAB (now gone)
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:34 PM   #3
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THX Don, figured you'd pick up on this line ... Appreciate your always thoughtful input!!

I was considering the same thoughts, then began to wonder WHY Cruiser shifted gears to a bumper mount, figuring they would only do so IF it made financial sense to the company. So wondered if that meant that they were getting warranty claims on the wall mount.... or if it was just cheaper to install on the bumper in the first place. And since you mention it as you do, perhaps THAT is the financial advantage!

Any rate, was looking at the wall again today and it does seem to be pretty solid, no 'mushiness' to it. So that has been my inclination, as you suggest. However, I still have to remove that back window to recaulk it, as it does leak somewhere around the frame. Likely the same guy with the caulk gun doing all the exterior caulking ..... since this is my 3rd window in need..

In reading through the various posts about bumpers here and on the RV.net, I have been wondering about my bike rack on my bumper. I did quite a bit of research prior to mounting it, and now have a new rack that also mounts in the receive I have mounted on the bumper. After talking to the techs at the Cruiser factory, what I did was attach a solid bolted bracket on the spare tire bracket that connects firmly to my bike rack so that between the tightening bolt in the receiver holding the base tight and the bracket at the tire holding the top of the rack firmly into the trailer, the whole thing rides as a unit. There is NO torsional twist. And now we bought new AL frame bikes that are half the weight of our old ones.

In addition, I was going to take the trailer to a shop in town that welds frames and axles and ask the fellow what he thinks about 'beefing up' the
bumper maybe with 1.5" angle steel and adding attachments to the frame I beams. ....
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2012 FF X-214WSD
2010 RAM 1500 Crew Cab 4x4, 5.7 Hemi MDS, Huskey 1200lb trunnion WD, Prodigy Brake
Yamaha EF2000i
Prion Seayak Kayaks
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:02 AM   #4
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It is much cheaper to put the spare tire on the frame, providing the wall mount was installed properly (man-hours and materials involved in a wall mount are higher than a bumper mount); a cheap metal stamping, couple of carriage bolts and you have a bumper mount that should hold up past the warranty period at which time the company is off the hook. If the metal bumper mount does fail in the warranty period, it is a much cheaper repair than should a wall mount fail during a warranty period...they've covered all their bases (for cost savings). It isn't just CruiserRV, all the players are doing much the same thing for the same reasons. I would much rather have my spare wall mounted to the back wall on my new trailer as opposed to the bumper mount (that I've already had to repair once) that I've got.

Windows are a prime source of leaks in a lot of trailers...most people automatically assume the roof is the biggest leak area, but, a great many leaks are at the window level, even those initially blamed on the roof. That's the biggest reason that most manufacturers don't supply front window units any longer. Sounds like you caught the wall leak soon enough and I think you'd be better off re-caulking the bolt areas and keeping the spare on the back wall

Sounds like you've eliminated a lot of the torsional stress on your bumper, but, I do recommend that you pursue your thoughts on beefing up the welds at the frame. I went with a frame mounted receiver on my old 210WBS. I looked into beefing up the bumper and decided that it was six of one - half dozen of the other and I had the sewer supplies modification that I wanted to do that involved the bumper; so frame mount was the direction I went, but, it is quite easy with some steel plate and a welder to beef up the existing bumper attachments, as long as you keep in mind the bumper itself is still cheap thin wall box tubing



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Bronwyn
2 Cats; J-Lo and Ragamuffin :R

2014 Thor Tuscany 40RX DP
2011 Ram 2500 Longhorn CTD HO
2011 Keystone Cougar 318SAB (now gone)
2008 FunFinder X 210WBS (Sadly gone)
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:14 AM   #5
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THX, I'll let you know what the frame guy tells me on the bumper. a few preemptive measures go a long way toward avoidance of issues!

On the window re-seal. If you have done this before, would you use butyl caulk around the window frame against the filon, then the proflex around the outside at then edge seams?
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:15 AM   #6
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Proflex is an excellent product, yet, for windows I'm partial to the butyl type caulks. They have great adhesion and tenacity while reisting UV and weather very well. Their best feature, though, to me, is their resistance to cracking and pulling loose from the substrate. Definitely use the butyl under the window frame, I'd probably use the butyl outside also, but, the Proflex will be easier to get a "pretty" bead around the frame; butyl is a pain in the posterior to make look good.

Good luck! I always get nervous popping those windows out...I have nightmares of a simple re-caulk turning into a nightmare with a drop of the darn thing to the pavement



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2014 Thor Tuscany 40RX DP
2011 Ram 2500 Longhorn CTD HO
2011 Keystone Cougar 318SAB (now gone)
2008 FunFinder X 210WBS (Sadly gone)
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:25 PM   #7
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Default Update

Don, I realized that I've not been on the forum for a bit and never got back on this post.

My window repair (butyl tape on window frame followed with caulk around exterior) went well and seems 'permanent'! No leaks in testing and survived 3 weeks of a lot of rain last fall!

Repair of spare bracket on wall too went well. I even got a very nice and helpful call from Cruiser (Gentry in Warranty Service) to get factory input. Things are properly sealed and tight.

On the bumper, see the post I just made at http://www.funfinderclub.com/phpBB2/...abilizer+jacks .

THX again for being such a great sounding board!
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2012 FF X-214WSD
2010 RAM 1500 Crew Cab 4x4, 5.7 Hemi MDS, Huskey 1200lb trunnion WD, Prodigy Brake
Yamaha EF2000i
Prion Seayak Kayaks
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:48 PM   #8
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Default Yep spare tire bracket leak

Just fixed this on the new to us 2007 160. One bolt basically rusted in place. Was able to get it out and replaced all four of them. Glad they have an access plate in "our closet" for this, help a lot. Painted the bracket replaced all four bolts, new silicone and ready for a few more years.

BTW any lug nut locks etc to secure the tire it is just hanging there waiting to be stolen.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:01 PM   #9
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chily3, Sorry to hear you had that issue, glad you caught it!

On that bracket attachment, I have never been happy with silicone's ability to hold a seal in this kind of situation ... while the bead lasts well, it does not always stay 'stuck' to the surfaces it is supposed to be sealing!

If you only used silicone, I recommend that you pull off the bracket and 1) inject some ProFlex RV Flexible Sealant into the holes before running the bolts through and 2) use butyl - tape or caulk - to seal the entire back plate of the bracket, at the least around the full perimeter of the bracket face that sits against the trailer wall. I like the tape for this application as it is less gooey and less apt to run. Once you have it cinched down, let the butyl ooze out as it sets, then cut off extra after a few weeks, then seal edge with bead of ProFlex. That should last a good while!
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2012 FF X-214WSD
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Yamaha EF2000i
Prion Seayak Kayaks
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