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Grand Design's use of pin nailers - trim falling off everywhere!

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  • Grand Design's use of pin nailers - trim falling off everywhere!

    There are a few messages elsewhere here about trim pieces loosening or falling off completely. Most have been focused on the trim and valance panels around the windows.

    Our trailer has about 8,000 miles on it, virtually all of that on Canadian and American highways (we don't boondock dragging it around off-road, or much on roads any rougher than the highways are).

    All but three of the side trim pieces on the windows have either fallen off or become wobbly-loose and had to be re-attached before they fell off. Two of the remaining three are loose and need attention, but the attention is going to require removing the trim around the adjacent window to properly nail the loose trim... a whole lotta work!

    After completing an all-highway trip yesterday the large trim board across the top of the dining slide was VERY close to falling off completely. The board had pulled out most of its pin-nails and was drooping an inch or two down towards the front end, seemingly held up by the large decorative trim block in the center of the slide and a few remaining pins. If it had let go it would have crashed onto the dining table or the kitchen counter and then bounced around doing who knows-what damage to the hutch cabinet, wall, floor, etc.

    Good grief! Grand Design *really* needs to re-think the use of the pin-nailer. A recent assertion that they've made a small change to the pin nail they've been using doesn't provide much comfort, especially to customers experiencing these problems.

    GD is saving itself time and work in securely and properly attaching trim by off-loading that work onto their customers some time after the sale. It doesn't warm the customers' hearts to Grand Design.
    Last edited by boyscout; 03-08-2020, 10:53 AM.
    Mark - 2018 Solitude 310GK - Ford F-350 SRW diesel short box - Pullrite Superglide hitch

  • #2
    GDRV-Emily, GDRV-Megan

    I too have had several pieces of trim fall off and/or loosen. In fact, I just finished reattaching a long strip of trim on one of my slide outs. You may want to consider sharing this post with the factory guys to see if there is a better approach.

    Jim
    The moderators for this site are not GDRV employees, but we do own GDRV products.

    Jim and Ginnie
    2017 Reflection 297RSTS

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TucsonJim View Post
      GDRV-Emily, GDRV-Megan

      I too have had several pieces of trim fall off and/or loosen. In fact, I just finished reattaching a long strip of trim on one of my slide outs. You may want to consider sharing this post with the factory guys to see if there is a better approach.

      Jim
      The center decorative piece in the center of the top trim (interior) in the dinette slide fell off last trip. Same exact issue as documented in this thread. While sufficient for the short term, the fastening process used for trim does not hold up over time. (My trailer is 1.5 years old.)
      Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

      Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

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      • #4
        Also had the dinette/slide trim come loose. Reinstalled it with small dabs of clear silicone and tape to hold it in place til it cured.
        2017 Imagine 2600RB
        2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

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        • #5
          This thread makes me wonder what has changed over the years and/or models if anything. We have never had any trim pieces fall off. We did have one area of the cove molding at the ceiling/wall intersection come loose about an 1/4" at the joint with the next length a couple of times but that was it. I just pushed it back in place. This is over 6 seasons and nearly 15K miles over some very rough roads.

          I also do not seem to recall many posts in the early years with this issue. Hmm ?

          Dan
          Dan & Carol
          2014 303RLS Reflection #185 (10/2013 build)
          2012 Silverado LTZ Crew Duramax 2500HD - 2700/16K Pullrite Superglide

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Canyonlight View Post
            This thread makes me wonder what has changed over the years and/or models if anything. We have never had any trim pieces fall off. We did have one area of the cove molding at the ceiling/wall intersection come loose about an 1/4" at the joint with the next length a couple of times but that was it. I just pushed it back in place. This is over 6 seasons and nearly 15K miles over some very rough roads.

            I also do not seem to recall many posts in the early years with this issue. Hmm ?

            Dan
            Interesting post Dan! I was just thinking the same thing! I have had a few trim pieces come loose over 5 years and 20,000 miles . . . but not to the degree described by others with more recent builds. In addition, much of my trim has been removed and put back on (as evidenced by duplicate nail holes) during two factory side wall replacements.

            From using a pneumatic brad nailer myself, I know that the depth of the nail is very dependent on air pressure, the material being fastened and how firmly the tool is held against the surface. I wonder if production tools have changed over the years such that control of these variables is not as good as it used to be and the brads are being driven too deep.

            Rob
            Cate & Rob
            (with Border Collies Molly & Angel and their kitty Gracie)
            2015 Reflection 303RLS
            2014 Ecoboost F150 with Heavy Duty Payload Package
            Whitby, Ontario, Canada

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cate&Rob View Post

              I wonder if production tools have changed over the years such that control of these variables is not as good as it used to be and the brads are being driven too deep.

              Rob
              Driving them too deep may be the issue Rob. When I repaired a couple of sections recently, the brads were still in place on the slide out, and the heads had pulled through the trim strips. However, my slide out corbel fell off the wall and the nails were still in the corbel. In this case, I don't think the nails were long enough.

