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Old 04-27-2009, 08:00 PM   #43
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I was able to use a length of All-Thread for a new rod. I like it because it is mild steel and less prone to snap without warning. It should stretch before it breaks. It also allows you to use nuts to hold it to the mount instead of welding or a wimpy drift pin.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:10 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by dwightdi View Post
Some of the cast aluminum cross tees for the top of the tanks have been known to break. The casting have low ductility becaused they chose the wrong alumimun alloy when they made them. I think it was a high silicon alloy which is high strength but low ductility. I have a broken one of those too. You can not do anything about that but you should not overtighten the hold down wing nut.

A cross tee which is not tight enough may allow the bottles to wiggle and rotate to the point it will come to the opening in the handle and fall off the front of the trailer. I had it happen to me. I solved that one with a securing pin assembly which I made. Also works for steel tees.
This past Friday, I was looking in my rear view mirror (pointless when towing, but habits are hard to break), and said to myself, "hey, that thing you tighten to keep the tanks held down is in a different position than it was when I started driving".

I had backed it off about a quarter turn because the T below it was bending, and I guess that quarter turn was too much.

I plan to construct one of these securing pin assemblies before our next trip.
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:57 AM   #45
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I am happy to see this thread still alive. The potential for failure still remains on many of our rigs. I am safety chairman for our local. I bring up the subject annually for our new members. I made up some of the retaining clip assemblies for $5 a pair and sell them to those who need them, but do not want to go to the trouble of making them up for themselves. Replacing the old rods with the weak cross pin is also recommended.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:31 AM   #46
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Mine too

On my last outing a friend noticed that the cross-member on my tie-down was cracked. He tied the tanks together and and then to my jack for extra security on my way home. I found a picture from last summer and believe I can see the "beginnings" of the crack then. It's immediately below the wing nut and at the top/ center of the cross-member... see it, or am I crazy?

Where is the best place to find a (improved) replacement part?

Laura
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:23 AM   #47
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The aluminum castings are too brittle and fail via fatigue cracks or suddenly with no elongation. You could have one fabricated from aluminum bar stock or from painted steel that would not fail in a brittle manner. You would not have the down strap to mount your gas pressure regulator but from your picture, you are not mounting there anyway. Early trailers had stamped steel cross bars with a downstrap to mount the regulators. I do not know what other trailer manufactures are using or if there is an aftermarket product available.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:45 AM   #48
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My aluminum hold down recently broke in half, probably from me overtightening it. I had a guy at work TIG weld it for me a couple of days ago. I put on a welding helmet and watched him do it (a very cool process!) Now it's as good as new, I hope!
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:58 AM   #49
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The aluminum castings are made from the wrong alloy. It has fairly high strength but no elongation. This causes the sand castings to break suddenly. Welding the casting will only replace the metal at the exact break line with a more ductile material. The casting is likely to break again in an area close to the original break. The real answer is to take the broken part to a local aluminum foundry and have them use it as a pattern to recast a replacement part from a proper ductile alloy. Another solution is to, buy an equivalent part from another make of trailer that has properly designed the part.
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Old 05-16-2009, 11:34 PM   #50
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Heat from the welding could make the part even more brittle. Given these seem to have a high failure rate anyway I think I'd replace or at least have a backup safety in place.
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:09 AM   #51
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I didn't see any pics of this yet, so here goes...this is stainless all-thread with stainless washers and nuts. On the original it was the small pin-through-the-rod type, and the pin was bent so much from years of holding the tanks on,I couldn't get it out without breaking it. This was available at our local hardware store for about $10.00 or so. My top hold down is the stamped steel type so no worries about that.


Good thread.

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Old 08-11-2009, 02:20 PM   #52
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Mine broke, too.

My aluminum hold down broke in half this weekend, but by pure luck I spotted it before my new aluminum tanks from Vintage Trailer Supply hit the ground.

This hold down piece is turning out to be a real booger to find. Inland RV has something that might work but the regulator bracket is built into it. Vintage Trailer Supply has something different, also. Mine is the simple aluminum bar w/ notches for the tank tops and a drilled hole for the threaded rod. It broke right where the rod passed through. I probably tightened the wing nut too much.

I am able to tig weld, but this alloy does not look worthy of repair. I suppose that I could have a machine shop make one...but does anyone know where I could find an (improved quality) replacement?

Cheers,
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:53 PM   #53
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Nobody has mentioned Camping world or Worthington, the tank manufacturers. I would try them and see where that leads you. A stamped steel piece would be more durable and probably less expensive if you can find, or have one made. Alternativly, you could get the one with the regulator bracket and cut that part off.
Don't waste time and effort tig welding on this. It will break again right next to the weld when it gets stressed. I have heard welders say that this just isn't so, and the weld is stronger than the original aluminum.
Too true. The aluminum next to the weld is the problem.

Rich
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:35 PM   #54
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I added a long-shackled lock to the turndown handle and it now locks the tanks and prevents the handle from backing off. Just be sure it is on the side of the brace that prevents the lock from being slid aside...not totally indefeatable but quick and easy.

I've got a picture in My Pictures...don't ask me how to get there though.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:41 PM   #55
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Almost the same idea

B25guy and I have almost the same idea. I took a regular lock and drilled a hole in both the bracket and the wingnut.
Randy
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:44 PM   #56
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Opps forgot the photo

Locked tanks.
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