Exterior Roof, doors, windows, awnings, etc
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:08 PM   #1
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Default Getting into the repairs Major rebuild !!!!

Hi folks.
I have been sidelined for a year and have had this 1994 Towlite sitting under a rubber tarp to protect it from further damage.
I have even talked to one member on the phone and was cheered on, but I just needed some kind of thrust to get going.
I had just finished up my morning coffee when my son and his friend showed up (out of the blue) and told me we were going to have at it, so have at it we did. I braced the roof and we removed the right side which had received some water damage from a leaking awning molding. I discovered this was not the only time this unit had been fixed, and I can tell you from my background in construction and auto body repair that the repairs were really done half fast. Here are some pictures of what we found, which was pretty much nothing but dry rotted wood and no structural reinforcement.
The trailer sagged at the door opening and the cables pulled the beam (wet laminations) out of level. It looked good when I bought it so any newbies looking at one beware.
I ran my ideas by an engineer friend and he agrees that I may have a good Idea to fix these so with this unit I will try my ideas and post progress pictures as I go. I expect things to go slow as our time will be limited for this project, and I really need an hour a day in our cheap 16foot pool to get my legs working again.

Stay tuned.....
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:17 PM   #2
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As you can see by the pictures the back end had had a more recent repair, but nothing was attached. I braced the top and I forgot the number one thing which was to remove the screws from the tracks, but the sides were so bad we just took the (wood)? loose from the (beam?) which was also not much. then we removed what I really hesitate to call a beam by unscrewing the tracks and sliding the beam up until it cleared. I will remember to do things in reverse for the reinstall. I will try to get good pictures so if the need to rebuild one of these older units arises I might be of some help.
To be honest, I don't think there will be much money involved, just a lot of labor, and with the help It shouldn't be hard.
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:44 PM   #3
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Hi Charlie B
the good thing is the fact that you have all the pieces that you can duplicate, a while back I was watching a video on youtube for an early 60's Shasta restoration, the guy that restores them was using all the rotted pieces as a template to make the new ones with better connection methods to piece them together, I think he was using one of those "Kreg jig tool". with the help that you have it shouldn't be hard.
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:46 PM   #4
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Default wow!!!

Charlie, don't know if I'm shocked or amazed. Not much between the inside and outside. Here in south west Fl, we'd have to do that inside. With our daily rains come the winds. Best of luck, I'll surely be attentive to this post. Who knows, might be doing this myself some day.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:20 PM   #5
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As said, I am not in a rush, I just want it right. I probably won't have much new because the next days will be waiting for the glue to dry in the new laminated beam. My big regret is my age and my knees and legs. I retired from a job I loved 5 years ago because I was just not able to get around like I needed to. We were dreaming of traveling and then we got hit with some medical conditions that had to be addressed. I still have some side effects from a drug I am on, but I am doing fine other than the legs. I have read a lot on this forum and I sure hope I can get to camp many times more. so far we had one night at a local campground 2 years ago. so we have got a lot of money in that one night
I am looking forward to meeting many mre folks here in person in the next 10 years.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:27 PM   #6
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Default Restoring a HiLo Towlite

Charlie what a project!! Glad you have some help. I'm sure with your background in construction you can pull this off. Seems to me another forum member in Florida did a very similar rebuild. Go slow and steady and you will get the job done.
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam View Post
Charlie what a project!! Glad you have some help. I'm sure with your background in construction you can pull this off. Seems to me another forum member in Florida did a very similar rebuild. Go slow and steady and you will get the job done.
Sam, you guys are my inspiration. I do not like the way this unit is put together at all. I can't tell if this is factory or if it is a repair, but I think I can make a much stronger unit that does not weigh much more. I am going to do some experimenting as I go. Maybe every idea won't work but then again maybe it will. I will pass along everything I try whether it works or not. I will guarantee that my material will be waterproofed before it installed if only with a coat of cheap paint.
I think I will enjoy this project, and hope we can try it out by fall When we may have 2 months in a row without doctor appointments....
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Old 06-07-2015, 10:00 PM   #8
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Default Rebuilding a HiLo

Two products I have used in rebuilding My Hi Lo are 3M Bondo and Thompsons water seal. Some have used "Blue board" Use liberal amts. of expanding foam and Lexell caulk.
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:41 AM   #9
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I won't use expanding foam because it can't be controlled , in fact i don't think I will use any insulation. The stuff that was in it was just filler, and when I get it together the sides will be solid. I don't care if I add 50 pounds, I removed a hundred pound awning so I am still ahead. I am still in the gluing and laminating phase, and all of a sudden my help has disappeared so nothing new to report. It will go fast once this is done.
I do have some good templates for cutting the windows and door but I will make sure they fit tight, no gaps in the corners like some people have discovered.
a preschool kid could do better joints then this. butting 2 boards together and spanning with two staples would not bring a very good grade in wood shop. I know what these sold for and I can't understand why they could not have been built a little better. It is no wonder they develop leaks.
I still think they are the cats meow though.
Cheers
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:53 PM   #10
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Default Rebuilding your HiLo

If you were to use expanding foam to fill up any cracks you just shave off any excess. I thought you were going to say you see why some of the shoddy workmanship at HiLo put them out of business. All RV manufactures have some quality control issues. Even the expensive ones.
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