Dimple in body from bolt? Window reseal? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 03-17-2021, 08:26 AM   #1
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Boler
CA
Posts: 9
Dimple in body from bolt? Window reseal?

Three stainless steel bolts hold up ceiling cabinetry in the 1974 Boler I am purchasing. Here is the schematic for how they were installed:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bk4...ew?usp=sharing

There are dimples in the fiberglass where the bolts hold the roof. Should I be concerned? Here are some pictures:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1toV...ew?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/18q9...ew?usp=sharing

Also, could anyone direct me to a thread that discusses removing windows to reseal?

Thank you for your insight.
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Old 03-18-2021, 06:44 AM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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I’m still not clear on what the bolts are supporting and how. What cabinets? Fiberglass or wood? How many bolts per cabinet? What’s the block in your schematic? Is there Ensolite on the walls? Was it removed at the bolt points or do the bolts go through fiberglass and Ensolite?

That is a non-standard attachment method, and you are right be concerned about the evident concentration of stress indicated by the dimpling. Either they’re over-tightened or they’re supporting too much weight at one point. I’m wondering if they’re squeezing the Ensolite.

Window removal depends on the type of window. What window(s) are we talking about?
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Old 03-18-2021, 07:59 AM   #3
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Boler
CA
Posts: 9
Thank you for the reply.

This trailer was refurbished in 2012 and it was documented on this forum. The bolts support a wooden cabinet that runs the width of the trailer both in front and back. Here are pics:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16RZ...ew?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Gxe...ew?usp=sharing

Here is how the bolts were installed, according to the builder (from https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...n-51745-7.html ):

Three stainless steel carriage bolts. It' a bit complicated, but here's what I did to insure a strong and leak-proof connection:

1) Through the shell I drilled a hole to the exact width of the bolt shank.

2) To this hole I took a small flat file and made the round hole "square" in order to receive the square neck of the carriage bolt. This step insures that carriage bolt could seat into the shell and NOT spin.

3) I then wrapped the top end of the bolt's threads and neck with a bead of butyl putty, pushed the bolt through the square hole until it "seated" tightly against the FG. Inside I added a small SS washer and nut, then tightened until the butyl putty eased out. The tight fit and putty should prevent any water infiltration.

4) To my new plywood block I bored a hole for the bolt shank AND a shallow void to allow the nut/washer at the shell to "countersink" into the block.

5) With a liberal amount of construction adhesive applied onto the block and filling the countersink hole, the block got pushed onto the shaft and squeezed to the shell. (This glue will also help prevent water leaks around the bolt, should the butyl putty fail.)

6) Another SS washer and nut then got spun onto the bolt shaft and the block was tightened to the shell. BUT not TOO tight, just enough to squeeze out a little adhesive. Overtightening could either distort or crack the shell exterior.

7) With the adhesive dry, and the bolt insuring that there was no way for the block to pull away, the block was now firmly affixed to the shell, and ready to use as an anchor for my cabinets.

Finally, here is a picture of the window. I believe the brand is Hehr.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uOx...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 03-18-2021, 09:34 AM   #4
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,151
The problem is poor fit of the cabinet to the shell and not enough fasteners.
On my Scamp I fitted the cabinets and then marked the places where the cabinets fitted up and and removed the Ensolite insulation and then glued and screwed the cabinets with stainless fasteners and washers. This method does not cause any appreciable dimpling and actually strengthens the shell.
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Old 03-19-2021, 07:57 AM   #5
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Boler
CA
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I see behind the cabinets there are a couple of 2"x2" squares where there is no wall covering. These were places where blocks were glued up as original attachment points, but the glue failed and the builder decided to use the bolts -- the ones that are causing the dimples -- instead.

I am thinking I could glue up blocks at in these places (using better glue) and make these new blocks additional attachment points for the cabinet -- probably using a metal bracket to screw into the cabinet on one side of the bracket and the block with the other side of the bracket.

Then I could then release the tightness of the nuts a little on the bolts that are causing the dimpling.

Definitely can't hurt to try this, it seems to me. And it seems like it is doing what has been suggested. What do you think?

