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Old 01-04-2020, 05:33 AM   #61
MrRobalo
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Thank you and this is what makes a forum so great. You canít get this type of knowledge without years of Experience I think Iíll stick to what I know and that is boats.lol I have a website for owners of the boats we built and itís kind of like this forum . I guess the weight factors into almost every aspect on the trailer. In boats itís a factor but we the manufacture take care of it when we build it and the retail customer can add weight but itís usually moveable and can balance it out moving it around manually it with trim tabs which would be like load leveling setup system for trailers. Thanks for the tips and knowledge.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:10 AM   #62
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You might consider "reinforcing" the wheel well liners by some means. The tires sling pebbles into the air, often poking holes in the DACOR liner. Once that happens, every time you tow in rain or on wet roads/through puddles, you force water under the DACOR and onto the "cheap luan surface" of the wheelwell structure.

I bought a 4'x8' sheet of 1/4" HDPE at Menards for $60 and cut it to fit my wheelwells. I just checked the Menards website and it appears their manufacturer is not producing that product and it's no longer available. Possibly other sources are available. Here's the link to what I bought: https://www.menards.com/main/buildin...4424094192.htm

Previous posts in this thread provide how I installed the HDPE and sealed the edges. Is "my mod" the only means to protect the wheelwells? Certainly not, I'm sure there are many other solutions, this one is just the way I accomplished it.

If you decide to modify your underbelly area, take photos, post your work and any issues you encountered. Other members will gain experience from your work and we all learn from each other.

Good Luck

ADDED: I don't know which keys my fingers were pressing before my first cup of coffee (above) but there's no DACOR underbelly. It's DARCO... Sorry about that if it caused any confusion.....
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:35 AM   #63
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Your idea of spraying a protective coating on the underside of the trailer will protect it from about 50% of the risk. The other 50% comes from above the floor (roof leaks, window leaks, side vent/molding leaks, plumbing leaks and "just plain bad luck leaks"... Your idea won't protect you from that half of the problem, but it would add significant weight, which in a boat might be considered "well spent ballast" but in an RV, is extra, unwanted weight that detracts from payload, adds to tire wear and increases demand on the tow vehicle.
John, I have pondered spraying several cans of the rubberized undercoating over the problematic Darco areas under the wheel well portion, in the same spots where you installed your HDPE. (Mine are also showing some signs of small softening). The stuff you spray on vehicle frames, axles, and wheel wells to prevent rust. Waterproof, and wouldn't add much weight. My only concern would be how well it would hold up to the pebble dusting, but it is often used on car wheel wells which also get rock spray. Thoughts?
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:33 AM   #64
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DARCO is a "think plastic tarp material"... I'd be very concerned with spraying anything on that material and hoping that it won't tear or droop. The DARCO is not attached to the wheelwell, just "laid over it and secured at the perimeter".. That means, to me, that if you spray a thicker coating of anything on the DARCO, if the plastic tarp tears, so does the coating.

So, for me, the solution was to just leave the DARCO in place and install an "independent" covering that didn't rely on the DARCO for any strength or attachment security.

To me, relying on the DARCO is like draping a blue poly tarp over your house, then rolling on a new tar paper roof. As soon as the blue poly tarp slides, so goes the tar paper....

Or maybe, applying a coat of quality paint over some "blistering" wall paper. The paint may stick super well, but as soon as the wall paper falls off the sheetrock, so does the paint...… YMMV
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:04 PM   #65
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What if you just sprayed the wheel wells with an undercoating product, like Kendall Coat. I used to use it back in the day to undercoat cars and prevent rust.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:06 PM   #66
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3M 03584 Professional Grade Rubberized Undercoating - Best Choice For Cars & Trucks

Would this work?
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:17 PM   #67
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3M 03584 Professional Grade Rubberized Undercoating - Best Choice For Cars & Trucks

Would this work?
John stated he thinks it would cause the Darco to sag an pull away from the floor since it is only fastened at the corners. See above.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:14 AM   #68
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How about stapling the Darco to the underside at 6-8" spacing to give it strength to hold the weight of the undercoating? This assumes the undercoating will seal the staple punctures from water. Or one better, use the Darco seam tape to seal the staples then apply undercoating.
I have thought about thin ABS sheeting as well for sealing the Darco.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:44 AM   #69
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How about stapling the Darco to the underside at 6-8" spacing to give it strength to hold the weight of the undercoating? This assumes the undercoating will seal the staple punctures from water. Or one better, use the Darco seam tape to seal the staples then apply undercoating.
I have thought about thin ABS sheeting as well for sealing the Darco.
Would you apply a roll of masking tape to your drywall then paint over the masking tape??? No matter how good the top coat adheres to the masking tape, your coating will fail when the adhesive in the masking tape fails. It doesn't matter that the paint "is stuck like glue to the tape, when the tape falls off the drywall, the coating falls off the wall and is gone.

