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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Stripped RV Awning Bolt

Hey Doc, is there an easy fix for a stripped out lag bolt on the bottom bracket for my older awning arm? Mine screw through the bracket that hold the awning arm. It goes through the aluminum sidewall and into the frame of the coach. Troy W., (Roy, UT)

Troy, typically the bottom bracket is secured through the sidewall at the floor level, but a lot depends on the how that portion of floor and sidewall is actually constructed and adjoined on your RV. You don’t mention the year, brand or model of coach, but I’ll cover a few different scenarios here. 

If you have wood frame construction, (I call these “old school” coaches), it’s sometimes possible to cut an access hole into the very bottom of the subfloor directly below the awning bracket and bolt all the way through the sidewall structure at the same location. An aluminum plate is affixed to the inside of the framing and the existing hole for the lag screw is re-drilled all the way through. Then bolts and washers are used to sandwich the bracket to the frame member. 

With other laminated wall assemblies, the awning bracket may actually be mounted slightly above the floor line. In this case the backing aluminum plate can be installed inside the coach above the floor using bolts, hopefully inside a cabinet. If the framing structures are wood, it’s possible to drill a hole through the siding and into the framing, then gluing a short piece of dowel rod into that hole. I’ve glued a 1/2-inch dowel hammered into a slightly undersized hole in the wood framing. After the glue dries, a new pilot hole can be drilled into the dowel plug and another lag screw installed as before. 

If the framing is aluminum, it’s best to try to sandwich the wall section by using an aluminum plate on the inside as described above. Another option is to drill a new hole in the awning bracket itself, above, below or next to, the problem hole. Then drill a pilot hole into the framing and just install a new, second lag screw.


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