Also, we have officially purchased the 1974 refurbished Boler, so we are now newbie owners!

Thank you in advance for including me in your community and your help with my question.
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Old 04-09-2021, 11:02 PM   #6
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Boler
CA
Posts: 9
Repair Help! Dimples AND... Roof sag, Door water, Gel coat, Front window

I'm bumping my thread as I have an idea about a straightforward way to address my "dimples":

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We assume they are from the weight of the hanging cabinets. I wedged a board as support to stop the dimple from getting worse:

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I figure if the dimples are ok as long as they don't get worse, I can just add supports at each corner to avoid more dimpling? Sound good?

Other issues--PLEASE HELP!!
1) Roof sag. The roof sags down about 1.5Ē around the roof fan. It can be popped up by hand, but does not stay up. I have not observed any leaks nor any pooling of water on the roof. Maybe itís ok to leave it? I read elsewhere on this forum how others have peeled back the interior wall covering to layer fiberglass ribs or glass plywood ribs up there for support, then reattaching the wall covering. Or, I thought wooden ribs could maybe be bolted up there using an aluminum strip with holes and butyl on the roof to receive the bolts? Or maybe since it isnít leaking, I donít need to bother with it?
Pic:

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2) Door. Door has signs of water intrusion at some point. It has not leaked for me but I have ordered new hinge bolts which I will install and I hope will address the sag. I wonder if it would be appropriate to install a little aerodynamic rain gutter over the door to divert water from running down the door. Iíve read here that this can be done with adhesive. Or maybe sandwiched on with bolts, butyl tape, and wood or aluminum backing on the interior? It would be helpful if the gutter were sturdy enough that extra holes or eye bolts could be installed at the edges so I could attach small ropes or tent ribs for an awning. Do you recommend this?

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3) Hairline cracks in gel coat. These are all over the place. I donít mind them, but if they might be problematic, I would be interested in repairing them. Hopefully they can just be left alone. Can they?

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4) Front plexiglass window popped out! Today as we drove home from a trip, the top edge of our front window popped out of place. It seems the front bend at the top seal is too much for the rubber window seal and clear sealant to hold. I was able to pop the window back in, but I'm afraid it will pop back out. I think I need to add support to the fiberglass above the window to stiffen that area so it stays flatter OR install a support to push out the plexiglass so it stays more in the curved shape of the fiberglass. Any experience with this? Do I need to redo the whole rubber seal? Please advise! The whole top edge popped out:
Click image for larger version

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Thank you.
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Old 04-10-2021, 07:02 AM   #7
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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First, without seeing your trailer in person, I am doing some speculating here. So I could be right, or wrong.

Certainly Robert Johans work is highly respected around here.


Roof sag: these vintage molded FG trailers have very thin fiberglass roofs. Many are not designed to support any weight, such as a roof fan. Yes, that sag will become a problem over time. Pooling water on ANY roof is not good. There are various threads where people did fiberglass work to reinforce the roof to eliminate the sag. I would prop it up on the inside, and then do fiberglass work on the outside to reinforce the area. I would not put aluminum strips on the outside of the roof.

I do not like the carriage bolts, I kind of hate them. They are BIG, concentrating the load on small spots. Pretty easy to over tighten them. OK when you can spread the load over a large area, not so much on a small spot on a FG trailer. There you have the dimpling. I think the original install used too few bolts, and compensated by using really big bolts. Notice the stress is spread over a really small area. Not that surprising.


On rain gutters, you can find simple rubber rain guttering on Amazon that sticks to the outside of the trailer with tape, or you can buy an aluminum drip cap that fits over the door, that you will rivet in place. The drip cap comes in various sizes, measure twice, buy once.

https://www.amazon.com/Esssentials-U...8059604&sr=8-9

https://www.amazon.com/Grace-302400-...059506&sr=8-58

To below, I wondered if the interior lining was cut away to get a direct fit on the shell. Looks like it wasn't. It appears the side shelf is not touching the shell, instead, it's suspended from the forward cabinet and the one behind it. Beautiful cabinets by the way. If so, thats a fair distance for the shelf to not be connected to anything, transferring load forward and back.

