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Old 01-17-2015, 07:07 PM   #1
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Corroded Window Screws

Our Escape 21 developed significant corrosion on all window screws within two weeks from delivery to us 9/17. I was very surprised having owned a used 2010 17B that didn't have any signs of this. Sent photos to ETI and Reace was surprised too and figured it was a bad batch of screws.


Am pretty good mechanically, however there are tricks to every trade. Getting the originals out was easy. Putting new ones in not so much. That is because some of those holes were double-tapped. The ETI installers had tried to go in one way but couldn't with some then had to go in sometimes at an angle. This the nature of those windows I've learned, and it doesn't matter what brand of RV you have.


First tried using stainless replacements to try an avoid future corrosion. When talking to Reace he said he could send stainless if I didn't mind the color contrast. Turns out stainless is harder and more brittle. Also, looking closely today I see they're slightly fatter. Three heads torqued off(3 different windows of course) leaving the broken stud behind. Most shops I talked to weren't very optimistic with one saying I may need new windows.


Finally got the work done at my house today from an auto glass installer I had remembered did very good work. He has worked on RV windows before and knew the problem with the studs. When I asked him if he though he could get them out he said “usually- unless the owner has already tried”. Fortunately I hadn't. Decided to use the OEM screws instead of stainless.


Like with most pros, he made it look easy, but there was definitely a method and tools. He would only pull away as much as the clamp ring as needed to get his vise grips on and then it was still not easy to get just the right amount of grip. Too much, you start to mangle the stud while too little doesn't turn it. When the clamp ring was stuck on, he had a plastic flatblade that he would use on the inside of the ring so he was never prying into the wall vinyl. Starting the new screws began with the cordless driver set at a low setting then finished by hand. Glad that's over!
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:22 PM   #2
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In December, I talked to Reace on the phone. I mentioned to him that I had read of others having screw corrosion issues, so I asked if stainless screws were an option. He said that he knew of only one case of corroded screws. He said that the screws are coated, and they touch them up if necessary, so he didn't see the need for SS screws.

Hmmm, now I'm not so sure.
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Our Escape 21 developed significant corrosion on all window screws within two weeks from delivery to us 9/17. I was very surprised having owned a used 2010 17B that didn't have any signs of this. Sent photos to ETI and Reace was surprised too and figured it was a bad batch of screws.


[Starting the new screws began with the cordless driver set at a low setting then finished by hand. Glad that's over![/SIZE][/FONT]
Glad it worked out for you. I've had quite a lot of similar experience with marine windows. The thing that surprises me is that he used a cordless driver to start the screws into pre-existing threads. As much as I love cordless drivers I've always thought the most important part of that process was the feedback your finger tips give you for knowing if the screws start correctly.

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Old 01-17-2015, 09:21 PM   #4
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We picked up on 09/30 and the bathroom window screws are corroded. i'll take a closer look at the other screws next week. The trailer is currently in the shop for a refrigerator door problem hopefully covered by warranty. I will get in touch with ETI about a fix.
Thanks for posting.
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:30 PM   #5
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If anyone with a fairly new trailer has rusting window screws, let me know and I will ship you replacements.

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Old 01-17-2015, 11:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Glad it worked out for you. I've had quite a lot of similar experience with marine windows. The thing that surprises me is that he used a cordless driver to start the screws into pre-existing threads. As much as I love cordless drivers I've always thought the most important part of that process was the feedback your finger tips give you for knowing if the screws start correctly.

Ron
Know what you mean but you had to be there. It's a weird and unique situation with these fasteners going into the window frame. Starting by hand you get resistance immediately. When I was trying to do the stainless I would get halfway in many times with the cordless driver then get stopped. Would back out try a new one with more force and most of the time it worked.

This was so frustrating because even Hehr Window couldn't give me much advice. I invite anyone to search this and see the limited information. I feel lucky that I didn't just have to glue on the broken heads for cosmetic value then drill in new ones for integrity.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:45 AM   #7
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Is this all the windows?
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:10 AM   #8
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Our October 2014 21' had the rusting screw problem throughout, some windows worse than others, but all had the problem. Reace sent a new set, and I replaced them with the new batch, original size and color ones. Took about an hour with a drill/driver. Couldn't get to the ones covered by the cornices but who cares--you can't see those. Thanks, Reace.
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reace View Post
If anyone with a fairly new trailer has rusting window screws, let me know and I will ship you replacements.

Reace
Just want to thank Reace for this follow up for all us Escape owners. Although I don't have this problem, I am impressed that not only did Reace respond, but did this on a Saturday evening! I can't think of another trailer manufacturer with this level of service!!! That's why ETI has "raving fans" instead of "satisfied customers." I just love showing off my Escape to potential buyers - the trailer sells itself. I don't believe any of my showings have led to sales of new, but one of my showings led to the purchase of a used 19' Escape!
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Old 01-18-2015, 01:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill and Earline View Post
Our October 2014 21' had the rusting screw problem throughout, some windows worse than others, but all had the problem. Reace sent a new set, and I replaced them with the new batch, original size and color ones. Took about an hour with a drill/driver. Couldn't get to the ones covered by the cornices but who cares--you can't see those. Thanks, Reace.
"Rust Never Sleeps"- great albumn by a famous Canadian. You may wish you had later on. It's actually not bad to do especially with a helper. Remove the valences by popping off the plastic cover on each end to access screw. Then remove the triangular metal piece at the lower corners that tether the shades. Now the helper can lift them outward and up giving access to the top screws.

It would have taken me about an hour as well except for the broken studs as well as having to replace two defective shades. The main reason I posted this was to help warn others of the potential to break off screw heads. Jeff, the Hehr rep for the Northwest told me it happens in the factories too and the best advice is to use a clutched driver. Add to that the tech's experience telling him to set it on low setting & finish by hand.

Also, should we have to do our own warranty labor? If your Atwood Furnace goes out within two years you contact Atwood for their nearest service center. This was an Escape issue and they did cover this cost for us.
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