Rough Roads - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-06-2006, 03:23 PM   #15
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2 words brother. Used UHaul.

I don't know of a tougher fiberglass unit.

A.


http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/eastman_camps/my_photos

pictures speak volumes


One of my favorite places is 45 or 60 miles of washboard and rock-strewn road from the nearest pavement. (Saline Valley in CA anyone?)
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Old 04-09-2006, 09:08 AM   #16
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1989 17 ft Bigfoot Deluxe / 2004 Ford Ranger
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Many of the older Bolers, Triple E's, Trillium's I have seen up here in Nothern BC are literaly beat to hell because we have the worse roads in the province and most of the guys that own them take them out hunting over very rough roads. They are just junk after that. These smaller FG trailers where never really designed for that type of abuse. Most of the frames are too frail for one thing. I have lost count of how many broken frames I have seen with some of the worse welding repairs, gobs of weld with scrap chunks of metal scabbed on.
As Fred says, take it real slow and easy if that is what you are going to do!
Hi Con
We have a '73 Trillium with what still appears to be a sound frame;I am seriously looking at reinforcing the front frame sections, but do not know the exact loc'n to reinforce.Certain areas look suspect as being possible weak areas, judging from where frame bends, or where "pockets" have been formed in the shaping process when manufactured, or even where the bolt anchors the frame to the shell.You have seen frame failures...can you accurately describe spots that continually crop up as failure points on Trilliums? What placement of reinf. plates hold up best in your opinion...bottom, sides or both?

Joe
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:01 AM   #17
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The weakest area is the bend under the front corner of the coach where the frame changes from parallel rails to a VEE.

Some units have the frame flanges notched and welded. I would consider these the weakest unless reinforcing has been added. Others are die formed.

The jouncing of the trailer not only applies bending forces, but also twisting forces to this area of the frame.

Ten engineers would come up with ten favorite solutions, all of which would work. My favorite would to prepare a heavy sheet metal, (1/8 th cold rolled steel perhaps or thinner) skid plate fitted and welded under the frame from the hitch coupler extending perhaps a foot into the parallel portion of the frame. Drainage holes should be placed appropriately.

I haven't done this yet. I'm sure there are many ideas just as good and some better out there. There have also been some interesting posts describing lengthening the frame tongue.

In any case, this problem is much easier to attend to at your home base than on the road. DAMHIK. (Don't ask me how I know.)
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:21 AM   #18
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I posted this a few wks ago. Camper mounted on a truck.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=18596



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Anybody ever seen one of these mounted on a truck?

Well, I'll be sticking around for a while if anyone else has a comment.

Mike
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Old 04-12-2006, 11:57 PM   #19
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I posted this a few wks ago. Camper mounted on a truck.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=18596
Thanks, E-man, and if you took the road out to Racetrack, that's as good a recommendation for your U-Haul as I could ask. You weren't that far from Saline Valley. The van/trailer combo looks pretty good. I'm thinking of something maybe even a little more rugged. This outfit in Wyoming builds an "Expedition Vehicle" based on a Mitsubishi FG 6 X 6 truck that would be just the thing, but I'll bet they are $100K +. Can't find the link now, I'll add it later.

If you're heading north and passing thru Eugene, OR, give me a shout.

Michael
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Old 04-13-2006, 12:49 AM   #20
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Sorry Joe, I haven't been following this thread for awhile so I didn't pick up on your response.
I don't think I want to say exactly how or where to gusset the frame on a Trllium with out taking a good look at it. However as a guide I would venture to say that 1/8"fish plates on either side any where there is a bend in the frame would work.
Fish plates on the top or bottom of the frame rail would add almost no structural strength to a vertical bending moment. Fish plates on the sides will give you much more strength.

As someone else mentioned do not do a vertical weld across the ends as the heat of the weld will affect the molacular structure of the metal. This would only be advisable if you can heat the hell out of the frame with a tiger torch to stress relieve it. I have had the fabrication shops do that on pump bases we had rebuilt for the pulpmill that were critical for strength and maintaining alignment. But I don't think you could do that on your frame without burning something.

I wouldn't worry about the dimpled frame at the bends.

If you do it yourself, grind the surface where your weld is to free of any paint, and clamp the fish plates on with welding vise grips. Do short stitch welds on each in the same area on each side of the frame. Too long of a continuiuos weld on one side will warp the frame so that the plates won't fit flat to the frame. Gradully you fill in the spaces in between the stitches and you are done. You would be amazed at how much the heat of a weld will pull the metal in one direction.

Either a 250 amp. AC/DC welder (Buzz Box) with 1/16" rod or a 130 amp. mig welder with 030"wire should be able to do the job. I believe the frame wall is 1/8" and the fish plates are 1/8" it should work.

If you take it to a competent welder he will know this procedure and /or a modified slightly mofidied procedure.

Does this help?
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:24 AM   #21
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Sorry Joe, I haven't been following this thread for awhile so I didn't pick up on your response.
I don't think I want to say exactly how or where to gusset the frame on a Trllium with out taking a good look at it. However as a guide I would venture to say that 1/8"fish plates on either side any where there is a bend in the frame would work.
Fish plates on the top or bottom of the frame rail would add almost no structural strength to a vertical bending moment. Fish plates on the sides will give you much more strength.

