Small area of frame rot - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-23-2011, 08:57 PM   #1
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Small area of frame rot

OK, so I noticed about a two foot section of frame rot on the front end of my CT-13. The metal frame is rusted through on the bottom only (rusted through meaning there is a gap and probably some bad steel on either side that would have to be ground down to competent steel), it does not appear to be a structural issue yet, but I am a bit concerned. Is there a way to fix without a frame off type project. I think it could be re-enforced with some welding, maybe will require some sections of metal to be welded in or over. I'm not home so I don't have any pics right now. Anyone have pics of a frame repair that did not require removal of the shell?
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:36 AM   #2
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Sure they can be fixed without removing the carriage but you need to inspect carefully to make sure there is no other problems. Also the top of the frame could be rusted as well and it would tough to make any repairs there with out removing. Fish plates are what you need to weld on. They need to clear the rusted area and not have square corners. You can cause stress points by having square fish plates. Make them trapaziods and weld all the way around. Make sure the shop you chose is good. A proper repair will take some time for the fellow to grind things clean. If it only takes a half an hour they rushed through it.
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:45 AM   #3
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Can you further describe "fish plates"
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:41 AM   #4
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Click image for larger version

Name:	fish2.JPG
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ID:	36275
A metal plate welded to the sides of two abutting rails or beams.


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Old 05-24-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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Two feet of rusted through steel, sounds pretty structural to me.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg H View Post
Two feet of rusted through steel, sounds pretty structural to me.
It does sound structural, but it does not appear to be. Pics would clarify the extent of the condition better than words can describe. It is not a continuous 2 ft of complete rot.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin K View Post
Attachment 36275
A metal plate welded to the sides of two abutting rails or beams.


The problem is the frame is roundbar, so I'm thinking it will be slightly more difficult than what you pictured.
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:18 PM   #8
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2 feet of rot is alot and theres probably more than visible.
That said dont despair, I've looked at the frame on mine and its like you said mostly round tubing and doable.
I'd suggest (cuz we do it here and deal with people who do alot) a race car shop with some down time because they haven't crashed alot lately. They're all very good at bending and fitting pipe and fishmouthing the joints at odd angles before welding.
If they ask what gauge or type pipe(tubing) you want suggest DOM..thats seemless, "drawn over mandrel"..not quite twice as much as welded normal stuff(though that would suffice). It's required in the drivers door and critical areas on race cars that matter anywhere...good stuff.
Just an idea............Bruce
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:22 AM   #9
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Thanks Bruce. I'll post some pics tomorrow.
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:45 PM   #10
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The frame actually has a few more spots that I also hadn't noticed before, here are some pics of the problem.


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Old 05-26-2011, 07:03 PM   #11
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Looks to me like the frame is made from pipe that has rusted through from the inside. I would consider that to be structural damage and would not continue to use it in that condition. If it was my trailer, I would remove the body and replace the pipe part of the frame with new pipe.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:05 PM   #12
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Body off frame is never something most wanna tackle but it's not undoable.
Once its off repairs will be easier and alot nicer results too. Otherwise the fabricator will struggle with that repair from underneath..especially the area where theres pipe intersecting rectangular etc.
Myself, i'd copy the frame and its mounting if I ever had to go that far....saving the bent square tubing neck (hitch) part...not alot of people bend that stuff. It also could be replicated in round though.
Sounds awful doesn't it? It isnt for a good fab guy.
If you do it....have it powdercoated, so down the road 40 years someone else wont have to redo
The holes do look bad though and i'm sure more is hidden. Wish I had better news.....Bruce
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:40 PM   #13
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I am going to have my brother in law look at it, he does this stuff for a living. I just want to reinforce it, I'm not going to have an entire new frame built. He's going to look at it tomorrow.
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