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Old 06-06-2017, 08:51 PM   #1
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Anyone ever removed the under belly panel?

Hey all,

Hoping someone can assist here.

I have a 2008 Rockwood Signature Ultra-Lite 8318SS. This spring we noticed that the front bedroom isn't getting any heat. I closed all the vents except that one and still got very little flow at all and what we did was a horrible stench. I believe something is blocking the duct between the furnace and the vent so I know I need to pull it down and clean it out.

How do you get down that bottom panel? I was able to find a few screws on the left side of the camper underneath that loosened the rail on the side so I could pull it down however, I can't find any screws like that on the right side.

The only thing I could figure is that I'd need to pull the steps off to remove the plastic under the steps and pull the side skirt down to have a better look at the attachment of the under belly to the frame. I kept looking at it thinking there has to be a better way.

Do I have to remove the steps? If I do how does it come off? I saw nuts under the steps but assume that there is a bolt head on the other side.. is that under the threshold? Does that come off? As you can tell I have a lot of questions. Any help you can give would be great.

Thanks.
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:01 PM   #2
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Not sure what type of material you are trying to remove? Is it black Coroplast (plastic, corrugated material)
I would cut access holes through the belly and clean out the rotting critter nest you have blocking the vent line.
You can patch holes with Gorilla tape or black Eternabond.
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:08 PM   #3
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Or use an inspection camera to see what you are dealing with first, they are cheap on Amazon​.
I suggest only cutting 3 sides to make a flap, should be easier to close up.
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchman12001 View Post
Not sure what type of material you are trying to remove? Is it black Coroplast (plastic, corrugated material)
I would cut access holes through the belly and clean out the rotting critter nest you have blocking the vent line.
You can patch holes with Gorilla tape or black Eternabond.
Yes, it's a plastic corrugated material. I was concerned about cutting through it but it's probably the easiest way to get at it.
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by llr View Post
Or use an inspection camera to see what you are dealing with first, they are cheap on Amazon​.
I suggest only cutting 3 sides to make a flap, should be easier to close up.
Funny you should mention that.. I have one and even recommend someone else on here use one. I used it on the vent but couldn't make out what was in there. Maybe I'll have better luck on the outside. I'll give that a shot first. Otherwise, I guess I'll need to cut into it. Not thrilled about that.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 007matman View Post
Yes, it's a plastic corrugated material. I was concerned about cutting through it but it's probably the easiest way to get at it.
Like llr said, make a 3 sided flap so you can close it back up. Be careful not to cut into wires, tanks, water lines ect...
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:23 AM   #7
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I haven't done it myself (yet) but if I did I would:
  • Drill or cut a small spot in an out-of-the way area (like a corner) to gauge the thickness of the coroplast, and use a utility knife set to that depth
  • Cut a three-sided access panel with the "hinge" to the front of the trailer - that way the airflow of the moving trailer would help keep it closed
  • Seal it with Gorilla tape afterwards (easier than Eternabond to remove if you want access again)
  • Inspect it periodically to make sure it stays closed
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:42 AM   #8
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My Flagstaff 832IKBS has the LP gas pipe suspended below the screws on the right side. I would need to move the pipe before I remove the coroplast.
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:48 PM   #9
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Belly Repair

I had to go into the belly of my 2015 Cherokee 304BH (don't ask) and used ZIP System tape to seal the cuts I made. You can find it in the building sheathing section of Lowe's. My neighbor borrowed it to make quick roof repairs too. Good stuff.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:48 PM   #10
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Tape the old and ...

