Crooked Camper - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-27-2013, 10:30 PM   #1
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Name: Jason
Trailer: Companion
Iowa
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Crooked Camper

I told you folks yesterday I bought a 13 ft Companion. It has 13 inch tires, but they didn't match. Today I put a new tire on (the slightly smaller one was very warn) so they match! I was very excited until I noticed the back of the fender is rubbing right on the new tire!

It was starting to get dark but I did a quick investigation. It appears the camper the camper is mounted crooked on the trailer. I'm not sure how this happened, but when you look close it's pretty obvious. Now I know why they had a smaller tire on that side.

Anyway... I quickly took a peak at the underside and it looks like there are 4 bolts that hold the camper on the trailer. Has anyone else encountered an issue like this??? Is the fix going to be as easy as just removing these bolts and repositioning the camper on the trailer or am I missing something??
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:31 AM   #2
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Name: Donna D
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Hi Jason. Hummm, crack in the frame somewhere that lets the body list? Does the trailer have a torsion axle or leaf springs, or??

When you get a chance post a picture. That will help us help you.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:45 AM   #3
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Is the axle mounted square to the trailer frame?
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:23 PM   #4
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It has leaf springs and to be honest I don't know if the axle is mounted square or not. I would assume it is, but I probably shouldn't assume anything. When I took a look at it last night it appeared to look crooked on the steel camper frame. There were areas that seemed off by as much as 2 inches. I took some pictures and I'll upload them later tonight.

I was looking for a project when I bought this thing and it looks like I'm gonna get one. The guy I bought the camper from said, he did some fiberglass repair on it and gave it a paint job. He said it doesn't leak. It's raining today and the roof is leaking right down the seam on the roof in 2 maybe 3 places. I'm sure I'll be asking for some opinions when I get to fixing that also.

Thanks for the help, I'll post pictures tonight.

Jason
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Old 09-28-2013, 02:00 PM   #5
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Name: Donna D
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You are in luck my man! IF the axle is square to the frame, replacing all the leafs, shackles and bushings is cheaper than replacing a torsion axle.

Are there the same about of leafs on both sides (I've seen on old cars where they aren't and the car lists as you describe). OR, one side has a broken spring....

Are the shackles in place or is one busted?

Here in Portland, the goto place is Benz Spring. If you need parts, there may be a comparable place in your town.

Best of luck, looking forward to pics!
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:52 PM   #6
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I think someone posted in the past about their trailer body not being attached well any more to the frame, causing it to list to one side. If the body leans on the frame, look for damaged attachment points.

But hopefully it's more like what Donna described, because that is easier to fix.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:14 PM   #7
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You might measure it like this:

Drill a 1/4" hole exactly in the center of the tongue, about 3" behind the hitch. Then get a 6" long all-thread bolt and attach that through the hole with a washer and nut on the bottom. Use a small square to be sure it is at a right angle to the frame.

Use that point to measure distances to like points on the suspension on each side of the trailer until you find where the error exists. Every point should be within 1/4" of matching the same points on the opposite side.

As an aside, I can't imagine that the seller was unaware of this problem......



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Old 09-28-2013, 06:22 PM   #8
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I'd take it to a frame / leaf spring type of shop and have them take a look. It sounds marginally safe.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:04 PM   #9
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Can I download pictures directly from my computer or do they already need to be live on the internet???

Anyway... The springs look fine. The bottom of the floor looks almost 2 clean. Kinda like someone has recently replaced it. It's hard to describe what I see, but by the back of the tire that rubs, the fiberglass camper is mounted 2 inches closer to the tire and over the frame, the other side is almost the opposite. Even the front of the trailer is off like that. It looks like I should just be able to pull the bolts and slide it into place. I messured from the frame to the tire on each side, and they are exactly the same, I truly think the guy just bolted it down and said close enough.

