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Coach frame maybe shifting?


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I heard a loud bang under the steps while driving my 2005 38” Holiday Rambler Scepter (same as Camelot).  I did not see anything in the road to run over and get thrown up against the coach (rock, etc), but that could have happened.  We pulled over but could see nothing wrong, so we kept going.  About 10 miles later, we camped for two nights (dumped air, leveled the coach.)  We then drove another hour and camped for another night, once again dumping air and leveling. The next day after driving 5 miles and getting on an interstate, the whole right side of the dash vibrated and squeaked, and it appeared it had pulled away a bit from the side wall.  The dash stopped squeaking when my wife kept pressure on it with her feet.  We camped after about 90 minutes.  Then we noticed the step well had pulled away from the side of the coach maybe 1/8” to ¼”.  Now, a day later, we just noticed with air dumped and looking down, we see daylight along the new opening by the front stair well. 

The outdoor generator compartment door now has a wider gap on the curb side.  I can’t see anything broken from underneath or from the generator opening.

My front steps have been inoperative (retracted) for the last 1000 miles, so I don’t think that has caused the noise or issue.

I did not notice any difference in ride when the bang happened so I don’t think it was an air bag.  They feel firm when pumped up and I don’t hear any leak.  Also, when pumped up, the visible gap between the coach outside wall and stairwell is half the width it was when the coach air was dumped (it got narrower when pumped up).. Anyone have any clues as to what the issue is? 

Dave Jones

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Clearly one of the body struts has broken. It should be a difficult fix for a body shop. I would get it there ASAP  because it could result in more serious damage. Did you get under that corner? A photo would help your colleagues see if they spot a problem. 

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Get it to a reputable truck shop to have the entire frame and all attachments checked immediately. Suggestion would be to not operate the coach until you know for a fact what is wrong. Like Rick A posted, you could wind up with major issues with continued use.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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On 2/12/2022 at 12:10 PM, Rick A said:

Clearly one of the body struts has broken. It should be a difficult fix for a body shop. I would get it there ASAP  because it could result in more serious damage. Did you get under that corner? A photo would help your colleagues see if they spot a problem. 

I have spent a lot of time under that corner of the coach and see nothing out of the ordinary except the step well has moved a bit.  Here are some photos of the only thing I can see that has moved.  Can't see any cracks in anything structural.

step well front inside.jpg

CRACK PHOTO 2.jpg

CRACK PHOTO 3.jpg

crack pic.jpg

generator door on jacks.jpg

seeing daylight front.jpg

square view of stairwell.jpg

step well front inside.jpg

step well rear side pulled away.jpg

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It’s not very easy to sense what’s going on but it looks like the bang you heard was the effect not the cause. If you had hit something then it would be the other way around. Guessing now. 
Do you have one centre jack? It looks like the generator housing assembly may be where the issue is. There is a lot of weight there. Clearly the stair well has dropped away from the main body. The door apparently has not moved out of alignment relative to the main frame. It’s very hard to tell what’s going on but it looks more like something to do will then generator compartment. It needs body specialist, I doubt it’s a major frame issue but it needs attention. 

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Our coaches have diagonal bracing in the frontal area.  One of those may have broken.  There is a fellow on IRV2 forum who bought a wrecked coach that had the area you are dealing with smashed.  He has a long thread with pictures etc that may give you an idea of what is broken.

Anyway, here is a link.   https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/just-purchased-wrecked-2004-camelot-pdq-big-project-444980.html

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Dave, from my collision repair experience and assuming likely similar construction, the are 2 suspect areas to check out. Unfortunatelly, to see them and repair, the door frame would have to come out. I really do not see how the stairwell could move inwards because it is tied to the rail but the bottom door frame can relatively easily move outward with just few broken welds. To give an idea of of what I mean, here are few pics with the door frame off.

IMG_20190321_171126509_HDR.jpg

IMG_20190319_151847651_0.jpg

IMG_20190319_151835725.jpg

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