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-   -   Rear storage crack and separation of trim 2008 Classic 30' (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f480/rear-storage-crack-and-separation-of-trim-2008-classic-30-a-73513.html)

SilverBeast 01-26-2011 10:18 PM

Rear storage crack and separation of trim 2008 Classic 30'
 
I have been looking at this crack grow in size, and now it looks like the trim is also separating. I have looked at the plywood inside the storage compartment and I don't see any dry-rot , but I could be wrong.

Any idea what I should do? What type of sealant should I use?

Thanks for any advice!

http://www.airforums.com/attachments...r_storage1.jpg


Other side


http://www.airforums.com/attachments...r_storage2.jpg

Rebee 01-27-2011 05:30 AM

Your crack appears to be a cracked wield. Wields do not hold up well in a vibration environment. If it were mine, I would take the unit to a qualified wielding shop and have the aluminum re-wielded. Make sure they are qualified to wield aluminum; look at some of their work.

rock60 01-27-2011 06:56 AM

looks like a normal crack to me, i would just seal it.

xrvr 01-27-2011 08:06 AM

When the door is open try not to put any pressure on it. Acts like a lever and puts stress on the hinges and the frame. zz

dznf0g 01-27-2011 04:17 PM

On a not-so-related note, it appears it's time to reseal that belt moulding. This is necessary to help keep water from entering the underbelly and potentially the rear floor area.

dznf0g 01-27-2011 04:49 PM

In addition, I would try and root cause analyze what caused the cracking. I can only visualize 2 causes. Others may have ideas too. I would think these cracks were caused by either tail dragging on one side of the frame rails at the consummable members at the rear of the AS. This could cause a twist in the rear and popped the welds. The other potential cause, (more probable IMO) I would offer, is harmonic vibration originating from unbalanced tire/wheel/hub assembly. These harmonics are amplified through all that mass hanging to the rear of the axles. Not to add to all the "harping" on unbalanced running gear, but I am a big believer in the effects of harmonic vibrations in trailers and TVs from personal and professional experience.

I have ensured proper wheel balancing and added Centramatics to my AS as well as a van I owned many years ago. They do work to constantly balancing revolving mass of the entire hub and wheel assemblies.

There are many posts on this subject and you can search using the google search feature and many keywords such as centramatic, etc.

Unless I knew a really good aluminum welder and a reweld was relatively cheap, I'd work silver Parbond into the crack and call it good. Incidently, I personally like silver Parbond for the belt mouldings reseal too.

Airslide 01-27-2011 06:21 PM

Ok Silverbeast.. we are in the same town (work in Santa Rosa) with the same trailer..

Where ya been?

Vinnie

FreshAir 01-27-2011 07:04 PM

The separation is sometimes a result of vibrartion from too much weight in the rear or a weight distribution hitch that's not set up correct. Vinnie is a good guy and I'm sure will have better suggestions on welding and prevention of a reoccurrance. Also he may suggest that you join us for the NorCal Casini Ranch Rally in April. :D

Neil

dznf0g 01-27-2011 07:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FreshAir (Post 943723)
The separation is sometimes a result of vibrartion from too much weight in the rear or a weight distribution hitch that's not set up correct. Vinnie is a good guy and I'm sure will have better suggestions on welding and prevention of a reoccurrance. Also he may suggest that you join us for the NorCal Casini Ranch Rally in April. :D

Neil

I think rear weight could be a factor, but it would have to be extrordinarily high, IMHO. A Late model classic is pretty beefy in comparison to earlier models.

Guys, I'm in a camp that the hitch bar spring weight rating has no play on rear end at all....UNLESS your have extrordinarily high flex applied AND the trailer suspension is severely compressed, OR worn out axle rubbers. OP has an 08 model. Don't think that's the case. I believe stiff hitch setup will contribute to only AS axle forward issues with an otherwise healthy AS...given proper weights and loading.

dznf0g 01-27-2011 07:36 PM

Neil, to be fair....we should consider your theory on rear weight. I did once deal with an owner of a P-chassis motorhome who had front tire wear and severe handling issues. Arguements and finger pointing ensued. Upon inspection, the fulltimer, as a hobby, collected rocks from their travels and placed them under their rear bed. Yup, 800 pounds of rocks some 8 feet behind the rear axle!

I am assuming Silverbeast is not "one of those", or we'd be hearing about him wrapped around a guardrail somewhere. Silver.....more info required.

FreshAir 01-27-2011 09:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 943735)
Neil, to be fair....we should consider your theory on rear weight. I did once deal with an owner of a P-chassis motorhome who had front tire wear and severe handling issues. Arguements and finger pointing ensued. Upon inspection, the fulltimer, as a hobby, collected rocks from their travels and placed them under their rear bed. Yup, 800 pounds of rocks some 8 feet behind the rear axle!

