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Old 03-06-2009, 10:21 PM   #1
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Houston, do I have a problem?

I thought I'd get to painting the banana wrap before the bugs come out around here (as some wise people suggested). While sanding the streetside of the trailer, I came across these 3 slit-like spots. There was also one on the curbside. They look to me like they are from the end of the frame that actually came through the aluminum. The PO tried to cover it up with fiberglass & some kind of caulk. I'm thinking that the problem was from a tow vehicle that was towing while too high & stressing the front of the trailer. This would also account for stress along the whole endcap seam which caused the trailer to leak along the seam & have a big gap (on the top where I couldn't see it when purchased). Do you think this could be the case? I really don't want to drop the bellypan if I can help it. I'm totally not ready to do that. I've ordered the Centramatic thingys for the wheels & will be getting the tires balanced before I tow it again. I haven't gone really far with it since I've purchased it two years ago, but it seems to tow fine. On the last picture, I took my finger & wet a line up the spots where the slits are located. Let me know what you're thinking! Thanks.....
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:58 PM   #2
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If it's the ends of the frame outriggers they will be spaced somewhat evenly along the banana wrap. That is what it appears to be. This may or may not be related to the trailer being stressed, but it probably isn't from being towed with the front too high or low. That by itself wouldn't put undue stress on anything. It could be that the load leveling device was set up incorrectly at some time in the past or it just may be from heavy or rough use. If the outriggers are wearing through the skins it is probably a good idea to start planning for a little repair job. It shouldn't keep you from using your trailer though. The repair should not be very difficult either. Maybe messy.
Read through some of the repair threads and get aquainted with the steps while you enjoy the camping season.
Good luck Becky

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Old 03-06-2009, 11:04 PM   #3
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Was the gap you mentioned in your post at the top of the front endcap?

Was it from the endcap being pulled away from the rest of the shell or pushed toward it?
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:03 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by beckybillrae View Post
I thought I'd get to painting the banana wrap before the bugs come out around here (as some wise people suggested). While sanding the streetside of the trailer, I came across these 3 slit-like spots. There was also one on the curbside. They look to me like they are from the end of the frame that actually came through the aluminum. The PO tried to cover it up with fiberglass & some kind of caulk. I'm thinking that the problem was from a tow vehicle that was towing while too high & stressing the front of the trailer. This would also account for stress along the whole endcap seam which caused the trailer to leak along the seam & have a big gap (on the top where I couldn't see it when purchased). Do you think this could be the case? I really don't want to drop the bellypan if I can help it. I'm totally not ready to do that. I've ordered the Centramatic thingys for the wheels & will be getting the tires balanced before I tow it again. I haven't gone really far with it since I've purchased it two years ago, but it seems to tow fine. On the last picture, I took my finger & wet a line up the spots where the slits are located. Let me know what you're thinking! Thanks.....
The cause of the slits, 100 percent of the time, is unbalanced running gear and/or bad axles.

Replacing the metal, is the only fix.

Andy

It will continue until the problem/problems are corrected.
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:20 AM   #5
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When I recaulked the top encap seam (the front one), I was able to push a lot of Vulkem into the seam while I pushed down in front of the area. It kind of gave a little when pushed down, so I really pushed the Vulkem in with my finger and filled it as much as I could. When I released it, some of the Vulkem came back out, so I know there was some void in there. I think it was up & down, not backwards or forwards (if you can understand that!). The picture is after Vulkem, which I intend to trim, but haven't yet. There are no leaks in the trailers anymore, but there were tons of them.

