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Old 03-26-2022, 09:17 PM   #1
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Underbelly sealed using a nail gun

Neighbor just got his 2022 Keystone Cougar 5th wheel a couple weeks ago and called me over to look at it the other day. He showed me the enclosed underbelly and asked me to look to see how the material was attached to the frame. OMG !!! you can't remove the underbelly without destroying it. They attached it to the frame with a POWER NAIL GUN. There are no self tapping screws any where . Removing the underbelly for any reason will completely destroy it. We noticed all the sheeting is secured to to frame with nails also....NO SCREWS and repairs are going to be horrible.
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Old 03-26-2022, 09:29 PM   #2
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Neighbor just got his 2022 Keystone Cougar 5th wheel a couple weeks ago and called me over to look at it the other day. He showed me the enclosed underbelly and asked me to look to see how the material was attached to the frame. OMG !!! you can't remove the underbelly without destroying it. They attached it to the frame with a POWER NAIL GUN. There are no self tapping screws any where . Removing the underbelly for any reason will completely destroy it. We noticed all the sheeting is secured to to frame with nails also....NO SCREWS and repairs are going to be horrible.
A good 1/4 inch socket with adapter chucked in a good cordless drill will spin those "nails" right out. There's a slight spiral grooving in the nail shank that will help it out of the metal. Just use "reverse" as if you were taking out a screw.

Be sure to peel the plastic material away that was the "fins" that held the nail in the nail gun before trying to remove.

Save the fender washers and replace nails with a self drill/tap screw.

Not as big a job as it looks once you get the hang of spinning the nails out. A small flat pry bar under the fender washer as the nail is spun makes it a quick task.

I did this with my TT's underbelly within weeks of bringing it home so I could do some re-wiring.
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Old 03-26-2022, 09:38 PM   #3
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Mike ? there are no fender washers, only the rubber guide that holds the nail in the gun and NOPE the are not spiral. These are the same nails I used when finishing my basement and attached a 2x4 frame to the I-beam in my basement.....Round Heads and all.
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Old 03-26-2022, 10:43 PM   #4
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Mike ? there are no fender washers, only the rubber guide that holds the nail in the gun and NOPE the are not spiral. These are the same nails I used when finishing my basement and attached a 2x4 frame to the I-beam in my basement.....Round Heads and all.


Bash the nails sideways from 4 opposite directions with a cold chisel and hammer to loosen in metal and extract with a vise grip.
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Old 03-27-2022, 06:37 AM   #5
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You may have to grind the head off
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Old 03-27-2022, 06:53 AM   #6
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Like you said in post 1 no way to get the coroplast removed without damage.

Best I can think of can you start from a corner and pry it off pulling the nail though it? Then there will be enough space to pry the nail out, then reinstall using 1-1/2" fender washers and screws the fender washers will hide the holes from the nails.
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Old 03-27-2022, 09:16 AM   #7
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I had to access my underbelly on my last trl. I used a box cutter to cut around the nail head just enough to clear the plastic. I used self tapping screws to reinstall. This was under the water closet on drivers side front. About 3 years later the plastic under the entry door started to fall I was worried I it would rip off in the wind if I finished my trip home. I was lucky I still had the self tapping screws in tool box and it was a miracle that we were coming back from helping a friendís that were building a barndominium and I had taken my 1/4 impact and I was able to put enough in to get home. Where I bought more and put one every 18Ē. I will say we we stopped at a parking area in East Texas and it was late afternoon that was the nastiest place possible to be crawling around on the pavement. Ever since that day even if not making repairs I avoid those for lunch stops or bathroom break in TRL if at all possible.
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Old 03-27-2022, 09:22 AM   #8
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Just another thought if you get a piece of steel 1/4" pipe and file the end to make a sharp edge you can use it like a leather punch around each nail to free the plastic bottom with minimal damage.
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Old 03-29-2022, 07:51 AM   #9
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Mine is attached the same way. Nails shot through steel, no spinning them out. Grinding or cutting only.
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Old 03-29-2022, 09:26 AM   #10
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Graon.

If you could only be at the trailer place when they are building yours.

A tube of glue, a handful of nuts/bolts, locktite and self tapping screws. RV's have to be the things most poorly put together on the planet.
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Old 03-29-2022, 09:30 AM   #11
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Hammer and pry bar works.
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Old 03-29-2022, 09:36 AM   #12
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Makes it tough to work under there for sure. All to save a nickel.
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Old 03-29-2022, 09:57 AM   #13
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Makes it tough to work under there for sure. All to save a nickel.
Nobody in the factory cares as they won't be the ones working on it later.

It's no different than the age old issues with automobiles. They build it and it's up to the service people to figure out how to access whatever they need to access.
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Old 03-29-2022, 10:26 AM   #14
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"It's no different than the age old issues with automobiles. They build it and it's up to the service people to figure out how to access whatever they need to access."

Reminds me of a car, can't remember the model, where you had to remove the engine to get at the two back spark plugs.
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Old 03-29-2022, 01:48 PM   #15
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Powder Fasteners Can Be Removed!

The rivets holding my underbelly covers on from the factory looked a little like this: https://www.hilti.com/medias/sys_mas...9480286238.jpg

Except they had an oblong hex-head on the top and a washer. I found three ways to remove them from easiest to most challenging.

I located the oblong hex bit at Home Depot and most would spin out with a drill driver; or, a drill driver in one hand and small pry bar in the other. I was also able to pry some out without a drill driver. But a handful would not come out with any of the other methods so I took a RotoZip to them and cut the head off.

It's a "powder actuated rivet", or "fastener", and they can be a booger . . . but not a bigger booger than me! Good luck with your project.
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Old 03-29-2022, 01:53 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RussPastuch View Post
"It's no different than the age old issues with automobiles. They build it and it's up to the service people to figure out how to access whatever they need to access."

Reminds me of a car, can't remember the model, where you had to remove the engine to get at the two back spark plugs.
1976 Chevy Monza with the V6
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Old 03-29-2022, 02:29 PM   #17
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Nah!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RussPastuch View Post
"It's no different than the age old issues with automobiles. They build it and it's up to the service people to figure out how to access whatever they need to access."

Reminds me of a car, can't remember the model, where you had to remove the engine to get at the two back spark plugs.
I thought everyone knew that:
  • Bad mechanics just didn't change those two.
  • Good mechanics cut holes in the wheel well and maybe pop-riveted a patch in place.
There was a GM vehicle where you had to remove the front bumper to replace a burned-out headlamp.
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Old 03-29-2022, 02:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by RussPastuch View Post
"It's no different than the age old issues with automobiles. They build it and it's up to the service people to figure out how to access whatever they need to access."

Reminds me of a car, can't remember the model, where you had to remove the engine to get at the two back spark plugs.
1968 ish Mustang GT500 only you had to either tilt engine or remove it to change ALL spark plugs.
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Old 03-29-2022, 02:41 PM   #19
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1968 ish Mustang GT500 only you had to either tilt engine or remove it to change ALL spark plugs.
Ford had a better idea to have the shock towers in the engine bay. (NOT!) My '68 Torino with the 390 same issue.
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Old 03-29-2022, 04:21 PM   #20
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More Design Insanity

My '86 Olds Calais had three fasteners on the alternator. A Torx, an SAE and a metric bolt all on the same mounting bracket. Add to that you had to be a circus freak to get your hand on the oil filter. Last damn GM I've ever owned!
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