Frame Reinforcement

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by phisintrip007, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. phisintrip007

    phisintrip007 New Member

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    Hello! First post but long time lurker. Finally pulled the trigger on a 2009 MAC 206st which was in excellent condition, fits our family of 6, and light enough to tow with the odyssey. In researching WDH's I realized this one has a C-channel frame so no WDH for me. However, I was thinking I would reinforce the frame for longevity purposes (not gonna chance it with a WDH). Has anyone done this? Anything important to be aware of? I'm thinking weld a little angle, add a gusset, and bolt it to the inside of the C-channel. Nothing incredibly major but just to stiffen up the frame at the corners. I could always buy some tube steel and weld a new frame entirely but I don't know that I want to take that on for a 10-yr old camper. I probably have enough angle and steel laying around just to reinforce this one. I know there is supposed to be some flex to the trailer so I don't want to overdo it and damage something else but I also can't see any drawback to beefing up the frame a little at the corners.
    Also about to relocate the batteries to under the dinette (two 6V's) and probably put a nicer charge controller in there. I already added a tray for dual propane tanks in the front and all the LED replacements should be here monday. Thinking with 225ah and two 20lb tanks we should be able to comfortably dry camp with this thing for 3-4 days. Also going to yank the stove out and put some butcher block in it's place. I'm not a fan of cooking inside a camper. We have camped extensively so I have a stove/oven combo we can hook up to the exterior lp connection. I easily have more gear than would ever fit in this pup but I'm looking forward to parrying that down and being able to throw food and clothes in the van, hookup, and go without the hour of loading the van down to look like national lampoon's vacation with stuff strapped on the roof rack and hitch rack.

    Sorry for the long first post, I can be a little loquacious when typing.
     
    1380ken likes this.
  2. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the Portal from South Carolina. Vent your batteries outside. Adding reinforcements and dual propane tanks will add weight. Don't know what the camper axle and Odyssey limits are.
     
  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 11.53.58 AM.png
    Use caution when adding weight.
     
  4. phisintrip007

    phisintrip007 New Member

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    Planning on pulling out the cable connection and inserting vent then routing the battery vent to that then I don't have to have an extra penetration in the envelope. Also, dry weight is 1799lbs, I think max was 3k. Max towing on the van is 3500lbs. I'm planning on keeping it under 2500. I figure with AC, propane, and batteries it's already at 2,000 which gives me 500lbs for bedding, plates, food, outdoor mat, cooler, etc. That's about max I want to go. Angle and a gusset would add weight but no more than an estimated 80lbs tops distributed equally to all four corners (20lbs per corner). Seems fairly reasonable but maybe I'm missing something.
     
  5. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Welcome from the mountains of West Virginia.
    The battery vents need to be larger than the cable connection. The MFG's use a 1 inch vent
     
  6. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Dual tanks lasted me an entire season in Alaska, so I think you'll have plenty of LP. IMHO, I wouldn't worry about boxing the c-channel as much as some work on the weld between the tongue rails and the frame. They seem to tack it on pretty light there. I had to have mine rewelded and when I saw how the factory did it, I was surprised it lasted that long.
     
  7. phisintrip007

    phisintrip007 New Member

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    So I do plan on using a 1” pipe for the battery vent. I didn’t mean I was going to try and slide a piece of tubing through the cable hole but that I would pull the entire cable connection piece off and replace with a mini vent and then route 1” to it (sloping up). I realize I may have to make it bigger but it is still better than A new penetration in the exterior imo and I’ll never use the cable connection.

    I’m glad generok brought up the c channel at the tongue rails. Looking at that was what made me decidedly choose to not put batteries on the tongue. I was thinking it wouldn’t take much weight and a few bumps for that to break loose. The other factor was tongue weight. When they say 220lb tongue weight I’m guessing that’s without battery and propane. 40lbs of propane and 75lbs of battery pushes me to close to the 350lb max for the van than I am comfortable with. So I may focus on reinforcing the front and securing it to the tongue and then maybe box the corners with a little gusset on the rear. That c channel thing kinda bugs me, it just doesn’t look like enough metal to support the camper and seems like it would rust through in places pretty quickly. It’s still in good shape for its age but it’s going to wear out at some point. If I can get 8-10yrs out of this thing though I’ll be pretty happy.
     

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