RV Doctor – Larger Lag Bolts for Stripped RV Awning Mounting Holes?

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March 5, 2009

Dear Gary,

My motorhome awning mounting holes up at the awning rail are stripped. I don’t know how the roof is constructed behind this rail. Do you recommend just installing larger lag bolts or do you have a better idea. Right now, 1/4″ x 3″ lag bolts are installed.

Sal Lugo, (Wurtsboro, NY)

Answer:

Sal, most motorhomes are reinforced in those areas where awnings are typically installed. A wooden support is usually built into the wall (and near the floor line) to accept the awning mounting screws.

If your lags are simply stripped, try removing the upper brackets and plugging the existing holes with a 1/4-inch wooden dowel. Apply some carpenter’s glue to the dowel before you hammer it in. Be sure it fits snug. If it appears loose, wedge some shims in alongside the dowel. Trim off any portion of the dowel that sticks out.

After the glue sets, simply reinstall the same lag screws after drilling 1/8-inch pilot holes. Seal the open holes with silicone before installing the awning bracket. If your internal framing consists of aluminum or steel studs instead of wood supports, you may have success simply going to a larger, 5/16″ lag screw as you’ve suggested. You’ll have to drill the holes in the mounting assemblies larger to accommodate a larger lag.

If the sidewall/roof area is not beefed up or properly supported internally, it may be necessary to “bolt through” the entire sidewall. This can be accomplished by fabricating a 6-inch square aluminum plate with holes drilled to match the spacing of the mounting holes in the upper awning bracket. The plate should be about 3/16-inch thick. Hopefully it will be hidden inside a cabinet. Instead of lag screws, it will be necessary to use 1/4-inch bolts, nuts and washers; long enough to pass through the awning bracket, the sidewall and the interior plate. Not the most aesthetic fix, but effective. Hope this helps!

(Please feel free to comment, however, please also note that due to the volume of communications I receive from multiple channels I cannot guarantee a personal response in every instance. However, questions of an overall general interest may be considered and published in an upcoming RV Doctor column.)

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9 comments

  1. Drew Mueller

    In the case of the last scenario- what would be wrong with using large plastic moly’s instead of through bolting?

  2. dear r v doc. just a note that i enjoy your question fixes..i hope to buy used lightweight tt or 5th this summer if the economy allows it..thanks

  3. jerry c

    Hay guys and gals, this is one of the first sites I go to each day. We have a 31′ ’87 Southwind Eagle that I enjoy/must work on to repair problems as well as upgrade, so I’m always looking for tips. Lots of entertaing bits too…….. Thanks ……………. Keep it up

  4. HELP……. DO I NEED A CERTAIN SIZE HOUSE BATTERY FOR MY 12 VOLT TV? THE REASON I ASK IS THIS: THE TV COMES ON BUT IMMEDIATELY GOES OFF.

  5. Seems easier to use the larger screws. I did this for an awning on my home but it’s the same idea. Hope it all works out.

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