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Old 01-14-2020, 06:02 PM   #81
JRTJH
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Originally Posted by Brantlyj View Post
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. It’s pliable, water resistant, designed to adhere to a wide variety of materials and does not crack.
Thanks for the link. That's the HDPE panel I bought. When I search the local store there's no availability (doesn't come up) but your link does show it available, at least in the warehouse. That's good news to me.

Gegrad, I used 1.25" self tapping screws. The trailer floor is 2" (plus a little) and the HDPE panel is 0.25, so by the time they thread through the panel, the 1/32 outrigger and the 1/8" frame member, there's a tad bit less than 1". Since the first 3/8" is drill point/hole maker, that leaves about 1/2" of threaded screw through the metal members.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:14 PM   #82
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Thanks for the link. That's the HDPE panel I bought. When I search the local store there's no availability (doesn't come up) but your link does show it available, at least in the warehouse. That's good news to me.

Gegrad, I used 1.25" self tapping screws. The trailer floor is 2" (plus a little) and the HDPE panel is 0.25, so by the time they thread through the panel, the 1/32 outrigger and the 1/8" frame member, there's a tad bit less than 1". Since the first 3/8" is drill point/hole maker, that leaves about 1/2" of threaded screw through the metal members.
Great, thanks John. Did you unbolt the outriggers and run the HDPE above them, between the outrigger and the base of the wheelwell? I can't tell from the pics. My outriggers have a nut exposed on the bottom for the bolt that come down from above. It would be fairly difficult for me to get HDPE or other product above my outriggers. It looked like you had screwed the HDPE up to the floor at the corners, so that is why I am asking.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:23 PM   #83
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DO NOT UNBOLT THE OUTRIGGERS !!!!!!!!!

The bolts are inserted from above and the nuts are torqued below the outriggers. If you loosen one and can't access the top of the bolt, you can't retorque them.... That's a MAJOR issue !!!

What I did was cut individual sections of HDPE to fit between the outriggers. When you get under your trailer, you'll see that one side of each outrigger has a lip. I screwed the HDPE to the outrigger lip inboard and outboard, then about every foot down the lip of the frame and left the "end of the HDPE with no outrigger lip only secured on the long edges. Then move to the other side of that outrigger and repeat with the next HDPE panel. Once they were all installed, I used a pneumatic caulking gun to apply the DICOR sealant HEAVY on all edges of each panel and used my finger to smooth it a little, but mainly just to smear it around each of the bolt heads so no water could migrate up the threads.

Where the HDPE panel rests over the bolt/nut at the outer edge of each outrigger, I drilled a 3/4" hole in the HDPE so the panel fit over each outrigger bolt so I could keep the panels flush with the DARCO/outrigger lips.

HDPE is surprisingly easy to cut with a 7 1/4" circular saw. I used a scribe and a straight edge to mark each panel, only cut them "one at a time" and fit each in place before moving on... For me, that way I didn't risk cutting them all and finding out I cut it wrong and couldn't redo the others....
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:50 PM   #84
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As far as using fiberglass , that is what I will be using as I can get atLowes 48” x 8’ Panel @ $ 59.00 and split down the middle. Fiberglass can be brittle but if you use a sealant up against the plastic panels and use aluminum self drilling hex heads screws To attach into the frameworkIt will be VERY RIDGED (and it mite chip) but it will take more than a rock to penetrate through it. The bilateral strands infused in the resin is very strong and when it is backed up with another panel you should have the protection needed.
I want to at least get to go use are new BULLET camper before starting on a PROJECT this big BUT I want to get a jump on this to protect our investment. Being from the boating business and curiosity getting the best of me I will crawl under it soon take a few pics and draw out a game plan. The outward edge will have something to screw into and I would use either L shaped or 1/2’ square aluminum to brace the inner edges and screw then into framework running fore to aft.
I don’t want to come off as a know it all or smart a$$ but this was my career and have done and seen fiberglass used in many different applications and repairs over the years. I actually would have loved to have a fiberglass camper but want to see if we will love camping as much as boating and go from there.
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:01 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
DO NOT UNBOLT THE OUTRIGGERS !!!!!!!!!

The bolts are inserted from above and the nuts are torqued below the outriggers. If you loosen one and can't access the top of the bolt, you can't retorque them.... That's a MAJOR issue !!!

