Plywood floor replacement supplies - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-07-2009, 06:45 PM   #1
Name: Mike
Trailer: 1983 Burro 13 ft
West Virginia
Posts: 45
For those of you who are planning on floor replacement/repair and need to purchase fiberglass cloth, tape, or epoxy resin in larger quantities than normally found in auto supply or boat supply/repair outlets, I suggest looking into RAKA, Inc. in Ft. Pierce, Florida. Phone is (772)489-4070. Google RAKA, Inc for a complete listing of what they have to offer in sizes and weights of fiberglass cloth, mat, resins, and accessories for completing the job.
The website offers very complete instructions for covering raw plywood from start to finish and suggestions for greenhorns such as myself. I purchased all the necessary components plus some incidentals to cover the new plywood floor, and to join and seal the inner and outer shell openings of the Burro for under $300 including freight from Florida to West Virginia. The fellow I spoke with on the phone did all the math and offered suggestions as to what weight cloth to use and which activator was appropriate for my temperatures. He also offered tips like heating the resin and activator in a microwave to make it thinner for better wetting and penetration, and suggestions regarding sealing the screws that penetrate the new floor/fiberglass and how to effectively seal the edges of the plywood around the perimeter. Just thought I'd pass it on.
My Burro is stripped of all wood. I'm waiting for some dry weather to move the frame outside to clean and scale before reinforcing. I noticed the angle of the torsion arm as it normally sits when supporting the trailer....I'd guess the arm to have had about 20 degrees of UP angle. Unless I'm interpreting wrong, UP or DOWN means relative to horizontal and is an unladen measurement on a new axle. Reason for all this is I want to replace the axle but don't want any great increase in height so I can keep it inside the shop.
Also am considering surge brakes rather than electric. Pros would be the ability to tow with any vehicle. Cons would be losing the option of trailer only braking. Maintenance issues could go either way. Opinions anyone???

Thanks to all for your suggestions and comments to my previous ramblings. I appreciate your experience.
Best to all...
Mike in West Virginia

ps for those requesting pics of my folly....please be patient and bear with me. The pics are on the computer. I'll figure it out....I hope!

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Old 10-07-2009, 08:19 PM   #2
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: Casita Indy.
Posts: 1,406
If you order a Dexter axel you specify the static angle of the swing arms along with other measurements, brakes specs. and lube options. If you want it to sit lower you can raise the static angle to lower the trailer but you have to ensure you have clearance in the wheel well for the swing arm to reach it most upward most point of travel. With the age of your trailer the torsion rubber is nearing the end of it's life and the static angle is probably near it's upward most point of travel. Another thing to take into account is if you order a 22.5 degree downward static angle axel, once you put the trailer weight on it you will proably loose 5-10 degrees of static angle.
The Dexter website will better explain what I am trying to get acorss. Redneck Trailer Supply is good place to order your axel.(Also on the Web.) They have several locations but the closest to you will probably be Carsile Pa. They have a good catalog and if you pick up the axel from their location there is no shipping.
Dexter axels are suppose to have a tag on them with all the origional specifications of the axel. From my experience you have about a 25% chance of the tag still being attached.
Good luck


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Old 10-08-2009, 04:58 AM   #3
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Trailer: Cloud 13 ft and Compact Jr
Posts: 325
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:17 PM   #4
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Trailer: 84 16 ft Scamp
Posts: 725
I'd stay with the electric brakes. Surge brakes take a special tongue setup to provide for the surge movement signal. They are also problematic when backing, especially on an uphill grade.

The modern electric brake controllers automatically compensate for fore/aft tilt and are just as smooth as surge brakes. If it were a boat trailer used to launch and retrieve in salt water, surge brakes may be the better choice.

Just my opinion but, as always, I respect other opinions.
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