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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Details About Internal Bracing of the Trailer

This post is just some extra information about how I prepared the trailer for the new internal braces.

I've talked from time to time about how badly the door is out of line. Here's a picture of how bad it was before I began working on this problem.

sagging fiberglass trailer door

The suggested fixes for this issue are extreme. I do not have the tools, or perhaps the skill for one that I've read about (cutting the door apart and building an internal metal frame to hold the curve rigid, and then fiberglassing the door back together). I've been considering an alternative--to cut the lower part of the door open, create a wood brace in the correct curve of the lower part and fiberglass it back together. Definitely not on my preferred list of ways to spend my time, but probably do-able.

Anyway... I've mentioned that with all the interior structure out of the trailer the sides tend to sag outwards. They are so flexible that the door would sometimes come unlatched when I was driving. Before my most recent outing in May, I temporarily bolted a bar across the entire middle of the trailer to keep it more rigid while driving. We removed it while actually camping. Then I put it back in. But obviously that isn't a permanently workable solution.

bar to hold fiberglass trailer rigid

This has been really good, and I wanted to get those sides straightened up even more before I designed and cut the new internal braces.

I've seen a couple of videos/posts where people used ratcheting straps and planks to pull the sides in to be vertical. I didn't want to go buy straps, so I jammed some weight against the side opposite the door, and accomplished pretty much the same thing. I managed to take an additional inch off that bar, pulling the sides even straighter.

weight against the side of a flexible fiberglass trailer

Look at the difference this alone has made in the door!

sagging fiberglass trailer door

We still have to get the door off and rehung. I'm going to have to cut off the wood blocks it's screwed into, and cut the screws. We've tried everything else. Since this is a project that will require two people and several nice days in a row, I'm putting it off for now. However, look at the top of the door and notice how much it is sagging on the hinges. I'm thinking perhaps I might not have to reshape the door at all. I may be able to get it to pull in tight enough that some sort of weatherstrip threshold would seal it tight enough to keep the mice out.

sagging fiberglass trailer door

At any rate, I wanted to share about how I've made as sure as possible that the trailer is the right shape before I cut the internal braces.

See Index to Fiberglass Trailer Refurbish
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1 comment:

Ann said...

I never thought about how it would be out of shape. Seeing that door really shows how much of a difference it makes pushing in those sides