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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Even The Simple Repairs - Fix Your Loose Oustide Mirrors

Elephant Ears!
    Outside mirrors are good. BIG outside mirrors are even better. Even with a backup camera, they are still a true necessity when navigating an RV both on the highway and in tight spots. There are a few companies that make them, but they all work essentially the same way. There are powered and unpowered versions. My RV has the powered variety. That just means I can adjust the mirrors themselves when I am driving without getting out of the RV. I was having a problem with the passenger side mirror moving out of position when I hit a large bump in the road. This was NOT due to the electrically adjustable mechanics of the system, but rather the simple ball and socket mount at the base of the mirror itself.

See The Rusted Set Screw?
In most installations there is a mounting arm that is screwed to the side of the RV and the mirror assembly itself mounts into it using a set screw or screws to adjust the tension on the ball inside the socket. Since it was adjustable, I figured I could simply reset the mirror and tight the allen/hex head set screws to keep it there. Sure, that would have worked except both set screws were rusted and impossible to turn! I sprayed a whole bunch of penetrating oil into the screw area and began hoping. You see, the housing is made of a different metal than the screws, so only the screws were rusted. I had a chance!

After a day (and two resprays) I was able to slowly back both screws out and clean them up. I also cleaned the screw holes and made sure they were clear of debris before putting the screws back in. Once that was done, I adjusted the placement of the mirror (definitely helps to have another person!) and tightened the screws till it stayed put. That's when I realized the other side would likely be the same....of course, Murphy was indeed an optimist!

I treated the set screws and holes the same way on the other side. I cleaned the holes, re-inserted the screws and I was done. A very simple fix. Though, the waiting for the penetrating oil to work was long. I rate this project a solid 2 out of 10 for difficulty. You need to be careful when you take the screws out. It would be very easy to strip out the threads in the holes and that would get expensive if you had to source an entire replacement mirror mount and then reinstall and seal it to the side of the RV. Be careful!

Now I have solid, sturdily mounted mirrors that I can adjust from the driver's seat at will. No more changes in aiming due to bumps...what could be better than that?

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com


4 comments:

  1. On our 1997 National motorhome, the mirrors are electric and encased in a frame with no visible screws. The mirrors I side are loose and vibrate. Help anyone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark,
      I am sure that the mirrors can be removed and disassembled in some way. Hard to tell you just how to do that without seeing the mirror itself.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  2. I had issues with Velvac mirrors coming loose. There were no visible screws for tightening. Looking up the information on the Velvac internet site, showed me exactly how to do it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simon,
      Way to go... the internet can be your friend!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete

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