Let me know about the pictures.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:21 AM   #10
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Jason, to add pix from your computer, click on 'Post Reply' at the bottom of this post. That'll bring up a 'Reply to Thread' 'dialogue box' in which you can type your post (you already do this when you've made a post). In the box below the 'reply' you'll see an 'Additional Options' box. about halfway down that box you'll see 'Attach Files' & in that area a box with 'Manage Attachments'. Click on Manage Attachments & it'll bring up a separate page where you can browse & upload pix from you computer. After uploading they'll be added to your post when you click submit (I think )
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:29 AM   #11
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Here are 2 pictures from the right and left tire. The axle actually does stick out about 2 inches further on the side that doesn't rub. The brackets are welded onto the axle below the springs so I can't imagine it has moved. The good news is it does trail nice. It looks like the camper body has been repositioned a time or two. I have very little history about this camper. The guy I bought it from owned it for a year and was restoring the interior. I think he just gave up. That's all I know about it.

The areas I have squares around in the pictures are the back of the tires. You can see how the fiberglass is extended over the frame in the picture titled "This Side Rubs" It's the exact opposite on the other side.

Thanks for all the really great info you folks shared with me. It has helped me greatly! Anymore ideas?
Attached Thumbnails
No rub.jpg   rubs.jpg  

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Old 09-29-2013, 10:47 AM   #12
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The Companion camper was built based on using parts from the discontinued UHaul CT13 around 1987. It appears that Companion used at least part of the UHaul frame, as can be seen in the tubular portion adjacent to your tires. (Compare to the UHaul frame photos below.) UHaul used a torsion type axle as opposed to leaf springs.

If the axle is mounted symmetric to the frame, I'd suspect that the body has been attached at a slight angle.
Attached Thumbnails
Frame1.jpg   Frame2.jpg  

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Old 09-29-2013, 10:49 AM   #13
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Posting pictures to threads.

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Old 09-29-2013, 02:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
I'd suspect that the body has been attached at a slight angle.
I agree. When I look at the tires relative to just the frame - ignoring the body - the two sides look about the same.

I would look at the frame from below, ignoring the body for the moment, and see if it is square and straight.
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:33 PM   #15
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I just got back home from playing with my camper. I pulled the bolts that attach the floor to the frame. I wiggled everything somewhat into place. I now have clearance for both tires and it doesn't look anymore funky on the frame than it did before, probably a bit less funky. It's not noticeable unless you are actually trying to see the difference. I'm pleased with it and I think for my purposes it will be just fine.

Thanks again for all the advice and ideas!
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troutter View Post
I just got back home from playing with my camper. I pulled the bolts that attach the floor to the frame. I wiggled everything somewhat into place. I now have clearance for both tires and it doesn't look anymore funky on the frame than it did before, probably a bit less funky. It's not noticeable unless you are actually trying to see the difference. I'm pleased with it and I think for my purposes it will be just fine.

Thanks again for all the advice and ideas!
Several of us with the similar UHaul have noticed that a number of the 1/4" bolts that hold the body to the frame were missing, broken or badly rusted. So, it might be worth your while to inspect and replace them as needed.
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:53 PM   #17
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Name: Jason
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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Several of us with the similar UHaul have noticed that a number of the 1/4" bolts that hold the body to the frame were missing, broken or badly rusted. So, it might be worth your while to inspect and replace them as needed.
My bolts were all there as far as I could tell. 9 total. I did use all new bolts and will keep an eye on them. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:07 PM   #18
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Jason, regarding the roof leaks, I had that problem with our Uhaul. There were a couple flaws in the seam that allowed water to leak in. The source of the leaks can be difficult to find as the water may travel in the seam until it reaches a point it can leak through. One leak on our roof seeped through the fiberglass, and you couldn't see any spot on the inside where the water was coming through. Another roof seam leak traveled down through the seam and appeared at the front window.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:34 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
Jason, regarding the roof leaks, I had that problem with our Uhaul. There were a couple flaws in the seam that allowed water to leak in. The source of the leaks can be difficult to find as the water may travel in the seam until it reaches a point it can leak through. One leak on our roof seeped through the fiberglass, and you couldn't see any spot on the inside where the water was coming through. Another roof seam leak traveled down through the seam and appeared at the front window.
I started a new thread with pictures of my roof issues. Here's the link Fiberglass roof repair. Help!

I would be very interested in hearing how you repaired it.

thanks,
Jason
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:27 PM   #20
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your new tire looks a bit off center to the hub ?
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