Well Today I decided to open the belly of the camper. I wanted to run some wiring, insulate allot better and inspect for wear and tear.
I sure was surprised to see that there was missing insulation, water lines just hanging with no support and worst off, the frame supporting the water tank broken.
The welding in the tank compartment is literally crap.
Here are pictures of the busted framing on the water tank
I wanted to weld them back together, but I decided against. Instead I decided to use mechanical fasteners.
Once I had the water tank secured I inspected all the welds.
I think the welder at Lance is smoking funny weed on the job. The welds holding the black tank and grey water tank are all tack welds. So I used mechanical fasteners on them too.
Below is an example of the factory cross support holding up the grey tank.I have since fixed it.
Another thing I noticed is that the heat duct for the dump compartment was completely crush between the bottom board of the camper and the black waste tank, so no heat was reaching the dump compartment
Well anyway I believe I have everything fixed and supported properly
Next I ran some wiring, there are two empty fuse locations in the panel so I ran wiring from them, and one is a 10awg that runs to the dump compartment. This will run heat pads on my dump valves. The next wire I ran to an access panel one the side. It is there for future use. As I was running wire I also supported and tied up the water lines
The next 2 pictures show pink insulation, there was 0 insulation in these spots, above the insulation in the first photo is the drain for the shower and water lines. On our last winter trip I had the shower water supply line freeze up…now I know why.
Next was insulating under the water tank.
If you look closely at the picture above, you can see aluminum channels under the tank. These were left un insulated from the lance factory. I took a whole five minutes and 8 dollars’ worth of 1 inch r5 foam insulation and filled them in.
While I was insulating I notice a bolt stickin down. It’s part of the clamp for the grey water tank.
Well this bolt sticks right through the base of the camper and has rubbed a small dent in my box liner.
So I cut a about an inch off.
Continued on insulating till the complete basement was sealed.
Then I covered the pink foam with bubble insulation over the entire basement.
Next I mounted a ¾ inch piece of pressure treated plywood to the bottom. The extra ¾ of an inch will lift the camper high enough to clear the new trucks bed rails safely .
Well that is it for that stage.
The next part to insulate is going to be the door side wing. There is a steel plate and right behind it un-insulated is the sink drain and part of the grey tank all I can fit in this spot is bubble insulation.
Also I’m modifying the dump compartment, moving the hose connection from under the camper to the front wing, no more reaching underneath to hook up the hose. I took off the bubble insulation and cover that area with spray foam. It is now a sealed and heated compartment.
I am fabricating an aluminum plate to hold the water line drains, the drains will also be tied together into one hose and that will drain out and under the camper, no more water in the dump compartment.
Well I think that’s it for now, kind of looking forward to a nice cold day in the mountains, play in the snow all day and then sit back in a nice cozy camper enjoying the surroundings and not worrying about what’s frozen now!
Wow, great pics. I'm sure it will be a lot warmer now. To bad about the poor quality control. I have removed inside vent trim, and lights etc. To inspect the lack of insulation on my tt's. It really is funny how poorly done it is.
Wow,I am in shock,and Lance is supposed to be a high end tc?I have always wished my 05 915 lance lite had an aluminum frame but now I think I might be better off having staples holding my sticks,lol.You did some nice work,plan on doing the same to ours soon.
Looks like it was just as well you checked under there. Looking at the pictures of the aluminum, before you mentioned how you fixed it I was thinking that would be a pain to weld - the aluminum is very thin and you have a plastic water tank touching it - I thought a bracket screwed or riveted to the aluminum would probably be the easiest fix - then scrolled down and that was exactly what you did.
I wonder if the welder just tacked it, then went home for the evening, and forgot to finish it off the next day. Pretty poor really.
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That's as if the tacked it together...and never did the finish welding.
It's too bad you don't tig weld. It's generally much better to weld than to use mechanical fasteners. I'd you were going to use mechanical fasteners...aluminum or iconel rivets may have been a better choice.
The problem that you may run into...is dissimilar metal galvanic corrosion... The aluminum around your fasteners and where the steel plate lies may eventually turn into aluminum oxide dust.
I sure hope the guys at Keystone that weld the Outback frames know how to TIG weld.
nice work on your repair..i watched a youtube video for a lance factory tour and sad to say that is all the better they get welded is why i would never buy alum framed lance.. i think artic fox is same way they had a video on you tube too.. is gone now
Hi Dave 1131. Looks like you are at a job that I will be doing once it warms up a bit more. Looks good. Other than the welds and lack of insulation the basement does not look as bad as some I have seen.
I think the welder at Lance is smoking funny weed on the job
That usually results in better welds.
Good pictures, I will now know what to expect with mine.
I have done something today that you will know all about. I install a basin tap so that I can wash all of my hands instead of just my fingers. Added a couple of valves also.Will add a soap dispenser in the other hole. Thanks for the post.
From the state of those welds and the weld contamination I would say the manufacturer of that camper couldn't TIG weld either!
However, it looks pretty thin aluminum, so if repairing it you'd have to be pretty careful with the amperage settings on the TIG welder - I would probably end up blowing a hole in it; but worse you have that plastic water tank touching the aluminum - would be too easy to accidentally melt through it. So I probably wouldn't weld it either, but I might repair it with aluminum plate and rivets (to avoid the risk of electrolytic corrosion).