Fiber Glass structural crack issue - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-08-2013, 08:45 AM   #1
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Name: Mike
Trailer: 2001 Spirit Deluxe 17" K5NAN
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Fiber Glass structural crack issue

Always seems like its one disaster after another. During some prep this morning I noticed two new stress fractures that I had not seen before. As some of you may recall I jacked my back end up on 4x4 to support the whole trailer rear.
I just looked and I have a significant "hole" on the driver side and a similar fracture on the other. I just got under the egg and it does not appear to go all the way across. On the drivers side it stops about an inch inwards towards the flat surface. I cant see any further on the top side as it goes underneath the 1/2 OSB. The crack originates on the layer next to the wheel well and as a result of being right on the 1 inch channel that the shell rests on. The first picture is taken upside down and shows the crack extending down and around the shell towards the middle. The rusty channel is what the shell frame rests on next to the wheel well.
I know that I would have seen this during my initial removal of insulation so I'm fairly certain that it happened when I jacked up the trailer. (its still in that position). And perhaps walking around inside doing work didnt help either?
Once I put my new 15 inch wheels on I will lower it back to earth and see if the fracture kind of pulls itself back in. I dont think there will be any issues with patching it to restore the intergrity and keep water out but I am concerned about this being a major stress point and of course it will be covered back up with insulation.
Has anyone see something like this before? Any suggestions? All comments welcome.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:44 AM   #2
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If you lower the trailer and the crack presses itself back together on a warmer day I would mix up some epoxy and jack it up slather it in there and lower it... then add a few layers of epoxy and cloth to the inside to reinforce it. Obviously prepping the area first for it. Fiberglass is easily fixed.

My last sailboat had several cracks in the fiberglass keel. I ground the areas out let the cement balast dry all summer and layed up several layers of fiberglass cloth and epoxy over the keel and she spent 2 years in the water...got hauled from Hurracaine Sandy and the upper part of my boat was devastated, but what I repaired was still looking great and was keeping the water out.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:28 AM   #3
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Great place, I have ordered from here in the past... very knowledgeable and lots of info on the site... Marine Fiberglass Epoxy resin - floor epoxy, boat repair, CATALOG
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMike A View Post
Always seems like its one disaster after another. During some prep this morning I noticed two new stress fractures that I had not seen before. As some of you may recall I jacked my back end up on 4x4 to support the whole trailer rear.
I just looked and I have a significant "hole" on the driver side and a similar fracture on the other. I just got under the egg and it does not appear to go all the way across. On the drivers side it stops about an inch inwards towards the flat surface. I cant see any further on the top side as it goes underneath the 1/2 OSB. The crack originates on the layer next to the wheel well and as a result of being right on the 1 inch channel that the shell rests on. The first picture is taken upside down and shows the crack extending down and around the shell towards the middle. The rusty channel is what the shell frame rests on next to the wheel well.
I know that I would have seen this during my initial removal of insulation so I'm fairly certain that it happened when I jacked up the trailer. (its still in that position). And perhaps walking around inside doing work didnt help either?
Once I put my new 15 inch wheels on I will lower it back to earth and see if the fracture kind of pulls itself back in. I dont think there will be any issues with patching it to restore the intergrity and keep water out but I am concerned about this being a major stress point and of course it will be covered back up with insulation.
Has anyone see something like this before? Any suggestions? All comments welcome.

I would just grind the area, patch with 3 layers using polyester and forget about it. I don't like epoxy because nothing wants to stick to it cured and I have never had problems using polyester (what your trailer was made with) resin as long as it was a properly prepared surface....Dave
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:54 PM   #5
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jacking in a way that alters the normal loads and stresses can cause problems with any vehicle. There was a discussion about it recently here and on another trailer forum. Someone wanted to raise the trailer wheels off the ground by extending the rear stabilizers and using the tongue jack to lift the whole trailer, an idea I would highly discourage.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:01 PM   #6
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I am thinking the same theory would apply as we used to do when we had a stress fracture in the aircraft plexi windows. We would stop drill it the end of the crack to keep it from spreading longer. I would think if you did that before doing the repair, that it might help from it creeping further.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:58 PM   #7
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Good input. I don't have stabilizers on my egg yet but I did try to minimize stress across two points like jack stands would have done and used the wood to distribute the lift but even that appears as though it might have been too much. Perhaps closer to the axle might have prevented it as there might be excessive force that far back bending the shell upwards around the axle point. But that is a guess. Will patch it per Dave and be good to go.


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