Reading the original build thread, I see originally wood blocks were glued to the shell, and then cabinets were attached to those blocks. The glue failed, which was remedied with the carriage bolt installation. So on the inside, you have a wood block, a large washer and a nut. On the outside, you have just the head of a carriage bolt into flimsy fiberglass shell. Very easy to put a lot of stress on the shell with that design. Anyone who has put a carriage bolt into plywood with a nut and washer has experienced break through on the head side. Imagine having flimsy fiberglass instead of a piece of plywood....
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Old 04-10-2021, 07:16 AM   #8
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,151
Your egg is unstable. The original cabinetry that actually formed the original inner stiffeners have been removed and the replacements are not doing that job.
When I removed the fiberglass cabinets in my 16' Scamp I reinstalled wooden cabinets and fitted them to the contour of the shell and then removed the Ensolite along the join line and glued and screwed them in place.
There are 4 plywood bulkheads that stiffen the sides along with the upper cabinets which are also glued and screwed and actually for a 12" oak beam along both sides of the shell.
There is also a stiffener that forms the upper rear of the cabinet array and werves to hold the inside air handler for the heat pump.
I don't have the twisted iron braces from the cabinet top to the cabinets as the upper cabinets are well supported.
The bunks stiffen the walls as the wood frame is also glued and screwed to the shell.

Here is a view of the bulkheads and the cabinets that are contoured to fit the shell and glued and screwed in place.

Here is a picture of where the cabinets join with the upper crossover that ties the left and right sides together.

Here is a view of the rear of the trailer. Note that every piece of the interior serves to stiffen the shell and none add stress and pull the shell out of shape.

Your cabinets are loading the shell as evidenced by the dimples. While the wood blocks spread the stress (but not much or the dimples would not be there) the interior is not strengthening or stiffening the shell and it is flopping around like a bowl of jello.
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Old 04-10-2021, 08:58 AM   #9
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Boler
CA
Posts: 9
Thank you for the help--and for the detailed examples of your carefully installed cabinets!

So it sounds like my dimple issue and the popped out front window are both due to inadequate cabinet attachment. Any suggestions about how to remedy that? What about cutting away the insulation and wall carpet and gluing (or bolting?) a 1" plywood strip around the base of the front and rear hanging cabinets (pictured below)? Would this serve to both 1) hold them up, and 2) stiffen the shell. At the front, this could also help secure the shell and keep the window from popping out?

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I have read the other threads about roof sag and is seems adding ribs of some sort should address that.

Please keep advice coming... Thank you.
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Old 04-10-2021, 09:02 AM   #10
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Boler
CA
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Problem with cabinet support = unsecured shell. Need solution!

...Or adding a 1x2 "beam" across the bottom of the hanging cabinets with 2x2 support "columns", which perhaps could also be bolted into or glued to the sides of the shell?


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So a "beam" along the bottom front as shown in RED.
Remove carpet, insulation and glue a plywood strip above the window and along the bottom back of cabinet as shown in GREEN (that is along the back edge of cabinet above the window).
Support "beam" with columns (glued or bolted) as shown in WHITE.

And I could do something similar for the back hanging cabinet, in addition to adding the ribs around the roof fan.

Would these three changes serve to sufficiently: 1) support the hanging cabinets, 2) reverse or stop the dimpling, and 3) stiffen the upper shell?
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Old 04-12-2021, 06:04 AM   #11
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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I would be more apt to cut away the lining inside the cabinets at the roof and add plywood there (inside) to get a tight snug fit. Then use liquid nails and some screws to attach the plywood to the cabinet faces, and some type of adhesive to the shell. Do the same on the horizontal sections of the upper cabinets. To get the plywood inside the cabinets it will have to be pieced. So you are going to need to laminate pieces overlapping joints. Think 3/8 cabinet grade plywood, two layers, giving you 3/4 inch thickness. BTW, 3/4 plywood will be significantly more support than a 1 x 2.

In short, it’s going to take a lot of thinking. If the cabinets are not tight flush with the roof, it’s going to sag. You may have to add a couple of support poles across the front, from the lowers to the uppers.

