Screws came loose! - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-13-2020, 01:13 PM   #41
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Roads like that are exactly why I've been getting my car camping equipment a little more "cushy".

I have to admit, if I ran into you guys down a road like that, I'd probably at first shake my head a little, then smile. Then be annoyed that I'd have to share the area with all those people!

Nice work navigating those roads, though. Looks like the trailer does surprisingly well. From the outside anyway!

I've left my camper at home the last couple times I've headed to Utah.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:12 PM   #42
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Zach,

Obviously that "road" is way beyond normal washboard that will make screws back out from vibration, but it's fun to see. The Jeep and quad guys were having fun watching us work our way through too. And the Federal monitors we had to have with us, to monitor the drone and video work on public lands, had never seen anything like it, even though they get out there regularly with Jeep clubs.

Fun times, but sort of beyond the initial idea of screws backing out.

The next installment in the series will be even better.

That stair step kind of terrain is what stresses frames, suspensions, tires, wheels, cabinet latches, and refrigerator door latches. As well as testing the hitches.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:32 PM   #43
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Howie,

Any chance you could run the tires a bit softer? Portable compressors are not very expensive.
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It seems the best way to limit the vibration, besides slowing WAY down, is to air down.
Ooh, ooh, where's my "take a bow" emoji?!?!
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:07 PM   #44
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Ooh, ooh, where's my "take a bow" emoji?!?!

Good job. Attaboy. 👍. 👏. 👌
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:09 PM   #45
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Ooh, ooh, where's my "take a bow" emoji?!?!

Good job. Attaboy. 👍. 👏. 👌
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:37 AM   #46
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Yeah, I know it! I've seen the effects in my trailer, though I've never done anything quite like that in it. I'm glad to hear no one has seen much of that sort of thing. You all clearly know what you're doing, but the last thing we need is to constantly run into tipped over or otherwise stuck trailers on fun 4x4 roads the people had no business taking them down. Too many yahoos out there these days...

At first I thought maybe you were the one narrating, but you don't have the Jeep, you've got the diesel! And the tandem axle. I was proud to know that my Toyota has a locking rear diff though when I heard the talk about that with the Jeep.

I've never really had issues with screws backing out, but I attribute that to the fact that I used to own a motorhome. I drove a lot of the same mountain and desert roads in that rv, and there's nothing like being inside the camper to know what washboard roads and rocky roads can do to it. Which is why the advice to have someone ride back there for a mile or two is great (though illegal and possibly dangerous). Going fast on washboard, you can feel and hear the cabinets rattling apart. On roads with stair steps and other large uneven surfaces, you can hear the fiberglass and attachments creaking, cracking and splitting.

I also drove the road to Chaco in my little motorhome. "Fast" on that road was 10mph. I honestly drove 5mph most of the length of that road. It was the fastest speed that didn't feel like it was doing damage. That was a brutal drive...
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:47 AM   #47
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I also drove the road to Chaco in my little motorhome. "Fast" on that road was 10mph. I honestly drove 5mph most of the length of that road. It was the fastest speed that didn't feel like it was doing damage. That was a brutal drive...
When I lived in Oregon and car-camped in the Cascades with my Isuzu Rodeo, 5 to 10 MPH was my normal driving speed down any logging road I had not driven recently. 10 MPH if i had a good view, 5 MPH if not. I one time came to a washout at a corner that, had I been doing more than 5 MPH, would have led to a fiery death at the bottom of a drop off.
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:03 AM   #48
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Alex,

You make a good point about having to pay attention and manage the situation with appropriate speeds. Not only is vibration a problem, but washouts can be too. While in death Valley, after a sudden thunderstorm, we were riding along (minding our own business), (which may be an unusual situation, but not relevant to this story), when we came upon a huge washout with 10' deep vertical sides and about 20' wide. Yikes! We had to go way out into the desert to get around it. The violent power of those storms is impressive and beautiful. In Nevada, I've seen them take out large sections of the paved road and slide them sideways. Three foot diameter boulders left sitting on the road. When stopped, you can hear the rumbling up in the canyons where the flood is crashing its way along on the way down.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:54 PM   #49
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Luckily the road into Chaco is pretty flat and straight, but yeah, sharp turns on washboard are dangerous.