I am assuming Silverbeast is not "one of those", or we'd be hearing about him wrapped around a guardrail somewhere. Silver.....more info required.

I guess your moho guy never watched "The Long Long Trailer!" :lol:
Neil

dznf0g 01-27-2011 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FreshAir (Post 943768)
I guess your moho guy never watched "The Long Long Trailer!" :lol:
Neil

Ya know what.....I've heard about it here many times, but I haven't seen it either. In what format and where can I get it?

Wabbiteer 01-27-2011 09:42 PM

How does the underside edges of the bumper - drag pads look? Any replacement bannana - belly wraps?

I found a small bucket full of round river rock under the back belly wraps, looked like they had high sided it towing through a BLM area dry wash somewhen and dragged back a bunch of desert. If one side of the frame took a hard drag that might've been enough to pop an already stressed weld there...

Aage 01-27-2011 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 943772)
Ya know what.....I've heard about it here many times, but I haven't seen it either. In what format and where can I get it?

How about on DVD for $6? It's a great laugh...

DVD: The Long, Long Trailer (DVD) with Lucille Ball (actor), Marjorie Main (actor) and Vincente Minnelli (director)

ROBERTSUNRUS 01-27-2011 11:30 PM

:) Hi, not only the cracks in the storage door frame, but the separation of the lower moulding at the body; It seems that the lower moulding has completely separated from the sealer. If water has been leaking into the storage area for some time and rotted the floor/wood, you could have rear end separation. For your sake, I certainly hope this isn't the case. Also does this trailer have a hitch welded under the rear bumper, or can you see where one was cut off?

FreshAir 01-28-2011 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aage (Post 943790)

A must for trailer travlin' folk. My folks took my brother and I to see the movie when it came out in '53...or '54. In '52 we made the ardruous journey to Calif. on RTE 66 towing a travel trailer. That movie made the hard parts of our trip seem laughable... at last. I've got a VHS and DVD of it. The DVD is kept in our Trade Wind for our occasional 'fix'.
Neil

SilverBeast 01-28-2011 12:06 PM

Thanks Bob,

Thanks for the heads-up on the molding. It never really was properly sealed in this area, so filling that in is a high priority.

I have looked at the plywood in the rear storage area, and I don't see any indications of a problem. But, Iím not sure I would know a problem if I saw it.

I think what I will do is seal the trim first, with the factory silver stuff. When that sets-up, I will go back with some flexible sealer and fill the area of the crack in the weld.

I don't see any indication of a hitch ever being on the bumper, But I do have some damage to one of the skids (and a jack motor housing). That happened at a dealership that shall remain nameless.

Thanks,

Steve

SilverBeast 01-28-2011 12:25 PM

Hi Wabbiteer,

I understand what you mean about bottoming out the rear end. And, as I mentioned to Bob, there was an incident where this happened. It was at a dealership when they moved my trailer with a forklift. This damage could be related to that incident.

The aluminum on the bottom of the trailer looks like itís in very good condition, it doesnít appear to have any damage.

Thanks for your help!

SilverBeast 01-28-2011 12:35 PM

Hi dznf0g,

I like the weight theory, but I donít think that I have unreasonable weight in the back storage area. I do like to load up the area under the bed with things like; a case of bottled water, spare bottles of wine and scotch, tool boxes, hoses, and that enormous 50 amp umbilical cord. but in all, I doubt that it amounts to more than 200 or 300 pounds.

What is a moho?? I don't get it.

Steve

Airslide 01-28-2011 12:45 PM

Hey Steve,

A moho is short lingo for Motorhome.

I too put some things back in that compartment but doubt it weighs more than 100 lbs. My compartment isnt cracking but I had to seal the same trim area to keep the water out. I dont think I have any water damage but the fact is.. the rear cargo area is all carpeted and covered with plastic. This is a bad combination should water get trapped under there. Its my plan to remove the carpet this year and put down a felt type floor covering that can be removed.

Vinnie

SilverBeast 01-28-2011 12:50 PM

Hello Vinnie,

Novato to Santa Rosa is the nice commute! I used to get up every morning at 4am to be in SF by 8am. Iím very happy not to have to do that anymore. Now I work form my home.

I must say Iíve been remiss in not attending the Northern California rallies. Itís not for lack of interest but my work schedule just hasnít allowed for it yet.

My last big trip was to Death Valley by way of Reno. If I had known what poor shape the Donner pass is in, I probably wouldíve gone the other way through Southern California. Honestly, I thought I would lose the fillings in my teeth. It might as well be a dirt-road.

