Beginning Repairs on Camper

IMG_6537Hello all! My daughter was feeling sort of ill this weekend, so I decided to start work on the camper.  As with most good DIY tales, things aren’t always as simple as they appear…

It was a sunny day, but with a bitter wind chill that made the camper feel warm without the heater on at all. The first order of IMG_6524business was to retrieve the jack feet and stabilize the camper.When I put the camper right-side-up, I had set it on huge wooden blocks and put the jacks down in a supportive role without carrying much weight. Since then the soft ground had decided to just swallow them.

I used an old scissor jack to raise and more strategically locate the blocks while adding a stand to the mix as well. I decided to remove on of the more critical front jack brackets and assess the damage. This turned into quite an undertaking, as it’s very difficult to use sockets on a bracket with a jack in the way…

Many minutes later, with the help of a 16” monkey wrench,IMG_6538 I was able to reverse the bent bracket enough to get a socket and wrench on the critical parts. As it turns out 6 of the 12 lag bolts (that IMG_6539connect the bracket to the frame) had simply broken, leaving most of the bolt still in the frame. Yay.

I now have to give a testimonial to the wonder that is silicone. The bracket did NOT want to come off, even after removing the bolts. After much cutting and prying, I was finally able to remove the bracket, though I didn’t feel the corner trim was salvageable. I’ll probably seal those holes and make new ones for the new brackets.IMG_6541

I figured that before I go to the hardware store for a tube of silicon, I’d checkout the water tank to see what I needed to fix that. The water was the main issue that the previous owner had. He said he put water in one day, and it just ran back out…

IMG_6543

As you can see, the problem and solution were both quite simple. Use, pressure, and/or vibration must have eventually caused the hose to pop off. I’ll be adding a hose clamp before I water test it.

My next step will be to strip any remaining silicone, seal the holes and remount my new trim & bracket. I’m much more confident in the new ones that are 3-5 lbs. of steel plate bolted together. The current brackets are made of thinner, folded stuff that I can bend with a good wrench, not very comforting. I figure if I replace one whole bracket this weekend, it’ll be good progress.

Until next time….

Josh

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