Starting to look at the project - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-22-2009, 03:30 PM   #15
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Raya wrote:
Next I would put in some temporary support and arrange it such that the gap was closed and the trailer was back to its original shape (watch out that you don't "overjack" and cause problems somewhere else).

So this is where I'm a bit nervous. My thought was to use a jack and 2x4 with a piece of ply on the floor to spread the downward force out over a larger area. This sound doable? Never really done this before, so any advice is appreciated. The reason I assumed the bumper cracks were from dragging, is that I dragged it a bit when moving it into it's current spot. Need to move into the garage next to prevent any more snow load issues. Do people not store these outside in snowy climates?

art
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:45 PM   #16
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Hi Archie,

I think people who do store outside in snow climates are pretty conscientious to keep the top cleared off. I have seen a few "basket case" trailers for sale that were completely destroyed when the roof caved in from snow load. But you know how snow is; it's very variable in how heavy it is, how much it sticks vs. being blown off, etc. So much depends on whether you get blowy powder snow, or sticky/icy/wet snow.

Re: jacking. I'm not there, but I would think that if there is no current load on the roof, and assuming the whole trailer has not "ballooned" out of shape, that it would not take much force to lift it back to where the crack comes together. If it does, I guess I would worry about it then, and devise something appropriate. Of course your idea of spreading any load is a good one; I just don't know if you'll even need much actual jacking force. Keep in mind where the frame members are underneath.

Assuming your closet is well connected to the shell, then the shape of the body adjacent to the door handle on that side should be pretty good, as the closet keeps it in line.

Raya
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:26 PM   #17
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Art--- I had a similar problem on the door with my Scamp, but not as severe. I reasoned it was from the door bouncing and stressing the roof. I watched the crack for a year or two (had marked the end of it), and when it started to grow, decide it was time to do something (it started to grow about the same time I discovered that there was no sproong left in the axle and the frame was also cracked in 5 places ) It was time to overcome my fear of fiberglass work. My friend and I laid in 5 layers of mat (inside and out) repairing the stress crack. Then we decided to forego this happening again. The door was removed and weighed (about 35#), drilled some holes in the bottom to check for water, -damp, but not saturated. Hmmm Removed the little piece of square tubing on the hinge side, used that for a pattern and fabbed a complete all the way around door frame. At the same time bonded in a piece of flat strap to bolt the hinges to. Seems to have worked. It's been 3 years now and no more evidence of a stress crack. Larry
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door_frame_2__Small_.JPG   plate_bonded__Small_.JPG  

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Old 11-24-2009, 06:23 PM   #18
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Larry-
The stress crack sounds like a good possibility, my springs also seem to be shot and the crack is in the same spot. On the left bottom side of the door frame, there is a direct mount to the frame(small L bracket), but not on the right side(where the crack is). I can see where something was mounted to the frame ( two holes-similar to the good side), whether or not this caused the crack or the crack caused this I don't know. I'm curious about the door frame you built, looking back does it seem needed, good insurance or not really? It would presumably put my structual fears to rest. Do you have any more pictures detailing the frame itself?

Raya-
Thank you for the tips and information so far and I'm not out ruling the impact theory either. More help is always appreciated. I was able to mostly line up the crack, but it did take the jack to do it. The bottom is also pulled away a fair bit form the rest of the body, but that seems doable with a strap.

Also, I found the VIN on the tongue finally, its a '78. it seems to be mostly intact and a good vacuming and bleach scrubbing did wonders for the looks. Keep the advice flowing and here's hoping I have time and motivation to work on it this winter.