Well, Iím sure we will run into each-other one of these days!

Steve

SilverBeast 01-28-2011 12:56 PM

Yeah, I know what you mean. I think I will pull up the plastic in the back and have a good look at the wood. I don't think the molding was ever sealed properly, so water could have been going in for two or three rainy seasons completely unchecked. And you know how much it’s rained around here!

Steve

Airslide 01-28-2011 01:01 PM

These trailers are heavy and from what i can tell the frame is beefy due to the slide but there is still considerable flex by design. Cracks happen and can be resealed. Nice that its in the aluminum trim and not the actual skin. Leakage is a bigger concern. Not sure what happened at the RV dealer when it dragged bottom but stress to only one side of those drag rails will flex the body and possibly tweak those square joints of the compartment. My driveway is steep and Im always watching for drag on my way in and out for this very reason.

Let me know if you need any help with anything.. Im close by.

Vinnie

Ag&Au 01-28-2011 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilverBeast (Post 944004)
Hi Wabbiteer,

I understand what you mean about bottoming out the rear end. And, as I mentioned to Bob, there was an incident where this happened. It was at a dealership when they moved my trailer with a forklift. This damage could be related to that incident.

The aluminum on the bottom of the trailer looks like it’s in very good condition, it doesn’t appear to have any damage.

Thanks for your help!

Since everyone is entitled to an opinion (even me), mine is that it is 95% likely that this incident caused the damage. I bet it struck with more force on one side or the other and the resulting twisting moment on the frame caused the crack, and possible the other problem.

Ken

SilverBeast 01-28-2011 01:39 PM

I think you are right Ken. In 20/20 hind sight, I should have stayed with the trailer and not just dropped it off at the deal for three weeks.

SilverBeast 01-28-2011 01:40 PM

Thanks Vinnie!

2airishuman 01-28-2011 01:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilverBeast (Post 943423)
I have been looking at this crack grow in size, and now it looks like the trim is also separating.

the pix show cracking/splinting in the storage compartment frame metal AND welds and frame sealants.

we can't determine from the pix where it started and how it's migrated.

it also appears the acryl-r used to seal the rub rail has split.

again the CLOSE up pics are good 4 seeing this, but provide little more info...

a few larger views would be nice, might reveal more but still aren't the same as in person inspection.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilverBeast (Post 943423)
...I have looked at the plywood inside the storage compartment and I don't see any dry-rot , but I could be wrong...

unless this unit was special ordered without carpet, there is carpet IN that underbed storage space.

the carpet is simply stapled at the perimeter, so it's easy to pull back for viewing.

if ordered without carpet the space will have vinyl which is also simply stapled at the perimeter.

pulling BACK whatever is there is important IF one wants to evaluate the plywood sub flooring.

the outer few inches of subfloor are 'coated' with black stuff, and somewhat more resistant to moisture contact ,

but not continuous or massive water exposure.

pull the flooring up and inspect.



Quote:

Originally Posted by SilverBeast (Post 943423)
...Any idea what I should do?...

lots of ideas here, but not nearly ON POINT as i read them...

-it would help to know a bit more about the issues...

like when it was first noticed and how it's progressed specifically.

the history of being moved by a forklift could be relevant, but only with more details...

((for example was it towed by a forklift or LIFTED, or scooted, entire REAR lifted or just one side and so on...))

even with a COMPLETE history and real time video of suspected event,

we (U) still might not 'know' what the degree or extend of damage resulted.
__________

frames for the slide units have structural reinforcement bits NEAR the slide and front end...

i am aware of NO difference to the frame behind the axles on these slide units...

and while the classic frames are OK, there are many of us to believe they are STILL INADEQUATE...

and that the CONNECTIONs between frame/flooring/shell are INADEQUATE.

regardless, that debate doesn't help in determining degree and extent of the issues which might exist.
____________

imo the rub rail needs to be COMPLETELY REMOVED, so that the shell/C channel/frame connections can be inspected.

rub rail removal is easy and need only extend as far as the endcap/side rivet line on each side.

1. pull the fake chrome vinyl bumper strip out of rail channel (secured with double stick stuff)

2. remove the SCREWS and cut the sealant holding the channel to the skin...

3. remove the rub rail channel from the CENTER, laterally to the edge of the end cap...