What I did was cut individual sections of HDPE to fit between the outriggers. When you get under your trailer, you'll see that one side of each outrigger has a lip. I screwed the HDPE to the outrigger lip inboard and outboard, then about every foot down the lip of the frame and left the "end of the HDPE with no outrigger lip only secured on the long edges. Then move to the other side of that outrigger and repeat with the next HDPE panel. Once they were all installed, I used a pneumatic caulking gun to apply the DICOR sealant HEAVY on all edges of each panel and used my finger to smooth it a little, but mainly just to smear it around each of the bolt heads so no water could migrate up the threads.

Where the HDPE panel rests over the bolt/nut at the outer edge of each outrigger, I drilled a 3/4" hole in the HDPE so the panel fit over each outrigger bolt so I could keep the panels flush with the DARCO/outrigger lips.

HDPE is surprisingly easy to cut with a 7 1/4" circular saw. I used a scribe and a straight edge to mark each panel, only cut them "one at a time" and fit each in place before moving on... For me, that way I didn't risk cutting them all and finding out I cut it wrong and couldn't redo the others....
Perfect, thanks. I wasn't planning on unbolting those bolts, so no worries there. I was just curious as to how you handled the sectioning and working around the outriggers, but you answered every question I had. I now have a perfect picture of how you fastened it. Thanks a ton!
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:16 PM   #86
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My pleasure. If you run into any problems or have any questions as you're installing them. Chances are pretty good that I'll be online to offer suggestions. Enjoy making your wheelwells more rugged...
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:22 PM   #87
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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.


John is on point. I don't know if those asking about Darco have any experience with it but...it is "stuck" on the bottom of your slide by an adhesive...that's it. A thin little layer of "plastic" stuck on by some sort of glue that actually comes "unglued" by itself. Trying to spray ANY kind of covering over it and thinking that it's going to just hang on needs some rethinking. Same with stapling it - that stuff can and will tear in a heartbeat; we're not dealing with some sort of space age Kevlar material. I've dealt with mine, repaired it etc. I couldn't in my wildest dreams entertain spraying an additional layer of "weatherproofing" on top of it having any expectations, at all, that it would continue to stay "stuck". Good luck if you try.

I have posted a link in the recent past to a provider that has hdpe in all sorts of lengths, widths etc. I am looking at buying a new Keystone 5th wheel; they all have Darco under the slides with wearbars (minus Montana). I am going to cover the entire bottom of the slides with this product (that have wearbars) with this product. There is no way to think it is a good way to do what they try to do with it.....but I like Keystone, their floorplans....and my dealer.
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:24 PM   #88
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My pleasure. If you run into any problems or have any questions as you're installing them. Chances are pretty good that I'll be online to offer suggestions. Enjoy making your wheelwells more rugged...
Haha, I can think of several adjectives to better describe this project than "enjoyment" But it has to be done, as I can also feel my floor softening under the wheel wells, just like yours. Fortunately I am not moving it for at least 2.5 more months while winter passes.
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:31 PM   #89
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Update: In an unbelievable turn of events, my Bullet is now at Keystone's repair facility and the entire floor is getting replaced. What I hear is the owner of the dealership (not a small dealership) called them due to having three units with the same problem. I got call from keystone saying they wanted to take it to have it fixed. So I picked my jaw off the floor and said sure. They hauled it to Indiana (I think) and the latest update is they looked at it and decided to replace the complete floor.

I didn't ask questions. I'm not sure how they are doing it and don't even know how long it will take. Time doesn't matter too much now as it's full blown winter here and it's ~4 months till camping season.
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:43 PM   #90
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Dan,

When you get it back and are getting it ready to use, check the wheelwells very carefully. Even if Keystone rebuilds/replaces it, if they use the same or similar materials, you're going to have water damage in the wheelwells the first time you tow on wet roads. I'd urge you, based on what agreements you have with Keystone about warranty, to consider some sort of product to protect the wheelwell DARCO from damage. If Keystone doesn't address a more durable product and if you don't either, then you're going to be in the same situation in a year or two.
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:25 PM   #91
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Dan,

When you get it back and are getting it ready to use, check the wheelwells very carefully. Even if Keystone rebuilds/replaces it, if they use the same or similar materials, you're going to have water damage in the wheelwells the first time you tow on wet roads. I'd urge you, based on what agreements you have with Keystone about warranty, to consider some sort of product to protect the wheelwell DARCO from damage. If Keystone doesn't address a more durable product and if you don't either, then you're going to be in the same situation in a year or two.


