Another wrecked egg! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-28-2016, 08:26 AM   #1
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Name: Donna D
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Another wrecked egg!

These pictures come from my Facebook timeline. I'm posting these here to remind people of older trailers, to double-check the fasteners to the frame. This trailer body was literally ripped off the frame when a semi passed the trailer. All the fasteners were rusted out of the frame.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

This is a 1990 16' Casita.
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:42 AM   #2
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Wow, Donna, and 1990 isn't all that old by molded fiberglass standards!
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:13 AM   #3
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Thanks Donna for sharing this.

By crawling around under my trailer I've seen where several screws that connect the floor to the frame are protruding from the frame cross members. It has occurred to me that seeing screw tips doesn't necessarily mean that the screws are intact between the screw head and the frame.

To the greater group:
Beyond a visual inspection how would one go about checking fasteners to the frame?




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Old 07-28-2016, 09:48 AM   #4
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Being new to this site: are the body/frame fastening bolts{?} easily accessible for replacement?
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:31 AM   #5
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Name: bob
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I don't know about accessibility to the bolts in a Casita. But with our Uhaul, and as has been proven typical of them, the body to frame bolts rust away where they pass through the floor. No way to visually inspect them. Since the Uhauls are a fairly simple trailer, many of the bolts are easily accessible in the storage areas. Now I'm wondering about what Casita used and how to access them.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:45 AM   #6
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opens ones eyes does it not!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
These pictures come from my Facebook timeline. I'm posting these here to remind people of older trailers, to double-check the fasteners to the frame. This trailer body was literally ripped off the frame when a semi passed the trailer. All the fasteners were rusted out of the frame.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

This is a 1990 16' Casita.
: I get that checked every year on our MH because we sit inside it when driving or typing notes to Donna D and others. It is our home one wheels when on the road and when not on the road the Little Kar does the rest.
Stude
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdhanso View Post
...By crawling around under my trailer I've seen where several screws that connect the floor to the frame are protruding from the frame cross members. It has occurred to me that seeing screw tips doesn't necessarily mean that the screws are intact between the screw head and the frame...Beyond a visual inspection how would one go about checking fasteners to the frame?
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Being new to this site: are the body/frame fastening bolts{?} easily accessible for replacement?
It varies among manufacturers. Some use bolts, some screws.

Scamp uses a lot of somewhat randomly placed screws through the subfloor and frame, and Ken, you've nailed the problem- a visual inspection from below doesn't tell you much. Many of the heads are hidden under finish flooring, but some are accessible inside benches and cabinets. Cautious probing might give an indication of their soundness. I'm guessing if the trailer is more than a few years old (especially in a wet or humid climate) they'll be rusted tightly to the frame. But if a moderate twist doesn't rip the head off or turn loosely in the hole, you're probably good. I'm curious if others have any better ideas…
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:11 AM   #8
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Donna,
With our purchase of our '71 Boler we found during our body off frame restoration that the only thing holding the body to the frame was a couple dozen 2" sheet metal screws through the wood floor and into the frame. All of them were severely rusted most to the point the heads were broken off of broke off when trying to remove them. Needless to say it is now attached to the frame with all new plywood floors glassed to the perimeter of the shell and 6 6" bolts (4 in the rear upper floor and 2 in the front upper floor) completely through the floor and goes through both the top and bottom of the frame with double lock nut on each one...The lower floor is screwed to the frame members with sheet metal screws but the lower floor does not offer substantial securing of the trailer to the frame as there is only a lip of the angle iron frame around the perimeter of the lower floor. For that fact alone I am glad we did the body off restoration or I would have likely never discovered all the rusted out screws and I hate to think what could have happened to all our hard work!
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:13 AM   #9
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If you're already working on them, you could buy stainless. On most campers it wouldn't be hard to add a few more either.
That said, I've never heard of what happened here happening before. I'd guess they were down to one or two from years of wear etc. couldn't have been much more or it woulda tried to flip the trailer.
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:41 AM   #10
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Stainless vs Galvanized

Just my thoughts on stainless steel bolts. If you are going to use stainless then make sure they are grade 8 or at least grade 5 hardness. The ones you get at a typical hardware store are not. They may not rust but they will twist off, break or strip very easily. A good alternative to stainless is hot dipped galvanized. Last much longer than regular bolts and do not break like the stainless.
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:33 PM   #11
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Jon I spent some time with the Manufacture in Lancaster CA

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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
It varies among manufacturers. Some use bolts, some screws.

Scamp uses a lot of somewhat randomly placed screws through the subfloor and frame, and Ken, you've nailed the problem- a visual inspection from below doesn't tell you much. Many of the heads are hidden under finish flooring, but some are accessible inside benches and cabinets. Cautious probing might give an indication of their soundness. I'm guessing if the trailer is more than a few years old (especially in a wet or humid climate) they'll be rusted tightly to the frame. But if a moderate twist doesn't rip the head off or turn loosely in the hole, you're probably good. I'm curious if others have any better ideas…
: asked a ton of questions on how this MH was put together to know what to look for and I have looked at 100's of old cars and trucks over the years to know what holds and what does not.
Take a truck box, I Bet you have no idea what hold the box to the frame.
It is 4screws which is not very much when you figure out the loads I have had in our truck boxes over the years and when I had a Trucking business I built most of the flat decks and installed them to the Truck Frame, I got to know what to look for.
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:42 PM   #12
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I bought at local hardware store 2inx4in U-bolts. located the frame and drilled small pilot holes into the storage areas for easy access, and installed the bolts w/ crossplate and nuts w/small amount of liquid teflon so nuts can't back off.Under $10 fix.
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:10 PM   #13
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w/small amount of liquid teflon so nuts can't back off.
Say WHAT?????
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:52 PM   #14
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Clif, I'm with you. I've heard of threadlocker, but liquid teflon sounds like something that would make things slip apart easier!
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