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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Frustrating !!!

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JRscooby

Indepmo

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Posted: 09/11/21 01:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

rexlion wrote:

Yep, once it is out of your hands, it's best to forget about it and let the new owners do what they will. Because they will do whatever they have a mind to do and nothing you say or do will change them.

I frequently contemplate buying a steel cargo trailer with no roof vent and no rear door, and building it out as a TT. I could have a vent on the rear wall and a mini split A/C. Order the trailer with some steel attachment points welded to the roof, and mount solar panels up there without having to puncture the roof.


In spite of popular belief, cargo trailers DO eventually leak.

Do some searches and you will find lots of complaints about cargo trailers leaking at the joints/seams or rivets.

Every rivet hole from the outside is a potential leak and every panel joint/seam is a potential leak.

By the way cargo trailers are clad in Aluminum or FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Panels, not steel. It would take a semi truck to pull a cargo trailer clad in 100% steel.

And yes, you can paint aluminum with proper prep and primer which is what cargo trailer manufacturers do.


For every "cargo trailer" that leaks, there are thousands that last decades and millions of miles without leaking.
Some companies learned by at least the '60s how to make a seam, rivet it together, and it would keep water out for decades and millions of miles. My '67 Pete had a vent in the roof. Even when the seal was so bad I could hear the cover rattling over the noise of the buzzing dozen, water did not get in.
The only reason RV roofs leak is because people will buy a RV, expect the roof to work, when it fails buy another.

dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 09/11/21 02:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My last TT I owned for 13 years. went up twice a year to inspect/ caught a couple potential leaks early. the only real leak i had is when the skylight cracked from age. I cleaned and sealed the crack temporarily and used it until I was able to repplce it. same roof for 13 years. I was going to clean it and coat it but decided to buy the MH, which has a fiberglass roof, but still requires inspecting corners and protrusions.

You tried.


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 09/11/21 03:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:



For every "cargo trailer" that leaks, there are thousands that last decades and millions of miles without leaking.
Some companies learned by at least the '60s how to make a seam, rivet it together, and it would keep water out for decades and millions of miles. My '67 Pete had a vent in the roof. Even when the seal was so bad I could hear the cover rattling over the noise of the buzzing dozen, water did not get in.
The only reason RV roofs leak is because people will buy a RV, expect the roof to work, when it fails buy another.


Don't expect any cargo trailer made after the '60's to be made all that well.

In the late 1990s I was looking at buying a cargo trailer to turn into a "RV". After looking at a lot of water damaged leaking used cargo trailers I started looking at buying new.. But after a bit more research I was very disappointed to find a lot more complaints on newly minted cargo trailers than I expected.

Cargo trailers also are much higher priced and used cargo trailers are often insanely priced than a RV to start with, they also weight twice as much as a RV of comparable size.

I came to the conclusion that building a RV from scratch from the frame up was a better choice. I could control every part and assembly quality from the beginning to the end.

Found a custom trailer manufacturer that would build just the frame for my 25ft TT plans using one of their flatbed trailers without the oak decking planks for $3K. The advantage of having a builder make the frame was when they were done, it would have a title which would save me a lot of headaches. Comparable size aluminum sided cargo trailer started at $15K at that time.

Before I could tell the trailer builder to go ahead with the build, I found a well used 26ft 1980s TT for $700..

The used trailer gave me appliances with the exception of a dead RV fridge, windows, doors and a titled frame.

Gutted it inside and out, resided, reroofed and rebuilt the interior for $3.5K and 9 months worth of work.

If I were to do this again, I would gut the good stuff, cut the bolts holding the box on then remove box and start from floor up with new materials. Much faster than trying to repair in place bunches of rotted wood.

But, don't think for one minute that a cargo trailer will stay waterproof, I have seen way too many water logged cargo trailers in my travels.

I should also note that I have worked at a place that owned their own semi trailers, yeah, those trailers leaked also.. The company used the ones that failed state inspection for "storage", one of my jobs was to repair two completely full to the roof 50ft semi trailers of point of sale equipment.. Had to toss half of that equipment due to severe water damage..

