Loose frame bolts and deterioration of floor. - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-23-2013, 11:29 AM   #15
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...One more thing from my works..Once for all...Any new piece of wood/stud to be put in, I gave it a coat of...water proof chemical and after installed, cover them with resin if possible...Just share my works...
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:44 PM   #16
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Update:

Another update: I talked to Outback today and they said basically they would cut out a piece, dry it for a while, replace piece and then fiberglass over after bolting. Outback says they currently use plywood for this floor material.
Attached is a current photo of the project.. The hole is about 4"X4". The wood is definitely wafer wood or OSB. At this point I think I will put a fan on it for a week to dry as much as possible, cut a piece of pressure treated plywood, replace bolt with stainless steel one, cover it all back with resin/fg. I am still exploring any possible entry point for the water, but the way this is built I don't see how water from the inside could get through the FG floor. The damage also seems concentrated around the bolt hole.

Steve: PT wood makes a lot of sense, along with using all stainless fasteners, and galvanizing trailers like boat manufacturers do. I'll bet this fgrv group could design the ultimate RV that would last centuries!

thinh: wow...what a project.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:52 PM   #17
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I wonder about the structural integrity of sticking a piece of plywood in there, more or less just next to the surrounding material. Shouldn't it be "joined" somehow? It'd be one thing if this was a patch of floor elsewhere, but this is a major fastening point that helps hold the shell to the frame. Even if covered with fiberglass cloth, I think it will be seriously weakened.

It might be appropriate to consider performing the repair as planned, but relocating the fastener to a different, structurally sound place farther along the frame but in the same general area.

Francesca
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:10 PM   #18
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You got that right, IMO, Francesca. Not only I reinforced the frame with extra cross members at beginning of project, but I also glued at the joint of any new plywood which will be put in for replacement. I screw it down at the edge with a few metal plates along the cut to make sure no weight affected to the F.G shell below....
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:14 AM   #19
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Here's my suggestion of a boatbuilding repair to that problem. Let in a decent size piece of plywood, so that there is room to work around the frame rail and so the joint between the patch and the original floor isn't too highly-stressed. Laminate fibreglass top and bottom to connect the patch to the floor. It's not perfect to leave out the area over the frame rail, but it'll do.

To laminate fibreglass overhead like this, lay it up downhand on a piece of plastic, then press the fibreglass/plastic combo into place on resin-wetted plywood and carefully peel off the plastic, using a resin brush to keep it in place.

This would be about as strong as the original floor, though that be more repair than it really needs.
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:57 AM   #20
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My previous camper used bolts and self drilling screws to secure the trailer to the frame. While the bolts were fine the self drilling screws rusted out in about 3 years. I suspect either the screws stretched or the floor compressed (or both) and allowed water between the floor and the frame. I discovered the issue when I noticed the tops were rusty and the screws could be turned by hand. In some cases the screws were 1/2 there original diameter. Curiously, Scamp uses the same type of fastener to hold the floor down on there trailer yet no one has reported any problems.

In regard to the current issue, I would consider adding a metal plate to Andrew's solution. Good luck, Raz
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:30 PM   #21
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Thanks for the nice diagram, Andrew. I am having trouble visualizing this, especially the part from below. My belly at the frame is intact so I am thinking I just need to fiberglass over the top(inside), as well as bond the wood to both the belly and the top so it becomes part of the structure. Were you thinking I had a hole clear through the bottom also?
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:33 AM   #22
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are you sure you want to use stainless steel for the bolt? While it is true that the stainless steel bolt won't rust, it can make the material around it rust, makes everything connected to it a sacrificial anode...in your case the frame.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:45 AM   #23
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Ron if the bottom skin is undamaged then that doesn't need any work - that's good, as it avoids overhead work!

So, yes, add a new patch of plywood, bonding it both to the bottom skin and to the original wood core alongside. Epoxy with sufficient filler added to make a paste would be the best choice for this, but personally I would be equally happy using Bondo as both adhesive and filler.

