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Old 01-11-2019, 02:33 PM   #1
summer home
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M.O.C. #21038
The Cross Brace Fell Off!!!!

SO, we went to get our camper out of storage (been there since about 10/15/18). When I bent over to take the tire covers off, I saw a 6' long pc of black steel channel laying on the ground under the camper.....
As I looked at the underbelly, I noticed the marks and broken/rusted screws where it FELL OFF from.... Fortunately, it happened in storage, not at 60+ mph on the highway where it would have eaten my tires and probably killed someone behind me.....
As far as I can tell, this channels only function is to support the Coroplast bellypan.... It is now re-installed (by me) to continue its job.
It appears that the original screws, which were probably TEK drill point, were installed to the point of twisting them almost completely apart, then the rust handled the rest of the destruction..
If these channels were made 2" longer, they could have been fastened to the outside visible flange of the frame, and actually thru bolted in place.... Oh wait, that would have cost a few cents more.....
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:29 PM   #2
1retired06
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M.O.C. #12156
Good it happened while in storage.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:47 PM   #3
rohrmann
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After I repaired our grey tank a few years ago, I added a couple more braces along with those two channels and added blocking to the tanks so when all the braces were reinstalled, they support the black and grey tanks. At least now, besides just holding up the coroplast, they are performing a better function, keeping the tanks from breaking. I understand that stainless steel TEK screws are available, and maybe in corrosive conditions, the stainless screws would be a better option.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:55 PM   #4
Texan
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I did the same as Bob on the tank's and added another bolt to each side of the cross braces as I didn't want to have happen to me as to what happen to you. Now would be a good time to brace up your tanks.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:58 AM   #5
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When you say broken/rusted screws it makes me wonder what could make a screw in this instance break. Those braces hold very little weight. I would look further to see if something else affected the separation. A broken tank could be a possibility.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:53 AM   #6
summer home
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M.O.C. #21038
Looking at the cross section of the broken screws, they appear to have been over torqued to almost the point of failure... For some reason, Keystone ran these TEK screws up into the vertical flange of the frame, far exceeding the capabilities of TEKS...
By spec, TEKS are not to be used in material thicker than the length of the drill point section of the screw....(39 year career in the fastener industry)
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:03 PM   #7
MelDan
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We are dealing with this issue right now. Ours fell off while on the road with luckily no damage. We agree that it seems it could have been made longer and screwed in better but what it is turning out to be is a failure of the edges of the black tank which of course you don't know until you remove everything. Our black tank was sitting at an angle. The service guy says that it is common for the edges of the tank, that sit on a support like a drawer , (Sorry I don't know techni cal terms) to bow in as the plastic is really too soft to support the weight of the contents and it weakens with time. So we are shoring up both the side supports and putting an additional bottom support under it.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelDan View Post
We are dealing with this issue right now. Ours fell off while on the road with luckily no damage. We agree that it seems it could have been made longer and screwed in better but what it is turning out to be is a failure of the edges of the black tank which of course you don't know until you remove everything. Our black tank was sitting at an angle. The service guy says that it is common for the edges of the tank, that sit on a support like a drawer , (Sorry I don't know techni cal terms) to bow in as the plastic is really too soft to support the weight of the contents and it weakens with time. So we are shoring up both the side supports and putting an additional bottom support under it.
I spoke with manufacturer of this style of tank. They said Keystone is not mounting the tanks according their specs. The tank doesn't need to be old to fail. I saw three brand new tanks fail, one after another. The fix you described is the best you can do with that style tank.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:42 AM   #9
DebNJim B
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We are in winter travel mode but it looks like when we get home in the spring the coroplast will be coming down for some inspection and shoring up of things. Just wondering Bob how you set up your blocking.
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Old 01-25-2019, 06:47 AM   #10
Dave W
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OP - glad you found the problem before wandering off into the sunrise



I've considered replacing those cross braces with some 1/4x2x2 angle iron and heavier screws plus check the tank supports (and install a couple new drain valves that work easier).



Since I don't have a layout to verify how the frame was designed and built, feel that those cross braces, besides being support fot the tanks may also serve to help maintain the frame alignment vertically instead of flexing at the bottom. That flexing may actually be the failure mode if those screws aren't tight, being virtually cut off in shear mode.



While it may appear that the fasteners have rusted, those screws are very resistant to corosion if our last 5er is any indicator. That unit was a used one but was bought new in Colorado and used in SD plus had yearly winter trips South on salted roads. The screws had some surface rust but were completely reuseable though were replaced by one size larger if for no better reason then I could.
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Old 01-25-2019, 11:52 AM   #11
MelDan
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Update on our tank issue. Turns out it wasn't the tank that failed but the L braces that hold it up that tbe tank slides in to.One was completely bent the other was broken. The tank has fallen just enough so that only about 80% of our waste was going into it. So needless to say we have a cleanup issue and that added weight to the tank which we always empty before driving away.. at least we thought it was empty.
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