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Old 08-27-2005, 09:04 PM   #1
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Rust at threshold of door

I have seen a couple of trailers for sale that have rust, actually rusted through a small 2 inch hole, at the lower right or lower left threshold on the exterior near where the step comes out. Is this the frame actually? One of these had bad interior water damage from broken window, the other was dry as a bone with no signs of floor damage or water intrusion. If there is not water getting in this area, will it rust from the outside. Would it need to be welded?

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Old 08-28-2005, 01:04 AM   #2
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Bdogz, the step area is lined with thin steel plate outriggers which are welded to the main frame. These plates have long curved slots in them to accomodate the lugs on either side of the steps, which slide in these slots when they are lowered. These outriggers can rust through water and salt, or be subject to electrolytic corrosion where the aluminum skin is in contact with the steel outriggers. Also, the locking holes at the end of the slots can wear, leading to partial collapse of the steps. Repairs in this area would be time-consuming, and would need a skilled welder, and great care to avoid setting fire to the floor. I hope this helps. Nick.

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Old 08-28-2005, 04:06 AM   #3
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So it is not actually the frame, but steel attached to the frame. Thanks.
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:12 AM   #4
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My outrigger on the left side of the door was totally rusted apart. I cut out the infected areas, and then bought an inexpensive wire feed welder from Lowe's, and welded in some plate steel on the back side of it to reconstruct it, making sure to keep the curved path of the step pin free from obstruction. Afterwards I applied POR15 and painted it and attached the belly skin. It is solid as a rock, holding up well, and works smoothly.
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:32 AM   #5
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Outriggers are directly welded to the frame. You would have to take off the beltline strip and curved outer belly wrap to get access to this area. I had to loosen the bottom belly wrap so my welder could be sure there was nothing flammable in back of the main fore and aft frame member. I made a 1/4" plywood mockup of the outrigger too -- I had 2 replaced immediately behind the roadside wheels. Then you get into looking at integrity of the aluminum you took off, wondering if you need to get some 0.025" sheet to replace it...

Unless you have an unusual situation the typical RV dealer doesn't want to do all these steps for you. The other options aren't cheap -- restorers vs. buying new. You get very good at taking care of your baby. Nothing hurts them more in the long run than salt air or letting grass grow up around them.

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