Then a layer of fibreglass laminated over the top (like the bottom sketch) would complete the job.

Which, I think, is exactly what you said!
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:10 AM   #24
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LeonardS: I didn't realize there was a galvanic reaction between steel and stainless. Would hot-dipped galvanized be any better?

Andrew: Thanks. That clarifies it. I am thinking since the wood is pretty wet that I may just put the wood in, bolt it, and leave it open for the summer to dry out, then epoxy it all later.

Another comment from Outback: "... inject silicone in the bolt
hole when installing the new bolt."
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:28 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Ak Ron View Post
Another comment from Outback: "... inject silicone in the bolt
hole when installing the new bolt."
and have it fail in a couple of years. There are BETTER caulks.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:29 AM   #26
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LeonardS: I didn't realize there was a galvanic reaction between steel and stainless. Would hot-dipped galvanized be any better?.........

Galvanic action occurs when two metals with different electrode potentials are in contact in the presence of an electrolyte (like salt water). This is a problem with boats, not so much FG trailers. In FG trailers the mild steel bolts tend to rust through, so I think that using a stainless bolt would be a good idea.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:57 PM   #27
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are you sure you want to use stainless steel for the bolt? While it is true that the stainless steel bolt won't rust, it can make the material around it rust, makes everything connected to it a sacrificial anode...in your case the frame.
Leonard, your comment caught my attention as my Trillium has stainless steel bolts holding the body to the frame. While I have heard of galvanic issues between aluminum and stainless, I have never heard of issues between stainless and regular steel. An internet search found lots of aluminum/ stainless concerns but nothing about stainless and regular steel.

I was curious so I did some reading (it's been a while). In order for galvanic corrosion to occur three condition must be met. 1)The metals must be different. 2) They must be in electrical contact. 3) An electrolyte ( water, salt water, acid) must be present at the contact point. Since it's common to have dissimilar metals in contact without issue, the speed of the corrosion depends on the two metals in question. Each metal has an Anodic index value. The difference between the two predicts how reactive the contact will be. With stainless steel at 0.6 and ordinary steel at 0.85, a difference 0.25 exists. Since this exceeds the "harsh" environment value of 0.15, corrosion is a possibility. A harsh environment is defined as outdoors, wet, or salty. That said, the tightness of the bolt and paint on the frame have to be in my favor. I suspect a non-conducting washer would be a cure if one is needed. Right now winter has returned. It snowed last night. When it warms up I'll see if it's an issue on my 3 year old trailer. Leonard, if you can add your experience or supply a good reference, it would be welcome. Raz
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:41 PM   #28
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Raz,

I can add my experience. In my youth...(ok I was 30), I rebuilt a wrecked Hobi-cat trailer to be a trailer for my Zodiac inflatable. I had to add crossmembers to the existing crossmembers in order to raise up the rails for the keel of the inflatable. I had decided that since welding galvanized sucks, I would simply bolt it all together. I was using galvanized box steel, as that is what was already there. I had galvanized bolts all ready to go...when I happened upon some stainless bolts that were on sale. Had to be better, right?

Nope. The galvanized steel rusted around the bolts. I had taken the precaution of using galvanized paint (I know, not the same as hot-dipping) where I drilled the holes, etc, but the stainless had just too strong of a cathode action. D'OH! Then I remembered my high school and college and professional training concerning dis-similar metals. Where I had mounted stanchions for my lights, using galvanized hardware, no such problem.

Even though the trailer rarely saw salt water, it did stay out in the rain. Probably just wet enough to "have the presence of electrolite".

If the OP is fixing his trailer so that it stays dry, then likely using stainless won't matter. But...the original bolts got wet somehow, as they rusted. I'd just use a hardened bolt, myself.

Because if you use stainless bolts and the frame rusts and then the egg falls off while driving, you could cause a wreck and your family will dis-own you and your insurance will abandon you and the authorities will find the non-standard bolts and throw you in jail. And your hair will fall out.
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