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Old 07-20-2020, 10:54 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2020 Magnitude SV34
State: Florida
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THOR #12751
2020 Magnitude Structural Integrity Issue

We really have loved just about everything with our 2020 Magnitude SV34.... even after several issues. Many of the issues were small with a few being more involved. The floor plan works great for us and the F-550 is fantastic.

I had the coach at the dealer for 5 weeks dealing with a recall and a few warranty issues while my wife was recovering from some surgery. We got the coach back last week and left for a long weekend. Then this morning while breaking camp, I found something concerning.

There is a molding on each side of the coach where the Cab-Over connects to the main body walls. I just happened to look up before putting in the slide and retracting the levelers and saw that the Cab-Over had pulled away from the molding covering the seam where the Cab-Over is joined to the outer wall. There was what looked like a screw hole visible and also a large gap where the Cab-Over was mated to the F-550 roof.

After I put in the slide and retracted the levelers I looked at it again and the Cab-Over was back in place and covered by the molding.

When I got home, I started the Auto Level and I could watch the Cab-Over move away from the molding again. When I retracted the levelers, everything went back to normal. This was repeatable.

I took a video and several pictures to send to Thor of what was going on.

It became clear that the body is flexing while being leveled and causing the movement at the Cab-Over seam with the side wall. There is no movement like this on the passenger side but I am seeing what looks to be a screw head trying to push through the molding on that side.

My camping spot this weekend was pretty level and not putting any undue stress on the coach. My driveway is also very level so this is happening on fairly level ground during the leveling process.

Here are some pictures of what I am talking about....

The first picture is prior to leveling while the second and third picture are the same spot after leveling. The forth picture is from the passenger side. The last picture is showing how level my driveway is when this was going on.

I left vmail for Thor this afternoon and I also sent the pictures and video to the people I dealt with at the Thor Service Center in Wakarusa that I have worked with in the past.

I am obviously concerned about this leading to eventual water intrusion.... but more importantly I am concerned about the structural integrity of the Cab-Over and how it is attached. This can only get worse over time.

If the frame is flexing enough during the leveling process that it is causing the body to flex and the Cab-Over to move at the seam, I'm not even sure how they would fix it. Even if they fix it, the question will be will it last?

I am also concerned that if the body flexing is causing this problem, what will it mean for the longevity of the full wall slide-out?

I have come to expect issues with RV's and I typically take them in stride and many times I deal with them myself and move on. I have to admit this one has me very worried. I've stuck with Thor because of their customer service so we will see what they do about this iss but now I am wondering if the coach is going to hold up for long trips out west and to Alaska we have been planning for the next couple years.

I'm starting to think I should have went with a higher end Super C like a Dynamax.
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Old 07-20-2020, 11:00 PM   #2
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Could this amount of flexing be normal, and that seal just needs to be anchored more securely?
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Old 07-20-2020, 11:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Could this amount of flexing be normal, and that seal just needs to be anchored more securely?
Unfortunately.... if you look at the third picture and compare it to the first picture, you can see where the Cab-Over actually slid forward over the corner of the cab itself. There is a large gap there after leveling.

The molding is actually still solidly attached to the main outer wall and its not moving...... it is actually the Cab-Over pulling away from the molding.

I expect some flexing in something so long and high when leveling but there should not be any movement at seams and connection points.
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Old 07-20-2020, 11:33 PM   #4
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THOR #1469
That moulding usually covers the screws that join the two pieces together. I'll wager that if the trim was removed you would probably find a few missing or broken screws.

You are still under warranty, correct.

Makes me happy we went with the Accolade and not the Magnitude last year.
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Old 07-20-2020, 11:43 PM   #5
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I have never been a fan of cab-overs that extend far past the windshield. That is a lot of weight without a lot of support and there will be significant flexing just from driving down the road and that will eventually lead to issues... but that is the trade-off of a C vs an A.

It's still under warranty.... I'm not too worried about them taking care of it. I suspect there are some broken or even missing screws... but I'm concerned it could be more than that.

I would not expect the frame to twist and flex enough while leveling that it could cause a 1/4 - 1/2" of movement.
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Old 07-21-2020, 12:26 AM   #6
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The other thing I would be concerned about is if water has entered the interior of the walls.

