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2017 FWC Fleet: screws-paint-sealant

screws exterior paint acrylic polyurethane marine latch

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#1 EcoVntr

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 04:01 AM

Hello WTW Members,

 

    I am new to the community and looking to other FWC owners for help in proper repairs, maintenance, and up keep...Unfortunately, I have reached out to my local dealer and the FWC company in California but have not received complete information of what I need for repairs and maintenance! After 5 years of saving up for a FWC, I am not very impressed with the quality or support of FWC. I hope this early perception can be turned around.....The following was the email I sent to FWC customer service with responses in red.....

 

 I am the owner of a used 2017 Fleet Shell model. It took five years to save up for the purchase and need some guidance to touch up a few blemishes in this slightly used camper. I have enjoyed the Fleet on my Tacoma and look forward to many years of use, but want to keep the maintenance up and to what FWC recommends for their product. Could you please help with the following areas? 

 

1.      Rear right bottom latch mount had a screw head break off. Was found on driveway after washing. I was attempting to drill / extract the, but the screw further advanced into the frame void (freeing up the mounting hole).

a.       Is it possible to acquire the exact screw used by FWC to replace this screw?

        (FWC asked for my email to mail a replacement screw - emailed my address twice with no screw replacement received and no further repose to my emails!)

b.      What metal type and thread count should be used to prevent corrosion?

(Zinc coated was the response, but noticed some postings have noted the use of stainless steel)

c.       What sealant / caulking should be used to ensure weight tight seal (3M 4200)?

(response was to use a polyurethane sealant- - - many kinda on the market for concrete, flashing, etc....straight answer please!)

d.      Lastly, several other screws do not tighten and rotate when attempt to tighten, should these be replaced with larger screws?

(I got the screw out but receive three different sizes to use - #8x3/4"...#8x1"...#10x3/4".....#10x1")

2.      Front bumpers had come loose and out of the caulking seal. I was able to retighten securely.

a.       What type of caulking should be used to reseal around the bumpers and other areas on the camper?

3.      The exterior protective coating on the bottom of the camper is in need of minor repairs, due to minor bumps exposing unprotected natural wood.

a.       What paint type should be used to seal exposed wood?

(reply was exterior acrylic, marine grade, and exterior paint.......so, is this a latex paint? oil base paint? what makes it marine grade? home depot was not sure what to sale with acrylic...)

 

 

 

*****Any suggestions from the WTW FWC owners would be greatly appreciated...

 

 

 

 

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  • FWC Bottom.jpg
  • FWC Latch.jpg

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#2 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 05:20 AM

I sold my FWC Grandby and went with a smaller ATC Bobcat, but I’ll toss in 2¢ worth.

For the paint, I believe a good quality exterior latex house paint is fine. You’re wise to keep it in good condition.

There’s a thread on screws and electrolysis somewhere here in the forums, but the short story is stainless is not a good idea. Zinc plated is what I believe both ATC and FWC use. If you don’t get an answer from your dealer, give ATC a call. They are easy to work with, and will get you on the right path. Same for the sealant question.

And, welcome to the forum!

Edit: enter ‘electrolysis’ in the forums search box. It returns a number of threads on the subject.
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#3 longhorn1

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 10:57 AM

Fiirst, welcome to the group. FWC went with a special coating for the wood, so I wouldn't use something different. I have never had a problem getting anyone at FWC. In fact they have been very responsive. I have always gotten through on the phone or received prompt replies to my e-mails.

I also think it is premature to call out FWC for quality since this is a used camper. It would appear the original owner might have caused some of the problems. Galvanized screws with zinc coating should be used, not stainless steel. As far as polyurethane sealant you shouldn't have problems getting regular sealant, not adhesive or concrete. You should contact FWC by phone about the underbody coating. You should be able to get a gallon. They provided me the Sherwin Williams code for the gray coating on the older campers. Most dealers aren't equipped for repairs. As far as the screw, you will need to go to a larger size.

From what you shared, I'm not really seeing things that are FWC quality issue. jd

Edited by longhorn1, 20 July 2018 - 06:03 PM.

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#4 CougarCouple

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 01:57 PM

Hello EcoVnter
Welcome to WtW, and congrats on the fleet camper. You will get the answers you need, might take a couple times to reach out, don't throw in the towel too fast. Try reach out to Stan at FWC, I have seen him post here and he sincerely cares about the product and company.
We started a book in our Cougar and everything we have in the camper (appliances, battery stuff documents on the detectors ect.ect.) will make for a great reference for you in the future. Your desire to do the maintenanc, will get you those years of pleasure!

Probably sent the different sizes of screws as they might use all those, but in different locations. My 2 cents. Properly secured camper very important so no damage happens to your camper. Develop a routine to open and close top stick to it. Don't hesitate to reach out the folks on this site are really incredible folks, nice and knowledgeable.


