Making B1700 logging-road proof? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-10-2009, 07:30 AM   #15
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Name: Bill
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I'm SOOO glad to see this thread! I just started my own thread on the CasitaClub forum with the goal of building an off road 13' Casita. I've already gutted the egg and removed it from the frame. I plan on going to the metal yard today to buy materials for the new frame.
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:54 PM   #16
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Bill: I saw the thread on CC, and I must say I like your solution to the step in the rear of the frame. I wonder though, if you left the the cross member out of the main frame in the rear, would you lose any strength, or would it still be strong enough and leave you with more storage options?
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:50 AM   #17
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I don't know about B-1700 but our little 13 foot Scamperoonie will go where ever the TUG goes. I have had to chain up when the snow was too deep, and have had to turn around on dead end logging roads, where the trailer was dropped, swung around on the tongue wheel and re hitched to avoid a two mile back up. Be sure to keep wheel chocks handy when unhitching on uneven ground.

One thing I did when we remodeled two years ago was to replace all screws holding the body to the frame with new larger stainless #4 Self Tappers and big washers. On the corners, through frame bolts were used.

We have towed the Scamperoonie over the last fifteen years on 2 to 4 thousand miles a year of logging roads, clear cut skidder trails, and where ever there was no signs saying we could not go. I have even towed the trailer over Mosquito Pass in Colorado, 14,185 feet outside of Leadville, with eight miles of low range, first gear with a four banger Toyota 4x4. One of the roughest, gnarlyest roads I have ever personally driven, let alone pulling a trailer. That was with the original axle.

With a new 2300 LB Dexter, trailing arm, which required a subframe to be built, the trailer rides even better. But this is for a rig that fully packed will not go more than 1800 LBS.

These fiberglass eggs are much more durable than stick and panel trailers as the shell is unitized and moves with the frame. I have a pal with 16 Scamp, and he can go just about anywhere ever he wants, the key is to slow down when it is bumpy and rough.

Yes skid plates might be in order, go at least 1/8 inch steel or 3/16 alum as the last thing you want is tearing on a rock or sharp stump.

I might avoid going too heavy on the axle and spring rating, as then it gets so stiff, the tires and trailer take the pounding. Same with tires, taller may not hurt and will increase ground clearance, but if they are too heavy rated, and hard, then your trailer takes the beating again, loosening all the fasteners, rearranging everthing in the cabinets and drawers, breaking fittings loose from vibration.

Good luck on your quest.

Garo

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Old 07-30-2009, 02:47 PM   #18
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Made a 1K+ test flight, 600 clicks on hw, +400 on logging roads and trails of various condition, incliding moderate (8 to 12 inches deep) mud stretches up to 400m.

Stage I included: work on the roof, removing wheel flares, patching up wheel wells, new tires/rims, tongue box and it's undercarriage with lpg tanks mount. Next year I hope to replace an axle and work on planned wood-burning stove and rock shield (spray-on or roll-on stuff turned out to be just too weak for the purpose, rocks just go through it).

I changed wheels to 14'' and tires to 2000lbs load each, towmax 8-ply something, 28 1/2 inches diameter.
(Added square 2x2 steel tube spacers, and combined with new wheels gained 11'' clearance on old axle)
I removed fridge planning to made a little boat-style kitchen in it's space (now it's a luggage compartment), put LED lights, installed rear view camera, moved battery on the back (to equalize weight of tongue box and it's frame), added tie-down rings for gear in front and back near table and beds. All running gear is OK, tug is just fine.

The problem came from the least expected direction I overlooked, focusing on really important stuff.

What the most devastating thing after nuclear strike, tornado and an earthquake? Washboard!

At the trail end I found my trailer internals completely messed up like a handgrenade went off inside. Most of cabinet doors were torn off, stupid stove collapsed, overhead kitchen cabinet support bars just disintegrated (most of welding points broke off), significant sag on main door.

I'm reinforcing cabinetry doors right now (putting new spring hinges on bolts and adding inside door support plates), but would appreciate an advice on what replace support bars with and how to deal with door sag.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:17 PM   #19
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Looking at your picture, I have one slight recommendation. It's better to tow tongue down than tongue up. Think of a fulcrum. You're putting all the weight on the axle and nearly none to the hitch. Towing more level, or at least with more weight on the tongue MAY alleviate some of the bounce on rougher roads.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:57 PM   #20
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Aw man, I completely understand the issue. Washboard can wreck anything. I have seen posts on here regarding door sag, so that shouldn't be too difficult, as to the supports, I'm thinking either repair the factory offering (with a little extra beef), or have a look in the "interior" thread to get a few ideas.

Also, to add to another part of the topic, road signs are sometimes available from transportation ministries for reasonable prices, and can take an awful pile of abuse... I'm thinking they'd make reasonably good rock shielding.
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:01 PM   #21
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X2 on what was advised as for reinforcing the frame. I have taken my 91SD into some really rough offroad places, and soon after realized that the frame on my camper needed additional cross bracing due to the torsional stress that was placed on the body, not to mention the rivets that pulled through the body. I welded 3x3 angle iron across six places on the frame and reinforced the tongue. As far as the Elastomeric coating, my entire trailer except for the underside has been coated in this(to cover the stress cracks) and it has been on there for four years and is still holding up very well. I washed my trailer in a weak bleach solution and the adhesion was very good to the fiberglass, but I have not tested on wood substrates. I applied two thick coatings with a roller brush and I am happy with the results.
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Next year I hope to replace an axle and work on planned wood-burning stove and rock shield (spray-on or roll-on stuff turned out to be just too weak for the purpose, rocks just go through it).
See if this stuff may work for what you want: Grizzly Grrip

And here's a topic that was posted by cjlindsay about an installed wood stove: The Pine Cone's almost done!
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:23 AM   #23
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Thank you all for input

Donna, this is the picture of empty trailer on less than ideal stretch of the road, that's why there impression it's tongue up. Loaded it almost ideally alighned, and most of the load is on tongue.

My current rock guard does protect fiberglass so it it will be there while it lasts (till next year most likely) but I doubt I will go with any more coating experiments.

Paul
I think there is nothjing to add beef to unfortunately - the weld job was extremely poor, It's all bent now. And also I plan to tear down entire kitchen, so I anything could make me through th fall will do. I'm thinking on replacing supports with rectangular wooden frames which would rest on countertop.

I'm trying hard to keep trailer light so while frame job is in the action plan, I leave it for later for now.
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:02 PM   #24
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I think a 2x2 frame on the counter top would be just fine to get you through, but beyond that maybe you could find a nice old wrought iron stair railing to hack into place.
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