4. inspect the rivets, rivet holes and panel edging (ALL of this is under the rub rail channel)

IF the rivets are loose or moving this will be obvious, follow around both sides to find the area where it STOPS.
_________

one simply can't know IF there are any issues UNDER the rub rail, without removing it.

looking inside at the plywood is simply looking for PROLONGED water exposure, it tells us nothing about the cause...

and the hidden significant problem may not be long term enough to cause wood rot, yet.

it's possible the fake vinyl insert will surface crack and need to be replaced (easy to do)

it's possible the rub rail channel has a few rivets AND screws attaching it to the shell...

it's possible the owner is UNcomfortable attempting the removal, REinstall and any repairs needed.

and it's possible that NOTHING is weak/loose/moving/damaged under the trim...

and the cracks were caused by aliens or sun spots or superficial obamanomics...

but SOMEONE needs to dig into this deeper, before slathering goops on it.

for example the UNDER side edge of the rub rail is NOT fully sealed by intention.

this lets moisture OUT

but might also channel ANY water pooling on the bumper top, DEEP into the skin/frame connections.

a bad thing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilverBeast (Post 943423)
...What type of sealant should I use?...

this is premature until the issues are fully discovered.

repair depends on WHAT is broke'd and to what EXTENT there are problems.

the rub rail channel is simply sealed with acryl-r...

but that won't work well on gaps that are E X P A N D I N G, or larger than 2-3 mm.

polyurethane sealants like sika' 721 or parbond are used on exterior gaps with great success...

but IF the cracks/gaps are growing it will hide this for awhile,

or worse, let water in and TRAP that water.
___________

so as professor a. friend, the unknown helper,

repeats several times in the book/movie disclosure...

and JUST when the flawed hero thinks he's won...

"find/solve the problem"


cheers
2air'

dznf0g 01-28-2011 05:42 PM

It's definitely worth investigating the cause, as I stated way up the post line. But, I'm not sure the moulding is pulled away from the trailer at all. It's kind of hard to tell from the pics, but I will tell you that on the Classics, you have an extra layer of "stuff" between the moulding and the skin. The plastic and fiberglass "rolls" up vertically from the horizontal surface of the bumper top and is sandwiched between the moulding and the skin. This and the radiused nature of the top inner moulding surface makes it look like a big gap.

Then when the original sealer cracks and shrinks, as mine did, it gives the illusion of a gap. Test for tightness of the mouding. If it moves at all with moderate pressure with your fingers, then you probably have bigger issues to address.

More pics might help. BTW this rolled up lip GREATLY reduces the chances of water migrating from the top bumper surface to the flooring. The joints between the 3 bumper sections could allow a path, but it is pretty unlikely for water to migrate up about 1" to get over the rolled lip. Insert PRESSURE WASHER CAUTION HERE.

HOWEVER, water will run into that area very readily with cracked sealer on the top of the moulding. AS 2Air says, don't seal the bottom.

I would also advise, if the sealer is deteriorating here, it is elsewhere along that moulding as well. Reseal the entire perimeter of the trailer. Because (I think) the upper belt moulding is smaller and not so raduised on the upper edge, it was not as bad on my trailer. I just spot repaired the areas where the moulding had to cross over a seam where the gaps are bigger.

dznf0g 01-28-2011 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aage (Post 943790)


Just ordered it. Looking forward to a good laugh. Anything Lucy did was very funny.

SilverBeast 01-28-2011 07:34 PM

Thank you dznf0g and 2airishuman,

I pulled up the vinyl and there is no indication that the plywood has ever been wet. also the bumper trim is very tight and secure, so I donít think the subfloor is pulling away from the frame/skin.

Yes, It would be the best thing, to remove the trim and have a look-see. but I'm just as likely to screw something else up in the process.

To be honest, I really think the thing to do is seal it and see if it continues to open up.
But I have a bore scope, and I just might try and have a peek in one of the larger openings.

Steve

dznf0g 01-28-2011 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilverBeast (Post 944202)
Thank you dznf0g and 2airishuman,

I pulled up the vinyl and there is no indication that the plywood has ever been wet. also the bumper trim is very tight and secure, so I donít think the subfloor is pulling away from the frame/skin.

Yes, It would be the best thing, to remove the trim and have a look-see. but I'm just as likely to screw something else up in the process.

To be honest, I really think the thing to do is seal it and see if it continues to open up.
But I have a bore scope, and I just might try and have a peek in one of the larger openings.

Steve

That's fine. You'll know soon enough if more work is required. Update us as your test run progresses.

2airishuman 01-28-2011 09:56 PM

do as u wish, that's the authority ownership brings...

but one simply cannot tell IF the shell/channel/frame attachment is solid,

by looking at the rub rail.

and cracks in 2 places on the door frame metal suggest that entire section of skin has moved.
________

i could link threads and photos that demonstrate this but won't,

since it seems the path 2bliss is ignoring the deeper potentials.

inspect now, repair properly and the dealer service price is a few 100$.

let it go and the costs only climb.

