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Old 04-12-2019, 01:58 AM   #1
KampinKevin
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: near Lansing
Posts: 10
Default Not so newbie

Hello, everyone.

I recently bought a used, 2019 Vintage Cruiser 19ERD, woody version. My wife and I both love the layout, the knotty pine and the amenities. All the exterior stickers we find a little funky, but the layout overwhelms our misgivings (I mean, come on; a split bath, 2 rooms with one a suite, a North/South walk-around bed, HUGE headroom in a 23 footer?!). We look forward to many trips with this rig.


This is not our first RV. We’ve had several over the years, spending the last 15 years with a 27’ Shasta travel trailer. I always enjoy the process of discovery and improvement that inevitably follows the purchase of an RV. There is always something to be repaired, improved, altered and modified to suit. Usually every off season as well.


So, in the process of crawling over (and mostly under) our new trailer I found several things that I think deserve a little illumination.


There is no belly liner under my Vintage Cruiser. That means that all the wiring harnesses, the plumbing hoses and gas lines routed under the coach are exposed. Also I noticed that, in several areas, both wiring harnesses and water lines pass through punched openings in the cross bracing of the frame. These punched openings have metal edges that I can imagine abrading the harnesses and hoses with road vibrations over time. Let alone what a stray piece of tire or other debris picked up off the road could do to exposed everything. I also worry about what stray cats can do; they inevitably get in my pole building and have a penchant for pawing at and chewing anything that dangles (don’t laugh; they have destroyed the exposed wiring on the underside of my wood pellet grill).


The spare tire is carried in a plastic tub that penetrates through a cutout in the floor. I noticed that there is quite a gap between the tub and the edges of the opening, leaving the flooring substrates exposed underneath. Most of the other penetrations of the subfloor for hoses and wiring were apparently filled with an expanding foam sealer, but in many areas there are still gaps.


The main gas line runs are steel pipe, with softer copper lines run off of the main lines to each of the appliances. The softer copper is protected, I’m assuming from the manufacturer, with split flex tubing. The steel lines are not ( and frankly don’t require it, imo), but they are exposed and, in our case, VERY rusty; this, in a one year old trailer.


In several areas the plastic water lines hang down exposed below the frame. I can see road debris easily snagging those lines. That’s a repair I’d rather not have to face.


So, off to my favorite box store for much more split flex tubing (should have bought it on-line; MUCH cheaper), a can of window and door expanding foam, a bag of wire ties, and a can of flat black farm implement paint with rust inhibitor.


I have since wrapped every wire that I could access under the trailer in split flex tubing, as well as the water lines. I figure any measure of armor is better than none. Wherever the water lines dangled, I’ve found places to pull them up tighter to the underside with wire ties. I have used the expanding foam to fill every gap I have found, including that around the spare tire tub. As soon as it warms up again (Michigan spring: often, much like winter) I will be creeping under again with the paint to spray the steel gas lines, using a flattened cereal box to capture overspray. While I’m at it, I’ll shoot a little paint on any rusty spot, and into those rusty frame openings (always a couple in the front A frame… why aren’t all trailer frames dip-painted?)


I thought about taking a little extra time, purchased some underbelly liner material, cut it to fit and affixed it in some fashion. Then I thought of all the issues with dealing with the area around the axle, all the likely openings that would be left and then how to deal with moisture being trapped in those enclosed areas. Also the main gas line crossing is mounted on the underside of the frame, so the material would have to be altered in some way to comprehend this. So, no; I opted for armor.


I was delighted to find that, while the springs look a tad light, the axle is rated at 4000 lbs., with ample brakes and load range D tires (2200 lb rated). I’ve read and heard so many tales of trailers with woefully overloaded axles and tires that that discovery was a relief!


So, here’s to happy and relatively trouble free camping!

Cheers,
Kevin
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:46 AM   #2
Restorium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KampinKevin View Post
Hello, everyone.

I recently bought a used, 2019 Vintage Cruiser 19ERD, woody version. My wife and I both love the layout, the knotty pine and the amenities. All the exterior stickers we find a little funky, but the layout overwhelms our misgivings (I mean, come on; a split bath, 2 rooms with one a suite, a North/South walk-around bed, HUGE headroom in a 23 footer?!). We look forward to many trips with this rig.


This is not our first RV. We’ve had several over the years, spending the last 15 years with a 27’ Shasta travel trailer. I always enjoy the process of discovery and improvement that inevitably follows the purchase of an RV. There is always something to be repaired, improved, altered and modified to suit. Usually every off season as well.


