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Old 09-12-2020, 07:44 PM   #1
Jms
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Default Side of camper top bowing out.

I have a 2002 22 ft. Hilo. The side is bowing out especially under the two windows. This is on the side with the window over the sink. The lift is working fine. No apparent leaks noticeable on the inside of the camper. It appears the lift cable is pulling the bottom Of the top to an angle. Looking for repair advise.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:44 AM   #2
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I have one with the same problem the most probable cause water has rotted the lower wood frame inside the side rail no an easy fix! You need to remove inner or outer covering and replace with pressure treated material. Good luck!!!?
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:53 AM   #3
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Thanks for reply. Yes, I expected that was the case. It seems that the two cable connections add pressure to the rotted wood as that is where the bowing out is most obvious.
First, everything is working fine. At what point is it necessary to do this work. Is it necessary at all as it has been the same for 1-2 years.
Second, is it easier to remove outer or inner covering? Does entire top need to come off or can the covering be removed with top supported and cables detached.
I thought I saw somewhere that 2002 Towlite had aluminum framing.
Thanks
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:14 AM   #4
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Default Aluminum frame

Even if it has an aluminum frame, there is a heavy wood piece where the cable attaches at all 4 places.
J&R repair in Ohio replaced the roof and the 4 lifting pieces of wood and a lot of other repairs on our 2510 it was damaged by hail and not open up until several weeks later. They done a great job.
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Old 10-11-2020, 06:59 PM   #5
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Default Replacing wooden lower rail

jms, You can replace the lower wooden rail without taking the top off the trailer. I am in the process of replacing them in my 1999 21' Towlite and have the curbside long 16' one done already. Just support the top on all 4 corners with wooden blocks down to the frame and then tear out the rotten plywood from the bottom side of the top wall. I then ripped a new piece from a pressure treated 4x4 post and pushed back up into place. I then screwed through the steel tubing frame from the outside with 2 1/2" screws to hold the wood in place, placing a screw every foot along the side. After that, I put pre-painted metal flashing along the side that came up 2" on the outside and bent under to cover the wooden beam. Now I have a solid, continuous support beam the full length of that side instead of plywood. I intend to do the same to the remainder of the walls as well.
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Old 10-24-2020, 11:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredetl View Post
jms, You can replace the lower wooden rail without taking the top off the trailer. I am in the process of replacing them in my 1999 21' Towlite and have the curbside long 16' one done already. Just support the top on all 4 corners with wooden blocks down to the frame and then tear out the rotten plywood from the bottom side of the top wall. I then ripped a new piece from a pressure treated 4x4 post and pushed back up into place. I then screwed through the steel tubing frame from the outside with 2 1/2" screws to hold the wood in place, placing a screw every foot along the side. After that, I put pre-painted metal flashing along the side that came up 2" on the outside and bent under to cover the wooden beam. Now I have a solid, continuous support beam the full length of that side instead of plywood. I intend to do the same to the remainder of the walls as well.
Sounds like a plan. Do you have any picture of this repair or is there a video anywhere?

I have the same issue on my 2007 22towlite that I bought this week. I didn't notice it when i bought it. The cable attachment point is very sketchy, the spot under the window forward of the door has got me very concerned.

It was raining today and I found 3 windows leak which explains the rot.

I have a couple of questions before i start this project.

1. How do you splice the 4x4 for the long side to make one piece? half lap joint?

2. What is the thickness and width of the original support beam? (it looks like plywood rot mess on mine, i assume the aluminum box pieces i see in there are what attaches to the wall and support the roof section.

3. Did you make yours support thicker than original?

4. where did you get the painted flashing

Thanks
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:23 AM   #7
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Default Lower Side Rail Repair

Roland J, Here are the answers to your questions from over the weekend;
On my 1999 Towlite, the frame is 1" square steel with a 2" x 3" wooden frame rail attached to it. The factory one was 2 pieces of 1" plywood glued together which had rotted out. I replaced them with a 2"x3" solid piece of wood. I can get the 16ft long piece I need for the street-side from Menards so I won't need to splice anything together. I just rip the 2x3 piece from the 4x4. I get the pre-painted flashing from there also in the roofing dept. It is intended for roof edge flashing. If you don't have a Menards nearby, I'm sure any similar store or lumberyard would have the same kind of products.
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:13 PM   #8
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Roland, my my 2203 (mfg 2003) has the same problem, how did you do with the wood top rail repair process?
Thanks, Tom
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Trblandy View Post
Roland, my my 2203 (mfg 2003) has the same problem, how did you do with the wood top rail repair process?
Thanks, Tom
My wood rot is directly under the front window door side.

