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Old 06-21-2010, 08:15 PM   #1
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Holes under the camper - An axle puzzle...

Mainly, I am looking for suggestions on sealing up some holes in the liner under the camper, along the frame. I discovered the problem after noticing something hanging down from under the camper. I crawled under and found some tape like stuff falling off. It was covering some holes in the fabric along the frame. Upon further inspection I found a few more and a few more pieces of tape still secured with a sealant of some kind. Then I noticed some welding in a few odd places. See pics. What do I seal the holes with? I'm thinking sheetmetal, screws and silicone. And what about these welds? Were the axles an afterthought? Seems like maybe the old axles were cut off and upgraded at the factory.

















Speaking of welds...are the rear bumpers usually bolted AND welded?



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Old 06-22-2010, 09:16 AM   #2
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This post was helpful in tracking down the repair tape I needed.

Slide Floor Water Damage

I ordered the Flex-Mend repair tape here:

Underbelly Repair Materials | Mobile Home Repair

Anyone know about the welds in the bumper? Are they usually bolted AND welded? (last 2 pics)
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:42 AM   #3
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Hi Scott; not to worry--I don't think anything drastic has been done to your camper. You have the optional torsion axles--I don't, but have seen pictures, and I believe that is the way the factory installed them. That provides the same clearance the curved leaf springs and hangers would give on the standard set up.

The Darco membrane under the trailer can tear for various reasons. Mine tore along the edge where too many staples had been shot in by the factory. I made a temporary repair with the flimsy looking red tuck tape used to seal vapor barriers. It's held so well--more than 4 years--that I never got around to buying the real repair tape.

I don't believe the welds in the bumper are factory--at least they aren't on my 2499. However, I think they are harmless and may have been a misguided attempt to carry more weight on the bumper than the factory approved 100 lb. You see lots of people carrying bikes on receivers welded to bumpers and so on, but the bumper can easily twist from the weight levered out over the end. Sunline specifically allowed only a spare tire to be carried on the bumper. If your bumper is straight, no harm has been done.

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Old 06-22-2010, 11:43 AM   #4
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The Flex Mend is the tape to use for the camper underbelly on the newer campers that have a plastic barrier cloth. Clean the surface to apply it to well first, then peel and stick on, using a hair drying "gently" warm and rub. The repair is then permanent.

I have done it and it works well. The link above to Mobile home repair is where I bought mine.

It looks like this



Goes on like this


Like Henry said on the bumper, Some one welded it on as an attempt to fix a boo boo or trying to add more weight.

The axle mounting is how they mount the torsion style axles. Yours also looks bent and it may have been done a long time ago. The plate on the end of the axle tube where it bolts to the fraem mounts is normally straight. Some where along the way it took a hit.



Good luck and hope this helps

John
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Yours also looks bent and it may have been done a long time ago. The plate on the end of the axle tube where it bolts to the fraem mounts is normally straight. Some where along the way it took a hit.


Good luck and hope this helps

John
It does help - thanks! I thought they were bent at first, too. But all 4 are like that. If they took a hit, it was perfectly symmetrical on all 4. Not sure why they do that, but whatever....
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottK View Post
It does help - thanks! I thought they were bent at first, too. But all 4 are like that. If they took a hit, it was perfectly symmetrical on all 4. Not sure why they do that, but whatever....
H'mm. boy that is odd. I agree someone did that intentional if all 4 are like that. Now why??? Good question.

See here what Dexter sells as new. No strange bend.

http://dexteraxle.com/i/u/1080235/f/...0-3500_lbs.pdf

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Old 06-22-2010, 09:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
H'mm. boy that is odd. I agree someone did that intentional if all 4 are like that. Now why??? Good question.
Didn't want to cut themselves on it if they crawled under the coach?

I have a grandfather who would do something like that...
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:09 AM   #8
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I had the torsion axles under my custom T-2499, and I did NOT know that when ordering torsion axles you should specify what "degree" the trailing arm is set as this degree basically determines how high/low your trailer will ride. You trailer appears to have the low ride like my 2499 DID.

How do you change it ? Well, the only way is to add in a spacer since you can't change the degree unless you purchase new axles.