If you apply any "coating" on top of the DARCO, that's exactly what you're doing. No matter how well you "cover the DARCO" it is not attached "permanently" to the underlying wood, so there is a good chance that the DARCO will pull away from the wood. That void between the DARCO and the wood will be your problem, not the "permanence of the top coat".

Stapling it in place, doubling the thickness by adding DARCO repair tape won't make it "stick to the wood any better" and it's nothing more than a "plastic tarp" very similar to what you can buy at Sam's Club for $19 for two. As the DARCO oils dry, it becomes brittle, starts to crack and fall away from the underlying wood. You can't change that by coating the DARCO with anything "permanent". What you'll have is a "permanently attach expensive coating hanging from the DARCO that pulled away from the wood and cracked/split when it rubbed against the top of the tire in the wheelwell.

I wouldn't rely on a thin 5 mil plastic sheet as a base layer for anything, YMMV.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:58 AM   #70
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Stapling it in place, doubling the thickness by adding DARCO repair tape won't make it "stick to the wood any better"
This was in response to the poster who mentioned possibly using a spray undercoating applied over the Darco. Since I agree with you that the Darco is only truly attached at the edges, I would recommend fastening it more thoroughly if someone wanted to undercoat it. I would argue that the staples do in fact make it "stick better". The other tape would be to seal those staple puncture holes if someone felt the undercoating wouldn't provide that.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:07 AM   #71
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This was in response to the poster who mentioned possibly using a spray undercoating applied over the Darco. Since I agree with you that the Darco is only truly attached at the edges, I would recommend fastening it more thoroughly if someone wanted to undercoat it. I would argue that the staples do in fact make it "stick better". The other tape would be to seal those staple puncture holes if someone felt the undercoating wouldn't provide that.
Stapling a thin plastic sheet to 1/8" luan plywood, then covering it with waterproof tape (to make it more waterproof) before spraying the surface with a waterproof "tar film" is a "feel good exercise" that doesn't make anything adhere better or resist water better. The point is that you can apply any flexible coating on the DARCO liner and the entire structure will still only be as strong as the weakest link. The staples will likely pull out of the 1/8" luan plywood in the first few miles of vibration during the first tow.

If someone wants to believe that a 5 or 6 mil sheet is a suitable base layer upon which to build a waterproof covering, well, OK, go ahead and do it. IMHO, it's an exercise in spending money chasing unicorns and rainbows. Until there's a solid base upon which to build, all you've got is a 1/8" luan panel and a sheet of "too thin plastic" as a foundation. Again, IMHO, it ain't gonna work out well.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:33 AM   #72
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I agree its not a permanent solution or the best way to build that assembly.

Since this is the way they are built and most people aren't going to razor knife the Darco off and impregnate the Luan with epoxy or other waterproofing membrane, adding some (any!) type of waterproofing would seem to help.

The floor assembly is compromised from the start since if any water gets in from above, then it can't drain out and will rot. If any water gets in from below it will rot.

On my trailer the largest expanse of Darco is under the slide. Since this rides on the wear bar, any Darco coating would would need to be something durable like a sheet good, or poly strips. Otherwise the span of Darco is maybe 18" from the frame out to the skirt.

While I agree with you that the undercoating sprayed on the Darco would add weight and it MAY sag very slightly, I think the Darco is strong enough to hold the load over this short span. Its a quick, easy thing to do that MAY help.

The old saying applies here: "There is no winning, only varying degrees of losing." These trailers are just not built to last. You do what you can to prolong the inevitable.

As far as the wheel well Darco getting punctured by debris from the tires, How about plastic Utility trailer style fenders and mounted up under the skirting? There seems to be plenty of room for these under our trailers.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:39 AM   #73
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A quick google search. Thinking something like this can be mounted underneath the skirt and help with the Darco punctures from the tires throwing road debris.

https://www.trailerpartsdepot.com/sh...pairs-or-as-ea
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:18 PM   #74
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A quick google search. Thinking something like this can be mounted underneath the skirt and help with the Darco punctures from the tires throwing road debris.

https://www.trailerpartsdepot.com/sh...pairs-or-as-ea
Take a look under your trailer in the wheelwell area. You'll find a number of outriggers that support the trailer structure from the frame rail to the sidewall attachment. There's no way to fit a trailer fender under the wheelwell and maintain the outriggers that support the sidewalls. What you're suggesting is not possible on any RV that I've ever seen. Go look at yours, you'll see what I'm talking about. There's no way to install a "trailer fender" under the outriggers and maintain tire clearance and no way to remove the outriggers and maintain the sidewall structure.

