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Old 11-15-2016, 04:52 PM   #1
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Cool 2000 24' Classic Rebuild

Hi everyone,

I've been telling myself to get a build thread going here so today seems like a good time. The history on the trailer is that my folks bought it used about 12 years ago and it spent the first few years covered a lot of the time. Then it spent the next few years uncovered and got a leak. The leak wasn't noticed for at least 2 winters and the results were not good. A rubber roof was plastered over the aluminum one so that (I think) it stopped the leaking but the damage was done.

A few weeks ago it was towed due south from Iowa to Louisiana and it's now under a total rebuild. I'll post a few picks from time to time, but if you'd like to follow along on Flickr I've been taking pictures of everything and measuring it too:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/91683452@N08/fL3N1W

Here's the trailer before dismantling:
HiLo by Lineswest, on Flickr

HiLo by Lineswest, on Flickr

Lots of "not good" there. It only gets better ... like a fully delaminated fiberglass outer skin:
IMGP2948 by Lineswest, on Flickr

IMGP2982 by Lineswest, on Flickr

Makes removal easier though
IMGP2989 by Lineswest, on Flickr

Last little bit of the wall coming down. The wooden beam is completely destroyed from in front of that guide rail all the way to the rear cap.
IMGP3009 by Lineswest, on Flickr

I'm working up some plans to replace the beam without having to lift and separate the trailer. I was not convinced at all that given the shape of that wall, I could support the thing and work on it at the same time.

A few things I'm trying to remember so that the scope of this doesn't bury me with anxiety:
1) I'm not building a piano
2) Look 'up' and not 'around' at the level of mess. One thing at a time, one decision and step forward at a time.

The roof is a different type of mess, but I'll get the wall at least framed back in and the trailer lifting again before I decide what how or in what order to do that. Stay tuned I guess.

"We have the technology, we must rebuild it"
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2000 24' Classic, "We have the technology, we must rebuild it"

Also in the garage, some stuff to pull it:
1999 3/4 ton 'Burb
1993 Roadmaster wagon (well, it probably won't pull it)
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Old 11-15-2016, 06:42 PM   #2
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r67northern, Bionic Man almost! Sorry to see your 24'er. I had the same one, 'cept mine didn't suffer the damage. Best of luck to you, you have a great attitude. We're with you.
Tree
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:13 PM   #3
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Default Repairing your HiLo

We have had to do extensive upper wall repair on our 1990 25ft. classic. Others have have had extensive rebuilds such as you are doing. Do you have a place to work on it over the winter? Check out some back posts for repair stories. We are here to answer any questions you may have.
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Old 11-16-2016, 09:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam View Post
We have had to do extensive upper wall repair on our 1990 25ft. classic. Others have have had extensive rebuilds such as you are doing. Do you have a place to work on it over the winter? Check out some back posts for repair stories. We are here to answer any questions you may have.
Thanks everyone. I do have a cover over it (car port) so I should be able to keep working at it and also keep it out of the wet. It hasn't had it this good in years!

I've been going through a lot of the other threads and posts on these heavy rebuilds and there is a wealth of info there. I'm sure I'll have a few questions along the way, so I appreciate the group's willingness to chime in.

Here's one question: is the solar panel worth keeping? It's sitting over a questionable section of the roof and my immediate thought is to just pull it and move on. But I'm open to opinions as to how valuable it could be.

Thanks!
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Also in the garage, some stuff to pull it:
1999 3/4 ton 'Burb
1993 Roadmaster wagon (well, it probably won't pull it)
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:12 AM   #5
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The factory installed solar panel was about "15 watts", but never delivered that. At best it supplied a trickle charge to the batts under the best of sunny conditions.
of course that may be enough for you. Your choice!
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:14 AM   #6
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My two cents on the solar panel: If it's a 15 Watt "optional add on" panel that HiLo installed on some trailers, send it to a landfill. That output will only just barely maintain your battery charge during storage. It won't do anything for you while camping.

Solar panels generally don't put out more than half their "rated" output when in use. So, a 15 Watt panel will give you about 7.5 Watts on a good day, when the sun is bright and its rays are hitting the panel at exactly 90 degrees. Since Watts = volts x Amps, at a charging voltage of 13.5 V, you will be sending approximately 0.6 Amps to the trailer battery (optimistically). That's a relatively useless charging current.

I've installed two - 100 Watt panels on my trailer and they allow me to boondock without using my generator. I think anything less than this is a waste of money.

- Jack
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:19 PM   #7
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Thanks Jack and Tree - exactly the info I needed. I'm an engineer and I was a bit suspicious of the usefulness of a 15 year old panel of that size, but real-world input from you helps make that decision easy.

-Leland
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Also in the garage, some stuff to pull it:
1999 3/4 ton 'Burb
1993 Roadmaster wagon (well, it probably won't pull it)
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Old 11-20-2016, 07:58 PM   #8
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you were so smart to mark all the measurements and take pictures! I wish I had done that. Rebuilding has been a HUGE learning experience
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
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you were so smart to mark all the measurements and take pictures! I wish I had done that. Rebuilding has been a HUGE learning experience
I'm hoping all of those measurements help me out - I think I read someone else's experiences on here and took their idea. Do any of the measurements help you out? Probably not since you're working on a 20'? I can try and grab a few though if you're looking for something specific ... I guess it depends on how much they changed things between '89 and 2000.
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2000 24' Classic, "We have the technology, we must rebuild it"

Also in the garage, some stuff to pull it:
1999 3/4 ton 'Burb
1993 Roadmaster wagon (well, it probably won't pull it)
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:43 PM   #10
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Quick update on the rebuild. I've got the new beam cut and ready for install after I clean up all of the rusted metal around it. It's an unusual approach, but it should add some nice strength to the damaged metal frame and also lets me drop the wood beam in from the "top" without pulling the halves apart.