As far as wood across the bottom, put a straight edge across the bottom, is it even sagging? Even if it is sagging, supporting the bottom does not fix the lack of solid contact across the top. I guess you could do what I describe on the outside of the cabinet instead of inside. Need enough overlap to strengthen and secure, and won’t have to be pieced. But the finish will have to be a good match and you need clearance for doors (which you don’t have). This means modifying the doors.

The lack of full contact with the ceiling seems to be the #1 issue. It was designed to just touch where the wood blocks were placed if I understand it right. If so that was a mistake.

Is there just one carriage bolt across the front supporting the forward upper cabinets? I wonder how many rivets Scamp uses to attach their end upper cabinets, which are flush with the roof (no gaps).

Finally, a 1x2 "beam" does not support much. You are talking a span over 6 feet wide. A pole on either side of the sink would support more (not ideal from a convenience/appearance standpoint). Even just one pole would add significant support. Across the back, a support pole does not sound feasible. But regardless, the top of the cabinet needs to be in full contact with the roof.
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Old 04-12-2021, 09:28 PM   #12
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Boler
CA
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Thanks Thrifty Bill for your advice!

The hanging cabinet faces are 3/4" plywood. I think I can get the roof contact you describe by jacking the cabinets up, then fitting in vertical supports (as "columns"). I will fashion these -- 1 on each side -- out of 3/4" plywood shaped to hug the walls and attach them also to the surface below.

If needed, once the cabinets are supported this way up against the roof, I can also cut away some roof carpet and glue multiple blocks on the inside of the cabinet as you suggest. I'll plan to use L brackets to secure the inside of the cabinet face to these glued roof blocks. I don't think a cross beam is necessary.

So that is the plan. Hopefully that will indeed be what is needed to address the issue that has caused my dimples and the front window to pop out!

ALSO, unless I can devise a wood-only support, I think I will fiberglass a couple balsa ribs to reverse my roof sag as described by Raya in post #10 of this thread: https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ent-41768.html. If anyone has a better idea, please advise.

I'll report back in a few weeks once I get going on my repairs. I really appreciate the interest and help! In the mean time, if anyone has more input or thinks of something else, let me know.
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Old 04-14-2021, 09:31 AM   #13
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Name: Shannon
Trailer: 1975 13' Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 184
Hi Joe,
Sorry for the late reply...not sure why I didn't get a notification about your message.
I think the general consensus that too few support points and not enough spreading of the load causing the dimpling is correct. I'm not quite sure I understand what you are thinking of doing in the post on my thread. I can share a couple of things I've learned and hopefully that helps you arrive at a good solution.
1) I tried a very strong, 2 part panel adhesive called Proform to glue blocks in place as Robert did. I fortunately found out soon enough that this glue alone was not strong enough without also fibreglassing the blocks in place. I wasn't willing to do this which is why I came up with my method. The 1/8" space filled with Sikaflex is important...don't adhere wood tightly to the fibreglass with this product.
2) Don't underestimate how much support the cabinets need. I was going to leave out the vertical supports under the upper galley cabinet but found in my test fit that the fibreglass flexed down with no support...I will be putting in posts underneath this cabinet to the countertop to prevent problems down the road.
3) The 1/8" bending plywood panels I glued to the strips to form the covering for the inside of the trailer stiffen the shell considerably (but there is still some flex) and will (hopefully) help to spread the load in the upper cabinets front and back. You won't have that so you'll have to make sure you have lots of points of support.
4) I glued and screwed my support blocks for the cabinets to the "studs" on the trailer then screwed the cabinets to the blocks. Ultimately, all of my cabinets are removable so you might be able to do that as well. I think it would sure make the repair easier if you could do it with the cabinet taken off.

I hope that helps. The way I did my trailer was an incredible amount of work. I can't say that I would do it again because it was so labour intensive but it looks the way I want and I think (hope) it will be strong enough. Message me if you have any other questions!
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Old 04-15-2021, 06:41 PM   #14
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Boler
CA
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Thanks Shannon. I sent you a message.
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