Archie
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:53 PM   #19
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rchie--- you're asking about how I went about the frame repair? I'll post the shots I took of how it was accomplished. The guy who showed me how and actually did the welding (I was apprehensive about it-- but once learned the method- did my Compact JR myself) said "if it ever cracks again, I'll come to you on the road and fix--anywhere- it ain't gonna break again!!" As far as the door frame I added, the door area does not flex at all anymore-used to bend when the door was slammed or blew shut Larry
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frame_repair_2__Small_.jpg   frame_repair_3__Small_.jpg  

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Old 11-24-2009, 07:57 PM   #20
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Archie---- here's the last photo of the series.... Apologize about cutting your name up--- computers are magic aren't they??? one of these days I'll figure out what I'm doing.... Hope this answers your questions. Larry
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:06 PM   #21
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That is some impressive reinforcment, but I was more curious about the fiberglass repair. I have a welder if the frame issues come up. I'm not great with it, but always looking for a reason to practice.

archie
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:10 AM   #22
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Quote:
That is some impressive reinforcment, but I was more curious about the fiberglass repair. I have a welder if the frame issues come up. I'm not great with it, but always looking for a reason to practice.

archie
aaahhhh Sorry. As for the fiberglass repair, actually it was quite simple. Just took one of my die grinders with a 36 grit pad on it and knocked the gelcoat off on the outside. Found that the stress crack ran thru a place where a factory bond where two pieces of mat came together. Sort of a natural weak spot. (burnt a small hole thru there ) Also, there was a dip in the curvature of the body there. So, out came the resin and mat--- if I remember correctly, we applied 4 layers to the inside and 3 on the outside. (just to put your mind at ease, I peeled back the elephant hide) Feathered it out, slapped some Bondo on, and sprayed some Pure White (DupliColor from Scmucks)touch up paint I have in rattle cans for the El Camino. Almost exactly matches--can't see it when the trailer is waxed unless you're looking for it. Sorry I don't have any more pictures of it. Larry
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:14 PM   #23
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I'm most curious about the door frame you fabricated. What materials? Any special techniques? It sounds like it might be the right proceedure for my situation. Is there any drawbacks of doing this? Does it strengthen the door frame at the sacrifice of another area? I figure the trailer in 31 years old and can use any help I can give it.

archie
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:57 PM   #24
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If you're interested in an internal door frame, then addition to Larry's door frame, you might want to check out Con's Boler door fix (also involved a frame). He made up a very detailed document about it, with photographs.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:15 PM   #25
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"So this is where I'm a bit nervous. My thought was to use a jack and 2x4 with a piece of ply on the floor to spread the downward force out over a larger area. This sound doable? Never really done this before, so any advice is appreciated."

As I was reading this thread, I was trying to "engineer" your problem in my mind. The jacking of (and holding of) the existing fiberglass in place during the work and curing of the new patch seemed like it could develop into a big problem. I was looking through a Lee Valley catalog the other night searching for Christmas gifts and I remembered seeing this:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=...t=1,43838,47843

I almost ordered it, don't need it right now, but more than once I've needed to do something that this would have been perfect for. I'm sure you can do this. Just think thru the project and get it worked out in your mind before you start to mix the goop cause that's where it will get messy...

Good Luck,

Steve
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:26 AM   #26
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If you're interested in an internal door frame, then addition to Larry's door frame, you might want to check out Con's Boler door fix (also involved a frame). He made up a very detailed document about it, with photographs.

Thanx- that is another goodthought. The door also needs some repair, right after I fix the crack actually. Speaking of which, I read that the newer hinges aren't compatible with the older models and I need the bearing that gets sandwiched in the hinge. Any resources?
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:49 AM   #27
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Thanx- that is another goodthought. The door also needs some repair, right after I fix the crack actually. Speaking of which, I read that the newer hinges aren't compatible with the older models and I need the bearing that gets sandwiched in the hinge. Any resources?
Hi Archie. You can get the Door Hinge Repair Kit (Brass Ball, Spring, Nut & Bolt) right from Scamp. It's separate from the hinge. Door Hinge Repair Kit. It's been suggested to replace the kit bolt, which is regular ole steel, with one that's stainless steel. Less chance of future rust.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:52 PM   #28
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Archie,

You may want to see what I had to do with my Scamp door to set things straight:


http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=37856


Dig through the thread to have access to all the PDF files.
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