IMGP3202 by Lineswest, on Flickr

Basically, I started with a 4x4 and cut a 1x1 notch so that it fits over the lower metal frame. I cut a second 1x1 notch so that I can reattach wall structure more easily.

IMGP3207 by Lineswest, on Flickr

Underside view:
IMGP3206 by Lineswest, on Flickr

Happy thanksgiving everyone.
-Leland
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2000 24' Classic, "We have the technology, we must rebuild it"

Also in the garage, some stuff to pull it:
1999 3/4 ton 'Burb
1993 Roadmaster wagon (well, it probably won't pull it)
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:32 PM   #11
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Default Taking measurements

We were able to take our upper walls apart in big enough pieces to use for patterns. You could use brown paper to make a pattern especially around the windows. It is also useful to take pictures before disassembly. We reinstalled our existing curtains and found it very useful to diagram the layout of the curtain hardware as it was a somewhat complex layout. Put parts in baggies and label with a magic marker. I found this saved a lot of grief when it came time to do a final clean up. Line the floors and all counter tops with cardboard and duct tape. Carry on.
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Old 11-27-2016, 05:40 PM   #12
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Couple of pics from a few days of work, got the wall from the door back framed in, and addressed a bit of the roof sag. Got the new beam tightened down and she lifts again.

IMGP3223 by Lineswest, on Flickr

IMGP3224 by Lineswest, on Flickr

Did some problem solving with the lifting - I didn't like the twist I was seeing in the metal frame. The full wall installed would probably help it, but I added some brackets that help it a lot right now.

IMGP3222 by Lineswest, on Flickr

I think I'll start tearing the inside roof down next. I think it will be easier to rework the roof while I still have access through the sidewall. And now that it's a bit more solid, I'm more comfortable going after the roof anyway.
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2000 24' Classic, "We have the technology, we must rebuild it"

Also in the garage, some stuff to pull it:
1999 3/4 ton 'Burb
1993 Roadmaster wagon (well, it probably won't pull it)
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:18 AM   #13
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It's amazing seeing the skeleton (or lack of bones). Take into account the windows, I wonder if I'd add a couple more ribs?
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treeclimber View Post
It's amazing seeing the skeleton (or lack of bones). Take into account the windows, I wonder if I'd add a couple more ribs?
Tree
I had the same thoughts, Tree. I think I'd like to see some diagonal bracing in the corners (clearing the window locations of course). I think extra rigidity in the frame would protect the integrity of the seams better.

- Jack
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
I had the same thoughts, Tree. I think I'd like to see some diagonal bracing in the corners (clearing the window locations of course). I think extra rigidity in the frame would protect the integrity of the seams better.

- Jack
Some diagonal bracing is a nice idea. I can't get another vertical support any closer to the door because of the window cutout, but some diagonals at the corners would be good. I'm sure that would do nothing but help the seem integrity.

I'm also planning to use extruded polystyrene foam (the pink or blue stuff) instead of the white foam. It has a better structural compression rating and it won't trap water because it has no interior voids. That white stuff is kind of like a sponge.

Any recommendations on a lubricant / protectant for the cables? I've got great access to the rear one right now, will have great access to the front one later.

Take care
-Leland
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Also in the garage, some stuff to pull it:
1999 3/4 ton 'Burb
1993 Roadmaster wagon (well, it probably won't pull it)
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:07 PM   #16
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HiLo recommends WD40 for the cables, but a couple members here have posted on using a "non-greasy", dry lubricant as I recall. I've been using WD40 since I got my trailer and the cables look like new, but, I live in a relatively "dry" climate. I noticed WD40 now makes a "gel" spray that would possibly be better than the original formula.

- Jack
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:25 PM   #17
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reason I mention this is because my forward curbside cable is adjusted perfect at the DOOR. Forward of that, the top is too low. Can only be a weakened frame, weld popped loose I'm guessing, at or near the door. All works well, so I'm not disassembling the front of the unit just to find out. But, after see 67's skeleton, I have to presume that more bracing is in order, especially corner bracing.
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:51 PM   #18
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Default Lubing cables

Use Break Free to lube your cables. Another forum member gave us his tip of what to use. It is found a Walmart in the gun section. It cleans,protects and lubricates. Comes in a small spray can. If memory serves me correctly it is about $8to9 dollars a can. DH has been using this for 16yrs with very good results.
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Old 11-29-2016, 06:08 AM   #19
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Agree with sam, gun lube is also a penetrate, for that reason I use a good quality sewing machine oil about 4 times a year.
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Old 11-29-2016, 07:00 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
HiLo recommends WD40 for the cables, but a couple members here have posted on using a "non-greasy", dry lubricant as I recall. I've been using WD40 since I got my trailer and the cables look like new, but, I live in a relatively "dry" climate. I noticed WD40 now makes a "gel" spray that would possibly be better than the original formula.

- Jack
Jack, One of the lubes is made by Blaster. It is garage door spray lube and goes on as a thin liquid and then drys to a non dirt attracting coating. I have used it a couple of times and seems to be doing well. Walmart and HD both sell it.
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