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Old 07-10-2018, 08:59 AM   #1
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Default Slight bow in frame where cables attach

After several months of an almost complete gut of my 1998 model, I've noticed the frame slightly bowing upward where the cables are attached on the front two points. I haven't removed anything yet to inspect the actual frame in these two areas. The camper has been in up position the entire time I've been doing this restore and I wonder if Iíve stressed it too much. Does anyone else have a slight bow like this? I'm actually not too concerned about a possible fix since I've done so much to camper already. I'm about to start on the outside of the camper and wasn't really planning on removing any outer panels other than removing all the trim around the edges to put new butyl tape in all the seams. I'm assuming if you remove the trim and pull the fiberglass panel out, it'll expose the frame? There was very little water damage on these two front walls and appears (from what I can see so far) that there is no rust on the frame either in these areas. If there is, Iíll be removing the cables and cutting and replacing the frame in these areas. I was once a welder by trade and have all the tools and materials to fix the possible issue if needed. Anyone else have any experience with this? Seems like Iíve seen people cut 4 x 4 to length and wedge them up under the frame, then slightly lower the camper to take the pressure off the cables. If I do this, Iím assuming I could remove the two front cables while leaving the rears untouched?
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:18 PM   #2
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Default Good to hear from you.

I think Jack and others have done this repair. Someone should be along to advise you. Would love to see pictures of your restoration.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:38 PM   #3
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Thank you. Totally planning on posting before and after pictures for comparison. Very happy with the outcome so far. Almost completely done with the inside, then moving to the outside. Having to compound the thing several times, but the shine finally comes back. This has been a long project and the wife is so ready for it to be out of the garage. But just cause I could pull it out now, I'm not going to, so I can continue taking my time. Started putting all the windows back in yesterday. Still have to finish the entire roof too. No need in doing that outside in 100 degree heat. .
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:22 PM   #4
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There are big sections of the wall that actually have no “frame” running through the walls. Instead, the walls remain rigid by a few vertical members (located around the door and end caps) and then the foam sandwich that fills in the open space. If you’re curious, check out the photo album I put together over in Flickr. It shows some walls torn apart and what you might expect there. This link should get you to one of the front wall of the 24’ pulled apart and opened up:

https://flic.kr/p/RrYsLT
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:28 AM   #5
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Motorpig, my wall was not "bowed", but the frame was dented by the cable as it wrapped under and up to the pulley. I think your problem is different than mine and don't have a good idea about repairs.

However, your idea of using 2x4s to allow you to remove the two front cables should work fine.

- Jack
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:04 PM   #6
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Jack,

Did you do anything to correct the dent?

I haven't opened up my wall yet but I think I have the same problem in the front on the door side. My initial thought is to attach a strip of steel underneath the aluminum frame running from the front of the trailer to the door and attaching the cable to the steel.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:35 PM   #7
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Daymack, yes, I repaired it. I raised the top and unscrewed the screw holding the cable there. Then, I took the small plate that was under it off and straightened it with a hammer. I filled the dent in the wood that was underneath with epoxy putty after that. Then, I cut a larger, maybe 4-6" long section of aluminum angle I had (got it at ACE or Home Depot) and screwed it into the top so that it would be underneath the plate I straightened. Remounted that plate and screwed the cable back in after that. Sprayed the whole repair with white paint and haven't had any further problems.

I think the dent was caused by me trying to raise that corner too high, and it pulled the cable too hard against the bulb seal.

I finally found a picture of my repair. It's in this thread: Lower Rail on Upper Half Cable Attach Question Post #16.

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Old 07-15-2018, 03:38 PM   #8
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Are you talking about the upper half? So, where the cable bolts into the upper half (on the under side of the upper half wall)?
It is very common for the cable to dig into this area, and accounts for most of the cable slack and not-fully-raised tops.
This area is more wood that steel. And the wood is not solid, there will likely be an air gap at the bottom of the wall there.
I had a rotted wall and put a long angle piece of steel under the wall there to support the wall. It fixed the issue of the cable digging in, but then caused the cable to turn a tighter bend, so I hope this does not cause the cable to begin splintering down the road.
The steel frame in the walls are minimal, and do not offer a lot to weld onto.
If you had water damage expect the steel to be rusted out and un-weldable. un-weldable. Glue and foam make a strong enough wall.
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Old 07-19-2018, 05:37 PM   #9
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Default Same problem

I have the same problem in my 1994 21ft HiLo Fun Lite. I had to replace the two back cables and at those points, the inside is even. But on both ends, it seems to sag about an inch. I had to rebuild part of the roof and part of one side, so I am not about to take everything apart and redo it. I just hope it lasts for a few years.

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Old Yesterday, 06:46 AM   #10
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I too had the same problem of the frame bowing. Somehow the front got bound up and would not raise which caused the problem.

I apologize for the video, it almost makes me motion sick watching it but this is the damage while trying to figure out how to fix it.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/hT7mdN5wXfHvviGG7

I ended up welding in a 1 1/2" angle iron which only helped a little. I had to add a 1 1/2 steel tube as well with additional support to the cross members behind it. It still flexes a little when I lift but so far it is holding.

As far as the cables mounting to the upper walls and the frame work, here are some photos of what I experienced and 4x4's to strengthen it.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/UyoTMZ4M9hapARTZ6
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