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Author Topic: How best to deal with this ?  (Read 2082 times)

UK-RV

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How best to deal with this ?
« on: November 04, 2006, 11:11:12 AM »
Hi Guys

You may recall we were due a visit from a Dometic service tech to replace the bulb inside our microwave - they dont allow user access as the bulb is in amongst all the electrics.

Well, the guy came out just over a week ago and fixed the bulb - great.

However, I have now found that the microwave has damaged the cabinet it is suspended from and could possible break loose altogether (I also see he damaged the woodwork when trying to get the front cover off, before loosening the drop bolts).

What do you suggest I can do ?

Ive left a message with Dometic explaining the problem and HOPE they will sort the issue without problems.

I can't go thru Fleetwood, as it isnt their fault and we're now out of warranty anyway.

Ive attached a couple of pictures.

Could it simply be that the bolt has been tightened too much or (as I fear) it is much worse than that.

Thanks for any input.

Paul
« Last Edit: November 04, 2006, 11:13:47 AM by UK-RV »

Tom

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Re: How best to deal with this ?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2006, 11:21:44 AM »
Paul,

Both photos came out fine.

Just for clarification, the open cabinet we see is above the microwave and we're seeing the top front part of the microwave in the  lower right of the photo?

Normally I'd expect the microwave to be bolted to a plate that is itself bolted to the wall & maybe the side of the cabinet, but of course this might vary by make and model. In your case, I see the head of a bolt that appears to be holding the microwave from above. When the tech was removing and replacing the microwave, did you notice if the bolt was in fact supporting it? There's probably at least one more bolt, right? Is there any damage to the other side of the cabinet?

Does the microwave sit on anything below? If not, were you aware that it might have come loose at some point and was possibly causing the damage we see when you went over bumps?

Assuming you can't get this fixed by Fleetwood or Dometic ......

If the only support is from above, I'd be inclined to either replace or beef up the floor of the upper cabinet. I'm not a carpenter, but a simple fix might be to buy and cut some 3/4" plywood. Attach four pices of 1"x2" to the sides, immediately above the floor of the upper cabinet, then screw the plywood down to these pieces. You'll obviously also need long bolts to support the microwave. Check first that the walls of the upper cabinet are beefy enough to support the weight.

Another option might be to attach metal L-brackets to the sides of the upper cabinet.

The damage on the front of the cabinet could probably be fixed with some wood putty and maybe a little stain.

Someone else might have a more elegant solution.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2006, 11:34:32 AM by Tom »
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UK-RV

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Re: How best to deal with this ?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2006, 11:55:48 AM »

Thanks Tom

Yes, the microwave "hangs" below that cabinet and is held in place by 2 bolts - I "believe" there is also a back plate too - although in my manual pack for the oven there is a metal plate, so it may have been left off the install.

I don't think the bolts are actually holding the microwave though.

He undid the bolts by an inch or so and the microwave came very slightly loose - just enough to get a screwdriver into the screws at the top of the front cover.

The bolts appeared loose/wobbly when he undid them, which suggests they arent carrying the weight of the oven as I would have expected them to stay tight until the oven actually dropped loose.

The microwave doesnt sit on anything and "who knows" what gets worked loose when driving down the road - it is just that the oven has been fine for 24,000 miles and only dropped a week after it was touched by the tech - could be a huge coincidence of course.

Paul

Tom

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Re: How best to deal with this ?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2006, 12:02:17 PM »
I'm not familiar with how exactly your oven is attached Paul, if it's not simply by the two bolts above or by a wall plate. Mine has a separate L-shaped metal plate that is almost the width and depth of the oven. The plate is screwed to the wall and, more recently, to the side of the adjacent cambinet. The oven hangs onto the plate and the screws that keep it there are accessible by removing the filters. My plate came loose from the wall and I only found that out when I went to investigate the loud squeak coming from the direction of the microwave as we drove down the road. The tech at the factory service center says he sees it a lot and knew exactly what to do for a (hopefully) permanent fix.

