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 > Repair help needed - Broken frame from dragging jack

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coryanderson

San Diego

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Posted: 11/30/21 12:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2005 Eagle Cap 950 camper. I bought it just after Covid hit and took it on a 3 week trip and ended up at the first desert race since covid took a stranglehold of the world. I was trying to get a little further off the beaten path and after taking a long look at an entrance to a wash, I figured I could make it down safely and for some reason it felt like the truck took off in turbo mode and I went down to fast and I caught my right rear jack.

It tore the rear panel (with the door) backward 3-4 inches amongst other things. When I got it home I began to try to engineer a fix for it. I first took all the jack bolts out and then grabbed all of my large clamps and tried to clamp the back into place and then installed big lag bolts through the back panel. It fixed 95% of the issue on the back panel but we had another problem.

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The door area also has a very large drop compared to the floor. When we use the jack it levels out. When we pull the slide out, you can see most of the floor area flexing a little bit when you don't have the jack down.

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The camper has an aluminum frame and I'm sure it's snapped. I tried to build a support system underneath the whole camper but it was no where near strong enough to fix the damage that was done. I know it needs a huge tear down and repair. I have the tools and ability to do so, my main question is how do I even start...?

I don't know how to support it while I take it apart. I want to take the whole belly off and the rear 2 jacks and basically start over. I know I'll probably need to take the slide-out out. I think I'll end up replacing most of the passenger side walls and even perhaps the driver side.

Any advice or help is welcomed. I have gone through most of the rebuilds found on this website, however often times it's hard to tell how they support the camper while working on it, especially if I need to take the whole back of the camper off.

Thanks!

BobsYourUncle

Calgary Alberta Canada

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Posted: 11/30/21 01:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While my motto has always been "If they can put it together, I can take it apart and fix it", I have done lots of TT's, but never a TC. Same concept, different shape.

One of the challenges with taking anything down to the bare bones to address structural issues is the manner in which they are constructed. You wind up gutting the thing just to get at the offending parts.

In your case here, being able to identify exactly what is broken would help a lot in determining just how far you have to go to access it for repair.

You mention you've been through most of the rebuilds on this site. Have you seen mine?

Another thought here, is it possible to make an insurance claim on it? As long as they don't total it, this may be an option.


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coryanderson

San Diego

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Posted: 11/30/21 01:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We don't have insurance for the camper. We bought it for less than $8k and decided it wasn't worth insuring.

No, I did click on your profile and found your website. I went through the truck camper rebuilds primarily and that has given me the confidence I can do this. I have a good amount of wood working experience (for my age at least) and I have all the tools necessary.

The main difference between your rebuild and mine is yours is a trailer and mine I need to both work on the underneath of the camper AND take the jacks off, so I don't know how I can do that while having the camper suspended in the air to work on it.

Maybe I need to set it on the ground and work on it from the top down?

BobsYourUncle wrote:

You mention you've been through most of the rebuilds on this site. Have you seen mine?

Another thought here, is it possible to make an insurance claim on it? As long as they don't total it, this may be an option.


BobsYourUncle

Calgary Alberta Canada

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Posted: 11/30/21 02:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, suspending a TC to work on the bottom of it is definitely more challenging than something sitting on its own wheels. Obviously, safety first, you don't want it falling on yourself.

But just know that there are many of us here, including me, who will be happy to offer input as you need it.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 11/30/21 04:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ouch! Bummer dude!
I agree, taking the under skin off and supporting the camper without using the rear jack(s) will be necessary.
Presuming it will sit on 4 jacks now without the truck under it based on your first repair?
If so, I’d unload it from truck, get it sitting on the jacks and remove the whole skin underneath. I’d think it better to leave it up at truck loading height or at least far enough off the ground to work under it.
Then build a frame to support the back of the camper, placed as far back as you can behind the center of gravity while allowing as much room behind the support to work on it.
Then tear into it.
If you get lucky, it may have just ripped the bottom corner connection of the frame apart and might be able to repair it from underneath?
On these campers, it’s 90% the lower sides that support the weight of the camper in the truck. Like 2 joists front to back one on each side. In the middle is the tanks, and just some bracing mainly holding the tanks up and in shape.
Good luck!!


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Grit dog

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Posted: 11/30/21 04:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Note, I e removed a couple jacks before as well as fixed the bracing in the belly. Just not at the same time. So my suggestions are based on what I know from that. Never had to get to the frame and repair it.

coryanderson

San Diego

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Posted: 11/30/21 04:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

Note, I e removed a couple jacks before as well as fixed the bracing in the belly. Just not at the same time. So my suggestions are based on what I know from that. Never had to get to the frame and repair it.


Thanks! It does sit fine with the 4 jacks only, I usually throw 2 pipe jack stands underneath the belly when it's not on the truck, mostly for extra safety precautions to protect kids and dogs.

I think you are right about trying to tear apart the underside first to see what is going on down there. Then I can maybe weld the frame back together which will allow me to rebuild the back wall properly.

I would have done this all sooner but we use this camper all the time and right now is the longest gap we have between current camping plans.

I am really looking forward to being able to use the slide-out again without having to put the right rear jack down. Sometimes you don't realize how good you got it till it's gone.

JoeChiOhki

Sauvie Island, OR

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Posted: 12/01/21 10:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You've seriously got some major divorce going on between the framing components of the floor/belly pan and the rear wall!

And... its Filon sided, which is glued in place and easily removeable without needing to patch the section afterwards or redo the whole wall....


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coryanderson

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Posted: 12/01/21 12:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JoeChiOhki wrote:

You've seriously got some major divorce going on between the framing components of the floor/belly pan and the rear wall!

And... its Filon sided, which is glued in place and easily removeable without needing to patch the section afterwards or redo the whole wall....


Yea, I effed it up pretty bad. I wish I took pictures of the jack area before I attempted my first fix.

I sort of think I might as well rebuild the wall while I'm in there. It seems these older campers all need to be rebuilt at some point, I figured this would be a good time to take on 1/3 of the rebuild and possibly make some improvements.

Any advice on where I should start?

notsobigjoe

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Posted: 12/01/21 03:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FWIW, When I removed the stable lift from my 1181 a few years back I found a ton of mess. The rear of the slide out room was hanging at least 3 inches lower than the front. This was from the massive 500 pounds that was installed on the wings. I tried to jack it up with a floor jack and straiten it out but it didn't work. The aluminum was bent in that area. I got some help from a local RV guy that does work on the side and we fixed it the best we could by reinforcing the sag with painted steal. It lifted it about 2 inches and I'm still left with an inch of sag that I have lived with for some time. Obviously yours is much worse. Mine was worth fixing to me so I fixed it. If yours is worth it to you and it seems it is then go ahead and tackle it. I have no regrets and you won't either.
[image]
This is what the underside looked like and here's what it looks like now.
[image]
here it is with the lift on. can you see the crack in the frame above the flip up door? There's also one in the front I don't think you can see. It was literally hanging there by the structure of the camper not the frame.
[image]
My point is this, in my opinion it's worth saving and it's going to be a ton of work. I don't regret any part of the decision I made to fix mine. Take it for what it's worth just some friendly advice. Good luck sir!

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