So, in the process of crawling over (and mostly under) our new trailer I found several things that I think deserve a little illumination.


There is no belly liner under my Vintage Cruiser. That means that all the wiring harnesses, the plumbing hoses and gas lines routed under the coach are exposed. Also I noticed that, in several areas, both wiring harnesses and water lines pass through punched openings in the cross bracing of the frame. These punched openings have metal edges that I can imagine abrading the harnesses and hoses with road vibrations over time. Let alone what a stray piece of tire or other debris picked up off the road could do to exposed everything. I also worry about what stray cats can do; they inevitably get in my pole building and have a penchant for pawing at and chewing anything that dangles (don’t laugh; they have destroyed the exposed wiring on the underside of my wood pellet grill).


The spare tire is carried in a plastic tub that penetrates through a cutout in the floor. I noticed that there is quite a gap between the tub and the edges of the opening, leaving the flooring substrates exposed underneath. Most of the other penetrations of the subfloor for hoses and wiring were apparently filled with an expanding foam sealer, but in many areas there are still gaps.


The main gas line runs are steel pipe, with softer copper lines run off of the main lines to each of the appliances. The softer copper is protected, I’m assuming from the manufacturer, with split flex tubing. The steel lines are not ( and frankly don’t require it, imo), but they are exposed and, in our case, VERY rusty; this, in a one year old trailer.


In several areas the plastic water lines hang down exposed below the frame. I can see road debris easily snagging those lines. That’s a repair I’d rather not have to face.


So, off to my favorite box store for much more split flex tubing (should have bought it on-line; MUCH cheaper), a can of window and door expanding foam, a bag of wire ties, and a can of flat black farm implement paint with rust inhibitor.


I have since wrapped every wire that I could access under the trailer in split flex tubing, as well as the water lines. I figure any measure of armor is better than none. Wherever the water lines dangled, I’ve found places to pull them up tighter to the underside with wire ties. I have used the expanding foam to fill every gap I have found, including that around the spare tire tub. As soon as it warms up again (Michigan spring: often, much like winter) I will be creeping under again with the paint to spray the steel gas lines, using a flattened cereal box to capture overspray. While I’m at it, I’ll shoot a little paint on any rusty spot, and into those rusty frame openings (always a couple in the front A frame… why aren’t all trailer frames dip-painted?)


I thought about taking a little extra time, purchased some underbelly liner material, cut it to fit and affixed it in some fashion. Then I thought of all the issues with dealing with the area around the axle, all the likely openings that would be left and then how to deal with moisture being trapped in those enclosed areas. Also the main gas line crossing is mounted on the underside of the frame, so the material would have to be altered in some way to comprehend this. So, no; I opted for armor.


I was delighted to find that, while the springs look a tad light, the axle is rated at 4000 lbs., with ample brakes and load range D tires (2200 lb rated). I’ve read and heard so many tales of trailers with woefully overloaded axles and tires that that discovery was a relief!


So, here’s to happy and relatively trouble free camping!

Cheers,
Kevin
Nice review and excellent ideas.
Had to laugh about the cats. Our house cat ate wiring until she was out of the kitty stage. Had to buy a dozen phone chargers. If your pole barn is a cat house then the cycle of kittens will never end. Have them spade or neutered.
I have fixed cars that mice and even squirrels ate the wiring. Rabbits eat my Christmas light wires. For some reason they like white wires.
I like POR15 for the underside of my trailers. Put it on with a brush. Spray paint doesn't go on nearly as thick as painting with a brush and you don't have to spray under there, wasting paint in overspray. I hate spray painting under a vehicle.
Don't you love our Michigan weather? Best time of year coming up.
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:59 PM   #3
KampinKevin
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Location: near Lansing
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POR15... I'm not familiar, but will be! Thanks.

The cats... oi, the cats. Strays just show up and I'm a sucker for even a remotely friendly cat, or wounded, or afflicted...We started with 3 THIS time around. One was female; within a year we had 11! It's my fault; I'm always fond of a furry face....and fed them (doh!). Once I could handle them without being shreaded, I spent a year taking them one or two at a time to the local humane society for "fixing". Found I'm now the maintainer of a cat "colony"; though not nearly as crazed as the woman I met there maintaining a colony of over 50 cats! I have this naive hope that feeding them somehow quells their desire to kill everything that moves. But I'm not kidding myself; I know but for the lack of 200lbs on their part, I would make a nice meal.

And yes, the weather! Love the seasons... hate the transitions.
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