Sometimes I like to build up a little speed on non-washboard, non-technical desert roads (without the trailer). I'll admit I've had to slam the brakes pretty hard suddenly coming to a washout or rock outcrop. A few times when I'm with someone else I've waited there for them to catch up, with my brake lights on, to make sure they don't hit it at 40mph either.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:32 PM   #50
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The other one to watch out for on these back roads is sometimes they are used by logging or mining trucks. I have seen them blitzing down the road when I was hiking in Oregon. I always made it a habit to stay as close to the side of the road when hiking down them and keeping an ear cocked for sound.
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:41 PM   #51
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Yeah, if you see mile markers nailed to trees along the road, that's a good sign there's traffic. They call those number out to each other as they're driving to avoid head-ons. Cause yeah, they move fast!

This my current way of avoiding trailer damage. It's not all the comforts of home, but enough of them to convince me to leave the trailer at home sometimes!

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Old 01-15-2020, 12:09 PM   #52
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Before you try loctite

I have had really good luck with a product called vibra-tite VC3 to keep screws from backing out from vibration. It stays flexible and one is able to disassemble and reassemble 4-5 times without it losing it's effectiveness. Do a search and check it out.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:16 PM   #53
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Another way to anchor screws

Screws don't stick well in fiberglass. Wherever possible I like to slip strips of galvanized sheet metal behind the fiberglass to help anchor the screws. I do this around my roof vents and taillights on my Bigfoot camper. I use the heaviest gauge I can find. Steel is stronger than wood and you don't have the problem with rot. Of course, in some locations you don't have access for doing this.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:23 PM   #54
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Trillium Trailer screws

As usual some good and some not so good suggestions as readers never really read the posters comments.
If the Trillium in question has the rubber torsion suspension ; the bounce is something that one has to live with. I remember when I had my 13 footer I always had to rewind the paper towels as they would always unwind because of the bounce. Got smart one day and took them off the rack and put them in a cupboard. Didn't matter if on or off road. Since the trailer is a lightly loaded one not sure if shocks would really help a lot but would have preferred the correct size leaf springs.
As for lightening up screws so they don't back out ;my suggestion would be to Remove the screws and take the doors off ; lay flat and use some thin CA glue to harden up the screw holes and also make them slightly smaller. Let this sit till the next day and reassemble. This works well on the "glue/sawdust" type wood they used to use way back. Also works well if used on plywood doors. Since we no longer have pennies ; call this my nickel's worth.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:37 PM   #55
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Great point about the tires. I definitely had them at full pressure when I did this, and I do already have a portable compressor! That might be all I need to do on those washboarded roads. Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:50 PM   #56
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Great insights all around!

Thanks everyone. I have a plan now and I am going to get this system dialed so I can not have to reassemble my Trillium after every off-road adventure. Hope to see you out there fiberglass RV camping sometime... but not on those dirt roads!
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:52 PM   #57
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I often find screws that backed-out, too. 2008 Scamp 16’. Just like the others, when re-setting the screw back into the same wood I use a wood glue. All our cabinet hardware is ss bolts/lock washer+nylock nuts. Sounds like your situation is more severe than we’ve experienced, but screws have been known to loosen on interstate highways. No surprise they do it more on rough access roads. My favorite campsites are remote, so we take it easy down the rutted, rocky, washed-out and washboarded Forest Service/back roads. But we still go. So far, so good! Keep on having fun with your FGRV.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:16 PM   #58
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Someone (possibly it was OMW or MyLittleCasita ?) was selling a shock absorber kit for Casitas, which use the Dexter 3500 lb axles, same as many other FG trailers... however, I think these kits are currently unobtanium. they used a decent Bilstein shock and greatly smoothed out the ride on the inside of the trailer on rough roads, and even smoothed out the ride in the tow vehicle, because the trailer wasn't bucking as hard.

edit: ahah! http://www.perfectcasita.com/cashabkit.html

I'd check with them to see if they think it might fit your Trillium.
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Old 01-21-2020, 03:00 PM   #59
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When on roads like that, it's important to air down. This significantly reduces the impact from rocks and reduces the vibration from washboard. it takes a lot of strain off the trailer suspension too. Rock hard tires are not good on rough roads. I air my trailer down from 50 PSI to about 25. I want a significant softening of the tire, but not so flat that I might damage the wheel. Then air up when you get back to the highway, or to the nearest tire shop. Tires this low can only be run for short distances on the highway. I also lower my truck tires from 60 to 35. A good 12 volt compressor is a nice tool to have along. Viair makes some beauties.

That sir is some damn fine advice - low tech and common sense - thanks!!
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