I rebuilt the the ramp on my Weekend Warrior back in 2009 and I posted the pictures here. Since then I changed the web site around and the the pictures no longer appear in the above posts. I have received multiple requests for these pictures so I am reposting them here. Hope I dont yank any moderator's chain by doing that.
This is a re-compile of my posts with the pictures - most of it is a cut and paste. I dont have the 5er anymore as I have since moved onto the dark side and now have a TC
When I rebuilt it, the re-construction I did was close to the same (i.e. 2x2's in the same locations, etc) The changes I made were in material - all pressure treated lumber, stainless steel screws, foamboard instead of fiberglass bats, exterior grade plywood instead of particle board. Also beefed up the stiffness of the ramp by changing the two outermost boards from 2x2 to 2x6
As I did not have a staple gun like they use for putting the siding on, I used stainless steel screws and construction adhesive. I pre-drilled the holes for the screws, put a blob of dicor in the holes, then put the screw in to make sure the hole was sealed.
The trailer features prominently in both our recreation and income (I go on site with the customer quite often) so I must have it in good working order. A week ago, DW noted that there was a soft spot on the ramp - near the locking mechanism - and she was correct. Water had somehow gotten in the door and the inside/part you drive on was swollen around the left middle area. so I figured with it being quiet today, I would take the circular saw, open up the door, find that a foot or so of plywood had gotten wet, replace that section of the wood, seal it up and be done in time for a couple of beers on the back deck in the after noon. Foolish me.
First thing I did was observe that the locking mechanism was loose, so I figured that the bolts had come loose, (which I discovered later that the bolts had not come loose - it was the wood rotting away) breaking the seal where the lock was bolted through the door causing the failure. So I took the circular saw, and set it for a shallow cut, and cut around where the bolts were holding the lock in. I did a shallow cut as I did not know how the door was constructed, so I was going to take a little bit at a time. After those first cuts, I was in for my first surprise. It wasnt plywood. It was that nasty chipboard. Using a chisel and screwdriver, I starting picking out the rotten wood around the bolts. The wood was so bad it only took me a few seconds to get all the way through the door to the outside aluminium sheathing. I then discovered wet fibreglass batting. I cut a longer area open, figuring that what I could do is find the first pressure treated stud, which would be about 10-12 inches from the left end of the ramp, cut off 10-12 inches of the chipboard, replace it with some exterior grade plywood, and break out a cold one. Note my comment above about pressure treated studs.
Surprise, surprise!! After I opened up a larger hole in the door I found that they had used cheap engineered lumber (I am shocked it was strong enough to hold the ramp together as it was) - and not pressure treated treated. so I figured, ok, I will replace the outside 2x2, put on my chunk of plywood, and still have plenty of time to sit down and have a long talk with Sam this afternoon (That's Mr. Sam Adams to the rest of you)
Nope. the second stud was rotted, so I opened it up further. Third stud rotted. I just kept going. Water filled fiberglass batts followed by more rotten studs. Top sill and bottom sill was rotton. To make a long story short, by 1:30, the only thing left of the door was the aluminium sheathing laying in the driveway and the steel frame that was still connected via the hinges and springs to the trailer. Half of the rest had came out in rotten, moldy clumps, the other half, was just cut out or unscrewed and tossed in the trash.
I had discovered in the disassembly process, strange scraps of wood used as spacers in places, wood that I wouldnt use for firewood (even before it rotted) and fiberglass batts haphazardly installed.
I decided I would rebuild the door using pressure treated 2x2's except for the outer edges, where I would use 2x6's. Originally on the outside edges they used 2x2's then used scrap chip board as a spacer for the door locks. I was also going to use Styrofoam as an insulator for the open area of the doors instead of the fiberglass batts, so that if any water got into the door in the future, it would not be absorbed by the fiberglass, which then started growing some interesting molds spores and fungous.
I did not have enough materials at the house to complete the task, so it was off to the local big box home improvement store, which did not have all the hardware, so it was off the to the other big box home improvement store across the street, which of course, did not have everything needed, but at least I had all the lumber, so it was back home (2 1/2 hours later because, well, you know how helpful and quick to respond employees are at these stores.)
Now it is getting late, but I have all of the 2x's cut to size. I am just worn out, as it was up, down, left, right, in and out all around that door, as I wanted to be as careful as possible to minimize damage. I have been successful on that part as the aluminium sheathing is neither folded, spindled or mutilated and when I get it reassembled in a few days it will look as good as new.
I need to take the wire wheel to the steel frame and then repaint it. then I will start putting things back together. I am going to use screws along "5200 Marine Sealant" that I have read about in other threads to secure the plywood to the 2x's and the sheathing to the 2'xs along with the original edge trim on the sheathing. I do have to find someone who has butyl and the 5200 somewhere here in town.
Here is where we started. Looks pretty innocent.
Note how the top nut has sunk into the wood
Close up picture of the edge. Note the swelling
I cut around the bolts and note the material I dug out with a screwdriver. The bolts were painted and rusted in place so the nuts had not come loose. Had to cut two of the bolts off.
Cut back the the first stud (the location where the lock is is just out of the frame of the picture) The dark areas are where the water has soaked into the wood.
Opened the next area. Note the mold on he fiberglass in the lower right corner of the picture.
