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Better mounting materials for water pump etc?


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I had to replace the water pump and I've been in and out of few other panels and whatever MDF-like material the factory uses for mounting the water pump and various electrical gear doesn't hold up to vibration and/or moisture. I don't think there's a single screw for those items which has actually held the equipment in place over the course of the last 2 years. There's not a lot space in these areas to drill new holes into the existing mounting platforms and so I'm looking for something more robust, water-proof, and better able to hold a wood screw than the OEM materials so that I can just replace the mounting platforms completely.

Anyone have any suggestions?

I'll take some pictures later today to give you an idea but the platforms are currently made of MDF-like pseudo-wood which doesn't hold a screw and the hole just turned into a gray powdery crater in the platform.

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I suspect assembly problems at the factory, if the pilot holes are drilled too large, the screw threads will not hold. Mine are doing fine after five camping seasons. I used the same material in a 1” thickness to add additional mounting plates, I bonded the HDPE to the fiberglass with JB Weld, then screwed 6061 T6 aluminum to that with stainless sheet metal screws. As an ex A&P tech, structural aluminum is my material of choice, I won’t add any more wood to my Ollie, no way.

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John Davies

Spokane WA

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Honestly, people get phobic about "wood." 

As mounting, wood/marine plywood is an excellent material.  Holds fasteners well, everyone (mostly) has tools to work with it, and water resistance is built in. Lasts a really long time.

What's not to love?

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I have used a piece of oak to mount a battery cutoff switch and I really don’t see any problems with it.  If that board rots, I definitely have bigger problems.

Whichever lumber, plastic or wood I use, I put stainless t-nuts on the backside and use pan head machine screws to mount the device.

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Does anyone know how those platforms are attached to the trailer? I just went out to measure thickness and it certainly seems like they are glued/epoxied on. Might have to come up with something other than ripping them out and installing marine-grade plywood. Perhaps a metal plate as shown above which it then itself epoxied to the MDF-like thing that's already in place.

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You could use starboard, which is an upgrade from the PVC boards that they use.  A little bit denser, I believe.  Or wood, just screw/glue it to the existing board.  The epoxy Oliver uses to attach those boards is <STRONG>, so long as they used enough of it and didn't just drizzle it on (it's expensive, I hear, so used sparingly).  But you could probably use it to attach a block to the front of the trailer and tow with it (not recommended).  

I don't know about attaching electrical stuff to aluminum plates.  Most of those components will have chassis grounds, which means that when you screw them to the plate, the plate will have a path to ground as well, and if a positive wire comes loose, there's a good chance it's going to land on that plate.  Sparks, melted aluminum and all that.  If you do it, I'd use some good strain relief on all the wiring (which you should do anyway - I see so many people dismiss that step).

 

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16 minutes ago, nrvale0 said:

Does anyone know how those platforms are attached to the trailer? I just went out to measure thickness and it certainly seems like they are glued/epoxied on. Might have to come up with something other than ripping them out and installing marine-grade plywood. 

The factory uses a clear epoxy. As long as enough was applied (sometimes this is a problem) they would be really tough to remove. Some folks have found their inverter and mounting plate has fallen down into the frame, not good, considering the amperage flowing through those wires! BZZZZZZAAAAAAPPPP!

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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4 minutes ago, Overland said:

You could use starboard, which is an upgrade from the PVC boards that they use.  A little bit denser, I believe.  Or wood, just screw/glue it to the existing board.  The epoxy Oliver uses to attach those boards is <STRONG>, so long as they used enough of it and didn't just drizzle it on (it's expensive, I hear, so used sparingly).  

 

 

Do you by any chance have a link to the Starboard? When I do a search I get back a surf board brand.

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There's not a lot of top-clearance between, for instance, the water pump and the hull. I liked the metal plate idea due to it being thin.

Kind of a bummer that this is even a problem. I'll have to think about this a bit...

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5 minutes ago, nrvale0 said:

There's not a lot of top-clearance between, for instance, the water pump and the hull. I liked the metal plate idea due to it being thin.

Kind of a bummer that this is even a problem. I'll have to think about this a bit...

Thats true - I added ½" pvc, and there's just enough clearance to the hatch cover that it won't vibrate against it.  Maybe ½" or ¾" clear, I'd guess.

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25 minutes ago, nrvale0 said:

Do you by any chance have a link to the Starboard? When I do a search I get back a surf board brand.

My local Home Depot carries Starboard.

Mossey

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Overland said:

I don't know about attaching electrical stuff to aluminum plates.  Most of those components will have chassis grounds, which means that when you screw them to the plate, the plate will have a path to ground as well, and if a positive wire comes loose, there's a good chance it's going to land on that plate.  Sparks, melted aluminum and all that.  If you do it, I'd use some good strain relief on all the wiring (which you should do anyway - I see so many people dismiss that step).

The fuse will fail before anything nasty will happen. That is why ALL hot leads should be fused appropriately. Some Ollie battery cables are not fused between the battery and the main fuse block. This would be an issue if a cable shorted out to the steel tray (which could happen).  My 2000 watt inverter has a 250 amp one, the bigger inverters have a much high rated fuse (350?). You could have some serious sparks and burning before it popped. I added individual fuses at each battery positive post, just in case....

I agree that aluminum does conduct, but planes have used it for mounting stuff since pre WW2.

John Davies

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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And one last thought, it may have been an installation error.  So try remounting the pump a 1/2” north, south, east or west of it’s present location with new coarse thread screws.  Put a washer on top off the rubber feet to help control the depth of the screw so it doesn’t penetrate the plastic wood entirely.  If the screw passes through the board completely and hits the fiberglass, it could strip the hole in the board.  Use a screwdriver and not a screw gun so you have a little more feel.  Maybe even try some test screws for practice.  
Kreg pocket hole screws for soft wood might be a solution.  My pump is mounted with lathe screws and hasn’t failed yet.

Mossey

 

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Starboard is a great material, (and ridiculously expensive) where actually necessary,  but tricky. It doesn't like epoxy. Mechanical fasteners have to be predrilled. 

For many situations, a block of wood or marine plywood is so much easier. 

When we installed our dc fridge, and drawer beneath, we used wood. We used wood mounting blocks for some electronics.  Easy to work with, with simple tools. 

Starboard can release fasteners, as I've read, with improper drilling. We have plenty of starboard ,on our boat, but none in the trailer. 

Wood can be tabbed in with epoxy. 

Removing anything mounted with epoxy isn't easy, so that's a thought, too. 

Think everything through, before you decide.

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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