Running board coming loose...fixes?

Maintenance of the body of the camper
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B190 Year: 1996
Location: Seattle, WA

Running board coming loose...fixes?

Post by silvertrooper »

My driver's side running board is getting a bit loose, and when I looked at the screws holding it in, two of them were rusted so badly that they weren't much beyond just a screwhead.

Airstream took a quick and easy path in assembly here, using self-tapping hex-head screws to affix the running boards to the van. The problem with that is the long-term use of the running boards tends to open up the hole (even without the rust problem), and since there is no backing hardware the screw just wobbles in place, and the running board is thus loose.

How to best fix this? My mechanic wants a solid piece behind the running board that can be bolted through--and there is one such place that has a bracket used for this purpose. However, the board runs the length of the rig, over the wheel wells, so more points of attachment are needed and there aren't brackets, Airstream just screwed into the van body. Finding or creating something behind the running board seems both difficult and perhaps overkill--my van is a '96 and I'm just having the problem now, 25 years later. So, I'm thinking about either putting in a slightly larger self-tapping screw in the existing hole (probably wouldn't even need the self-tapping part because the hole is already there), or putting a new self-tapping screw in just to the side of the original.

However, the mechanic was worried about what he might drill into, given that you can't see the van for the running board. There wouldn't be anything from the van side of things in the way, but he was concerned what kind of RV additions might get hit. I didn't think anything was in that general area, given how low the running boards are, but it seems like this is a valid concern.

Anybody have this problem? How did you fix it? Those who have replaced their running boards, how did you attach the new ones?

Thoughts on my ideas or other insight greatly appreciated!

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B190 Year: 1991
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Re: Running board coming loose...fixes?

Post by skater »

Technically they really only need to hold weight under the van, not in the wheel wells. The wheel well portions could be held on much more easily.

Honestly, I've considered removing mine and getting some more modern running boards for it. Food for thought.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
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B190 Year: 1989
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Re: Running board coming loose...fixes?

Post by Oldbagpipe »

I'm looking for a replacement running board for mine but yours are probably too new. Dang, just down the street from me too! If you do decide to replace them, can you email me a photo?
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B190 Year: 1998
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Re: Running board coming loose...fixes?

Post by con5 »

I am also curious about this. Was thinking of adding some d rings to hook the dogs to right outside the side door next to the step and saw the self taping screws holding up the running boards and was thinking of using some for the rings but did not want to hit anything.
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