Is this normal?

idletabidletab Posts: 52Member
I found multiple bolts on my Tab 400 that have these huge washers that don't look right. Most of the washers on the trailer are properly sized, but a few of them look like this. The bolt is also twerked to an angle here a bit and I'm worried that whatever this is bolting together has shifted, these aren't even the most angled bolts.

I told Nucamp about this and they say it is normal, they are "over tightened lock washers". I have never seen lock washers that look like this, though.



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Comments

  • ScottGScottG Posts: 3,115Moderator
    No, that does not look right to me. It's possible it's the right sized lock washer but has gotten pinched and spread open. Regardless, I don't buy that it's supposed to be like that.
    I would probably start with removing the nuts in question and replacing the lock washers, then keep an eye on it to make sure everything stays put.
  • idletabidletab Posts: 52Member
    Wow. I didn't think I'd be replacing bolts myself on a brand new, under warranty trailer. I understand that things happen, but to tell me that's normal and make me fix it myself (and who knows what's been damaged by this) is like nothing I've ever experienced on a new product.
  • OlenaOlena Posts: 28Member
    I think that your dealer should fix this for you under warranty. My [email protected] had a bad water pump and it was fixed at no charge. Your problem looks like it should be fixed by Nucamp at as little inconvenience to you as possible. It’s hard to imagine they would want a dissatisfied customer that has to deal with production flaws on their own.
    2013 Ford Escape 2.0 (no tow package!) and 2017 [email protected] Q basic
  • idletabidletab Posts: 52Member
    edited August 7
    Why would the dealer fix something the manufacturer said is normal?

    What I'm mostly worried about is how this has already damaged the frame, if it has. There are little bumps forming on the interior ceiling of my trailer that I'm worried are connected to the shifting of the frame. This sucks, because now I know whatever problem I have I'll be on my own.

    I bought new and paid a premium price for this trailer, expecting to have fewer defects and good manufacturer support. So far I haven't seen that at all.
  • CbusguyCbusguy Posts: 441Member
    If you can access the bolt head easily I would address it,  if you can't I wouldn't tear up my trailer trying to address something that may never end causing a problem.

    Disappointing,  sure.   End of the world not so much.  Just speaks to the issue of the lack of production and post production inspections
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter with added tranny coolerPower Bastards 250 amp alternator , added 2 gage charging wire to Trailer,  Timbren SES suspension and Super Springs.
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 3,115Moderator
    To clarify, while I don't agree this is "normal" I also wouldn't freak out about it. Twirked or not, the bolt still looks plenty secure, and I doubt that it has caused (or will cause) any damage to your trailer.
    My only concern would be that the (presumably) over-tightened lock washer might work its way out over time, leaving the bolt loose and and potentially allowing the nut to come off. If that happens to enough of the bolts over time, then maybe things might start shifting around.
    Replace the offending washers, snug up the nuts with a little Lock-Tite if it makes you feel good, and camp on!  :-)
  • idletabidletab Posts: 52Member
    Thanks Scott. I'll give that a try. Think I'm just feeling a bit raw about this right now but your course of action seems solid.
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 3,115Moderator
    Totally understandable. It is frustrating when your new expensive toys aren't quite perfect. Fortunately in this case it shouldn't take much effort to set things right!
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,527Administrator
    edited August 7
    idletab said:
    Thanks Scott. I'll give that a try. Think I'm just feeling a bit raw about this right now but your course of action seems solid.
    You should send your photos/concerns on to both the dealer and nuCamp too and voice your frustration and concerns.  We all want things correct and to get what we paid for.  This is the result of someone who was obviously in a hurry and someone who didn’t do their job correctly.  

    By sending in photos and voicing and expressing your frustration, anger and disappointment it allows both entities the ability to take things back to the workforce, discuss these types of issues and reinforce the fact that customers do see these things, are obviously not happy and that this type of work is unacceptable.  
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2019 [email protected] 400
    Attached Image
  • idletabidletab Posts: 52Member
    edited August 7
    Like I said, I did send photos to NuCamp. They talked to the foreman and he said this was completely normal and OK. I know it's not, so now it's on me to fix it. Must be the same guy who was suggesting the clawhammer fix to the 400 door - glad I didn't do that one as an enterprising forum member realized that using washers as shims was a better approach.

    Ultimately, whatever - this is something I can hopefully fix in less than an hour, even though I shouldn't have to. What I'm really dreading is the other issues I've been accumulating for my winter dealer visit - it sounds like they're all going to be "normal, won't fix" too.
  • LuckyjLuckyj Posts: 279Member
    idletab said:
    Like I said, I did send photos to NuCamp. They talked to the foreman and he said this was completely normal and OK. I know it's not, so now it's on me to fix it. Must be the same guy who was suggesting the clawhammer fix to the 400 door - glad I didn't do that one as an enterprising forum member realized that using washers as shims was a better approach.