Wonder if thereís an issue with how the jacks are mounted.

I havenít seen anyone else with the same complaint.
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Old 07-21-2020, 12:43 AM   #7
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So far no signs of water intrusion..... but that is now a concern.

I put EternaBond Tape over ever seam, joint, vent, etc. on the roof a few months after I bought it so I am 99.9% sure there is no water getting in from the roof at this point. But water could certainly get in through that seam now when driving in rain, storms, etc.

Jack placement is something to consider.

It was too hot and I was too tired to climb under the coach today but that is on my list.

My chassis was quiet as could be but I am noticing a squeaking noise in the back now somewhere when I step into the coach or move around in the back of the coach. It could be normal or something else going on.
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Old 07-21-2020, 01:30 AM   #8
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Darn thing looks like it's sagging in the middle when it's on the jacks, as if there's too much weight between the jacks and the frame is flexing. I too have some concerns about the big overhead, as it flexes a bit on rough roads. Hoping that it's a matter of bending instead of breaking, and with the beating/twisting we put it through over the last 7K miles, I'm happy that nothing has broken or come loose. As you know, call Brian at the factory, and I'm certain they'll come get it and return better than new.
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Old 07-21-2020, 02:09 AM   #9
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I sent Brian an e-mail late this afternoon with the pictures and video of the cab-over moving while leveling. I'm hoping I hear from him tomorrow.

I know they will do the right thing...... I'm just concerned they may have to do some serious work on it.... and then what?

You know.... you and Dave may be on to something...... when you look at the picture of it sitting in the driveway... it looks like the front jacks should really be behind the cab doors.

If the jacks are spread too far apart, it could sag in the middle and cause the Cab-Over to push up as the center sinks..... and that is the direction the Cab-Over is moving from the molding. It is pivoting from the bottom vs the top.

The thing weighs over 17,000lbs... maybe the frame is flexing too much based on the jack placement.

Or the vibration and bouncing from the weight of the Cab-Over has weakened the connection point and now fatigue is occurring.

My wife can't believe they use screws to attached the Cab-Over to the walls. She thinks it should be welded. I had to explain to her that it takes an unskilled laborer with a screw gun about 10 minutes to screw the frame rails together... versus a higher paid experienced aluminum welder an hour to do it the right way.

I have found a ton of screws on this coach and my last coach that were all over tightened and stripped guys who don't know how to use a screw gun properly.
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Old 07-21-2020, 04:56 AM   #10
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I have found a ton of screws on this coach and my last coach that were all over tightened and stripped guys who don't know how to use a screw gun properly.

I have a ziploc quart bag nearly full of screws/parts/wire insulation/junk I found in ours since new...even more concerning is the stuff is still showing up while we travel, as it shakes out from hidden recesses
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Old 07-21-2020, 06:30 AM   #11
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Hmmmmmm.....
Check the rear "C" cab to frame mounts & the front house to frame mounts...
I suspect the mounts have too much "give"when the slide is deployed..
Also measure the distance from the ground to the frame and house to ground in that questionable area to see if something is flexing.. All it would take is a quarter to half an inch vertical change..
[edit]
Watch the floor inside @ the transition point of cab to house when leveling and when extending/retracting the slide... I have read that some of the class C's had an issue with gaps in the floor under the carpet so was not seen..
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Old 07-21-2020, 10:41 AM   #12
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One other thing on my mind last night while lying bed....

How do they maintain structural integrity of the house "box" when they use a full wall slide-out?

At most there is one stud running from the floor to the roof in the very front and one in the very rear of the wall with the slide.

While the passenger side has a large window, there has to be a few studs running from the floor to the roof along that side of the coach. You would have to think the driver side would be subject to more flexing based on the design.

The only other Super C that I have found so far with a full wall slide is a Newmar. So while their quality is supposed to be very good, a full wall slide is not unprecedented. There are also several C's out there with a slide out right up against the Cab-Over so obviously they don't seem too worried about the slides weakening the box structure.
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Old 07-21-2020, 12:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Judge View Post
One other thing on my mind last night while lying bed....

How do they maintain structural integrity of the house "box" when they use a full wall slide-out?

