Welding Fish plates on Frame - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-02-2020, 11:30 PM   #1
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Welding Fish plates on Frame

Does anyone know where or could suggest where fish plates should be welded onto the frame to add a bit more strength before it gets repainted?
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Old 07-03-2020, 05:30 AM   #2
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Does anyone know where or could suggest where fish plates should be welded onto the frame to add a bit more strength before it gets repainted?
Can frame supports be welded on with the body still attached?
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Old 07-03-2020, 10:01 AM   #3
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Here's a pic of where we put the fish plates on my 73 boler. And by we of course I mean my son the welder

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Old 07-03-2020, 11:27 AM   #4
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What is a fish plate? What is it’s purpose?
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:33 AM   #5
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What is a fish plate? What is it’s purpose?
Fish plates are used for repair or strengthening frames. The tapered ends reduce stress concentrations, so the frame won't tend to tear at the ends of the plate.
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:35 AM   #6
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Thank you for explaining.
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Old 07-03-2020, 12:51 PM   #7
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Mark, the fish plates on my Trillium 4500 were applied to the frame rails on the sides of the bends that were made to form the tongue.
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Old 07-03-2020, 02:28 PM   #8
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Mark, the fish plates on my Trillium 4500 were applied to the frame rails on the sides of the bends that were made to form the tongue.
Do you have pictures? Were they welded on with the body attached?
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Old 07-03-2020, 02:28 PM   #9
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Here's a pic of where we put the fish plates on my 73 boler. And by we of course I mean my son the welder

Attachment 135784
Thank you, Nice work!
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Old 07-03-2020, 03:06 PM   #10
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Take a look at that frame and notice the "missing" structure where the door on the left side interrupts the frame. This is one area that needs reinforcement as there is a lot of flex here and that twist caused the frame problems in the bends on both sides and where they tie into the structure.
If it were mine I would also box in the already caves in sections on the inside of those bends as the tube has already failed there or they would still be straight.
Depending on what you are planning under the floor I would also install a cross beam from the newly boxed bends to each other.
By the way the idea of a fish plate would include a longer taper and a sideways vee instead of the rounded plate ends as they still will tend to concentrate the stress in the end of that circle. Best would be a Vee with the weld extended an incl or so past the end of the plate.
For the door frame area I would put two 1 1/2" X 2" tubes flat across the opening and extend them far enough to transfer the load to the front and rear with bracing to also reinforce that connection as this is also an area that cracking takes place.
I added the tubing and a bracket on my 16' Scamp. Here is a picture of the doubled cross member and the bracket forward of the door.

The view of the other side with the added section under the frame forward of the door. The extra 1 1/2" square tube is the end of the structure added for the front bathroom
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Old 07-03-2020, 03:21 PM   #11
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Yes. A competent welder will clamp the fish plate, angle bracket or whatever is to be attached. It will not
Be touching the fiberglass or wood or other combustibles . It’s usually clamped at the maximum distance from the body , low on the frame. When we used to do work like this we would get a bath towel out of the lost and never found and get it soaking wet. The welder would tack the plate in about three places and stop to make sure it was where it needed to be. He usually worked with a helper. So the welder would run some bead and stop. The helper would jab the wet towel on the weld and surrounding area. To cool it off while teasing the welder with “we’re on farr, we’re on Farr. They would look at the weld, maybe hit it a couple times with the slag hammer, then go again till the plate was attached. The curved nature of the plate allowed some weld on the top edge without getting too close to the combustible or meltable areas. The weld bead does not have to go all the way around the plate. Think northern pike not Sunfish first shape. That’s my experience over the years.

My brother was certified to weld 4 inches thick material on cranes and dozers being bought by the Navy during Nam. He knew his stuff. Now he just tacks cheap Chinese built mowers together when the wheels fall off for my kids. But he’s still elegant about it and shows pride in his work. Safety and planning first, execution second, cleanup and paint third, then beer. YMMV
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Old 07-03-2020, 03:51 PM   #12
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Beer! Did somebody say BEER?

Keep a lookout for FAR especially if you are near the polyester fiberglass!
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Old 07-03-2020, 04:08 PM   #13
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If you have a far you can put it out with water or beer. Here is the difference in the sound of water and beer.

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Old 07-03-2020, 04:59 PM   #14
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That was a Heineken! Shouldn't it have played something more Germanic? Like tis:

That music sounded more like Corona to me.
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Old 07-03-2020, 05:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Markz View Post
Do you have pictures? Were they welded on with the body attached?
Mark, here is a pic of the fish plate on my Trillium 4500. Its at least 18" long. It was applied long before I bought the trailer, probably early on, so I don't know if it was done with the body on the frame.
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Old 07-03-2020, 05:12 PM   #16
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Each FGRV brand and model is different in terms where weaknesses might be on the frame. For insight into how the Boler 13 frame might need reinforcement, see the "Custom Frame & Axle" section in Ian Giles' write up in the attached link.

https://www.proud-canadian.com/13-bo...eyond-1/boler/
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Old 07-08-2020, 11:10 AM   #17
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Our 74 Boler had 3 separate repairs to the frame before we had Metro Trailer in Winnipeg install one of their units. Your trailer will probably need a new axle/suspension if you haven't changed it yet. The frame and axle, installed at Metro will be $3000-$3500 but they use heavier gauge steel than the original and they have it galvanized. We are very pleased with the end result and the peace of mind knowing we won't be stranded is a comfort as well.
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