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Old 04-09-2020, 06:12 PM   #1
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Into the belly of the beast

I am about to start a project in the underside of my trailer. It has the one piece "coroplast" covering.
Of those of you that have gone into the "belly", any tips on handling the removal and re-installation of the cover. Specifically special tools, additional help(more than one person), etc.


TIA
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Old 04-09-2020, 06:26 PM   #2
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I head of just cutting in to and tape up when done. O the proper way would be to pop out the rivets and reinstall with self tapping screws with oversize washers. Stainless steel in case you ever need to remove again
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Old 04-09-2020, 09:16 PM   #3
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I used a 6-point 1/4" socket to "spin" the nails out of the frame. Put a screwdriver under the washer as the nail is turning and they come out fairly easy. Use a cordless drill, not a ratchet.

To replace I bought a box of TEK self drill/tap screws that had drill point same size as nail.

I just re-used the old washers
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeachTexas View Post
I am about to start a project in the underside of my trailer. It has the one piece "coroplast" covering.
Of those of you that have gone into the "belly", any tips on handling the removal and re-installation of the cover. Specifically special tools, additional help(more than one person), etc.


TIA
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Old 04-09-2020, 09:38 PM   #4
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What Titan Mike said. Nothing to it. Just screws on,. Lay on your back, remove with elec drill and socket end. Put back with self tapping. It's just a flat piece to cover things up, it's not an integral part of the trailer functionality or rigidity.

Edit: Be careful once it's down that you don't pull wires loose. You also might zip tie some together to tidy it up, cause I bet anything they look like a bowl of spaghetti.
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Old 04-10-2020, 03:23 PM   #5
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What Titan Mike said. Nothing to it. Just screws on,. Lay on your back, remove with elec drill and socket end. Put back with self tapping. It's just a flat piece to cover things up, it's not an integral part of the trailer functionality or rigidity.

Edit: Be careful once it's down that you don't pull wires loose. You also might zip tie some together to tidy it up, cause I bet anything they look like a bowl of spaghetti.
That's the hardest part. My TT sits on a compacted gravel pad so a creeper is impossible to use. Last time I dropped the cover to replace holding tank probes I just shoved a piece of plywood under and used my padded shop creeper. MUCH BETTER.

Also, give some thought to all the things you might want to do while the cover is down. Things like

Possible reinforcement to water tank support;

Adding a 12 volt heat trace wire to water line between tank and water pump and connect it to the power lead for tank heaters (if equipped);

Clean up wiring as suggested but pay close attention to the ground wire from the Converter to Frame. Even upgrade with the larges wire you can fit into the lug at the converter. Clean frame to bare metal and install a stainless steel bolt/washer to form a "stud" that you can now connect the ground wire to;

Maybe add some fiberglass batting under any exposed flooring;

Anything else you can think of you want to add in this area.

Only after all the things you can think of are done, then reinstall the cover.

Cuts down on the laying down/getting up which for me get's harder with every turn of the calendar page
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Old 04-10-2020, 04:11 PM   #6
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i want to do this to add some LED lighting...and find out why the chloroplast is sagging in a few spots.
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Old 04-10-2020, 04:28 PM   #7
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i want to do this to add some LED lighting...and find out why the chloroplast is sagging in a few spots.
Well, when I found out why the chloroplast was sagging in a few spots, while on my back removing it, that was a VERY UNPLEASANT EXPERIENCE!

Orvan fixed the black tank plumbing that was leaking finally.

Ugh.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:37 PM   #8
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Front half of my underbelly tore loose on a trip thru Georgia. I took it completely off completely by using a pair of side cutters to bend the washers down a bit and then a claw hammer to pull them out. Heat ducts and wires were hanging all over. Used a lot of tape to get them clear of the road.



While the belly was open, I replaced all of the mylar heat ducting with rigid aluminum. Resulted in much better air flow from the furnace.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:39 PM   #9
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i want to do this to add some LED lighting...and find out why the chloroplast is sagging in a few spots.
While the plastic is down you might consider adding some cross members to reduce the span between support fasteners.

An inexpensive method would be to cut some 2X2 lumber so it just fits between the vertical web of the frame rail and rests on the bottom flange. Keep them from sliding around by inserting a drywall screw with fender washer right at the inner edge of the frame flange on each side. When you replace the plastic underliner you now have something to secure it too with a couple screws and washers. This will hold up the sag in the center.

Another method is to use some aluminum U-channel below the plastic and secure at the ends using self drill/tap screws into the frame flange. Most of the "droop" is just because there really aren't any places to secure it but on it's edges at the frame.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BandJCarm View Post
Well, when I found out why the chloroplast was sagging in a few spots, while on my back removing it, that was a VERY UNPLEASANT EXPERIENCE!

Orvan fixed the black tank plumbing that was leaking finally.

Ugh.
exactly what im afraid of....
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
While the plastic is down you might consider adding some cross members to reduce the span between support fasteners.

An inexpensive method would be to cut some 2X2 lumber so it just fits between the vertical web of the frame rail and rests on the bottom flange. Keep them from sliding around by inserting a drywall screw with fender washer right at the inner edge of the frame flange on each side. When you replace the plastic underliner you now have something to secure it too with a couple screws and washers. This will hold up the sag in the center.

Another method is to use some aluminum U-channel below the plastic and secure at the ends using self drill/tap screws into the frame flange. Most of the "droop" is just because there really aren't any places to secure it but on it's edges at the frame.
thank you sir.
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Old 04-11-2020, 09:52 AM   #12
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"coroplast" failure

I had a similar experience, on a trip to Arizona half of the plastic cardboard -coroplast- came off, we heard this strange scraping sound, turned out to be the heating duct dragging on the ground. So getting the stuff of was no issue. We tied the ducting up with rope, along with tank level sensing wires as best we could and continued on our way. No heat from that point on, and as we know it snows in between Arizona and Canada in 'spring'.

When we got home I contacted the dealer, and was advised that this failure was more common than you would think, and of course not covered by warranty. Their solution was to replace it but use washers over the self tapping screws. That seemed to be a waste of time since the original material was factory installed and failed on the first trip. I did what had been suggested by another member and made removable steel channel cross ribs every 48 inches apart. rather than coroplast I used 1/4 inch plywood painted both sides with tremclad. The plywood was screwed to the cross ribs so in the future any one could be removed for any repairs. I would have liked a better material but could not think of one. I also replaced the damaged ducting with rigid aluminum ducting and secured it to the floor and cross ribs.

It was a time consuming job, and working underneath on a gravel driveway not easy, but it is now done and we have had several snowbird trips and the plywood is holding up well. If one panel fails I just have to replace it.

Peter
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Old 04-13-2020, 05:03 PM   #13
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Thanks for all your input. I guess it's time to jump in.
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Old 09-04-2020, 09:48 PM   #14
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On our last trailer, had a hydraulic seal go bad and dum a gallon or so of fluid. Which cause the plastic to sag. After fixing the hydraulic seal I took 1/2 electrical conduit and screwed to the frame ever 4 foot or so. That kept the plastic from sagging and flopping while towing. I also went around all the edges with roofing tar. Since most of the seal had come loose from the weight of the hydraulic fluid.
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