Check your body bolts - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-02-2015, 08:29 PM   #1
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Name: Craig
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Check your body bolts

When I was prepping the U-Haul CT a few weeks ago for the first trip this year I decided to check the bolts holding the body to the frame. I have read about how they can corrode.

I am sure glad that I checked. In fact, I do not know why the body has not blown off of the frame.

One bolt was so corroded that the nut was long gone. Several bolts were corroded to almost nothing, a very light turn of a wrench broke the nut off. All of the bolts were significantly corroded, many severely. The most corroded bolts were in the front. The nuts on about 5 bolts were so corroded that I had to drill off the head.

The original bolts were elevator bolts with a large flat head. I did not want to wait to order replacements so I used normal flat head bolts with large diameter fender washers. I used a flat head bolt to dimple the fender washer so the head & washer are proud of the floor by just the thickness of the washer.

This winter the trailer gets a thorough body-off renovation. At that point I might use stainless steel bolts.

Has anyone had a body blow off of the frame while driving?

After my experience I would strongly suggest that all trailers older than maybe 10 years have the bolts checked.
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:43 PM   #2
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All you had to do to get out the bolts that had bad nuts was clamp vise grips on them, wiggle back & forth sideways and they will break. Did it on mine, and did it all the time on truck cargo bodies that had roll up doors as we were always replacing hinges or rollers.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:30 PM   #3
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I realize the shell is bolted to the floor, but I'm unclear *where* you find the bolts to check them. Are we looking inside the trailer, or from underneath?

LP
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:19 AM   #4
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Good idea Craig, especially if you or your trailer lived or done a lot of traveling in a rust prone area. We hear of rusted out/bad bolts often, mostly during a floor replacement. LP, the bolts/screws on my SD are under the carpet. But being my trailer has only spent time in AZ and SoCal I don't have any rust on anything. Whoohoo for me
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
LP, the bolts/screws on my SD are under the carpet. But being my trailer has only spent time in AZ and SoCal I don't have any rust on anything. Whoohoo for me
Hmm. No carpet here, there's vinyl flooring. Would there be something inside the bunks?
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:12 AM   #6
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Someone familiar with BF will chime in for locations. The bolts are under there somewhere. Do you have any history of your BF? How about any rust on the frame other than nicks here and there? If only some nicks you should be good to go. Your BF looks real clean so you may be worrying about a moot point
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:16 AM   #7
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Hmmm...Check your body bolts...

OK my knees are still attached...

Tnx for heads up on an item to keep track of. Our Scamp is relatively new (Oct. 2014) but added to our check list.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:30 AM   #8
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Ellpea, Your Lil Bigfoot should have a full pan on the underside. This will afford significant protection to the body to frame bolts.


There may be a few attaching bolts visible under the dinette and bed seats, but it's not a big concern. BigFoot's are not U-Hauls, nor are you in a climate area (CA & OR) where harsh winters and road salt corrosion is a major issue.


Be wary that you don't contract "Intern's Syndrome" from everything you see posted.
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Someone familiar with BF will chime in for locations. The bolts are under there somewhere. Do you have any history of your BF? How about any rust on the frame other than nicks here and there? If only some nicks you should be good to go. Your BF looks real clean so you may be worrying about a moot point
Thanks Dave. I know some history, but not much. The PO was 3rd owner, and he went completely over EVERYTHING. But I can tell from looking inside bunks, refer vent, etc. that it had some wear before. Tongue is clean and freshly painted... I assume it's all good under, wheels seem set at the proper height... just wonder where those bolts are. Maybe someone will tell me!
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:03 PM   #10
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Look under the Lil Bigfoot. You will see a long "A" shaped section that joins the frames back by the axle. The body is bolted through the top of that rail. Because of the belly pan you can't see the bolts on the bottom and they are mostly covered by flooring material on top.


On the list 0f 25 things to worry about, they are about #37.
Have a glass of wine and relax.....
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:22 PM   #11
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:54 AM   #12
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