Somewhere over the Rainbow, way up High... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-27-2009, 02:13 PM   #1
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I have been grousing about Fiber Stream's wimpy frame for a long time. The 1" x 2" box channel frame had a significant sag on the right side, starting at the entry door hinge which is in vertically line with the rearmost mounting bracket for the leaf spring suspension. The out-of-plumb door frame had to be jacked up by the stabilizer jack in order to allow the door to close.

About a month ago I met a welder I felt I could trust with my baby, and (2 weeks?) ago I delivered it to him for the repairs. I uninstalled all of the electric wires and conduits that ran beneath the floor so they would not be damaged.

He put the trailer on jack stands, uninstalled the axles and leaf springs, and cut off the mounting clips for the springs. He then "sistered" two 2" x 2" rails lengthwise to the bottom of the existing for-to-aft rails of the original frame, and installed new mounting clips for the running gear. He then re-installed the springs, axles and wheels.

The trailer already had the spring mounts changed from the factory under-mount to over-mount ("flipping" the axle) which raised the body of the trailer 5". This repair brought the body raise to a total of 7" above the factory stance, and my knees had a lot to say about it. As part of the repair, I also had a double pull-out step and beefier bumper skid wheels installed. I went to his shop yesterday and re-installed all of the electric lines, and brought it home.
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100_0309half.jpg   100_0311half.jpg  

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Old 09-27-2009, 02:20 PM   #2
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The "sistering" corrected the frame sag, and the trailer's door opens and closes properly! The double step makes entering and exiting the trailer much more comfortable. I was worried that the step would hang too low and drag, especially when backing the trailer over a steel plate bridging the curb (no curb cut) and into my back yard. Not a problem! The closed step clears with several inches to spare!
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100_0310half.jpg   100_0315half.jpg  

100_0314half.jpg  
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Old 09-27-2009, 02:23 PM   #3
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View of the added frame rails from under the bumper looking forward.
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Old 09-27-2009, 02:31 PM   #4
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While I'm down there, a view of my leaf spring suspension... These are the driver's side wheels, with the picture taken from the curb side of the trailer.
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Old 09-27-2009, 02:32 PM   #5
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Looks good Frederick I'll be curious to see what you say about towing it at freeway speed for any distance. Like change in MPG, etc. I like my Scamp up higher, I think you'll like you're trailer sitting higher too!
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:33 PM   #6
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One thing I had to do when I delivered the trailer to the welder was to empty out the contents, or at least those that aren't in some way fastened down. So for the last 2 weeks the contents of my trailer have been stored in the spare bedroom. When I brought the trailer home, the 1st thing I did was to take it to my office and weigh it using the portable wheel weighers that I used at the Oregon Gathering. While not completely empty, the following conditions exist for my "empty" weight:
  1. All storage empty
  2. Freshwater, Gray and Black Tanks Empty
  3. 1 Full and 1 Half-full Propane Tank onboard
  4. Waterheater NOT drained
  5. 1 Group 27 Battery onboard
  6. 1 13" TV/VCR on ceiling mount onboard
  7. 5000 BTU window air conditioner onboard
  8. small convection/microwave oven onboard
  9. all gaucho/dinette/bed cushions onboard
  10. spare tire onboard
Under the above conditions, my "Light Weight" is as follows:

78 FIBER STREAM 16 "Empty"
Trailer axle 1: Left Wheel=940, Right Wheel=660
Trailer axle 2: Left Wheel=220, Right Wheel=460
TRAILERíS TOTAL AXLE WEIGHT=2280
TRAILER HITCH WEIGHT=220
TOTAL TRAILER WEIGHT=2500
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:51 PM   #7
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Lookin' good!

You know, I could never visualize "flipping" the axle, but now I think I see it. So "unflipped" the shackes that hold the leaf springs would go the opposite way, right? So the axle would run through inside the "bow" of the springs instead of beneath it?

Thanks for the photos and the weighing details. Interesting how on the one side, one axle is "heavy" and the other one is "light." I suppose there must be something permanently mounted over the "heavy" one?

Very spiffy, and you must feel great having it done, and done competently and tidily.
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Old 09-27-2009, 08:35 PM   #8
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That is just too sexy Fred! I'm so happy it's fixed!
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Old 09-27-2009, 08:37 PM   #9
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Looks very solid Frederick! Do you think you need to cover the brake wires somehow to protect them from road debris?
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
You know, I could never visualize "flipping" the axle, but now I think I see it.

So "unflipped" ... the axle would run through inside the "bow" of the springs instead of beneath it?
Yes, you got it right.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Interesting how on the one side, one axle is "heavy" and the other one is "light." I suppose there must be something permanently mounted over the "heavy" one?
The Water heater (with 50 pounds of water in it) is just forward of the heaviest wheel, and the converter/power center is right over it. I suspect the cantilever effect increases the weight on the front and decreases the weight on the rear?
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Do you think you need to cover the brake wires somehow to protect them from road debris?
I hadn't thought of that; those wires were always exposed in the past. I think that's a good idea.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:15 AM   #13
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Looks strong. I must assume your going to paint the bare metal on the "new frame", right?
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
I must assume your going to paint the bare metal on the "new frame", right?
I was so excited about getting this fix done, I rushed to post pictures... and showed the new part as bare metal.
It is all painted now with "Rust Destroyer" primer. The old frame was very rusty and did not look like it ever had paint on it, so I used this product from Home Depot on the whole thing. So far I like the Red look of the primer.
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