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After burning up a couple drill bits trying to drill through all the stainless all-thread shafts I decided on a different tack. I simply jammed lock nuts up against the nuts in the knobs. So far it is working. I probably didn’t need to use lock nuts, but felt it would help keep the knobs from coming loose, at least in one direction. If this ever fails I will try gluing the knobs to the lock nuts. That should be at least as secure as the connection to the cover.
Thanks for doing that. I contacted them also. They need to hear from enough people that they correct this. I have a Trailex trailer for my boat, and it came with locknuts for the u-bolts.
So did you find the 3M 4200 glue was able to hold the vent cap to the rod? That has been a concern for me–finding a glue that will work with plastic and metal both.
In my opinion, that particular vent is meant for regular RVs and mounted fairly high up away from splashing water, so the rain baffle would work pretty well if so. The vent was not designed to open and close–rather the cap is to be screwed down tight on the bolt, which is long enough to keep it from closing. I had to put in a shorter bolt to allow it to close down tight enough to seal on the weather stripping–but I like your idea better, IF the glue holding the cap to the bolt does the job.
I certainly agree and I repeat, my Trailex trailer for the Pocketship did come with nylocks for the axle u-bolts. I find it difficult to understand why the Trailex trailers for the camper would come with nothing but nuts for the u-bolts–and not even lock washers! Their trailers are expensive enough that they can surely afford to include 8 lock nuts–they could even raise the price a bit to include them and it would hardly be noticed.
I just hope everybody reads these posts before they learn the hard way like I did. For the life of me I don’t know why I didn’t question it at the time.
As I recall they are 3/8″, fine thread. You should probably check first though. The u-bolts are very easy to get at without even having to slide under the trailer. Sorry I took so long to respond. I always check the “Notify me” box, but it doesn’t seem to work.
Nyl0n washers would be good, but I think stainless steel flat washers might work a little better. More “slippery” and might last longer. As for my hinges, though, they are too tight to slip one in there.
I’ve been giving your post some more thought and examining the rain baffles and now I think I get it. As you said, the weather stripping is a bad idea. What was happening is that it was holding the water in so that instead of flowing out the bottom of the baffle it was forced up and into the cabin. The only problem is that if I re-install the baffles there still will be no way to get an air seal when the covers are closed–I think because of the way the flanges are mounted on the inside.
So I’m going to try it the way I have it for now. If I’m still getting water in I’ll remove the weather stripping and replace the baffles. I think I can find all the “plugs” I drilled out of the liner. I can use them to devise covers for the vent holes in cold weather.
Eric, I appreciate your post, only wish I had read it before installing the vents. I missed the phrase on page 373, “remove the middle screen,” so when I drove through a hard rain, I got about three or four ounces of water in through the front vents–so even though I installed the baffles properly they didn’t do much good. Today I removed the rain baffles and replaced the 1 1/2″ bolts with 1″ bolts. The covers can be screwed down tight against the weather stripping, so I hope that works. My thinking is that I got what little water I did inside because I was driving 50 – 60 mph in heavy rain. I’m hoping that since the covers are nearly vertical I will get little or no leakage unless facing into a very high wind. Time will tell.
If (when) the threads start to give out, I’ll just have to order new covers (if they sell them). Otherwise I will have to find a way to mount a nut in there. There are glues that melt the plastic for a “weld,” but I don’t know how well the melted plastic adheres to metal. Will have to do some experimenting.
Also, when the baffles were in place I could not get a good air seal with the covers–seemed to make no difference at all. Now I can seal them pretty well, which will help in cold weather (and I will have to hope my dog doesn’t have one of his gas attacks).
As a follow-up to my previous post, I found that the #8 bolts with heat shrink measure about 13/64 in diameter. So I drilled the holes in the hinges out to 7/32 and am now in the process of applying 3 coats of epoxy with a Q-tip. I use one end of the Q-tip to apply the epoxy and then the other end to wipe out any excess. If the “hinge pins” won’t go in (epoxy too thick or a blob) I can safely ream the holes with a 13/64 bit.
BTW, I had to cobble up a long extension in order to drill the holes on the most of the hinges, otherwise the drill motor hit part of the body or door, throwing the drill out of alignment. I found some extensions that are part of a quick-connect setup, and had to use two end-to-end in some cases. Needed the 7/32 drill in quick-connect, so I bought a whole set–pretty sweet and the connector mount works with all the quick-connect drills and drivers I already have.
A little-known fact is that stainless steel actually rusts when it is not surrounded by oxygen–the opposite of most ferrous metals. In marine environments, stainless steel parts below the waterline have been found to rust. You can look this up if you wish, e.g., https://www.polymersolutions.com/blog/why-does-stainless-steel-rust/ . I have experimented with this by submerging stainless steel in water and rust definitely formed.
That being said, I don’t think it matters if the screws rust inside the epoxy-covered wood anyway. Once the glue sets they are not adding much if any structural strength. So why not just use drywall screws and cover them with the fillet material instead? In my case, I did remove them since they are no longer needed. But, in the past I have left non-stainless steel screws and brads inside epoxy-encapsulated boats for years with no ill effects. They may or may not have rusted inside the wood, but so what?
Thanks for all your replies. I’ve been gone all day, but went out tonight and tugged even harder on the corners. Actually made some progress. From about the center to the rear I have the edges pretty well smoothed out, but towards the front where the curve is much greater I still have some wrinkles. Will continue tugging as that seems to be the consensus of your replies. The book says on page 126 to give the fabric a “gentle tug” at the corners. The tugging I had to do is far from gentle and I still have more to go. Darts are not mentioned here, only earlier on the application of fiberglass tape.
Next I have to figure out how to get the second layer on without messing up the first. Once I have that smooth I’m not about to try to do the top and sides all at once. CLC calls this a “bit of a fire drill,” and that is with a team of experienced builders. I’ve built three of their boats, and if anything the PocketShip taught me that I don’t want to tackle such a large area in one “swell foop” if I can avoid it!
Here is the (very quick) answer from John Harris, which definitely takes a load off my mind:
We’ve always done it this way, and MAS is still a blush-free epoxy so you can go a few days before overcoating. That’s certainly how our Teardrop was built, as it was never convenient to apply that next coat at the perfect window in the cure cycle.
Chemical bonds ARE better, no disputing that. But I think it’s a case of needing a 200%-strength application, where waiting until the epoxy cures gives you 400% and a chemical bond gives you 500%. We were good at 200%, so all the extra work to get to 500% isn’t really worth the trouble.
There are exceptions. Someone building in a carport in Seattle is going have trouble with fog and rain causing the no-blush MAS epoxy to blush, so they’d have to proceed more along WEST System guidelines.
The rest of us are okay.
If I were you I’d check right away (unless you were joking). Seriously, UV rays begin the destruction of epoxy in just a few hours, and it goes downhill fast.
Does the clear coat you are using provide UV protection? I hope so!