ANOTHER trip cancelled! Cracked frame this time... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-18-2013, 06:48 PM   #1
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ANOTHER trip cancelled! Cracked frame this time...

If anyone was following this thread, I was pretty excited to get back on the road again after I replaced my coupler that rusted through and was ready to fall off.

Well, I took the trailer out for a five mile spin tonight to make sure everything worked and I was glad to see that my coupler was holding tight. I went to take a picture for Francesca and noticed that things were not right. Check this out.




This is what I found when I looked at the other side of the photo above. Sooooo, how does this get fixed?
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:12 PM   #2
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Geez man....What year is your Scamp?
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:17 PM   #3
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That's crazy! Isn't it a '91 or something? Note to self....make sure I check the frame when inspecting the egg....
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:55 PM   #4
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Bryan, is that a piece of angle iron wrapped around the outside and bottom of the tongue at that point? That would presumably be either (another) strange Scamp structural feature, or a previous owner's attempt to splint over that crack. Does the other side of the tongue have a similar feature (the angle iron, hopefully not the crack)? Is this at a bend, or is the rail straight through this "feature"?
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
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It's a 1991.

Both sides have this extra added "feature" on them. I thought I had read at one time that Scamp put those on because the body would sometimes rest on the frame there causing stress while towing. I think I have seen pictures of other Scamps with this extra reinforcement also. The other side does not have a crack but it's starting to develop a pretty good bulge in the side wall of the tubing from the same problem.

I did manage to dig up a thread where someone repairs this themselves and it doesn't look fun at all. This occurs during a straight portion of the frame rail. That might be my only saving grace here. I don't know how confident I am in my own welding to replace both sides with structural integrity in mind.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:33 AM   #6
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Hook it up to your vehicle, jack it up under that point to bring it back together, grind out the crack in a "V", weld it up, grind it flush, then put a diamond fishplate across it with some rosette welds. No biggie.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:56 AM   #7
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Angle is Scamp original equipment
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:14 AM   #8
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I've seen this failure before. I saved the pictures but can't seem to find the thread. Maybe someone else will have better luck. Raz
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:41 AM   #9
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I had saved this thread (Frame snapped) because of the pictures but the picture link is dead. This may be the post others are looking for. Like mentioned most frame problems are related to axle issues.
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http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ped-34142.html
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:02 AM   #10
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Looking at the picture, this is a classic stress concentration caused by an abrupt change in cross section. I'd sister on another piece but try to feather out the transition.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Looking at the picture, this is a classic stress concentration caused by an abrupt change in cross section.
Translation to more common language:
The scrap of angle that Scamp stuck on the without much thought or care caused the failure.

Bryan - we've seen your work on the coupler: repair it properly (as already described) and I expect you'll be fine.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Translation to more common language:
The scrap of angle that Scamp stuck on the without much thought or care caused the failure...........
Thanks Brian. Now what's this about my sister and a feather?
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:21 PM   #13
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Ok, back from our trip sans camper.

In looking at the plies would it be recommended to fix it as Jared J says to or would I be better off welding in a new frame tube section? I was thinking one about a foot long or so? The other side is starting to bend so I guess I could jack that side up to bend it back and sister on a few pieces to the sides for extra support.

Thomas and Brian, thank you for the pictures and layman's explanation. That really cleared things up for me. I'm guessing that I need to grind off the angle iron to make the repair and then weld a longer piece of angle iron on using filet welds all the way around.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:35 PM   #14
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Wow, is this something that happens regularly with Scamps of certain model years, or is this a 'standard feature' of them all?
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:26 PM   #15
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Just an update on this so that others can see this in the future. I managed to weld on a fish plate. It's not my best job as the angles to get the welder in there is terrible. I still need to put a plate on the bottom and the other side has no cracks at all.



I'm still worried about this happening again though. The other side has also developed a pretty good bulge from the stress so I was wondering if the modification below would help things a bit.



Would this help things if I welded this baby on to the bottom of the problem area on both sides and dispensed with the angle iron? I could remove that crossbar supporting the back of the battery box, get it more centered under the repair, and then weld that bracket back on the inside of the new pieces instead of underneath the frame as pictured.Thanks for any input.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:44 PM   #16
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Take this as you will, but this is how I have elongated tubular frames in the past (I am in the process of doing one now like this). Cut the frame rail where the repair needs to be made. Buy enough sheet metal at least as thick as the existing frame material that will allow you to make a 12" piece of tubing that will fit inside the trailer tubing. You want a close fit, not loose, not interference. Once you have that fitted, remove it and drill 1/2" holes in a pattern like the 5 on a piece of dice on at least three sides of the trailer chassis. V-Grind the ends of the trailer chassis so that can be welded after you fit the tube you have made inside so it extends 6" each direction. Then plug weld through all those 1/2" holes. If you can do this, fish plates are not necessary, but can't hurt either. This takes a while to do, but when done, will be rock solid.

Best of luck to ya!

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Old 06-27-2013, 03:19 PM   #17
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Dang, Frank, that would hold for sure but that's a bit more work than I want to do right now. Also, I don't have the tools to cut 1/2 inch holes through metal. Those metal bits are a bit on the pricey side! Will the fix I have pictured above work to prevent any more problems for a couple of years and then I can think about what you have described? I'd really like to get the kids out in the camper again this summer. Thanks.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:28 PM   #18
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Our Airstream is 40 years old and I wondered how much rust was inside the tube frame rails. When I bought the trailer 10 years ago I sprayed rust check in the frame cavity.

Once you get the frame repaired to your satisfaction suggest spraying in the Rust Check which will stop any further corrosion.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:44 PM   #19
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Bryan, I can't really tell you if what you have planned to do will do the trick for a few years. That is in great part because I am not there to take a look. Some of my concern here is the overall quality of the frame metal, but also, I don't really follow what you're suggesting to do, so hesitate to suggest anything.

A quick fix would be a couple pieces of angle iron (thicker than the thickness of the existing trailer frame) maybe a foot or longer that you will clamp in place and then drill holes right through angle iron and frame and use bolts to hold it. If you wanted weld, you could do the same thing, but drill a bunch of 3/8" holes in the angle before you mount it, make sure the trailer frame is ground to bare metal under each hole, and plug weld it through those 3/8 holes ya drilled. This would probably hold it a few years. No guarantees!

I wish you lived around the corner, I'd come over. I'd be a lot more comfortable discussing this eyeball to eyeball with the trailer right there.

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Old 06-27-2013, 03:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Our Airstream is 40 years old and I wondered how much rust was inside the tube frame rails. When I bought the trailer 10 years ago I sprayed rust check in the frame cavity.

Once you get the frame repaired to your satisfaction suggest spraying in the Rust Check which will stop any further corrosion.
I never heard of that stuff, but it sounds neat! Great idea.

When we got our 1983 trailer the frame was covered in rust. I wire brushed it, scraped it and rough sanded everything I could see, cleaned it REAL well and coated it with POR15. I hate that stuff, but if ya do it right, it does a great job. For the frame stuff you could see, I prepared it the same way and primed and painted it with oil-based Rustoleum. Do the prep right and Rustoluem will hold up for decades.

Frank
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