Andy, your lilnk didn't work. Replacing what metal is the only fix? The banana wrap or the outriggers?
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:42 AM   #6
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Those rivets appear to be the Olympic (shaved head) type. This may indicate that there's been a segment replaced at some point in the past, or maybe just some loose rivets (since I can't tell if all of them were replaced or not). If the segments are moving relative to one another very much I think that's a bad thing.
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:48 AM   #7
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Oh, there definitely was something going on. There are Olympic rivets between bucked rivets on both ends of the segments. Also, the back window has extra rivets. All of these areas had leaks.
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:55 AM   #8
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Running gear balance as Andy pointed out, sheared, missing, or wallowed out carriage bolts on the out riggers, caused by rotten plywood is another possibility. With all of the issues you are having with the previous leaks at seams, I would check on the running gear axles and take an ice pick or thin punch and probe around the perimeter of your walls for soft/rotten wood. I had 3 spots on mine and one was at the front where the main hold down bolts go through the plate. One bolt was completely missing the other was wallowed out.

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Old 03-07-2009, 07:55 AM   #9
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This is a picture of the back window before/after recaulking. Notice the extra rivets. Why? I don't know....it's a mystery to me. Does it have something to do with the other problem?
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:05 AM   #10
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We had the entire trailer emptied out after I stupidly bought it. I found four huge holes that I could fit my arm through. Two were under the couch, one was under the curbside bed, and the other one, which I actually knew about because I had access to it, was in the streetside locker. Every rotten spot was located at the seam of the endcap. We tore out the bad sections of floor & feathered in new sections. One of the outriggers was rusted out, so we replaced that. The others (where we tore up the floor) seemed fine. We didn't tear out any flooring that wasn't soft, so I'm hoping the outriggers that we didn't visually inspect are still good.

I'm just thinking, that with all the repair work the PO tried to do on this rig, I wonder if they ever got to the crux of the problem? Like I said in my first post, I'm getting the Centramatic balancers delivered next week & will be getting the tires balanced before I put them on. My husband looked at the axels & thinks they're good (he's a farmer with lots of trailers, so I'm thinking he knows what he's talking about).

Oh well, just more stuff to obcess about.
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:13 AM   #11
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I saw the Boise International Rally sticker on the back window and it brought something to mind. There was a really bad hailstorm one year at an International sometime in the 90's and almost everyone had significant damage. A lot of those trailers ended up with segment replacements. Are there other signs of hail damage?
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:19 AM   #12
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If you look at the picture on the right, you can see a couple of pings, but nothing really bad.
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:07 AM   #13
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The cause of the slits, 100 percent of the time, is unbalanced running gear and/or bad axles.

http://www.inlandrv.com/articles/dur...xle-92001.html

Replacing the metal, is the only fix.

It will continue until the problem/problems are corrected.

Andy
Sorry about that. My fault.

Replacing the underbelly wrap is the only way to get rid of the slits that are in it.

Dura Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:35 PM   #14
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Those rivets appear to be the Olympic (shaved head) type. This may indicate that there's been a segment replaced at some point in the past, or maybe just some loose rivets (since I can't tell if all of them were replaced or not). If the segments are moving relative to one another very much I think that's a bad thing.


Also, your quote about the Boise International 1998 Rally......
I stand totally corrected. I just went out & checked the rivets on the seams of the front and back endcaps. They are ALL Olympic rivets. So are the ones on the back window (probably front one too). I think you have finally solved my questions. I just assumed that the rivets were all like that & the quality from the '76 rivets had gone down alot! After looking more closely, the rivets below the seams on the sides are bucked.
I think you are right about segment replacement & think both front & back segments were replaced. Thanks for the insight on the 1998 Rally! The thought of segment replacement did go through my head, but I couldn't imagine that both ends were replaced, as well as the window! I think you are absolutely right about that. It's amazing to me that the people I purchased this trailer from acted so innocent about any knowledge about anything being wrong with the trailer. (no leaks, great shape) They were elderly people, which bothers me even more.....how can we teach our children & grandchildren to be honest, if we as grandparents are dishonest!? Sad commentary on the world. Oh well, I do have all the leaks fixed, the interior remodeled, and am finishing up the exterior. I guess I wouldn't have a project if it were all perfect!
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