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Old 07-16-2022, 01:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 106
Fiamma awning mount digging into roof

I was up on the ladder today doing some maintenance on stuff on the Sprinter roof and I noticed that the forward foot of my Fiamma awning mount is digging into the roof. The aluminum foot has dug through the paint and into the metal and I can see paint blistering around the area indicating rust under the paint.

I’m leaving on a trip tomorrow so for now I painted the area with Corroseal rust converter and added a 1mm thick strip of PTFE material under the foot to prevent it from causing further damage. It looks like there is supposed to be some rubber material under the foot to protect the van body; either it was never there or it got stripped out by low hanging branches I passed through.

Just a cautionary lookout to anyone who has their awning mounted to their frame rail using this Fiamma awning mount.


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Old 07-19-2022, 10:21 PM   #2
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Thanks for the heads up on that. I'll have to check mine.

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Old 07-27-2022, 04:59 AM   #3
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Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
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How long has your awning been in place?

That's a significant amount of rust in a troubling area--I've have it addressed ASAP.
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Old 07-27-2022, 04:17 PM   #4
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I see some - sanding - welding - grinding - painting - in your future. Feel bad this has happened to you - but agree - take care of it real soon or water damage most likely on the interior ! Good luck !
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Old 08-25-2022, 01:02 PM   #5
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Update: I finally have a few weeks between trips and have gathered the necessary supplies to address this issue.

I purchased a color matched paint kit from ERA Paints which includes a spray can of primer, a spray can of color matched paint, and a spray can of clear coat.

I pulled the awning and the awning mounting brackets from the van and discovered that the van paint had rubbed through under the awning bracket feet at all three of the awning brackets. I found no protective pads under any of the bracket feet to prevent the brackets from causing damage to the van’s roof paint.

I located the installation manual for my model Fiamma awning brackets and discovered that they call for the use of Sikaflex 252 under the feet of the awning brackets. This keeps the metal of the awning brackets from rubbing on the van roof. Unfortunately, Sportsmobile skipped this step when they installed the brackets on my van, leading to this unfortunate damage to my van’s paint. Just another thing they failed to do properly; guess I’ll add to the list, not that they care.

So now I’ve got some sanding to do in order to remove the rust I found, followed by priming, painting, and clear coating all before I can reinstall my awning bracket the proper way so I won’t have similar damage in the future. Fun.

I’ll try to capture photos as I go in order to post here in case anyone else discovers they have the same Sportsmobile induced problem I do, so they can see how I performed the required repairs.
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Old 09-07-2022, 05:12 PM   #6
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Location: Massachusetts
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Photos from the repairs. I did this repair over a week ago, but due to travel am now just posting the photos:

Rust found under forward awning foot (temporarily treated with rust converter)

Scraped and ground rust away using brass wire brush on drill

Filled rust pits with auto body putty (multiple layers allowed to cure and sanded between)

Rust found under center awning mount. Outside edge of awning mount rubbed through paint on side of van

Masked off and primed previously rusted spots as well as a sizable adjacent area

Final result. Feathered paint into area around the repairs. 2 coats primer, 3 coats color, 3 coats clear coat. Sikaflex adhesive used under feet of awning mount to prevent it from rubbing through paint in the future.

I was very happy with the color match of the ERA paint. The clear coat left a more matte finish on the repaired sections of the van roof, but the instructions mentions that and suggests that a polishing once it is fully cured will result in the repaired area having a similar gloss to the surrounding areas.

The Sikaflex adhesive on the foot of the awning mounts, where it comes in contact with the van, will prevent the aluminum of the awning mount from rubbing through the paint on the van roof. The awning mount instructions call for this, but it wasn’t done by Sportsmobile during their installation of the awning.

I also applied the Sikaflex adhesive on the outside edge of the middle bracket as I found that area had rubbed through the van near the seam in the body panels. This was not an issue with the forward and aft awning mounts as the outside edge of the van curves away enough that this part of the outer awning bracket can’t touch the body of the van.

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