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Old 05-04-2015, 06:49 AM   #1
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Default Repairing Wheel Well Damage aka new window in camper!

Hi all!

Hey I've been wanting to add a window in the camper, and fate provided one. Unfortunately, it's under the sink lol.

After our blatantly stupid overlooking of the fact that our tires were 8 years old and had been sitting in the Texas sun for all that time and driving 3 days out and 3 days back to AZ at 80mph, one tire blew on a short camping trip last week. (we were only going 65 lol) and the wheel well got torn up. Fortunately it was not the tire under the refrigerator or one on the side where it would have broken all the new storage boxes I just built, so that's good.

Anyway, any suggestions on the best way to beat the metal back into submission? It has separated along the horizontal seam and the top is bowed up. I know to put a board under it and go slow, but wondered if anyone else had done this and had any pointers.

Thanks,
Liz

2008 189FBR
2014 FORD F150
Major Remodel http://WackyPup.Blogspot.com
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:31 AM   #2
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You probably all ready did this but check the under structure for damage.
Not real good at metal work, but would there be away to replace and repaint.

A picture or two might help on this
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Old 05-04-2015, 01:56 PM   #3
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I put a bad picture on my blog - http://wackypup.blogspot.com/

I couldn't figure out how to put a picture here.

We just had 4 new tires put on (yay!) and they looked at the undercarriage and the bearings, etc, and said all is fine

Thanks!

Liz
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:24 PM   #4
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Perhaps you were unaware the trailer tires (ST Tires) are rated for a MAXIMUM SPEED of 65 MPH.

Here is a C&P;

Trailer Tire Facts

Trailer Tire Applications
Trailer tires are designed for use on trailer axle positions only. They are not built to handle the loads applied to, or the traction required by, drive or steering axles.
Inflation
Always inflate trailer tires to the maximum inflation indicated on the sidewall.
Check inflation when the tires are cool and have not been exposed to the sun.
If the tires are hot to the touch from operation, add three psi to the max inflation.
Underinflation is the number one cause of trailer tire failure.
Load Carrying Capacity
All tires must be identical in size for the tires to properly manage the weight of the trailer.
The combined capacity of the tires must equal or exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of the axle.
The combined capacity of all of the tires should exceed the loaded trailer weight by 20 percent.
If the actual weight is not available, use the trailer GVW. If a tire fails on a tandem axle trailer, you should replace both tires on that side. The remaining tire is likely to have been subjected to excessive loading.
If the tires are replaced with tires of larger diameter, the tongue height may need to be adjusted to maintain proper weight distribution.
Speed
All "ST" tires have a maximum speed rating of 65 mph.
As heat builds up, the tire's structure starts to disintegrate and weaken.
The load carrying capacity gradually decreases as the heat and stresses generated by higher speed increases.
Time
Time and the elements weaken a trailer tire.
In approximately three years, roughly one-third of the tire's strength is gone.
Three to five years is the projected life of a normal trailer tire.
It is suggested that trailer tires be replaced after three to four years of service regardless of tread depth or tire appearance.
Mileage
Trailer tires are not designed to wear out.
The life of a trailer tire is limited by time and duty cycles.
The mileage expectation of a trailer tire is 5,000 to 12,000 miles.
Why Use An "ST" Tire
"ST" tires feature materials and construction to meet the higher load requirements and demands of trailering.
The polyester cords are bigger than they would be for a comparable "P" or "LT" tire.
The steel cords have a larger diameter and greater tensile strength to meet the additional load requirements.
"ST" tire rubber compounds contain more chemicals to resist weather and ozone cracking.
Storage
The ideal storage for trailer tires is in a cool, dark garage at maximum inflation.
Use tire covers to protect the tires from direct sunlight.
Use thin plywood sections between the tire and the pavement.
For long term storage, put the trailer on blocks to take the weight off the tires. Then lower the air pressure and cover the tires to protect them from direct sunlight.
Maintenance
Clean the tires using mild soap and water.
Do not use tire-care products containing alcohol or petroleum distillates.
Inspect the tires for any cuts, snags, bulges or punctures.
Check the inflation before towing and again before the return trip.
Keys to Avoiding Trouble
Make sure your rig is equipped with the proper tires.
Maintain the tires meticulously.
Replace trailer tires every three to five years, whether they look like they're worn out or not.

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Old 05-04-2015, 04:33 PM   #5
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The same thing happened to me on our old trailer. Sigh. I could not get the metal edges to meet perfectly, so as to form a water tight seal. I bent it back into position as best I could. Then I used 90 degree aluminum roofer's gutter flashing, attached with caulking, to fill in the angle. Not pretty, but it worked fine. If you want to play it safe, do that both inside the trailer and outside the trailer, for double strength. Looking on your blog, it seems that you have room inside to do that.

On my new trailer, I have never had a blowout yet. But I was so worried about the possible damage that I "armored" the wheel well. I bought mud flap material at a trucking supply store (very cheap stuff) and cut it to size and shape. I then glued it to the wheel well with gorilla glue. I hope I never have to find out if this armor is really adequate!

Here is a link to my blog post on the armor:

http://lookmomimcamping.blogspot.com...heel-well.html

Let me know if you have any questions!

PS -- I should add that in order to bond the gorilla glue, I used spreader clamps pushing up from the tire onto the underside of the "armor" strips. Gorilla glue works better with pressure.
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:50 PM   #6
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Hey Eagle, did you miss the part that said "blatantly stupid"? and good luck getting my hubby to go under 70 (especially since the speed limits here are all 75-80 mpg) . . . if you see us, just keep back 500 feet LOL

I never want my trailer in long-term storage, but it sits a lot because it's very hard to get hubby to go camping - it's cold, it's hot, it's rainy, it's going to be rainy, it just stopped raining, it's cheaper to stay in a motel, there's a ballgame on ... - so thanks for the tips, although I'm sure I'll never be able to make myself take the tires off, that's just too depressing.

profdant139- thanks for the info and good idea for the reinforcement. I think that is how I will do it, and it's not visible, so I'm not terribly worried about the cosmetics of it. I just don't want to work that hard. Unfortunately, I've heard estimates over $500 to get it fixed, so I guess it's time for me to get out the rubber hammer (not to be confused with the rubber room, although it's probably time for that too)

My new plan is to keep good tires on it from now on.

Liz
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintyLiz
Hey Eagle, did you miss the part that said "blatantly stupid"? and good luck getting my hubby to go under 70 (especially since the speed limits here are all 75-80 mpg) . . . if you see us, just keep back 500 feet LOL



Liz
yup, missed that!

BTW ~ interstate speed limit in this state is 80 MPH too.
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