Crack in Frame, repair or replace - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-23-2020, 05:15 PM   #1
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Name: Lauren
Trailer: 1982 13 Scamp
Nevada
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Crack in Frame, repair or replace

While taking out the flooring, we found a crack in the trailer frame near the wheel well on a scamp we just purchased as a rebuild project. Our initial plan was to get a welder to patch it and we spoke to one welder who quoted us at $300 for material and 6 hours of labor at $200/hour. This seems really high for the size of the crack but I know its in a bad spot and that it is important to get the frame right.

Does this crack look like it is worth repairing vs getting a new frame? From other posts I've read it seems that repairing is just a temporary fix, roughly how long would this fix last us?

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Old 06-23-2020, 05:30 PM   #2
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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Weld it up and add a 1 12" X 3" rectangular tube to the outside and you will be better than original.
What year and length is this Scamp? I think mine has doubled rectangular tubes in this area and it is a 1985.
Look carefully at the bends where the long frame tubes bend in to the hitch as this is a common failure point. Look at both sides of the door tubes that are turned on their sides to allow for a flat entry floor.
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:01 PM   #3
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$1500 for the repair? Too much!
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
$1500 for the repair? Too much!
I agree with that.
Find another welder. This job is not that hard.
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:32 PM   #5
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Name: Eddie
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Florida
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Not your frame

That metal is not really your frame. It is the side wall support and hanger for the lower floor. The axle perch is welded to it. The stress causing the crack is more than likely a dead axle. As for the crack I would just scab weld a piece of 1/8" angle or bend a piece of half plate and weld it to the outside of the crack.1hour minimum charge, about $100 where I live. Being it is a 1985 I would be looking at an axle replacement while you have it apart and repair the crack at that time.
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Old 06-23-2020, 08:39 PM   #6
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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Check C/L or similar for a welder. I found one that way, guy actually lives three blocks away from me. He is a welder at a local factory, and does welding repair on the side. Charges $40/hr, no minimum since I am so close.
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Old 06-23-2020, 08:55 PM   #7
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Name: Lauren
Trailer: 1982 13 Scamp
Nevada
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Thanks for the tips

I ended up calling around town and getting a better idea on pricing. It was just bad luck that the first guy was SO much higher than everyone else. I got in touch with someone who specializes in trailers and he can do it for $150.

After readings Eddie and redbarron's replies I did some more investigating on the underside and have a better idea of what's what. From the inside the sidewall looks much more structural than it actually is. Other than this crack everything looks good. The door tube and the bends near the front look great. Thanks everyone for the responses.
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Old 06-24-2020, 09:15 AM   #8
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Iowa
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Welding

A qualified welder who knows his stuff is worth it.
A "cheap" welder can do more damage than good.
If the crack is at a part of the frame loaded in bending mode, it is probably a fatigue crack caused by a stress concentration. Any reinforcement must be welded only along the length of the frame rail, never across the ends.
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Old 06-24-2020, 12:00 PM   #9
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Name: Tony
Trailer: Boler
BC
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A decent welder will put a fish plate over the crack and weld around the plate.
Found a crack on the engine mount on our coach, 6"X3"X1/4" beam for a 4,000lb eng & trans, the welder put on a fishplate and welded it, he did not want to charge me anything, because it only took him 10 minutes, I tucked a $50 into the back pocket of his coveralls.
Took me longer to raise the coach so he could get under, than it did to do the welding.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:42 AM   #10
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Name: David
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frame repair

Hi - I don't want to be the one who piles on here but, would it be worth trying to get the rest of the frame cleaned off / exposed, and check it carefully for other spots that might need the same kind of attention?
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Old 06-26-2020, 04:14 AM   #11
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Clean the area with a wire wheel. Fab up a fish plate and weld it in there. It's not Rocket surgery. A couple hundred bucks sounds fair for crawling around on the ground getting rust on your face.
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:37 AM   #12
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Name: Leigh Ann
Trailer: Casita
Georgia
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At that price you’re better off replacing the frame. Tubular Steele is known for rusting from the inside out. So you may repair that crack but you won’t solve the issue, you’re merely putting a bandaid on it. I found a small crack in mine also, my husband is a welder so he knew it had to be replaced. When it cut it open water poured out of it. As we turned it over we found more splits and another section where it had split from the top and bottom. It was a hard jolt from breaking completely. Another owner just repaired his crack and the frame collapsed a few thousand miles from home. All the work he did on the new flooring had to be ripped out to get the body off of the broken frame. Do it right once.
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:09 AM   #13
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Trailer: 2015 Escape 17A
California
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I agree with all the points that David and Leigh Ann made: There is significant rust, and it does not appear to be just surface rust. Since this is a rebuild project, I would at least spot clean various areas of the frame, and inspect for weakness. You can even take a screwdriver, punch, or something similar, and try to make holes in the rusty areas. If it's a yes, then spend some money on a new frame.
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:18 AM   #14
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Name: T
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Florida
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I would strongly suggest pulling the shell off the frame and doing any and all repairs....once. Also drag the empty trailer frame to a company that sandblasts (steel building fabricator, boiler manufacturer), get it back to bare metal, and coat the frame thoroughly with appropriate sealer to prevent road salt damage later.

While you're at that point, make sure the axle is still good, and replace if necessary, and if you don't have brakes, consider adding them.

Axle complete with self-adjusting brakes will be much less expensive than sourcing the parts separately.
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