    Ultimately, whatever - this is something I can hopefully fix in less than an hour, even though I shouldn't have to. What I'm really dreading is the other issues I've been accumulating for my winter dealer visit - it sounds like they're all going to be "normal, won't fix" too.
    I am not the type of person that goes out crying on social media, but still, after the answer you got, I would get on the nucamp company facebook page and post a picture of this.  Asking them if this should be like this.  Seing this on a page where any new customer could see this, I think would generate a different answer from customer support.

    and nope, I would not use lock tite in that location, cause I beleive that those are cariage bolt.  So no way of grabing them from behind (the head) to stop them from turning.

    but I would replace them before the bolt get dirty of rusty.
    2017 [email protected] Max Outback "Le Refuge"
    TV 2005 jeep TJ unlimited
    and/or 2005 Nissan X-Trail 4wd
    Alaskan Malamuthe on board!

    Les Escoumins and Petite-Riviere-St-Francois QC
  • CbusguyCbusguy Posts: 441Member
    @idletab ; that is not normal,  they put a lock washer on it for a reason.   I can't see any manufacturer spending money just to have the factory line just discard it.
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter with added tranny coolerPower Bastards 250 amp alternator , added 2 gage charging wire to Trailer,  Timbren SES suspension and Super Springs.
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • falcon1970falcon1970 Posts: 295Member
    That may be a lock washer and it may have been "overtightened" (not really possible) but it is also too large of a washer for that application.  A lock washer does not "spread" as it is tightened.  You could put a nylon lock nut on the exposed threads below the existing nut.  That will at least keep the existing nut from falling off, but if the washer does depart the existing nut will be loose and require tightening.
  • gspdxgspdx Posts: 88Member
    edited August 7
    I would probably fix it myself - that is just the way I am.

    But since you bought it new and have the warranty I would:
    1. Set up an appointment with the dealer to fix it under warranty
    2. Contact Nucamp again, provide the photo if you didn't already, and let them know you didn't appreciate the way your problem was ignored

    The washer looks too big and the installer ignored the issue.  They need to take care of that to prevent this in the future.  Contacting again and pushing back is more about them improving quality and preventing future [email protected] owners from having the same issue.
    2019 [email protected] 400 BDL
    2018 Ford F-150 2.7L Ecoboost with tow package
    PNW
  • N7SHG_HamN7SHG_Ham Posts: 474Member
    Year, model and location of these bolts? I want to know where to look to check my tab
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
  • idletabidletab Posts: 52Member
    2019 Tab 400, tongue side. Pics are from near the black tank outlet although issue exists on both sides, only on bolts closer to the front oddly enough.
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 3,115Moderator
    edited August 7
    Hard to say exactly what happened from a photo, but I agree that over-tightening and spreading are not typical issues with lock washers. If those are in fact lock washers, the installation looks pretty deliberate as the nut was clearly tightened down over the slit in the washer. I'm guessing somebody didn't want to hold up production while they hunted down the correct fastener...
    Frustrating as it is, if it were me I'd find $2 at the hardware store and a few minutes of quality time with my wrench a lot easier than a trip to the dealer. Sometimes you just gotta' pick your battles. YMMV.  ;-)
  • tabiphiletabiphile Posts: 104Member
    ScottG said:
    Hard to say exactly what happened from a photo, but I agree that over-tightening and spreading are not typical issues with lock washers. If those are in fact lock washers, the installation looks pretty deliberate as the nut was clearly tightened down over the slit in the washer. I'm guessing somebody didn't want to hold up production while they hunted down the correct fastener...
    Frustrating as it is, if it were me I'd find $2 at the hardware store and a few minutes of quality time with my wrench a lot easier than a trip to the dealer. Sometimes you just gotta' pick your battles. YMMV.  ;-)
    Yes...clearly not the correct lock washer size. The inside diameter of the correct lock washer will be just a bit larger than the bolt outside diameter. This was a very deliberate use of the wrong size washer and it should replaced. A handful of the correct ones will cost less than a dollar at Lowes/Tractor supply. It should take only a few minutes to fix. That's what I would do, fix it and move on but I would also make sure that Nucamp sees pictures of it and is made aware. It's lazy and shody assembly that they need to be addressed with the culprit. 
  • VernaVerna Posts: 5,242Administrator
    I have referred this to the correct department(s) at nüCamp. 