MitchF150

Puyallup, WA

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Posted: 09/11/21 05:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Frustrating... Sure.. Knowing how you took care of your trailer for so long and in 2 years, it's now leaking... Well, either there was leak that you had no clue of or because they didn't inspect?? Who knows.

Don't fret it! Yes, you sold it to family, so you will be the one to hear about it for the rest of your life!!

Does not matter the neglect after it left your hands.. You are now the one that sold them a leaking trailer...

Now, if you just gave it to them for free... Too bad, so sad... I don't sell anything to family or friends... Give it to them or not at all..

Don't ask how I know! [emoticon]

Mitch


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bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 09/11/21 06:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All you can do is try. They just learned a lesson. When uncle speaks listen.

kellem

Shenandoah valley,VA

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Posted: 09/11/21 08:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MitchF150 wrote:

Frustrating... Sure.. Knowing how you took care of your trailer for so long and in 2 years, it's now leaking... Well, either there was leak that you had no clue of or because they didn't inspect?? Who knows.

Don't fret it! Yes, you sold it to family, so you will be the one to hear about it for the rest of your life!!

Does not matter the neglect after it left your hands.. You are now the one that sold them a leaking trailer...

Now, if you just gave it to them for free... Too bad, so sad... I don't sell anything to family or friends... Give it to them or not at all..

Don't ask how I know! [emoticon]
Mitch


Mitch, sold them this trailer for 50% off actual value. Never had a single leak and trailer was mint.
Probably won't sell to family in future though.

JRscooby

Indepmo

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Posted: 09/12/21 07:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:



Don't expect any cargo trailer made after the '60's to be made all that well.


What percentage of vehicles on the road have leaking roofs? A very small percentage. And what percentage of the leaking roofs are trailers? Bet that would be high. And a high % of the powered vehicles that leak are MHs. And a very high percentage of trailers where somebody works to maintain the roof that do not leak are RVs. Now when you go shopping for a used cargo trailer, no matter what the size, there is a good chance it will leak. For most users, most trailers, a leak can cause damage to cargo much higher than the cost of a new trailer. If a trailer does not leak, the cost of ownership is so low, why sell? Most cargo trailers probably roll more miles in a year than the average RV will move in it's lifespan.
I mentioned my '67 Pete. I have no idea how many miles it had on it when I bought it in '75, but I put half million on it before I sold it. Roof of cab and sleeper made out of that alloy I cant say or spell, panels riveted together, just like all the others. My '76, was a outlier. Day-cab with a roof mounted AC. If the drain for that AC was stopped up, and you got 1 side of the truck about 8 inches higher than the other, it would throw water on the driver. As long as I stayed on roads, the water would run down the back of cab. My '87, Day-cab, had about 500 lb rock dropped on roof. About a hour with a port-a-power, to get my headroom back. 2 years later, I sold the truck, roof did not leak. My '95 had over 3 million miles on it, no roof leaks.
The point of all this is to point out the technology to make a lightweight, damage resistant, long lived, and waterproof roof is out there. And no buyers of anything but RVs will accept the need to work on the roof all the time.

deltabravo

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Posted: 09/12/21 08:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did you look at it to see if it was a leaky roof that caused the spongy floor?


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deltabravo

Spokane, WA

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Posted: 09/12/21 08:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

Don't expect any cargo trailer made after the '60's to be made all that well.


Both of my cargo trailers are built very well.

This is my 2009 7x12 Wells Cargo

Here's my 2012 8.5x20 Haulmark "race trailer"

kellem

Shenandoah valley,VA

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Posted: 09/13/21 11:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

deltabravo wrote:

Did you look at it to see if it was a leaky roof that caused the spongy floor?


No I didn't but knowing that the roof was neglected for 2 years and permanently parked in a wooded setting suggests a seam leak being the culprit.

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