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Old 10-25-2013, 08:43 AM   #1
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wildwood 32BHDSLE body to chassis mounting help.

hello, I am in the process of towing my families new home across Australia and I've come across a problem. before I pulled up earlier I thought it looked like the van was a little bouncy compared to the rear of my tow vehicle.
I've had a good look at my tow hitch etc. and everything is ok there. I stuck my head underneath the van for a look and the mounting ribs that come from the main I beams and bolt to the body of the van have lost their nuts on the 1st 2 rows either side and the rest where loose.
I am prity gutted at the moment as we have had a few dramas already with collecting this van and getting it home.

does anyone know a easy way to get to the bolts that hold the body to these mounting ribs? or do I have to start pulling panels off our new possession? I've located one behind the panel under the fridge, looks like a normal coach bolt through the wood panel down to the ribs. I went and tightened the bolts that still had nuts, well the ones that wouldn't turn with the nut that is! the bolt head behind the fridge looks now to be pulling down into the wood. just another weak spot to fix.
these ribs are prity piss weak looking too IMO. one that still has the bolt and nut in it has cracked. i'll have to beef them up for sure.

thanks for any help, i'm going to carefully peel the panelling away in the front storage area and see if I can find the front 2 bolts.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:17 AM   #2
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Pictures would help. This is an odd situation.
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Me, Julie, Lil' Barry, Faith, and OSDs, Fang and Treaty
2003 Hyundai Starex (H1), 2012 Coachmen Clipper 126
I don't know when we'll be able to go camping again...
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:13 AM   #3
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indeed bigbaron. I got home anyway, pulled a very long tiring day to get here about 10.30pm last night.
I managed to wreck the front section of frame work in the front storage bin to find the mounting bolts. threw a ratchet strap over the van and tried to carefully tighten it down to hold it from bouncing and drove back 10k's with a discusting wind to the town fuel stop back behind me. luckily the handyman there for the fuel stop hotel (all this place has is a servo and hotel) he found a couple old bolts from an engine that were the same length. so I put them in place with some washers to hold the floor back onto the chassis.
problem later found is because I cut through most of the frame work it started movement there.
I know what I need to do to repair and strengthen this problem. a trip to the hardware and metal store will see me brace and strengthen this spot right up. some bigger high tensile bolts will be used as well.

if I had known this was all that held the body to chassis I might of seen the problem before it happened and tightened the bolts. spose I presumed the thing was all bolted together fine.

here is a couple pics I took with my phone.

this is the 1st front left corner, it's obviously bounced out of the hole and hit the bracket bending it, also rubbing on the bolt in the hole rendering it useless.

the 2nd bolt on this side is ok, just needs a new washer and nut on it.

this is the 1st front right corner. same deal as the other side.


2nd row bolt right side.


and I had to do this both side with the tools I had to get to the bolts.


luckily the left 2nd bolt just needs a washer and nut. but because the 2nd right is munted I will have to cut a hole in the wall in the bedroom and chop a section of frame out to get to it and replace it. don't think the missus will be too happy with that. she paid for this van.

surprised to see it must have a all wooden frame. I thought aluminium might have been used for this year of van. (2008).
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:36 AM   #4
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I was confused because you keep using the word "van" for trailer. Did you mean caravan?
Us Yanks can be a little slow... LOL
That is definitely an all-wood frame construction trailer.
You're going to have to drill through the frame and install lag bolts from the underside, or remove the interior finishes to do it from the top. Edit-the frame is soft pine, so a greater quantity of smaller hi-quality wood screws might be better than bigger lag bolts, and it would be easier to drill small holes in the frame!
I have read many times that more miles are spent on less than perfect roads down under, so it's very hard on trailers. This may be the cause of the frame-body troubles.
What are the road conditions you mainly drive on? The previous owner?
I am concerned about the sill to stud connections. If it's already coming apart between the sill and the frame, the vertical studs must be coming apart from the sill. This would make me want to remove interior finishes and install metal brackets between the studs and the sill.
You could cut a horizontal line a uniform distance from the floor and remove just the bottom of the interior finishes well below the countertop level, do the repairs and reinstall the bottom finishes.
Just a thought as to how I'd do it.
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2003 Hyundai Starex (H1), 2012 Coachmen Clipper 126
I don't know when we'll be able to go camping again...
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