At most there is one stud running from the floor to the roof in the very front and one in the very rear of the wall with the slide.

While the passenger side has a large window, there has to be a few studs running from the floor to the roof along that side of the coach. You would have to think the driver side would be subject to more flexing based on the design.

The only other Super C that I have found so far with a full wall slide is a Newmar. So while their quality is supposed to be very good, a full wall slide is not unprecedented. There are also several C's out there with a slide out right up against the Cab-Over so obviously they don't seem too worried about the slides weakening the box structure.
As Thor for the sidewall and slide structural diagrams for your coach. Those will show you how the sidewall is constructed and tell you what materials were used in the construction. You should also ask for the diagrams of the cab over area and the floor while you're at it.

Hopefully the folks you normally deal with at Thor all returned after Covid. My Service Advisor at Jayco Factory Service did not return when they went back to work. I am now having to break in a new service advisor on my issues prior to my appointment in a couple of weeks.
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Old 07-21-2020, 01:47 PM   #14
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I already have the coach schematics and all the other documents for the coach. The schematics show everything but the wall and roof structure, stud location, etc. It even shows the jack locations and how they should be bolted on.

I'll have to see if I can get the schematics for the skeleton from them.
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Old 07-21-2020, 03:04 PM   #15
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I already have the coach schematics and all the other documents for the coach. The schematics show everything but the wall and roof structure, stud location, etc. It even shows the jack locations and how they should be bolted on.

I'll have to see if I can get the schematics for the skeleton from them.
When I wanted them for the Challenger I had to specifically ask for them from Thor. When you request them ask for the structural diagrams for the walls, slide, roof, floor and cab over area. I had to send multiple requests to get them all.

Another thing you can do in the meantime, is during early morning if the AC in the coach is on you may have condensation on the outside walls of the coach and the condensation will take the form of the structure with the stud locations being dry and everything else being damp. Before I got the diagrams from Thor I caught that on the Challenger one morning and took pictures of the side walls.

Are you going to take it to Thor or General for the repair?
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Old 07-21-2020, 03:28 PM   #16
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So Thor called me back........

After reviewing my video and pictures they said they believe the issue is that the Cab-Over was not secured back far enough on the walls.

They want to fix it in Wakarusa (that's where I want it fixed anyway) and Thor will pay for my fuel for the trip and lodging since it will take a few days. Biggest problem is that it won't be until October.

I asked about using the coach and that I was concerned about water intrusion. They told me to use the coach and they will be doing a thorough inspection for water intrusion issues.

I'm going to use the coach as much as I can so if anything else goes wrong, I will have it in the right place to be addressed.
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Old 07-21-2020, 03:32 PM   #17
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Another thing you can do in the meantime, is during early morning if the AC in the coach is on you may have condensation on the outside walls of the coach and the condensation will take the form of the structure with the stud locations being dry and everything else being damp. Before I got the diagrams from Thor I caught that on the Challenger one morning and took pictures of the side walls.

Are you going to take it to Thor or General for the repair?
I've seen this on a couple coaches. I assumed this was caused by the difference in temperature coefficient for the different materials (aluminum vs plywood, etc.) such the some components will be cooler than others.

I have not seen any signs of water. I even have every seam on the roof covered with EternaBond (even the seam where the Can-Over Cap connects to the house). I do have to keep an eye on the area around the cap moldings.

I will check the outer walls next time we are out. I also have an Infrared Camera that I can use to look around as well.
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Old 07-21-2020, 03:58 PM   #18
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It sounds as if Thor is willing to make things right for you (As they dang well should!).
Let us know when the Wakarusa trip starts, and good luck!
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Old 07-21-2020, 04:29 PM   #19
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The one reason I have stuck with Thor has been there customer service. I expect there to be problems and I expect the manufacturer to address them (even if the dealer can't or won't).

Thor's customer service was great and they took good care of me with my last coach so that is why I bought another one. So far, they have taken care of me again with this coach.

I'm looking at the bright side..... the guys in Wakarusa will fix it better than it came off the factory.... and probably better than some coaches from some other manufacturers.
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Old 07-21-2020, 04:30 PM   #20
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GREAT attitude!
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