I haven't done it yet. I'm still not clear how to screw the new piece of wood to the steal frame without the screws being viable from the outside. Whixhbwould not look that good.

Also the bottom flashing is a puzzle to me. I assume we just remove the bottom screws and peel the flashing down and maybe just tape it to the outside wall of the lower section so we can work on removing the rotted wood section. Because I don't see how to completely remove that flashing, because we won't have access to the inner wall side.

Also we first have to relieve the weight off of that section. I assume by placing temporary wood 2x4s to hold up the upper half on five of the six supports spots. Then maybe we can lower the lift cables so we can remove that front cable to replace that whole section.

I should do this project this coming week if no other things come up.
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:59 PM   #10
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https://photos.app.goo.gl/mMRXC8KdAaTwXNKC7
You can see the flashing wrap from the bottom up the side of the inside edge.

Edit. Can you see this photo?
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Old 11-26-2020, 03:17 PM   #11
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I did see one picture, I haven’t looked closely at the outside of mine, just inside views of rotten wood on the rear end, worst at passenger side. I have a post with pictures from back in October, I’ll find a link to that. I am near Columbia SC for a while, hi lo is in a barn in central PA for another month or two.
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Old 11-26-2020, 03:27 PM   #12
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I’m not real good at managing photos on the forum. If you want, I can email my pictures. If we go that route, we should exchange email addresses in private messages, it’s more secure.
Tom
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Old 11-26-2020, 04:09 PM   #13
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https://photos.app.goo.gl/15kiadDLWC1Vayuk6

https://photos.app.goo.gl/15kiadDLWC1Vayuk6

More photos
I have some 2x4 In this photo supporting door side but I'll have to remove the front 2x4 to do the repair

https://photos.app.goo.gl/15kiadDLWC1Vayuk6

https://photos.app.goo.gl/15kiadDLWC1Vayuk6

Oops keeps showing the same photo. I'm going to figure this out later.
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Old 11-26-2020, 04:24 PM   #14
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Default Securing top Rail

The way I secured the wood to the steel frame was to drill through the steel frame from the outside and then use 2.5" self-tapping screws into the new wood rail every 6". The screw heads look like the other trim screws so it doesn't matter. My flashing didn't come up over the top on the inside like I see yours does. Mine only came across the bottom and up the inside so the flashing I mentioned worked fine for me. I also painted the pressure treated wood with 2 coats of primer/paint before I installed it.
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Old 11-28-2020, 04:35 PM   #15
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I had the same problem with a 2902BX....When the units were designed, they did not consider lift points when they were placing windows...(my thoughts)....When they cut the hole for windows, they cut trough the vertical aluminum supports to place them...As time progresses, with lifting an lowering, the window seals start to leak and flex....This causes the lower wood rail to rot and the cable will start to cut into the side of the trailer. You may also notice some delamination when you look down the side of the trailer around the windows. A couple of things I did to help with the problem is I made 4 C channels Approx 24" long to help spread the weight distribution for the cables. I also injected Epoxy into the wall and then clamped in place to help (not completely remove) the delamination...This is one of the things I checked before purchasing my 2807C was the location of lifting points and windows...I wanted to ensure none of the cables were under windows...I think this was a poor design issue with some of the units....
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Old Yesterday, 07:11 AM   #16
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Attached is a picture of the wood rot at the rear wall, passenger side of my 2203. Iíve read I may find wires running to rear signal lights in that wood.
Thanks for all the input from fellow forum members! Iíve read more now and also have the issue of lift cables cutting through finish trim at all 4 locations on both sides. No doubt those cable connections will eventually fail, this is the time to address that as well. As I plan the project, I better visit the trailer and expose the other 3 sides. Surely Iíll find those rails in like new condition. Haha.
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File Type: jpeg 4098D376-9C77-4416-8533-3F729D3F4E56.jpeg (20.1 KB, 8 views)
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Old Today, 02:40 AM   #17
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Default Repairs

We have a way of finding all the factory defects. Also bad engineering. When J&R replaced our seals between the halves they reinforced where the cables cut into the trim. Metal was used. Seems to me I remember a back post on this repair/reinforcement. Bottom line anything that goes wrong with our HiLO it is fixable.
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