^^^^^THIS!! Appears I'm going to buy a new Montana HC. From my previous looks I believe it still has the Darco in the wheelwells. It also comes with Trailer King LRF tires. My 1st (FIRST) order of business will be to reinforce those wheelwells as John did in a previous post. Between slide toppers, back up camera etc. adds I will let the TKs ride until just before our 1st trip (fall).
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:59 PM   #92
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Has anyone looked into FRP. Used in restaurant kitchen on the walls and they have decorative type that I have put on grocery store walls. It is readily available, plenty of left over in the shed at work
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Old 02-05-2020, 07:17 PM   #93
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Has anyone looked into FRP. Used in restaurant kitchen on the walls and they have decorative type that I have put on grocery store walls. It is readily available, plenty of left over in the shed at work
I was actually looking at it myself this week. It is fiberglass, so it would be water tight, but I think it would be too soft to use in the wheel wells. I believe it would not hold up to the rocks and gravel.
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Old 03-10-2020, 03:46 PM   #94
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Dan,

When you get it back and are getting it ready to use, check the wheelwells very carefully. Even if Keystone rebuilds/replaces it, if they use the same or similar materials, you're going to have water damage in the wheelwells the first time you tow on wet roads. I'd urge you, based on what agreements you have with Keystone about warranty, to consider some sort of product to protect the wheelwell DARCO from damage. If Keystone doesn't address a more durable product and if you don't either, then you're going to be in the same situation in a year or two.
I have a piece of this from a previous ceiling repair job on a previous camper
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Sequentia-4...-Panel/4768241

Thinking this may work as well. I have butyl tape I would probably surround the edges with and screw it in place, then hit all the edges with eternabond and dicor and think that would weather proof this too
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Old 03-10-2020, 05:32 PM   #95
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I have a piece of this from a previous ceiling repair job on a previous camper
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Sequentia-4...-Panel/4768241

Thinking this may work as well. I have butyl tape I would probably surround the edges with and screw it in place, then hit all the edges with eternabond and dicor and think that would weather proof this too
I don't know how easy that paneling is to crack/split. If it is durable enough to hold screws and "bounce down the highway" then it'll work. If it "splits and the screw holes break when over-tightened, then it may be too "brittle".... It's worth a try...
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Old 03-10-2020, 05:51 PM   #96
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I don't know how easy that paneling is to crack/split. If it is durable enough to hold screws and "bounce down the highway" then it'll work. If it "splits and the screw holes break when over-tightened, then it may be too "brittle".... It's worth a try...
Pretty sure that is the FRP stuff I considered. It is good and water tight, but it seems fairly soft and unlikely to hold up to rocks and road debris, IMO.
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:04 PM   #97
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This is what I used. It worked well, is durable, easy to cut without breaking and 1/4" thick, so it will take a pretty good hit without any damage.

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

While not the "cheapest panels available", I wasn't looking to save money, rather to protect my trailer wheelwells.
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:16 PM   #98
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This is what I used. It worked well, is durable, easy to cut without breaking and 1/4" thick, so it will take a pretty good hit without any damage.

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

While not the "cheapest panels available", I wasn't looking to save money, rather to protect my trailer wheelwells.
I would buy a sheet of that in a heartbeat John, but unfortunately the closest Menards to me is well over 100 miles away.

I have shopped Lowe's, HD, and my local store, Stanford Home Center. They have lots of stuff the two box stores don't, and carry Stihl in store, so I figured they could help me out. Nada. Even looked in their computer and they cannot get me any HDPE. So I am still searching.
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:22 PM   #99
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Well Hell ….

Maybe a camping trip this summer toward that Menards and throw it under the mattress for the ride home ??? After camping so DW doesn't fuss the whole trip <G>
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:42 PM   #100
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Well Hell ….

Maybe a camping trip this summer toward that Menards and throw it under the mattress for the ride home ??? After camping so DW doesn't fuss the whole trip <G>
Brilliant idea... I just checked and there is a Menards less than 14 miles from where we are camping for Easter ( luckily, in OH). Sounds like I will have my leaking Darco problem solved by the end of April!
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