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…


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….


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