Loose frame bolts and deterioration of floor. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-22-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
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Loose frame bolts and deterioration of floor.

I started doing some spring cleaning on my 2004 Outback and noticed that the two front bolts were loose. I couldn't tighten them as the heads would turn. Cutting through the floor fiberglass showed that the waferwood around the carriage bolt head there was soft and very wet. (PS: This photo is from the door side front storage area)

It seems the only way water could have gotten in is from below, possibly from the loose bolt??

Any ideas on what to do now? I want to dry the wood somehow and replace the bolt, probably using a large washer or plate inside. I will probably want to re-seal the interior fiberglass too like it was.
Ron.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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I would dry out the wood as much as possible then fill the hole with a good waterproof putty and then put a large washer on new bolt and snug it up securley.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RRJR View Post
I would dry out the wood as much as possible then fill the hole with a good waterproof putty and then put a large washer on new bolt and snug it up securley.
I would dry out the wood, then fill an oversized hole with fiberglass resin, then drill the correct sized hole in the middle for the bolt.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:38 PM   #4
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When redrilling it's best to drill upward thru the chassie to get a correctly centered hole.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:50 PM   #5
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Check out Git-Rot. I used this product on my old boat.

BoatLIFE | How to use "Git"-Rot
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:13 PM   #6
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I would give Trillium/Outback a call to see what they would do to fix it if it were at their factory .
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:19 PM   #7
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That looks like particle board to me...that stuff is like a wick once water gets started. Can you tell how far the "wet" has spread, and does the rest of the subfloor seem sound?

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Old 05-22-2013, 08:41 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your ideas!
I worked some more today on it and (timidly) expanded the hole to about 4x4". still finding wet stuff and soft as well. I have a question in to Outback for their thoughts also. Will let you know what advice I get from them. I fear this could get bigger.
The lesson from this for me is to keep those bolts tight so water doesn't have a chance to get in...maybe even seal the bolt hole with something at the time of manufacture..
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:10 PM   #9
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Humm, you think it came from underneath... has the trailer been parked? I can't figure out how water jumps from ground to a bolt unless the trailer is parked in a puddle to the bolt. Is it possible it's wicked during driving in the rain or do you think something is leaking from above?
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:45 PM   #10
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Not sure how these are constructed, but I am imagining a sealed bottom with a wafer wood sandwich between fibreglass...no way for water to get in except through a hole in the outer skin. Driving in wet weather might allow it if the bolt was loose..it seems like there is a rubber gasket between the shell and the frame which, if tight, might prevent water getting in.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:21 PM   #11
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I disagree that the water is likely to have intruded from the bottom in this case. The body sits flat on the frame, and the bolts go through two layers of fiberglass, the subfloor, and two inches of the frame itself. That's a long way for enough water to climb to saturate the subfloor.

I think it's more likely that the water has gotten in from above- the trick is going to be to find out just where.

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Old 05-23-2013, 10:44 AM   #12
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Did you say the hole is now 4" across? I assume that is just on the inside. What type of wood is it? Hopefully not particle board.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:13 AM   #13
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Why don't trailer manufacturers use treated plywood (foundation grade) like they use in homes for basements ? I know it would cost more but would go along way in stopping rotted floors and since it is sandwiched in fiberglass or sealed in fiberglass resin and covered it would not be exposed to human contact.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:26 AM   #14
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...Just do the work like....mine. I found out the previous owner had leaks from front window's frame. So, I cut out all the rotten woods, replace with the same thickness, new, fix the leaks and .....TESTING IT WITH GARDEN HOSE AT MAXIMUM RATE OF WATER FLOW. Good luck, Buddy. Here are some photos of mine:...You could see in the photo one of my front bolts, brand new, heavy trucks' bolts with new and thick washer. F.G resin cover on top after tightening.
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