    Verna
    [email protected] Admin
    Verna, Indianapolis, IN, living full time in my 2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite white/red, towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost; [email protected] Administrator




  • CbusguyCbusguy Posts: 441Member
    @tabiphile ; I believe the lockwasher is the correct size,  what happen is it was overtightened  using power tools, the split in the ring spread and is now being held open by the body of the bolt.  I have done it working on projects using a pneumatic ratchet.  I was in a hurry and not paying attention.
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter with added tranny coolerPower Bastards 250 amp alternator , added 2 gage charging wire to Trailer,  Timbren SES suspension and Super Springs.
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • MiquelCamoMiquelCamo Posts: 27Member
    I think they should be using Nyloc nuts. Less parts to install, purchase, inventory and a much more effective fastener.  https://engineerdog.com/2015/01/11/10-tricks-engineers-need-to-know-about-fasteners/  

    They should also use calibrated torque drivers to install which would prevent issues like this from happening. A verification of the calibration before each shift takes very little time and ensures happy customers. 
    Mike and Lisa Campbell
    Springfield, MO
    2016 [email protected] Max S, Silver/Red "Sock Monkey", 2014 F150 3.5L Ecoboost

  • BrianZBrianZ Posts: 909Member
    I'd suggest removing nut & washer, place them side-by-side & take a good photo showing both in their entirety for seeing their relative sizes.  If the cut in the lock washer is not stretched wide open, then they may have used the wrong size washers.
    Looks like this is inside the frame area where the bolts are securing the floor to the frame?

    -Brian in Chester, Virginia
    TV: 2005 Toyota Sienna LE (3.3L V6)
    RV: 2018 [email protected] 320S, >70 mods 
  • tabiphiletabiphile Posts: 104Member
    I think they should be using Nyloc nuts. 
    They should also use calibrated torque drivers to install which would prevent issues like this from happening. A verification of the calibration before each shift takes very little time and ensures happy customers. 
    Nyloc would not require a lockwasher...you'd throw a flat washer under the nut. This one doesn't look like one... Correct about torque tools...well managed assembly process has those for each operation and a calibration schedule. 
  • idletabidletab Posts: 52Member
    NuCamp sent me a bag of washers with no instructions. Odd, considering they insisted that nothing was wrong...
  • idletabidletab Posts: 52Member
    edited August 16
    I am trying to fix the washer situation now. One set, no problem, but now I'm on to one where the bolt just spins as I try to remove the nut! What should I do, I assume try to hacksaw the bolt a bit so I can prevent it from turning with a screwdriver? The damaged washer already crumbled off so no going back now.

    The problem is that the whole assembly is recessed within the frame rail a bit so I can't easily get an open wrench on it.

    Really worried that the bolt is no longer seated properly and that I can't fix this myself.
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,527Administrator
    idletab said:
    I'm on to one where the bolt just spins as I try to remove the nut! What should I do, I assume try to hacksaw the bolt a bit so I can prevent it from turning with a screwdriver? The damaged washer already crumbled off so no going back now.

    The problem is that the whole assembly is recessed within the frame rail a bit so I can't easily get an open wrench on it.


    You might try the screwdriver trick or some needle nose pliers, use the screwdriver as a wedge and see if you can remove them it.  👍🏻
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2019 [email protected] 400
    Attached Image
  • idletabidletab Posts: 52Member
    As a wedge? What do you mean
  • falcon1970falcon1970 Posts: 295Member
    A bigger question is how will you hold the bolt after you get the nut off and are putting a new nut on?  Can you get to the top of the bolt at all?  I'm thinking not but you may be able to find it under a cabinet somewhere.  It will take some careful measuring and a lot of luck.  Where is this particular bolt?  
  • idletabidletab Posts: 52Member
    It's the bolt nearest the black tank outlet, so probably in some inaccessible area in the bathroom. This really sucks guys, I don't know if this thing is even safe to drive to the dealer without damaging it now. Why would NuCamp tell me to replace these without warning me about this issue...
  • falcon1970falcon1970 Posts: 295Member
    I suspect that they use stove bolts to hold the cabin to the frame.  Stove bolts are bolts with a square shoulder and a round head.  The shoulder fits into a square hole and keeps the bolt from turning as you fasten the nut.  Usually used fastening two metal pieces together.  If used to fasten wood it is possible (easily) for the square shoulder to round out the hole where it once was held.  Then nothing holds the bolt from turning.
    I don't know how easy it is to remove the toilet (maybe someone can chime in here?) but you might get lucky and find that bolt exposed after the toilet is out.  If so, you could replace that bolt with a hex head bolt and a shoulder washer.  You will need someone inside to give you some backup on the bolt as you tighten the nut from the outside.
    On the positive side, as long as you don't have a whole series of bolts loose like this the trailer is probably plenty safe. One or even two loose bolts probably won't compromise the integrity of the trailer.  If there are more like this then I think it is a factory job to fix them.  I doubt a dealer would have the knowledge or skills to replace them.
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