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Old 06-26-2014, 12:00 AM   #1
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Duck! Falling cabinets!

My 2010 Interstate (Twin bed) has a small cabinet with 2 shelves and 2 drawers mounted above the roadside bed. The cabinet is attached to the aft side of the wardrobe module. I noticed a couple of days ago that the door to the cabinet was closing differently. I discovered that I could push up on the bottom of the cabinet and cause it to move vertically by maybe 1/4". This isn't a lot but I didn't think it should move at all. When I started taking things apart to find the root cause of this I found that the screws attaching the right side of the cabinet to the wardrobe module were a little loose. But what really surprised me was finding that the lower part of the aft side of the cabinet was attached to the roadside wall of the vehicle with 2 angle brackets MADE OF PLASTIC! Not the high grade fiber reinforced plastic but plain old transparent plastic like what mirror mounting brackets are made of. Well, neither of these brackets were supporting any weight at all. One was completely broken into two pieces and one of the two screws had pulled through the hole in the other one. I'm chocking back full rant mode here but really, Airstream! Wouldn't it have been better to use metal brackets? This cabinet could easily weigh 75# loaded and the dynamic forces as the vehicle moves down the road could be expected to be quite high.

In case you were wondering, I do not drive my vehicle aggressively nor do I do much driving on rough roads. If I'm on a back road (it happens rarely) I drive very conservatively.

I replaced these two brackets with double wide angle bracket from Home Depot. These brackets have 3 screw holes in each leg vs 1 hole in each leg for the plastic ones so things are much stronger now. Oh, I also found more of these plastic brackets in the similar cabinet mounted above the curbside bed and attached to the aft side of the bath/shower module. They will be finding themselves in the trash can soon!

Anyway fellow Airstreams, you might want to check your rigs. One of these cabinets detaching itself and falling could a be dramatic experience! Not to mention dangerous to anyone that happened to be napping beneath it!
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:12 AM   #2
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What is the weight limit for the cabinet. Might be either on a sticker in the cabinet it in the owners manual. I agree this sounds like bad support, but there usually is a cya sticker somewhere. Jim
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
What is the weight limit for the cabinet. Might be either on a sticker in the cabinet it in the owners manual. I agree this sounds like bad support, but there usually is a cya sticker somewhere. Jim
Sounds reasonable but I am unable to find a sticker of any kind on any cabinet in the Interstate. I have a searchable pdf of the Owner's Manual and nothing is mentioned in there either. In any case there has never been anything what you would call heavy stored in the cabinet in question.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:36 AM   #4
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Wow, that's bad. Jim
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:56 AM   #5
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Thanks for this info.

I found several of those clear plastic brackets broken. But I thought they were only used to hold the side "mouse fir" trim panels in place. I'll have to look closer.


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Old 06-26-2014, 10:00 AM   #6
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I asked the factory about weight limits in the overhead cabinets in our 2013 25FB International Serenity as there was nothing specified in either the trailer manual or stickers in cabinets. The Airstream chap NEVER returned the call where we chatted about this issue with any information...
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:38 PM   #7
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Thanks for this info.

I found several of those clear plastic brackets broken. But I thought they were only used to hold the side "mouse fir" trim panels in place. I'll have to look closer.


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Mike,
No! They are definitely structural! I'm going to replace every one of them that I can find and gain access to without disassembling the whole van! I think I paid $3.29 at Home Depot for a 2 pack of double wide steel brackets that had 3 screw holes in each leg.

Good luck!
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:16 PM   #8
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Since most, if not all, of the suede cloth covered panels are 1/4" Luan plywood, I can't imagine using them for any kind of support, especially a heavy, loaded cabinet. I suspect the cabinet is supposed to be securely bolted to the wardrobe. Just a thought w/o actually seeing what's going on.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:05 PM   #9
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Since most, if not all, of the suede cloth covered panels are 1/4" Luan plywood, I can't imagine using them for any kind of support, especially a heavy, loaded cabinet. I suspect the cabinet is supposed to be securely bolted to the wardrobe. Just a thought w/o actually seeing what's going on.
The ones I found broken were installed with one leg screwed to the inside of the laminate covered side panel of the cabinet. The other leg was screwed to the side panel of the vehicle which was covered with grey plastic. These fasteners definitely were screwed into metal; I could tell when I drilled the pilot holes for the additional screws in the new brackets. No suede cloth on this side. I'll have to look into the curbside cabinet next trip to OR.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:10 PM   #10
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A Sprinter cargo van has vertical supports from the floor to the roof, I think. Everything needs to be attached either to these or to something else that is attached to these. I wonder how these van conversions are done? Jim
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:10 PM   #11
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By the feel of it as I was drilling the pilot holes, I'm pretty sure I was drilling into those vertical ribs.

It was definitely metal and the screws didn't appear on the outside of the body


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Old 08-07-2014, 12:15 PM   #12
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just returned from a trip to colorado from az. our cabinet above the frig that also has the tv mounted to it had detached from the wall of the tt. only things holding it to the wall were 2 metal L brackets with 2 screws. pulled right out of the wall and nothing of any weight was in the cabinet other than the tv and mount. we have cetrematics, egualizer hitch. only 65 mph and on normal roads. only the wires to the back of the mounted tv were holding it from flinging off the counter top above the fridge. pulled right out of the side wall. i was not impressed by the mounting job when i saw that set up.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:47 PM   #13
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Don't know how big your TV is, but I would install a mount that allows you to remove the TV from the wall while traveling. That is a fair amount of weight exerting downward pressure on the wall...enough to loosen screws, I imagine.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:27 PM   #14
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lesson 1

i thought about that and i guess as didn't. that will be part of the remediation formula for that cabinet issue. the tv is like 19" whatever came from the factory that year but i have been suspicious of its mounting since we got the bambi. still the cabinets should be better hooked in then 2 screws on each side into the wall maybe. and using plastic in the interstate is really poor in my opinion.
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