Often when someone contacts you about a fault on their American motorhome you ask the appropriate questions, analyse the answers then come up with an idea of what you think it might be. Most of the time I am spot on but on this occasion, I was a country mile out.
An owner of a Fourwinds Hurricane Motorhome contacted me and asked if I had had any problems with windscreens coming out at the top edge on the driver’s side. The answer was “yes”, I then went on to explain how the aluminium frame that is fitted across the front of the vehicle to which the TVs are attached along with the overhead lockers has a tendency to break, leaving a lack of rigidity across the front of the vehicle. This then allows the front fibreglass cap to flex and the screens to come loose and then becoming removed from the screen rubbers. The owner seemed to be convinced along with myself that my theory was correct.
Following our telephone conversation, the owner arranged to drop the vehicle off at our workshops in Northampton and leave it with us.
When we drove the vehicle into the workshop some days later I was still convinced that the frame along the top of the cap had broken. It wasn’t too long into the job when I realised that it was not going to be a job but a project. The main cause of the windscreen coming loose was not the aluminium frame it was both the front wings were rotten, this caused the front cap to lose its rigidity allowing the windscreens to come out of the rubbers.
The first thing we needed to do was to remove the front cap from the vehicle which would allow us to peel back the outer fibreglass covering of the two wings.
With the front wing structure exposed the extent of the damage could be seen.
Next step is to work out how the vehicle got into this state. The first thing to be seen was that the windows had leaked rainwater behind the fibreglass and the wood behind it had absorbed in the water.
Looking at the roof.
Looking at the roof on the left-hand side.
Now we had worked out how the damage had occurred all we needed to do now was repair the damage. The first stage is to replace the rotten wood.
This would then allow the front wings to be attached correctly to the firewall of the motorhome.
Once both the front wings were attached correctly the front cap was ready to be refitted.
Once you get the front cab square to the two sides and roof you can attach the front cap back onto the vehicle so as it will resemble an American RV motorhome.
One thing many of you may not realise is that the front cap must fit exactly onto the roof and both wings. This process took two people four hours to complete this stage of the repair. If you do not get the cap EXACT the windscreens will not fit, this is because the front cap has no strength whatsoever and can easily be fitted out of true.
Then comes the tricky part the windscreens need to be refitted, this is when you know how good you are. If the front cap fitting isn’t correct then this phase will become impossible without bodging up the screen fitment.
The next process is to re-fit the side window and mirrors.
Once the outside is done the attention then went to the inside.
The dashboard then needed to be re-fitted and all the switches tested.
One last thing was to road test the vehicle and make sure the speedo worked and that we hadn’t created any excess noise.