Frame Damage - more

Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
Oakland, California
following up on the prior damage to front RHS tongue- - after driving over a rock (and getting that damage repaired) - I finally did a complete visual inspection
- and found damage on the other side (left hand) - which is IMO in no way attributable to driving over a large rock on the other (right hand) side.

This damage did not exist when I installed the zip tie over 30 months ago.

This damage does look old, though. It likely occurred at a difficult campsite, involving a rock. Or maybe an offroad event.

Attached are two photos of the damaged left hand side, and two photos of the undamaged right hand side (which survived the rock drive-over)

Also attached is a Key Plan,
Location "2" is the newly discovered old damage.
Locaton "1" is the fromthe known rock driver-over at home.
Frame member "C2 is slotted (it has "windows") for the passage of the tongues two "C" sections.

What the framing plan (Key Plan) reveals is that when the outrigger rotates down (about point "2") it also brings down a corner of the chassis (and slopes that whole edge of the camper) . The expected effect on the roof panels is to move the peak of the upper roof to the left side of the camper - which is what I find in practice. (the upper and lower roofs now bind sideways on each other). Which is why my laser-level survey revealed a warped chassis.

Moral of the story - be careful with your rig, and inspect it after any significant possible incident (excursion).

Key Plan.jpg

isometric 0602.jpg

Outrigger other side 0604.jpg

Undamaged RHS IMG_0608.jpg

Undamaged Outrigger IMG_0609.jpg
Last edited:

Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
Oakland, California

We now think that the drive-over-the rock incident damaged only the coupler on the front of the tongue. We suspect that driving pver a big dippity-doo in Big Bend Ranch Sate Park tried to bend the tongue and led to both damage locations #1 and #2.

Senor Mule

Aug 16, 2022
Excellent information. It does look like there was a torqueing on the tongue.
This frame is rather flimsy, have you tried jacking up the frame to see if it is twisted?
Also, where the floor is off the flange, there is a bolt that runs though each flange through the floor, check the bolt to see if it is loose or smashed in the OSB floor. If it did , seal the OSB before you rot the floor. I would put fender washers in these carriage bolts to give it more strength on the top side. A 2" washer with a hole to accommodate the square in the bolt and a washer on the bottom will give it more strength.

When I recently removed my floor on my classic, using a prybar I managed to bend the starboard aft flange about 1/2" down in the middle of the flange (6" from frame).
My background is Commercial Diving, so 99% of all of life's issues were readily solved with a 15 lb hammer. In this case, it worked fine in straightening the standoff.

The material is 1/8" mild steel on the standoffs for the frame, As for the the I beam where you frame tongue goes through, you could grind that off and weld a strip to replace the damaged area. Make sure whoever is doing the work is an actual welder (6G qualified with proof), not just some guy with a welding machine. If he bevels the the pieces and mig welds them in , the whole process takes less than an hour to do the repairs and fabricate the piece and prep.
I had quotes from local welders at 100 dollars an hour, when I know what I pay mine in construction, which is about 25 - 30. When I laughed at one's price, I demonstrated a far superior weld and bend tested it - his broke. He offered me a job, I declined and asked if I could just rent his shop for a half a day, he declined.
(I was a hyperbaric welder , underwater welder for 20 years - now a senior welding / coating inspector with a metallurgy background (15 years) unbeknownst to him)

I was surprised at just how cheaply made the trailers are considering the price.

One suggestion - While you have a welder, get him to weld some additional material (either 2" or 3" (can't remember the flange size) W x 6'6" L x 1/8" Thick band on there in case another rock jumps up and hits your trailer. It would be cheap and help strengthen that weak area , plus he could stitch weld it (I would say 1' long, skip 3 inches and repeat) - easy to weld and won't affect the weight balance on the trailer.
I was considering welding a 1/8" skid plate triangle under the tongue as well. and tying it the I Beam in the front to prevent a torqueing incident like your trailer appears to have had, but then again, I am a child that plays too rough with my toys.