Is anyone experiencing this with their beer bars?
Yes, mine did the same thing. They have changed the towers from two pieces of aluminum and one piece of powder coated steel to just a solid piece of aluminum. You can probably buy them if you contact support or possibly get them on warranty.
When we swapped mine for the new ones, the steel was not rusting on the inside, just a bit discolored like your photo and the tnuts and bolts were pretty rusted.
It’s the classic aluminum and steel and weather causing corrosion, like the bolts on your license plate.
Right on thanks for the reply.
Interesting that the screws are Torx and the bolts are hex.
What kind of pads to you have on your bars? I’ve been looking for something that will fit. Thanks!
I added some xtra Velcro to the pads to make them fit. Also I reached out to GFC and they are sending me 4 new towers under warranty. Super helpful stoked on their customer support. Another reason to get a GFC.
Look on the inside and you’ll see a little channel for water to flow out. Better design, single material, and they look nice.
Y’all - heads up!!!
I was moving my back beef bar forward a bit so I could try to surf - I am really more of a “get thrashed around in the ocean” kinda guy than an actual surfer, but regardless the bars were spaced a bit wrong for the board. When I went to move the NEW GFC TOWERS, I first noticed the bolts are for a tiny allen and then when I got one out with quite a bit of force, noticed the red loctite was pretty generously used.
I was sent home with my take offs - so i can confirm this is a very different bolt. Also - in case you were wondering about the rust I had on my steal towers, here it is (after only about 6 months or so):
There are 4 bolts for a bar and the only other time I took these off was in front when i put in my solar tray on the old towers with much larger bolt heads…
anyways, one allen bolt just rounded out on me and because the bolt head is fully recessed in the new alum tower, that is going to be a giant pain to get out and will likely mean dremeling a slot on the bolt and into the new tower.
on the other side, and the last one I tried - only got through 3 before I had to give up, my 3/8 drive allen sheared off in the bolt head. thankfully this was a harbor freight tool so it cost nothing and is soft shitty steel, so i was able to drill it out and can probably get the tool part out - the fact that it was stuck enough to break a tool means i probably need to also slot this one and potentially destroy the tower.
there is a 4th bolt i never even got to because at this point my tool had busted.
SOOOO… service request claim is in - but i wanted to caution anyone who is using these new towers as it seems they have increased the strength of their loctite but decreased the size of the allen bolt head…
Also - another post about this already but the guy i’m going with … his kids were playing around in the tent while we were digging my surf crap out of the garage attic and i guess they moved the big rectangular floor piece and ripped my tent a tiny bit. i think i read that others sanded these sharp edges down or put tape on them but just another blight in the ownership of this stupid luxury item…
Man that’s a bummer! Hope GFC can help sort you out!
Those harbor freight allens are real good at stripping bolts. I finally bought a set of Bondhus ones from Fireball Tool and the difference in how tight they fit is amazing. Probably wouldn’t have helped in this case anyways, but worth the price.
The fastener has a thick black coating on it to minimize any corrosion build up. So you can insert the drive of the Allen key into the head of the screw and think it is fully seated, but in reality it is not fully seated, so you end up rounding out the head. What I like to do is to take a rubber mallet and tap the Allen key a couple times just to make sure the drive is fully seated before loosening/tightening the screw—I recommend doing this on all our fasteners just to be safe.
As far as removing the rounded screw, take a torx bit, say a T15, and tap it into the head of the screw with a mallet. Then just use a ratchet drive and quickly turn the torx bit so that it grabs into the head and the fastener should back out. This is the easiest method to remove a rounded out fastener.
I will give that a shot first, thanks for the idea!
Man funny you said that because…
Much like IKEA, as I have grown up I am phasing out the Harbor Freight stuff. I still buy it when I need a one time tool or something strange but generally the only thing I want from them are their toolboxes at this point.
I recently traded up my old as dirt Craftsmen tool chest for 3 HF boxes…
As soon as I got to organizing I realized I may as well get some better tools as now for the first time in my life I have a good place to store them near where I use them. In the past everything was always grab and go to wherever the work could be done.
Anyways, I just got these yesterday and have the T-handles arriving today or tomorrow…funny:
Sorry for the off-topic post!
@GFC_Calder honestly, the rubber mallet approach was a game changer! I just did this tonight and all of my bolts tightened much smoother. Otherwise, yes, they round out easy.
Food for thought. I cant find the thread but I know there is one about what people want to know/learn when they pick up their camper. I’ve had mine for 2-3 months. Have 8 nights in it. Love it.
This last weekend camping in the mtns on some good dirt I realized the bolts holding my hinges were loose at the struts. Had no tools with me so tonight I went thru all of the smaller allen bolts on all towers/struts/end caps with the above method. I was alarmed by how many of them were loose. Like good majority.
Is this just from break-in or improper torque testing/quality control? Are they not put on with blue locktite?
I think a good user manual of all bolt sizes, torque, frequency to check things, etc would be absolutely an incredible idea that would win over many customers.
@78westy most of our fasteners have Loctite already on them. We recommend regularly checking your fasteners and hardware to insure everything is nice and snug. If you have any questions or concerns about the hardware that came loose, send us a Service Request Form and we will get you squared away.
The team has been working hard on getting content finalized around a user manual, so stay tuned for that.
Thanks @GFC_Calder. I’ll hold off on submitting a request as I don’t think I need anything now. I’ve tightened it all up so I’ll save you some time.
That will be awesome. Love to have digital one we can all keep on our phones while on the road!