Loose frame bolts and deterioration of floor. - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-26-2013, 04:36 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by LeonardS View Post

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.
Interesting, in your case you used stainless with galvanized (zinc coated) steel. Galvanized steel has an Anodic value of 1.2 and a difference of 0.6. This indicates that corrosion is much more likely. Or more correctly, will happen faster. Thanks for the reply. I'm trying to keep as much hair as I can Raz

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Old 05-26-2013, 07:01 PM   #30
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Casita 17 ft DLX SD
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One problem I"ve encountered is that a lot of the stainless steel bolts , nuts , screws, washers ETC sold in the US are made overseas ( China Indonesia , India) Many of these bolts are ungraded and the quality of the stainless steel is non existent . (Nickel cost $$$)
How many of us have bought a "stainless steel" BBQ grill that rusted away in 2 or 3 years. I have been on jobs where they used galvanized washers with stainless steel bolts and the galvanic action was visible in a very short period of time

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Old 05-26-2013, 07:10 PM   #31
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Stainless steel does not equal rustless. Otherwise it would be called rustless steel instead of stainless steel. Stainless just rusts sloooower but once it gets going it goes just as fast as mild steel.

Stainless steel stove tops and sinks are an example most are familiar with.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:16 AM   #32
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It is worth noting that "stainless steel" is a generic term. There are all kinds of stainless steel with different added alloys to change its properties.

I found this wiki informative, including the explanation of galling and seizure issues.

When stainless steel parts such as nuts and bolts are forced together, the oxide layer can be scraped off, causing the parts to weld together. When disassembled, the welded material may be torn and pitted, an effect known as galling. This destructive galling can be best avoided by the use of dissimilar materials for the parts forced together, for example bronze and stainless steel, or even different types of stainless steels (martensitic against austenitic), when metal-to-metal wear is a concern.
Stainless steel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:33 PM   #33
Name: Ron
Trailer: 2004 trillium outback
Posts: 31

This website is great! Thank you all for your ideas and experiences.
I have been drying the wood for over a week now with a small fan and it is coming along well. I'm in no rush so I'll keep drying it till it is as good as possible and then do the seal up with epoxy and fiberglass. (a new experience for me) I will use a stainless bolt as that seems like the best compromise from what I've heard. And I will caulk the bolt hole well with something other than silicone! Something gooey, tenacious, non-hardening and nasty. (I have used something like this in my house construction...they call it "black death"!) Any other ideas that people have experience with.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:42 PM   #34
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Name: Fred
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
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My experience using large stainless steel frame bolts:

Stainless steel bolts seizing up ...

In short: don't.


--Fred and Natalie
1978 Trillium 4500 "Bernerwagon"
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:13 AM   #35
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Trailer: 1984 19' scamp
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Originally Posted by freddo411 View Post
My experience using large stainless steel frame bolts:

Stainless steel bolts seizing up ...

In short: don't.

My entire camper is stainless fasteners, other than what's holding the axle on. No problems.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:52 AM   #36
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Ron, I had a look at my stainless steel bolts and I don't see any signs of corrosion between the steel frame and the stainless bolts. Perhaps in the future it will be an issue.?? Since you have some fiberglass pieces that you cut from the floor, you could make fiberglass washers to separate the two metals if it's a concern. Raz

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