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Old 05-06-2012, 07:14 AM   #1
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Wall pulling away from frame

Had to clean everything out of the Sunspot this morning after a minor winter mouse infestation. We'll need to make some more curtains...

Anyways, I don't know if we traveled like this last year, but I don't think so. When I rebuild the trailer last spring, I didn't have any separation except in the rear left (same side) where the vertical support was completely rotten. I rebuilt everything (and I mean everything!), and we used the trailer quite a bit last year.

So, two questions: How and/or why would this happen? And how do I fix it?

I could probably try and clamp it somehow and use stainless steel wood screws to pull it into the chassis wood. The chassis wood is all solid, so that would work, but it would leave outside screws showing along the bottom.

I need to get this fixed this month, but again, wonder why it happened in the first place so I can guard against things like this in the future. Speaking of the future, we hope to find an older 14' or 15' Sunline later this year. We have a puppy now (a miniature schnoodle), and want a floor to set his crate/bedroom on. Plus we'd like a toilet inside the camper.

We have weekend reservations at Letchworth State Park at the beginning of June, so need to get ready to hit the Grand Canyon of New York State! Then in mid-July we'll be at Keuka Lake State Park for a bit over a week.

Any help with our little problem here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Frank
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:33 AM   #2
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ouchie!!!
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:00 PM   #3
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As Jim said, OUCH!. After all the work you did that looks severe.

One thing that looks strange, I thought the sill plate for the walls on Sunlines sat on top of the OSB floor.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:24 PM   #4
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I got some pipe clamps today and can fix it, but need three people, so it's gotta get scheduled. It was NOT like this when I stored in under shelter for the winter. It means there are more problems here than I originally diagnosed. What puzzles me is why or how it would happen just sitting for 6 months?

I'm not sure what you're talking about with sill plates, but this is not the original floor in this Sunspot. Lots of things have been changed in this trailer. It would be great to know more of it's history. One of the things I have to deal with is steel screws that are rusted. There's plenty that could be replaced or upgraded on this trailer.

Frank
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:28 AM   #5
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Looks like it's between the door and wheel well. Not sure why it happened. Take a look at pole barn screws if you're going to screw it together through the siding. They have a gasketed washer that will seal the head. I used them on a number of things when rebuilding my Sunline and they don't leak.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:34 AM   #6
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After taking a closer look, it looks like the staples "pulled through" the wall. I don't see that happening unless the bottom of the wall is rotten, I mean you aren't going to pull a staple clean through good wood. It kind of looks wet in that area, not sure. I know that wall was a real bad spot on mine when I tore it apart.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:20 AM   #7
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It looks like the floor is rotten as well as any wall damage. Rusted screws mean moisture so wherever you see rusted metal look deeper for rotten wood. Just moving the screws over two inches might not be enuff.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
... I'm not sure what you're talking about with sill plates, ...
In a house the sill plate is the 2x4 laid sideways on the foundation and the floor joists and walls set on top of it. I thought with most trailers the floor (OSB or plywood) was laid on the metal frame first and then the walls were built on top of that. The wall would have a 2x2 laying flat on the floor (similar to a house sill plate) and then the wall studs sit on top of that so everything sits on the floor not next to it as it looks in those pictures.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:35 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the help folks, but trust me, nothing is wet, either the wall that pulled away from the chassis wood, or the chassis wood. The only time this trailer has seen rain was when we were hauling it. It is continually covered both at home and when camping. The woman we bought it from also kept it in a garage. So whatever happened here over winter is a complete mystery to me. I don't have time for any major repairs this spring, but obviously need to tear this wall apart and see what's going on. In the meantime I will clamp it together and use stainless screws to hold it in place.

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Old 05-08-2012, 11:55 AM   #10
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OK, forget the rotten wood theory. What we do know is that you had repaired the rear corner. I'm sure you did a great job repairing what you saw but what if the new wood put some strain on the other corners of the unit? What might seem as a insignificant 1/4" when forced into position might not be so small when placed against the other corners. Perhaps over time this strain simply pulled things apart on the opposite side. The use you did on it last season and out of square box plus the strain of sitting in weather temperature/humidity changes might have pulled on the weakest points, the staples. Forcing the box back together with better fasteners might hold but it might also just find another weak point.

Maybe repairing the side will fix things, maybe it will just delay the inevitable rebuild. Whatever the cause of the separation is/was the repair must be done. Maybe this time things will hold forever. Crossing our fingers here.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:11 PM   #11
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I'm going to do the best I can with it Jim, but yes, 2011 was the 3rd wettest year in 185 years of records here, with 1870 and 1871 being the top two. Obviously, no one has seen this kind of precipitation in their lifetime. That was followed by one of the driest and least precipitation winters ever.

I want this to get fixed so it does not cause the future owner any problems, as we will be selling it later this year once we find a bit bigger trailer. We sure would like it to be a Sunline, but it's gonna be what it's gonna be. We came to the trailer bug late in life, but we have arrived...

Frank
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:04 PM   #12
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I have a T-1550 that I would like to sell. Where do you live in NY?
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:20 PM   #13
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Near Ravena, just south of Albany. What year 1550?

Frank
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:19 PM   #14
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'83. The refrigerator has been replaced with a dorm style electric only and the hot water heater does not work. Other then that it is in pretty good condition. I would like to get $1750 for it. I live near Rochester. I just bought a '90 T1550 because I need a gas regriderator to camp in most of the State Parks. I am about to post it on Craigslist.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:29 PM   #15
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That would certainly be of interest to us. If you could hold off putting it on Craigslist a bit, I'd appreciate it. That would give us a chance to run over and take a look some weekend soon, and give me a chance to list the Sunspot for sale.

Why don't you email me directly at frank dot alguire at gmail dot com and we'll take this off the forum? Thanks!

Frank
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:54 AM   #16
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Sunspot repaired

Well, what I ended up doing with the Sunspot was install some permanent clamps. Cut 2" X 1/8" wall aluminum angle to size, cut slots to fit chassis metal, drilled 1/4" holes, lined the inside of the angle with butyl tape, through bolted with 1/4" stainless machine screws (flat washers, lock washers and nuts) through good chassis wood, and presto zippo, I'd take this baby on the road tomorrow! Gonna finish up the rest of both sides so it looks close to factory, but worked great, gaps gone, everything fits again.

Frank
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