Here is a photo of mine after the spacer was installed:


The upper square tube & angle iron are the original from Sunluine. The axle was attached directly to the angle iron. The 2499 sat TOO low and dragged too often, so I had the additional square inserted between the original angle iron and mounting bracket on the axle. It was the only way to raise Sunny without ordering 2 new axles with the degree of the trailing arm changed. FYI: the "LIFT" was a wonderful inmprovement.

Kitty

OOPS, link to more photos:
http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/...44476533aYYXgT

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Old 06-23-2010, 11:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanyonkitty View Post
The 2499 sat TOO low and dragged too often, so I had the additional square inserted between the original angle iron and mounting bracket on the axle. It was the only way to raise Sunny without ordering 2 new axles with the degree of the trailing arm changed. FYI: the "LIFT" was a wonderful inmprovement.

Kitty


I had read your post on the project and I'm hoping I don't find a need to do this. We haven't towed her much yet, but I haven't had it drag yet, so i'm hoping the shorter length will keep me from having to do it.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:01 AM   #10
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Scott,

The rubber ryde axles do make the rig tow better as far as bouncing stuff around inside, I didn't really notice much if any difference in towing, BUT I was towing my 2499 with an '05 F-350 crew cab diesel. My main dragging problem was right here at my house, so I believe you will be ok. When I had my 1950's, towed with a different vehicle they never drug but I also parked the rig in a different place.

Kitty
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:23 PM   #11
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I got the tape today and patched up the holes. These guys Underbelly Repair Materials | Mobile Home Repair shipped the tape same day and I had it in 2 days. Nice folks to work with. I'm not too confident that the tape will hold very long. It stuck down fine, and I tried to clean the area around the holes as best I could, but it was still dirty. Hopefully it will hold through the summer and I can do a better repair in the fall, if needed. It's the same stuff that the factory (or someone) had used to do the first repair, but it was falling off in most places.

After being under there a while, it is clear that there were standard leaf spring axles welded to the frame at some point. You can see where the brackets were cut off with a torch and the torsion axles welded on (both which created all the holes). I am certain it was done at the factory because you can still read "Sunline Coach" written on one of the axles.

Anyway it should be good to go for a while - I hope!
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
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H'mm. boy that is odd. I agree someone did that intentional if all 4 are like that. Now why??? Good question.

See here what Dexter sells as new. No strange bend.

http://dexteraxle.com/i/u/1080235/f/...0-3500_lbs.pdf

Learn something new here every day on SOC.

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Well it makes a bit more sense why Dexter doesn't show an axle that looks like this...that's because because they are AL-KO! Just crawled under there again to look for some numbers so I can pick up new seals. I assumed they were Dexter since I have dexter paperwork in my binder. No AL KO paperwork in the binder though. And AL-KO's website is not a huge help - it's pretty basic. I guess I'll have to tear into one and look for numbers on the seal itself.

The number on the arm of the axle is 363628 as seen below, but I can't find that number in any of the AL-KO Literature online. Although, I'm not sure it would help much, since I'm sure that is an axle number and won't help me figure out what hub/spindle/seals/bearings I have.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg photo3.jpg (46.5 KB, 2 views)
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:13 PM   #13
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Hi Scott

Been away for a few days on vacation.

Here is the Alko page for your bearings/seals

http://www.al-kousa.com/pdf/2000_35B.pdf

However the Dexter seals/bearings will fit as well on a 3,500# axle. They both use the same bearings/seals as neither of them make there own.

Heads up on the seals. Look for a double lip seal with a internal garter spring. The standard seal is a single lip seal, no spring.

Now I did mentioned bearings and seals. The actual brakes are different. You can convert an entire brake plate but not the individual shoes,lever arm etc. Those are differences in those parts and you can't mix unless you do a total conversion.

If you get stuck finding part numbers, let us know. Will help look up but your local NAPA or other auto parts stores sells the bearings and double seals.

John
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:57 PM   #14
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Thanks John! I saw that document, but I wasn't sure if that was my hub or not. I'm headed to NAPA in the morning. Tomorrow is "wheel bearing repack" day. I just can't bring myself to pay $300 to pay someone else to do it.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:05 PM   #15
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I went through my wheel bearings today, with the help of your tutorial. One bearing was bad, and most of them were suspect. So I just replaced them all. Glad I decided to do it considering I have 4000 mile trip in front of me. I picked up a infrared thermometer so I can keep a close eye on it.
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