Opened up the other side of the door around the lock. Even the dog agrees that the chipboard has degraded to mush. Note the split in the stud on the left. I am sure that was there from when the door was built and not caused by the water damage, due to pieces of wood missing from it further down. Just the cheapest wood they could find.
Cut down further that side. Dont you just love the insulation!? The water did not do this - they just installed scraps of bats in there.
Picture of the frame after I removed everyting from it.
Another picture of the frame. Working on getting all the old caulk off
Here is a picture of the framing with some of the insulation in place:
I took pressure treated 2x4's and ripped them down (2x2's off the shelf would be the wrong size - I needed lumber that is 1 1/2" thick, the only 2x2's I could find were dressed down to 1 1/4") to rebuild the framing. I used 2x6's to rebuild the sides - in place of the 2x2's and particle board scraps that were orignaly there. The ramp itself is now exterior grade plywood. All wood components had 5200 marine sealant applied to facing edges and stainless steel screws used to complete the assembly.
The original fiberglass bats were replaced with styrofoam.
The aluminum sheathing provided an interesting challenge. It should have been re-applied from the top down, then I could put fasteners on the bottom of each piece, which would be hidden by the next piece, because of the way the joints were made. But if I did not get the first piece in exactly the correct position, the last piece would either extend too far below the bottom, or be short of the bottom, so I chose to re-assemble from the bottom up. This would mean that in order to make sure the center area of the sheathing was secure and not flopping around (which I would expect over time would tear apart and seals made by caulking - and possibly with enough flexing, tear a piece of the aluminium out) I had to put a few screws in through the center area of the sheathing. A drop of white paint should take care of the distraction of the screws in the middle of the sheathing.
Cleaning the gunk that they used for caulking off the siding and the trim took several hours, some mineral spirits and a gallon or two of elbow grease from SWMBO and myself.
I re-hung the sheathing with a liberal dose of 5200 down each stud on the ramp, then gave the edges of the sheathing a liberal dose of dicor before I re-applied the trim.
Outside of the door. If you look real close, you can see the screw heads that I put through the sheathing. A drop of white paint will take care of that.
I have not finished the inside/top of the ramp yet. The plywood is still not dry enough in my opinion. I am going to wait at least another week or two.
One more note: Whoever constructed this door did not know what a square or a tape measure is or how to use them. Nothing is square and to make up for poor measurements (and the lack of square) filler strips were used. One filler strip, which ran the length of the trim at the top of the door, appears to have contributed to the original problem with the door leaking.
Now the door is constructed from treated lumber and all stainless hardware. No more rust streaks from the screws and even if we do get a leak again in the future, I wont have to completely rebuild this door.
Nearly lost a wheel off my 5er due to bearing failure. Would an IR prevented that near catastrophe? I cant be sure.
After that I got an IR thermometer. A year ago toward the end of one trip, I discovered a bearing on the rear left wheel of my toad that was at 750F. I rented a flatbed to get the toad home.
I will continue to check bearing temps and tire sidewall temps every time we stop.
The water pump wont turn off because the pressure is low (because there is no water to be pumped from your fresh water tank)
Why do you think it emptied out the low point drain valves? Did someone open them? If so, close them, refill your tank and go back to having fun.
Or could have someone left the tap open in the kitchen sink or bathroom and now all your freshwater has been pumped into your greywater tank? What do your indicators say as to the state of your grey and black tanks? Are they full?
Could you have a leak somewhere? Check under the sinks for water, and if you have a basement, check in there for water.
The bubbles that form look scary - but dont sweat them.
If you have any Fantastic fan vents or Maxair vents over your roof vents, take them off before you start.
Clean off excessive globs of caulking you may have around the vents, roof racks and the joints where the roofing meets the front, back and side of your rv. Not all the caulking - just excessive huge mounds.
Mask off at least an inch beyond the perimeter of the roof, i.e, roof - edge of roof (front/back/side) - 1 inch - put masking tape here. When you paint on the EPDM paint all the way onto the masking tape. Wait at least an hour after you paint on the epdm to start setting up, then slowly peel the masking tape off. Not only will you have a nice straight line but you will have sealed up the joints all the way around the roof of the RV! Dont wait for the EPDM to fully set before you remove the masking tape or you will make a mess then.
Paint the EPDM over the edge of every vent on the roof and over the screws holding the roof vents in place. You have sealed up the edges of the roof vents for a good long time and you wont have to caulk them for a long time.
I painted the EPDM over the grey and black water vents on the roof. The plastic vents were looking a little rough from years of exposure to the UV and this will protect them and give them a few more years of life.
The plan would be to install the SuperHitch and next year take IT off and put it on a new truck - if that's possible.
First thing I would do is see if that model SuperHitch would fit on the new truck. Easy to do Check the specs/models on the torklift.com web site.
Sorry, but I am also going to have to agree 15 watts is not worth the effort.
However for rubber roof mounting, I would recommend this, this and to pass your wires through the roof, this. (Amazon used to have all those parts in one kit, but I cant find it anymore on Amazon). Use Sikaflex 252 or 291 to glue them on.
I dont understand the question. What size TV? What do you need a TV with a truck camper? You need a TV with a fifth wheel or a travel trailer. But you dont need a TV with TC.
Would someone explain what you need a Tow Vehicle for with a truck camper?
Somebody forgot to mention that the umbrella size does not include the wheels. This is not political.
How can you have political wheels on a bicycle? If you have left and right wheels on a bicycle, it would seem to me that you are riding it wrong!