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I haven't done it myself (yet) but if I did I would:
  • Drill or cut a small spot in an out-of-the way area (like a corner) to gauge the thickness of the coroplast, and use a utility knife set to that depth
  • Cut a three-sided access panel with the "hinge" to the front of the trailer - that way the airflow of the moving trailer would help keep it closed
  • Seal it with Gorilla tape afterwards (easier than Eternabond to remove if you want access again)
  • Inspect it periodically to make sure it stays closed
Right on and I spray black car undercoting on the edge`s of the patch.
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Old 06-07-2017, 05:18 PM   #11
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I dropped the underbelly of our 27RLWS trailer, and had to unclamp the propane line to reach the screws on the right side. When I did that, I also tied up all the ducting and wiring that was hanging down, and then re insulated under the floor . It was some work, but not bad, and it sure made a difference in keeping the heat in the trailer. I also re insulated the tanks, and built some new bracing to shore them up.
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beechjet16mf View Post
I dropped the underbelly of our 27RLWS trailer, and had to unclamp the propane line to reach the screws on the right side. When I did that, I also tied up all the ducting and wiring that was hanging down, and then re insulated under the floor . It was some work, but not bad, and it sure made a difference in keeping the heat in the trailer. I also re insulated the tanks, and built some new bracing to shore them up.
My left side had screws in it.. probably 5 or 6 big self-tapping screws holding a wood strip and a metal channel support on to which the plastic was secured using Staples. On that side I just had to remove those screws. I can't find any like that on the right side of the camper. I can see where I can take down the gas line and know that I'll have to do that bilut for the life of me I couldn't see how the other side was secured to the frame.

Was yours different on that side? Did you have large self-tapping screws going into the frame?
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:24 PM   #13
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I had screws on both sides. It took some time to move the propane line, and the screws were under that. I had the same staples, wood, and screws through the frame as you did. Our under belly is in three pieces, so, one can remove the pieces one needs to. You will be surprised at how it looks, when you drop the corrugated plastic. I also added some wood strips to support some of the underbelly I used tywraps to tie everything up, and then re-insulated the floor with R19 insulation.
It took two of us to replace the underbelly, just because it was unwieldy. We had the T.T. on some grass, so, that helped. It was worth the work to do it, though. We can see a difference in the winter, with the temperature inside. We use the T.T. for going South in the winter.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:34 PM   #14
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The extension rod for the black tank was a soft aluminum material. Seven years ago I cut a one inch slot to install a stainless sleeve over the rod. Used three inch extra strong gorilla tape over the slot and still holds today. I've traveled over 30k miles in this rig.

Just get'r done...
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:30 AM   #15
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Hi,

Folks casually mention cutting access holes in the pan. I wonder how to know where to cut without at least once removing the pan to.located the actual mechanism I need to work on.

Just asking...

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Old 06-08-2017, 11:44 AM   #16
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I know if it's water tanks they're not too hard to find - usually below the gravity fill (fresh) or near the drains (black and grey).

We have a covered underbelly and I can see the bulges of the tanks above it.
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richp View Post
Hi,

Folks casually mention cutting access holes in the pan. I wonder how to know where to cut without at least once removing the pan to.located the actual mechanism I need to work on.

Just asking...

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Old 06-08-2017, 12:48 PM   #18
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Hi,

I know it makes sense that for some rigs, an access port could be cut in the area where the external pipe emerges. But I want to access the valve areas, and I have three tanks with valves, and only one outlet pipe emerging from the bottom panel.

So to repair, lubricate or replace one of those three valves, the first such operation seemingly will require dropping one or more sections of material.

Short of dropping a couple of the panels, I don't see how I can pinpoint the location of each of the three valves themselves. And I despair of anything resembling a schematic being available...

Rich Phillips
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:50 PM   #19
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Maybe you could get it down far enough to see or stick your phone/video camera in there and see what's close and what to do. Maybe you could split and make a smaller panel to remove?
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:56 PM   #20
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I'm going to use my inspection camera tonight and see if I can make anything out as far as removing the panel. I'm not wild about cutting into it as it will sit outside all the time and we've already seen evidence of rodents in there.

I know I can tape it up (as most have suggested) and it would probably be fine. However, it could be another point of future failure and I'd rather not introduce another possibility if I don't have to. I'll cut into it as a last resort.

I'll update as soon as I look at it and make a decision.. I need to get it out of my driveway before the HOA police send me a notice :-) so that might determine my direction as well.

Thanks guys.
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