DIY Repair of Most Recent Blowout Damage – I Learned About RVing From That

A recent blowout  on the right side of the 5th wheel RV trailer blasted away the plastic wheel-opening trim, and tore the lower metal panel aft of the tire.  Checking with the dealer where I bought it, I learned that it would take at least a month (probably more) for them to fix it. 

I thought about it for a little while, and decided to fix it myself.  It would be quicker (I hoped) and undoubtedly cheaper.

I emailed photos of the damaged parts to the dealer and they agreed to have the parts loaded into the next new unit coming to them from the factory.  This way, I wouldn’t have to pay crating and truck-shipping fees.

As Murphy’s Law would have it, the wrong gold-colored aluminum curved panel arrived. Reordering and waiting for another new unit to come from the factory took another couple of weeks. By now, I was getting antsy because I had another long-distance trip planned.

Finally, I had the correct parts and got started. I took pictures as I disassembled everything so I’d know how to put it all back together again. It was important to take it slow and careful.

I began by removing the screw on the right so I could peel out the vinyl trim insert.

I began by removing the screw on the right so I could peel out the vinyl insert.

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After the vinyl insert was removed, the screws holding the white metal trim had to come out.

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I had to be very careful prying up the white metal trim in order not to bend it. Besides screws, it was held in place by white butyl tape.

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Here, the white metal trim is off and most of the adhesive remains behind. I learned that the lower gold aluminum piece is held on by the clamping action of the white metal trim strip. No screws actually penetrate the gold metal.

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This is the aft section of the repair area, now with the lower gold metal panel removed.

Fitting Trim

Pre-fitting a section of the plastic wheel-opening trim.

AttachingTrimMolding

The lower gold panel has been trimmed and clamped in place to hold it while new butyl tape is peeled behind the white metal trim.

FinishingTrimMolding

White metal trim piece is glued and screwed on, and the vinyl is reinserted to cover the screws.

Finished

Finished! All set for the next road trip.

2 Comments

  1. Lori
    Aug 16, 2015

    Wow, quite a project! Came out great, plus it’s sure to feel good to have done it yourself!…And also not having had to wait a month and pay a fortune to get it done for you!

    • Barry
      Aug 17, 2015

      Right on all counts, Lori! Thanks for reading and commenting.

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