ANOTHER trip cancelled! Cracked frame this time... - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-27-2013, 01:26 PM   #15
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Just an update on this so that others can see this in the future. I managed to weld on a fish plate. It's not my best job as the angles to get the welder in there is terrible. I still need to put a plate on the bottom and the other side has no cracks at all.



I'm still worried about this happening again though. The other side has also developed a pretty good bulge from the stress so I was wondering if the modification below would help things a bit.



Would this help things if I welded this baby on to the bottom of the problem area on both sides and dispensed with the angle iron? I could remove that crossbar supporting the back of the battery box, get it more centered under the repair, and then weld that bracket back on the inside of the new pieces instead of underneath the frame as pictured.Thanks for any input.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:44 PM   #16
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Take this as you will, but this is how I have elongated tubular frames in the past (I am in the process of doing one now like this). Cut the frame rail where the repair needs to be made. Buy enough sheet metal at least as thick as the existing frame material that will allow you to make a 12" piece of tubing that will fit inside the trailer tubing. You want a close fit, not loose, not interference. Once you have that fitted, remove it and drill 1/2" holes in a pattern like the 5 on a piece of dice on at least three sides of the trailer chassis. V-Grind the ends of the trailer chassis so that can be welded after you fit the tube you have made inside so it extends 6" each direction. Then plug weld through all those 1/2" holes. If you can do this, fish plates are not necessary, but can't hurt either. This takes a while to do, but when done, will be rock solid.

Best of luck to ya!

Frank
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:19 PM   #17
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Dang, Frank, that would hold for sure but that's a bit more work than I want to do right now. Also, I don't have the tools to cut 1/2 inch holes through metal. Those metal bits are a bit on the pricey side! Will the fix I have pictured above work to prevent any more problems for a couple of years and then I can think about what you have described? I'd really like to get the kids out in the camper again this summer. Thanks.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:28 PM   #18
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Our Airstream is 40 years old and I wondered how much rust was inside the tube frame rails. When I bought the trailer 10 years ago I sprayed rust check in the frame cavity.

Once you get the frame repaired to your satisfaction suggest spraying in the Rust Check which will stop any further corrosion.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:44 PM   #19
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Bryan, I can't really tell you if what you have planned to do will do the trick for a few years. That is in great part because I am not there to take a look. Some of my concern here is the overall quality of the frame metal, but also, I don't really follow what you're suggesting to do, so hesitate to suggest anything.

A quick fix would be a couple pieces of angle iron (thicker than the thickness of the existing trailer frame) maybe a foot or longer that you will clamp in place and then drill holes right through angle iron and frame and use bolts to hold it. If you wanted weld, you could do the same thing, but drill a bunch of 3/8" holes in the angle before you mount it, make sure the trailer frame is ground to bare metal under each hole, and plug weld it through those 3/8 holes ya drilled. This would probably hold it a few years. No guarantees!

I wish you lived around the corner, I'd come over. I'd be a lot more comfortable discussing this eyeball to eyeball with the trailer right there.

Frank
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
Our Airstream is 40 years old and I wondered how much rust was inside the tube frame rails. When I bought the trailer 10 years ago I sprayed rust check in the frame cavity.

Once you get the frame repaired to your satisfaction suggest spraying in the Rust Check which will stop any further corrosion.
I never heard of that stuff, but it sounds neat! Great idea.

When we got our 1983 trailer the frame was covered in rust. I wire brushed it, scraped it and rough sanded everything I could see, cleaned it REAL well and coated it with POR15. I hate that stuff, but if ya do it right, it does a great job. For the frame stuff you could see, I prepared it the same way and primed and painted it with oil-based Rustoleum. Do the prep right and Rustoluem will hold up for decades.

Frank
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:11 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
When we got our 1983 trailer the frame was covered in rust. I wire brushed it, scraped it and rough sanded everything I could see, cleaned it REAL well and coated it with POR15. I hate that stuff, but if ya do it right, it does a great job. Frank
Almost sounds like it's passive/aggresive... doesn't it? POR15 is a one and done and not cheap and sticks to everything not covered. So, that alone means it's not for everyone. There are members here who paint frames every single year because they buy cheap... stuff. Do that for a few years and the price of POR15 is a push, discounting the time it takes to paint every year. I wonder why people go through that yearly ritual. NOT ME. YMMV
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