Well, I will agree "it's possible" but the expense to reconfigure the sidewalls, the sidewall outriggers and the wheelwells will make it so expensive that it's not practical for anyone except someone who has more money than sense.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:03 PM   #75
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(snip)
Well, I will agree "it's possible" but the expense to reconfigure the sidewalls, the sidewall outriggers and the wheelwells will make it so expensive that it's not practical for anyone except someone who has more money than sense.
Are you saying that because, in part, the area to be covered is more than 8"wide? I was wondering about the cut-outs for the tires because I have the split double axles. I don't think I have outriggers (fender struts?) in the affected area.

I am looking at other sheeting materials other than HDPE to maybe retrofitting something like you did John (since you said HDPE is no longer available where you got it.)
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:36 PM   #76
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Are you saying that because, in part, the area to be covered is more than 8"wide? I was wondering about the cut-outs for the tires because I have the split double axles. I don't think I have outriggers (fender struts?) in the affected area.

I am looking at other sheeting materials other than HDPE to maybe retrofitting something like you did John (since you said HDPE is no longer available where you got it.)
My wheelwells are 11" wide on the "slide side" (roadside) and 13" wide on the curb side of my trailer. A 8" steel trailer fender, even if there were no outriggers, would leave nearly 40% uncovered in one wheelwell and 35% uncovered on the other.

I haven't seen any Keystone trailer that doesn't have outriggers in the wheelwell area. I think if you take a look (rubberneck between the tires) you'll find one right there and likely several more along the space.

As for HDPE availability, I'm sure it's still available from other sources, but where I bought mine (Menard's) it's no longer listed on their website. I can't imagine too many people buying 4x8 sheets, especially in the winter, so I'd guess that with the 25 or 30 sheets they had on hand when I bought mine, there's probably some Menard's locations that still have it in stock. Heck, Lowe's has 1/8" fiberglass panels in the bathroom remodeling department, so there's quite a few different materials available. I'd suspect it's easy to find, just not on the Menard's website.....
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:26 PM   #77
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(snip) Heck, Lowe's has 1/8" fiberglass panels in the bathroom remodeling department, so there's quite a few different materials available. I'd suspect it's easy to find, just not on the Menard's website.....
OK, so you would at least consider other materials. HDPE is tough stuff and chemically impervious. It is used for oil and gas piping. I am actually surprised that you can get sealant to stick.
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:46 PM   #78
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OK, so you would at least consider other materials. HDPE is tough stuff and chemically impervious. It is used for oil and gas piping. I am actually surprised that you can get sealant to stick.
I roughed the edges with sandpaper before I installed the panels. Even then, the DICOR sealant didn't adhere like it does on other materials. In my photos, you can see it "dripping" rather than "clumping" to the HDPE. But, if I had to do it again, I'd do it the same way.
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:24 PM   #79
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I am going to look around for something to do mine with soon, but I wouldn't use fiberglass; that stuff is way to fragile to handle flying rocks without getting its own puncture holes. I will also probably use a tougher sealant than Dicor; probably a *gasp* silicone product. I don't ever want to take off what I put down there, and if I am in a situation where I HAVE to take the HDPE, plastic, etc. off, well I got a LOT more problems than the silicone sealant. It is just a lot tougher than Dicor. I will let everyone know what I find.

BTW: What length screws did you use John? I want to get adequate gripping length but not too long so as to cause problems above.
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:39 PM   #80
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You might consider "reinforcing" the wheel well liners by some means. The tires sling pebbles into the air, often poking holes in the DACOR liner. Once that happens, every time you tow in rain or on wet roads/through puddles, you force water under the DACOR and onto the "cheap luan surface" of the wheelwell structure.

I bought a 4'x8' sheet of 1/4" HDPE at Menards for $60 and cut it to fit my wheelwells. I just checked the Menards website and it appears their manufacturer is not producing that product and it's no longer available. Possibly other sources are available. Here's the link to what I bought: https://www.menards.com/main/buildin...4424094192.htm

Previous posts in this thread provide how I installed the HDPE and sealed the edges. Is "my mod" the only means to protect the wheelwells? Certainly not, I'm sure there are many other solutions, this one is just the way I accomplished it.

If you decide to modify your underbelly area, take photos, post your work and any issues you encountered. Other members will gain experience from your work and we all learn from each other.

Good Luck

ADDED: I don't know which keys my fingers were pressing before my first cup of coffee (above) but there's no DACOR underbelly. It's DARCO... Sorry about that if it caused any confusion.....

You can still get HDPE sheets at Menards. Just search hdpe. Comes right up for me. Different manufacture.

https://www.menards.com/main/buildin...89-c-14048.htm

I would also use Vulkem for the sealant. Itís pliable, water resistant, designed to adhere to a wide variety of materials and does not crack.
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