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Old 12-03-2010, 11:15 AM   #1
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2008 27' Safari FB SE
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New Owner Needs Help With Belly Damage

Hello All! I am a new A/S owner...like less than 24 hours. During my inspection I discovered about 5 punctures in the thin aluminum wrapped under the belly of my '08 27FB Safari SE. One of the punctures is in the sheet metal box around what I believe is the fresh water tank. All of the damage appears to be superficial (meaning there doesn't appear to be an severe associated damage). I can feel the water tank and it is intact. Just the white foam insulation is damaged.

So, I have many questions. Is this thin aluminum damage just cosmetic? I can see what appears to be foil bubble wrap. Should I put some non expanding foam in the hole at the water tank? Should I seal all the holes temporarily with duct tape before I make the 800 mile trek home with my new unit?

As a side note, I believe this damage is the result of the PO having an equalizer hitch piece fall off and bounce down the road under the trailer.

I am trying to attach two pictures (but it seems to be painfully slow. It says it's uploading but I have my doubts. May send pictures later.) each of the same water tank hole. One is more close up with a light shining up into it.

Thanks in advance!

John
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:20 PM   #2
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John,

Yes, pictures would definately help.

Your picture files may be too big, and you might try to condense them with a program like Paint...should be on your computer if it's Window's driven.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:42 PM   #3
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I would recommend using duct tape over the holes for a temporary fix. Clean the areas around the holes with isopropal alcohol and thew tape should stick fine. Once repaired a hard plastic top on a old pop-up with duct tape when it was punched full of over 300 holes by hail in a tornado. The tape lasted over 8 years of regular use. Did paint it white to match the top, did not want to look too "tacky".
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:49 PM   #4
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If you can find the aluminum duct tape (kind of like thick foil with an adhesive backing) then you can declare yourself finished!

Pat
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:56 PM   #5
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Pat has the answer!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmclemore View Post
If you can find the aluminum duct tape (kind of like thick foil with an adhesive backing) then you can declare yourself finished!

Pat
Pat is correct! This tape will effectively "repair" the damage to the belly skin. There is no reason to go to any major trouble with repairing it as the skin under the trailer is only protecting the under floor items and insulation from water and road hazard damage. It does also help with areodynamics but the damage you relate is minimal and has no real affect on the trailers value to speak of! Enjoy and Go Camping! Happy Trails, Ed

P.S. You can find that foil tape at Lowes,Menaards, Home Depot...ETC.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:18 PM   #6
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Step One: Tape the holes.
Step Two: Change your profile to your new trailer ID.
Step Three: Go Camping.
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:58 PM   #7
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The foil tape is used in the HVAC business and works great for small repairs in the belly pan and other places on the trailer that are not seen. Home Depot has it. I put a couple of short pieces on both sides of the rear hatch door on my trailer when I travel for just a little insurance. It peels right off when I get to the campground and I don't worry about losing the rear hatch.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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Okay, some pictures...

First, thanks for the replies so far. They make me feel much more comfortable. I will use foil tape for the tears in the thin aluminum.

Here are the pictures of the hole in the sheet metal box supporting the fresh water tank. Any thoughts on foam before I tape it up?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Tank Support puncture1.jpg
Views:	86
Size:	56.5 KB
ID:	116522   Click image for larger version

Name:	tank support puncture2.jpg
Views:	88
Size:	43.6 KB
ID:	116523  

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Old 12-04-2010, 10:05 AM   #9
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do NOT spray expanding foam in those holes, or newhere else on yer stream.

the belly pan/underside is not air or water tight,

the goal is simply to keep/reduce rain and road splatter getting to that space.

water/moisture will find it's way into that area, so drainage is important.

and while there are slabs of styrene around the tanks, they aren't sealed in insulation by any means.

the aluminum foil tape is adequate for covering the holes.

bubble foil is normally only used at one layer right under the sub floor,

so IF bubble foil is visible or found it other places, it was probably owner added.
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and unless you are planning to USE the tanks right away, or going SOUTH...

it would be wise to DRAIN them (including and ESPECIALLY the water heater) and winterize the plumbing lines.


cheers
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:15 AM   #10
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Aluminum foil tape is one of the items we don't leave home without...it's perfect of all kinds of on-the-road-repairs. I agree, nothing needs to be done with the insulation/padding foam - and stay away from spray foam at all costs! It's hard to get a sense of scale from your photos, but this doesn't look like a big hole or problem...just the belly pan doing it's job.

Shari
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Old 12-04-2010, 04:49 PM   #11
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Thanks

Thanks to everyone for the advice and help. I will foil tape the tears and the puncture in the tank support box and call it good. The unit is winterized so we should be good to go. Thanks again! John
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:18 PM   #12
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This crowd loves a happy ending.

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Old 12-05-2010, 02:51 PM   #13
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I placed some vents in the new belly pan i made, maybe an idea to cover the damage, so 2 in 1.
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