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#5 BrianG

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 02:24 PM

Concerning the bottom of the camper: after the first season I coated the entire bottom of my 2015 Hawk with a truck bed liner from Auto Zone, after two seasons of camping the bottom is in great shape. Camper sits on a Linex lining, no problem at all with adhesion to FWC coating. Having said all this, its important to keep the turnbuckles tight to reduce camper movement.

I’ve always got the support I needed from FWC, but their not perfect. I’d bug them a little more before running to another company for support, but that’s an option.
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#6 longhorn1

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 03:52 PM

After looking at the pictures there is a chance that the latches are too tight. FWC instructs everyone to allow for approximately 1/4" play when the 6 latches are latched. You should be able push the roof down. If they are tight the tork is on the latch plate and screws. My guess this is what caused the screw to break. As far as the bumpers, it is possible the original owner removed them. Others have cut them down or removed them. Just don't see them coming loose on their own.

Edited by longhorn1, 20 July 2018 - 06:08 PM.

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#7 CougarCouple

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 07:50 PM

That’s a good call there Longhorn1
I remember the same instructions. Always try to make sure I don’t twist them.

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#8 EcoVntr

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 01:34 AM

I sold my FWC Grandby and went with a smaller ATC Bobcat, but I’ll toss in 2¢ worth.

For the paint, I believe a good quality exterior latex house paint is fine. You’re wise to keep it in good condition.

There’s a thread on screws and electrolysis somewhere here in the forums, but the short story is stainless is not a good idea. Zinc plated is what I believe both ATC and FWC use. If you don’t get an answer from your dealer, give ATC a call. They are easy to work with, and will get you on the right path. Same for the sealant question.

And, welcome to the forum!

Edit: enter ‘electrolysis’ in the forums search box. It returns a number of threads on the subject.

Hello Wandering Sagebrush,

 

   Thank you for the reply. I will conduct a search of WTW site for keywords you mentioned. If I cannot find the answers I am looking for through additional efforts with FWC, I will reach out to ATC. I am sure I will find the answers, just taking longer than anticipated. Good to know that Zinc coated is what I am looking for, not stainless. 

 

Thanks again for the info


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#9 EcoVntr

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 01:46 AM

Fiirst, welcome to the group. FWC went with a special coating for the wood, so I wouldn't use something different. I have never had a problem getting anyone at FWC. In fact they have been very responsive. I have always gotten through on the phone or received prompt replies to my e-mails.

I also think it is premature to call out FWC for quality since this is a used camper. It would appear the original owner might have caused some of the problems. Galvanized screws with zinc coating should be used, not stainless steel. As far as polyurethane sealant you shouldn't have problems getting regular sealant, not adhesive or concrete. You should contact FWC by phone about the underbody coating. You should be able to get a gallon. They provided me the Sherwin Williams code for the gray coating on the older campers. Most dealers aren't equipped for repairs. As far as the screw, you will need to go to a larger size.

From what you shared, I'm not really seeing things that are FWC quality issue. jd

Longhorn1 [jd\,

 

  Thanks for the reply. I have heard good things about the FWC company and community, just taking a little longer than I anticipated to ensure I use the correct products to make the camper last. I have had friends who loved their FWC and inspired me to save for my own and look forward to many years of use. The quality issue is the feel I got from the camper initially, not just the blemished parts on a 5 month old camper (at the time I purchase it in February 2018). I hope to have this perception reversed as I repair the needed items, with the correct products, and start to enjoy the camper more. I read you later post and will double check the tightness of the latches. I had not adjusted them since purchased the camper, double check just to make sure...

 

I will attempt to contact FWC by phone and hope to get the answers I am seeking, just need to get off work in time for the calls. I guess I am looking for more specific response; like brands and item numbers used by the FWC. I have a trip to the Blackhills next week and hope the weather holds so moisture does not get into the exposed wood or empty screw hole. It has been approx. a month since I have been seeking the products needed for repairs. 

 

Thanks again.


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#10 EcoVntr

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 01:56 AM

Concerning the bottom of the camper: after the first season I coated the entire bottom of my 2015 Hawk with a truck bed liner from Auto Zone, after two seasons of camping the bottom is in great shape. Camper sits on a Linex lining, no problem at all with adhesion to FWC coating. Having said all this, its important to keep the turnbuckles tight to reduce camper movement.

I’ve always got the support I needed from FWC, but their not perfect. I’d bug them a little more before running to another company for support, but that’s an option.

Hello Brian G.

 

   Thank you for the encouraging words to keep plugging away at getting the answers I am seeking. I have thought about a bed liner coating but was not sure about the additional weight and how this would work on wood. Sounds like you have had success... anyone else had success with bed liner versus FWC recommended paint? I already have a lineX liner in my older Tacoma bed.. 

 

    I am sure FWC is busy and cannot focus full attention to every email, so I will attempt to call and email again..again..again... just want a durable and enjoyable camper for exploring the Rocky Mountains for many years..

 

Thanks again  


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