EMERGENCY -- Frame Cracks - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-17-2013, 02:38 PM   #1
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EMERGENCY -- Frame Cracks

Hi all, we took our 16' Scamp in on Friday for some electrical work and also because we noticed a crack in the frame near the tongue. In looking at it, they've quoted us $1200 to repair the frame "the right way" by running new metal pieces from the tongue all the way back to the tires. Even though the back end of the frame has started to sag as well. I'm wondering if it'd be better to just take the Scamp off of this frame and put it on a new one.

Any thoughts? Trying to stay cost effective but really want to do whatever is best in the long run.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
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Ask them for a new frame price. might only be $300 more??
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:49 PM   #3
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Do you tow with a WDH? that might add to the decision.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:22 PM   #4
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I'll ask them for the "new" frame price -- thanks for the tip.

What's a WDH?
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:34 PM   #5
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What's a WDH? X2
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:12 PM   #6
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WDH = Weight Distributing Hitch.
aka, a good tool for bending frames at the coupler if improperly used.



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Old 07-17-2013, 04:13 PM   #7
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What's a WDH? X2
Would that be "What Da H...."?
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:21 PM   #8
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............Any thoughts? Trying to stay cost effective but really want to do whatever is best in the long run.
Some photos might help. It would seem that the added metal is excessive, but without seeing the crack and surrounding area, it is hard to say.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:03 PM   #9
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I'd ask Scamp what a new frame with axle would cost. Remember your axle with a lifespan of 15 or so years is 24 years old. Many of us do not have the luxury of having the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) still in business.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:16 PM   #10
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I'd ask Scamp what a new frame with axle would cost. Remember your axle with a lifespan of 15 or so years is 24 years old. Many of us do not have the luxury of having the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) still in business.
So you think the lifespan is only 15 years, I guess I should replace the axle on my 77 Trillium?
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:31 PM   #11
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I guess I should replace the axle on my 77 Trillium?
Why?
You've already posted your trailer was in mint condition when you bought it.

I was suggesting that if the OP was considering changing their frame that they might want to consider changing the axle at the same time.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:46 AM   #12
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Why?
You've already posted your trailer was in mint condition when you bought it.

I was suggesting that if the OP was considering changing their frame that they might want to consider changing the axle at the same time.
I thought when when I bought my 4500 it was really well taken care of, but the previous owners took a lot of time covering up its problems. It leaks and the floor is rotten.

As far as the life span of the axle, is it generally accepted to replace the axle after 15 years. I am throwing on rims and tires next week prior to a trip from London to Temagami. Is has tires on it currently appropriate for a Chevette.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:37 AM   #13
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As far as the life span of the axle, is it generally accepted to replace the axle after 15 years.
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

And please don't damage anything else ripping it out. Some of us might want those parts you feel are useless.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:39 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:56 AM   #15
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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, 08:00 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, 08:11 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, 08:24 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, 10:44 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, 11:13 AM   #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 !

george
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