As someone else mentioned do not do a vertical weld across the ends as the heat of the weld will affect the molacular structure of the metal. This would only be advisable if you can heat the hell out of the frame with a tiger torch to stress relieve it. I have had the fabrication shops do that on pump bases we had rebuilt for the pulpmill that were critical for strength and maintaining alignment. But I don't think you could do that on your frame without burning something.

I wouldn't worry about the dimpled frame at the bends.

If you do it yourself, grind the surface where your weld is to free of any paint, and clamp the fish plates on with welding vise grips. Do short stitch welds on each in the same area on each side of the frame. Too long of a continuiuos weld on one side will warp the frame so that the plates won't fit flat to the frame. Gradully you fill in the spaces in between the stitches and you are done. You would be amazed at how much the heat of a weld will pull the metal in one direction.

Either a 250 amp. AC/DC welder (Buzz Box) with 1/16" rod or a 130 amp. mig welder with 030"wire should be able to do the job. I believe the frame wall is 1/8" and the fish plates are 1/8" it should work.

If you take it to a competent welder he will know this procedure and /or a modified slightly mofidied procedure.

Does this help?

Thanks Con, that does indeed help; excellant advice, there. Now I will have to decide as to which approach to take, as to placement of those plates...sides only, and what length, to get the maximum effect.

Joe/Peterborough
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:39 AM   #22
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Hi Joe, my 73 Trill 1300 had the frame reinforced locally. The side plates are compound curves and I had them cut, bent and mig-welded by a local auto shop specializing in trailer work (hitches, frames,etc.) The garage is AUTOMASTER in the industrial park just off the 401 in Belleville. Might be worth a try if you can't get it done locally...we're just an hour or so away. My frame work is still solid after two Florida trips and our just completed California journey.
BTW, the work cost about $100 and the guys also replaced a missing carriage bolt that holds the body to the frame! PM me if you need more info....Alistair
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Old 04-13-2006, 10:56 AM   #23
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...I'm thinking of something maybe even a little more rugged. This outfit in Wyoming builds an "Expedition Vehicle" based on a Mitsubishi FG 6 X 6 truck that would be just the thing, but I'll bet they are $100K +. Can't find the link now, I'll add it later...
That's presumably the AATREC™-FG from RUF Inc; there is also a similar custom-built unit: Expedition Vehicle. RUF has a nice page illustrating their Torque Free Subframe, which the ideal of isolating the 'glass trailer body from the truck frame which I mentioned earlier. We have previously discussed a similar type of RV from Earthroamer (which has a moulded fiberglass coach body); judging from their prices and more mundane motorhomes, I'd say you need to double your price estimate, Mike. Maybe you want to look at RUF's used Unimog-based unit for "only" US$85,000...

While looking for this Wyoming outfit I ran across ExpeditionCampers.com, which anyone interested in this type of RV might find interesting.
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Old 04-13-2006, 12:48 PM   #24
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PS If you need curved fish plates 1/8"steel can be cut very easily on a metal cutting band saw, I have done it. No need to bend anything.
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:18 PM   #25
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Thanks to all for the responses. Pretty much what I expected (sigh). ... I'd prefer the convenience and ready-to-go-ness, and weatherproofness of a solid body. Mike
Mike, don't be discouraged! I live in rugged northwest BC (ruggeder than PG! ) and we haul our vintage Boler all over gravel roads, etc. What we found was that we needed a bigger tow vehicle than those who haul on paved roads to real campgrounds.

We dry camp at the end of deactivated logging roads, you know, stopping short of where the bridge used to be. Speed: slow, except when the rain is flooding the road/creek so quickly the Boler achieves flotation: in that case, go fast.

We are also considering getting bigger tires to raise the clearance of the Boler a bit.

Rough roads DO shake things up a bit, so we get our trailer inspected every spring by the pros, and we effect repairs as needed to broken hinges, etc. inside.

Recently, I saw, on-line, a lovely restored FGRV with a fancy bar complete with glass wine glasses stored upside down by their stems on a slim, elegant wooden holder. We sure couldn't do that! Our enamel-on-tin dishware bounces around happily in a cupboard secured by Broccoli bands.

Char
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Old 04-13-2006, 11:57 PM   #26
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Brian, the RUF's the one. I really didn't need to know I "need to double your price estimate", but hey what's a hundred K . And, a guy can dream, can't he? Even the 85K Mog is beyond me although ... I was thinking about that 3 point mount for the truck-mount egg. Take off the wheels, strap down the axle ends and put up a tower for the hitch and there you are.

Char, thanks for the info and encouragement! I'm not really discouraged. I've got a year to explore all the possibilities. Maybe turning around at the end of thoise logging roads is one good reason to go for a 13' rather than a 16/17' as I'd prefewr for the "amenities." One place I love to go here is an old landing looking out over a maybe 2500 foot drop then up through the 3 Sisters Wilderness area to the old girls about 35 miles away. Spec-tac-u-lar!

I can live without the glass wine glasses maybe.

I'm also paying attention to the discussion of frame reinforcement. Thanks, Con and Alistair.

I'd like to make it to the Northern Oregon Gathering or the Bandon Meet, hope to talk with some more owners then.

Michael
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