EMERGENCY -- Frame Cracks - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-18-2013, 08:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post

Some others will disagree. Essentialy the rubber which is a major functional component of torsion axles hardens over time losing its elasticity and resiliency. Some of the need depends on how the trailer was stored and how it was used. I give a description of what to look for in this thread Replacing an Axle - leading arm to trailing arm . There is a recent thread we are following to see if the problem is the axle Tower novice - Car badly affected - help please...

Alf S. comes out your way and might be a person to contact to get a second opinion. Paul Neumeister, a well respected member, has a shop about an hour north of you. Might be worth the trip, not only for an opinion on the axle, but a full trailer inspection, to see what else the previous owner covered up. Fibreglass RV Parts, Repairs, and Service by Paul Neumeister
Thanks for the links Roy
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:00 AM   #16
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As for repairing vs replacing the frame, if you determine that it's in bad shape, you might consider building a new one from scratch. The frames of these bumper pull trailers are actually pretty simple designs, so it might end up being less expensive to build yourself as opposed to a new frame from the factory. If you have a friend or relative with a welder, it could be a fun weekend project.
Here in my fair city, we have a place called metal-by-the-foot where we can buy metal in small to large quantities.
Those metal suppliers are generally pretty expensive, make up your list and take it to a smaller weld shop, they would be glad to sell you steel.

If you get a friend to weld a new frame, make sure they know what they are doing or you'll be worse off. Most MIG welders couldn't pass a simple test.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:11 AM   #17
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Those metal suppliers are generally pretty expensive, make up your list and take it to a smaller weld shop, they would be glad to sell you steel.

If you get a friend to weld a new frame, make sure they know what they are doing or you'll be worse off. Most MIG welders couldn't pass a simple test.
Good advice. It is unlikely that the whole frame is trashed, just at the highly stressed points. A competent fabrication shop can create a patch stronger than new.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:24 AM   #18
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Good advice. It is unlikely that the whole frame is trashed, just at the highly stressed points. A competent fabrication shop can create a patch stronger than new.
I am a certified welder and would agree, the frame is probably fine, just needs a little attention.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:44 AM   #19
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Thanks for the links Roy
You are welcome Doug,
Forgot to mention that when the trailer is continually used and stored with the weight of the trailer on the axle, the rubber distorts via compression. That is what we see when we say "it looks like the trailer is sitting low".
You can see it in Franck's pictures Tower novice - Car badly affected - help please...
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:13 PM   #20
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Well Doug, since you are a welder, obviously you are in a good position to determine if the remaining steel is worthy of trying to patch back into.

Having said that, my two cents is this, and it's based on mostly the idea that I don't like having to do things twice. If I were going to the trouble to lift the coach off the frame, considering the frame is such a simple structure, I would simply build out a new frame, install a new axle, brakes, tires, wires, and be done with it. Let's face it, the original frame was not exactly made of heavy gauge material i wouldn't think, and it likely has not gotten better over the years of use.

To each his own, everybody has their own way of working on things. It's just that it's been my experience over the years that when I start tearing into things, the damage that was hidden from the outside, all of a sudden, in the light of day, is generally worse than I originally hoped !
Good luck with it, have fun with it, and as Donna always says: PICTURES !

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Old 07-18-2013, 01:46 PM   #21
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Well Doug, since you are a welder, obviously you are in a good position to determine if the remaining steel is worthy of trying to patch back into. .......george
Doug is not the OP and we still don't know any more about the extent of the damage than what was in the original post.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:33 PM   #22
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Doug is not the OP and we still don't know any more about the extent of the damage than what was in the original post.
Well dang ( smacking meself in the forehead ).....right you are Tom. My mistake....my apologies for whatever confusion I added to the issue !!!

geo
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:42 PM   #23
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So we've talked to a couple of different places and they all say the same thing. The original crack that we found was bad -- it went all the way through and I'm not entirely sure how the frame was staying together -- and it was just the beginning. In the search to come up with a quote, all of the frame places found 4 more serious cracks plus all but one of them noticed that the frame from the axle back is bowing down.

So, our options are to gut the trailer and put it on a new frame or to try to build a "new" frame around and next to the one that is already there. Seeing as we're not very handy and don't know any welders, building a new frame for us is not really an option for us.

We're waiting for a few more details from the different shops but she's back at the original one we took her to (hence, no pictures). I think it's probably going to be easier to repair the frame well than to take the trailer off and put it on a new frame but we'll see.

Thanks to all of you for your advice. It has been, as always, very helpful.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:55 PM   #24
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If its cracked that much and bent like that, I would be scrapping the frame and starting over. Something horribly wrong was done to that thing to do all of that.

There could be too many hidden fatigue cracks in the metal that won't show yet, unless you had NDI done, but you would be halfway to the price of a new frame by then.

By chance, is there a hitch on the back of the trailer?
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:46 PM   #25
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One thing you may think about is not replacing the frame. But make another frame and a new axle assembly and weld the old frame right on top of the new frame That way your not compromising anything and making a bigger mess than you need to and paying all that labor to swap frames.
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:34 PM   #26
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That would require raising the trailer, bad looks, still having a broken frame there (hack, IMHO), plumbing issues if they have it, same with tank drains, etc.

Sometimes you have to bite the bullet.
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:11 PM   #27
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If you get a new frame made,hot dip galvanize it. Don't paint it.
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