Re-looking at your photos, I'm wondering if it's possible for that shelf damage to have been done by the tech tightening the bolts too much (?). If so, it's possible you could get Dometic to cough up for the repair. Try sending them an email with the photo, explaining that it wasn't like that before their tech paid you a visit.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2006, 12:10:29 PM by Tom »
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Gottasmilealot

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Re: How best to deal with this ?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2006, 03:13:29 PM »
In most cabinet situations, there would be a wood block or cleat under the floor of the cabinet (where it's not visible) that adds strength to the corner.  It's under the floor of the cabinet which is pulling down.  If you drop the microwave and glue a block in there if there isn't one already, then reinstall the microwave without tightening the bolt so much, you should be OK. The bolt was overtightened without there being something behind the floor, so the bolt is pulling the floor down. Probably no harm done in the long run, but you want to strengthen the corner so the vibrations of travelling won't make it worse.  If it were mine, I'd also do the other side corner also while I was at it. They keep making these thing lighter and lighter anymore, so strength suffers. If they know it's a microwave cabinet, you would think that they'd leave good support in that area.
Keith

John From Detroit

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Re: How best to deal with this ?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2006, 05:47:34 PM »
How to deal with it.. I can not tell you as it really should be properly repaired by whomever is responsible.

However if you don't mind just take a pair of "L"  brackets and put one in front and one in back with decent screws...

Or, if you know now, remove the bolt and put it through an "L" bracket and then blot the bracket to the side with proper screws or hollow wall anchors.

Finally... There may be more support there than you know.. Without tearing apart your rig, I can not say

And if I were going to tear the rig apart, I could do a much neater repair
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

UK-RV

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Re: How best to deal with this ?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2006, 09:21:59 AM »

UPDATE :

Have been in touch with Dometic, who refered me to their Insurance team.

They have taken details and have advised us to get quote for repair.

They will either pay me or the repairer direct.

All seems fairly straight-forward.

One cautionary note is that they wanted to know how old the cabinet was (thankfully ours is new) as I guess they may try to blame an old cabinet for falling apart rather than their Tech guy causing the problem.

They also said if we had gone thru a "local" repair facility we would have to chase them for the repair. As we booked thru the Dometic website, we wouldn't have known who was coming out, but again thankfully, it was one of their own tech guys so no problem there.

Now all we have to do is re-arrange our schedule to find a repair facility who can provide a quote, get it authorised and do the work - all in a couple of days.

But we were planning to spend a week in Branson, so might try and find someone there.

Paul

Tom

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Re: How best to deal with this ?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2006, 09:26:39 AM »
That's great news Paul. It sure beats you having to repair it yourself. You might want to ask Fleetwood if they can recommend someone. Alternatively, maybe someone here can recommend a repair shop in Branson. I have no idea if cabinet repairs are something that RV repair shops do.
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UK-RV

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Re: How best to deal with this ?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2006, 09:51:17 PM »

Update :-

We called into Happy Time RV (also know as Emerald Coast / Camping World Express depending on which shirt each staff member is wearing that day) in Clermont, Florida to ask if they could quote on the cabinet work.

Rather than having to wait the usual 3months for this time of year in Florida, they agreed to see us later that week - and if the work wasn't excessive they would do it the same day.

We called Linda, at GE / Dometic Insurance, to ask if she could authorise the repair straight-away if we called her on the Friday morning - to which she just authorised the work anyway, without the need to call her (WOW !!).

But, we arrived at the dealer and found they were looking at 7 or 8 hours worth of work - they wouldnt know for sure until they took the cabinet apart.

So, we called Linda to explain the invoice might be as high as $800+, and she simply stated that only an RV dealer would be qualified to do the repair and said to go ahead with it !!

We gave the go ahead to the dealer (explaining that we had been authorised to spend $800) and were AMAZED when they called us to say the job was done after just 3 hours.

Not only did they do the job for less than half the fee they could have charged, they also produced photos showing how badly Fleetwood had put the cabinet together in the first place (attached).

To sum up....

100% Thumbs Up to Dometic / GE Insurance for dealing with our claim so easily (Fleetwood take note !!!)

100% Thumbs Up to Emerald Coast / Happy Time for sorting our repair promptly for LESS THAN HALF WHAT THEY COULD HAVE CHARGED !!!

Paul

Tom

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Re: How best to deal with this ?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2006, 01:32:17 AM »
Glad it worked out Paul.
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