'it's fine' replies may be wanted, but they are simply false reassurances.

nO1ne here can offer a reliable assessment based on the 2 early pix.

so
_________

HEY i'm sure it's fine, dab a bit of goop on it...

cheers
2air'

dznf0g 01-29-2011 10:40 AM

I'm not disagreeing with anything 2Air says, I just think that exploratory surgery is not yet warranted based upon the OP's comments and pictures.

I know from prior experience that square cut welded corners on trailers are not the best of designs under even normal circumstances. Why AS gave us a square framed opening instead of radiused corners, like most other openings in the Classics is beyond me. I'm sure it has to due with cost and/or build complexity. Those square frames are very rigid and do not tolerate much flexing at all. I had issues with my prior rear entry door square cut frame SOB, immediately after purchase. I used it for another 17 years without the problem growing.

2Air is correct that there has to have been some overall rear end movement to move the opening frame off square and pop the welds.

However, IMHO, the rest of the rear end is much more tolerant of flexing that the opening frame. We're not talking about inches of flex here, to break the frame on the opening.

Since the OP has not commented on other oddities, like window frame issues, skin wrinkling, popped rivets, etc, I'm just not inclined to "over-diagnose" the situation YET.

Silverbeast, if you want further input, post some more pics of the entire rear end skin, rear windows and any other areas showing skin seams and rivets, etc. Bore scope findings, etc.

My point is NOT to ignore it, but with no other suspicious issues, if you do a reseal and there is excessive movement indicating some structural maladies, the new seal job will separate and open up rather quickly. It is just a good non-intrusive, relatively simple, inexpensive diagnostic test. Re-separation of the sealer in short order would not be normal, IMO. Proper reseal should last several years with proper materials.

JFScheck 04-02-2011 01:05 PM

Update - what was the final cause/solution/remedy?

SilverBeast 04-03-2011 01:30 AM

Still working on that.....Well, to be honest, not long after I posted this topic the rainy season really kicked into high gear here in the north bay and I had to resort to duct tape till things start to dry out.

This has been the first week of nice weather and I have not had time to rip in to the silverbeast. But, I think the first step will be to check again for any indication of water damage. Then I will get the gaps filled with the appropriate seam sealer. Then I'm installing a AirSafe Hitch on my PorPride, because I think the 1400lbs. bars I'm running are a little over kill. I have a one ton Dodge and the ride is, well lets say stiff. I don't mind and the dog is ambivalent, but I think the trailer is speaking to me.

I have a plan to see if my gut feeling is correct. It involves using the an accelerometer to test the ride inside the trailer before and after I install the AirSafe.

We shall see.

dznf0g 04-03-2011 07:19 AM

Keep us informed!

Airslide 04-03-2011 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilverBeast (Post 973231)
Still working on that.....Well, to be honest, not long after I posted this topic the rainy season really kicked into high gear here in the north bay and I had to resort to duct tape till things start to dry out.

This has been the first week of nice weather and I have not had time to rip in to the silverbeast. But, I think the first step will be to check again for any indication of water damage. Then I will get the gaps filled with the appropriate seam sealer. Then I'm installing a AirSafe Hitch on my PorPride, because I think the 1400lbs. bars I'm running are a little over kill. I have a one ton Dodge and the ride is, well lets say stiff. I don't mind and the dog is ambivalent, but I think the trailer is speaking to me.

I have a plan to see if my gut feeling is correct. It involves using the an accelerometer to test the ride inside the trailer before and after I install the AirSafe.

We shall see.


Two things that relate. I just removed the plastic from the rear cargo area and pulled the carpet back to see what the plywood looks like back there. Overall it was in great shape. There was some water damage towards the left side. I used a product that acts like an epoxy when dry. It will strengthen the wood in the damaged area and protects it from further damage.

Secondly you will love the airsafe hitch. Make sure you get the larger one. I think its good up to 2000 lbs. The less expensive one will be maxed out with our units.

Let us know what you think.

Vinnie

SilverBeast 04-04-2011 12:22 AM

Thanks so much Vinnie! I was just getting ready to PM you about this very thing.

I saw that you talked about the AirSafe/Airride before and I wanted to get your advice. I have sent an email to Sean at ProPride to see if there is a mount available to couple to the stinger and AirSafe and also to get his advice. But I really think it's the way to go to help de-couple some of the hard knocks from our high quality pavement here in norcal.

Glad to hear that you have had go luck with the AirSafe.

I may also be picking your brain about your Hardwood floor in the future.


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