bolts breaking - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-17-2008, 03:16 PM   #1
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Name: April
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp 1983
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So after our last outing, I was doing some clean up and noticed the inside portion of one of the bolts that hold the kitchen cabinet to the wall broke off. After doing more inspection, I found another one. They all look rusted, and I am guessing this will continue to happen as we use the camper. My question is, what is the best way to go about replacing them, one at a time as they break, or just all at once? I haven't noticed any leaks where the broken bolts are (yet) but I am concerned that this is something we should not ignore.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:57 PM   #2
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April, the factory uses aluminum rivets to fasten cabinets to fasten the cabilnets. So probably someone has replaced the rivets with bolts. The advantage of aluminum is they won't rust. You can probably replace with bolts or rivets. I had to replace rivets that were holding the cabinets because they were loose and leaking. There are posts on this board about replacing rivets. Good Luck
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:59 PM   #3
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Last spring i remove all cabinet on my scamp and complete bathroom my scamp 16' because the floor was wrotten
I replace the floor and reinstall all cabinet and bathroom with stainless steel bolt with lock nut ( nylon insert in nut )
You can see it in the post : Scamp 16 renov

A small bit of silicon on head bolt make it waterproof

Bye
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
A small bit of silicon on head bolt make it waterproof
Good advice, replacing rusty bolts (or leaky aluminum rivets) with stainless steel, but bad advice using silicone to waterproof the bolt hole. Standard hardware store silicone caulk will not adhere to the fiberglass gelcoat, and will shear loose, crack, and leak over time. If you're going to use silicone caulk use a marine silicone caulk designed for fiberglass applications.

Better yet, use butyl tape. It's less expensive and doesn't dry out like a opened tube of silicone caulk does.
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:06 PM   #5
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Sorry , i dont tell you, i use marine product silicone. i have bought all my hardware supply at Entrepot Marine , He sell at great price all marine furniture furniture

When i install all the cabinet i use around 200 bolts

The exterior was also seal with the original scamp cap
In interior i use also small stainless flat washer to protect the fiberglass

Escuse i have some problem to speak english, i am french canadian with a bit of english

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Old 11-17-2008, 07:27 PM   #6
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Bienvenue, Yvon (your English is still way better than my French )

I know I'm going to sound like a crochety broken record here, but I'm still going to say that I would recommend against silicone, even if it's marine type.

Even if it does seal as well as other sealants (and I'm not convinced it does, but let's just say it does to give it the full benefit), it is a bear to remove when you do need to re-seal (and you always do, eventually, with any product), and leaves a deeply-ingrained oil residue that nearly precludes any future painting of the surface.

So my feeling is that even if it does (did) work well, why not use something else as there are many other products (including butyl) that work well (or better) and can be removed and or painted near later. I just don't ever see where silicone is "better."

But then I've had to deal with the aftermath of other people using it on boats and other surfaces

Back to your regularly scheduled thread....

Raya
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:31 PM   #7
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Oh, April, I just thought of something:

Am I remembering incorrectly, or is your trailer missing the support brackets (usually wrought-iron style) that run from the upper kitchen cabinets to the counter on the left of the sink? I seem to remember that on someone's trailer I saw recently, and if that is the case, I think you're missing valuable support (and that it could be the cause of extra stress that is contributing to your breakage).

If that's not your trailer, then.... nevermind!

Raya
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:16 PM   #8
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You are correct, we do not have any supports between our cabinets. I was wondering about that, after noticing they are in almost every photo I have seen of the inside of other people's trailers.
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:41 PM   #9
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April,
Maybe you should try to replace the cabinet supports, too, after you replace the broken bolts. I also seem to remember that most photos of Scamps I have seen had those wrought iron supports under the cabinets.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:12 PM   #10
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Raya, good catch!

April, the cabinet supports prevent your roof from sagging down and your trailer walls sagging outward. If you don't have the supports in-place, not only will the roof sag, but you'll get stress cracking at various points in the fiberglass trailer walls. Scamp trailers come with (and they probably sell) wrought-iron supports, but I've seen pictures of some braced plywood panels with oval cutouts that look nice and preserve some of the open-look feeling of the wrought iron posts.
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:32 PM   #11
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We do have the closet going from the floor to the ceiling directly across from the kitchen, which is supporting the roof. I will have to go inspect the cabinets for traces of an old brace. The broken bolts are not near load bearing places, one is on the side about 1/3 of the way down, and one is dead center underneath the upper cabinet. It appears to me that they are all corroded, and need to be replaced. I was searching for the picture I saw recently of somebody's update, they replaced the rod iron brace with a kind of "S" shaped support which curved towards the wall, giving more free space in front of the support. I have yet to relocate that picture, but that seems like a good way to do it, so the support bar is not protruding out into the work space. I am sure we will figure out some kind of solution. Does the support need to be on both sides of the cabinets, or just the side over the axle?
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:12 PM   #12
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Hmmm, I originally wrote this with two separate quote blocks, so that my responses would be more clear, but upon previewing I got the message "You have posted more than the allowed number of quoted blocks of text" so I will lump them back into one quote.

Quote:
I was searching for the picture I saw recently of somebody's update, they replaced the rod iron brace with a kind of "S" shaped support which curved towards the wall, giving more free space in front of the support. I have yet to relocate that picture, but that seems like a good way to do it, so the support bar is not protruding out into the work space.

I am sure we will figure out some kind of solution. Does the support need to be on both sides of the cabinets, or just the side over the axle?
I saw that one too, April, although I can't remember whose it was either. At the time I wondered if it would "push" the side walls of the trailer out more than the stock vertical brace. True, you can't beat a triangle, but the whole triangle is now bearing on the outside wall, and as Roy in TO pointed out in his restoration thread, the walls can "sag" outward.

I think I would want at least one vertical brace on the kitchen side (transferring force down to the frame (indirectly), somehow, such as via the kitchen counter). I'm not sure it matters which end of the kitchen it's on but it might. Maybe the lower counter at the forward end is not as good because the cutout for the refrigerator is big enough to render that end of the counter less supportive? Or there is a difference in the frame there? Also I suppose pan handles could catch on it from the stove...

From boats, I know that fiberglass is actually quite "floppy." Boats have "bulkheads" at engineered intervals to keep them stiff (like walls going across the boat). Of course trailers don't take quite as much of a beating as boats, but they still need some supports since the road can provide quite a bit of bouncing and shock loading.

R.
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