              Jim


              The moderators for this site are not GDRV employees, but we do own GDRV products.

              Jim and Ginnie
              2017 Reflection 297RSTS

              Comment


              • #8
                Too deep and not using the correct pin nails for the job. You can get pin nails with glue on them - activates from the heat when driving. Me thinks the floor manager needs to consult with some real wood working folks (which I am not). On my old Wanderer (Thor Calif) they used pin nails and a small dabs of silicone glue. Never had an issue. I found out about the glue when I had to pull the valance to replace a window. Put it back the same way.
                2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel. Reese R20 Titan hitch, Steadyfast system, 2004 F350 King Ranch dually

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                • #9
                  Thanks everyone for your feedback! I have provided this thread to our production managers to pass along. I can update you all here if I get any feedback!

                  CC:boyscout , TucsonJim , howson , MidwestCamper , Canyonlight , Cate&Rob , Yoda

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                  • #10
                    I think there may be some confusion , at least for me , brewing in this thread..

                    A pin nail actually has no "head" on the top of the nail , this is not good for holding a "dry" joint , a joint with no glue.

                    A brad nail will have an actual nail head , albeit small like a finish nail. This nail will have some holding power if not seated too deep as mentioned above.

                    So in my conclusion if GD is using pin nails I can see where trim would be falling off and they should move to a brad nail or similar. If GD is using brad nails then they should lower the pressure so the nail is seated just below the surface.

                    Brian
                    Brian & Michelle
                    2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.17 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
                    2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K

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                    • #11
                      Brian,

                      You have a point there. If I recall the nails that were still in place had a small head so brad would be correct. From what I had seen, the nail was seated so deep that what was left of the material under the nail could not hold up to the weight of the trim under road vibration.

                      Jim
                      2017 Imagine 2600RB
                      2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Country Campers View Post
                        I think there may be some confusion , at least for me , brewing in this thread..

                        A pin nail actually has no "head" on the top of the nail , this is not good for holding a "dry" joint , a joint with no glue.

                        A brad nail will have an actual nail head , albeit small like a finish nail. This nail will have some holding power if not seated too deep as mentioned above.

                        So in my conclusion if GD is using pin nails I can see where trim would be falling off and they should move to a brad nail or similar. If GD is using brad nails then they should lower the pressure so the nail is seated just below the surface.

                        Brian
                        On our late-2017-built 2018 Solitude, definitely NOT brad nails. Just bits of amazingly-thin wire - pin nails. I guess they can be shot into the wood and leave holes so minute that they don't have to be filled or finished. GD has used this method on "dry joints" to attach trim all over our trailer, and a lot of it is coming apart.

                        Mark - 2018 Solitude 310GK - Ford F-350 SRW diesel short box - Pullrite Superglide hitch

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have both a pin nailer and a trim/Brad nailer. A true pin nailer is used for very delicate work like putting a picture frame back together. A trim nailer is used to hang molding/trim. Most trim nailers use a specific gauge of nail. The bigger the gauge the bigger the head. Most nailers can accept different lengths of the same gauge nail. You want to use the longest nail that goes in without coming out the other side. Assuming you are holding the nailer tight to the Wood then the density of the wood dictates the amount of air pressure needed to seat the head just below the surface. If the same person is installing various different pieces of trim then each different piece of trim would need a different pressure adjustment for the optimum depth. In a production setting I highly doubt the worker is readjusting when moving from one type of trim to the next and that is really the problem.

                          If or when my trim starts falling off I'll take the time to figure out the proper air setting (testing in a inconspicuous area) and reattach properly.


                          Charles and Susan
                          2018 Nissan Titan SV 4x4 crew cab
                          Roadmaster Active Suspension HD
                          Equalizer w/ 1,000 lb bars
                          2020 Imagine 2600RB

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                          • #14
                            Good morning! I believe GDRV-Megan is getting more info for this thread. Hopefully we will have some insight in a bit. Thank you for your patience

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                            • #15
                              We use real wood trim pieces, not MDF trim pieces. The problem that we run into is that sometimes the nail is going through a piece of trim and a 1/8" of lauan (lauan is laminated onto aluminum). The nail has to go through a solid piece of trim, a solid piece fo lauan and then the aluminum that's stuffed with wood. It's difficult to set the guns at the right pressure because not every place has aluminum stuffed with wood. The nail doesn't have a big head so it shoots all the way in. The guns need different sets of pressure depending on where the trim is located.

                              What I have heard from other customers that they are doing is getting double-sided tape (or running a little bit of glue on the backside) and stapling it back up.

                              The plant does a very good job of installing the trim pieces, but with the units rolling down the road, temperature/climate change, humidity change, all these play a role as well. I hope this helps! Please let me know if I can help with anything else!

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