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ihsolutions
10-27-2011, 03:49 PM
An old timer once told me, there are two types of people in RV'ing. Those who have made a mistake that caused damage to their RV, and those who haven't, YET.

After several years in the later club, I have now joined the former.

I carry random pieces of lumber in the bed of my truck for leveling, etc. Mostly 2x6's and some 2x4's, mostly short sections. Sometimes though, a 2" increase in height puts you off-level in the opposite direction. So I made up some 1x4 pieces and threw those in the bed, for those occasions.

Being lighter, the wind must have grabbed one of them and it tore a 4" hole in the filon skin around the pin box. This is especially painful for me, because that entire 8' square piece was just replaced by Heartland a couple weeks earlier, after my frame was reinforced to reduce flex.

A replacement piece of filon is $225 and it costs $200 additional for freight to get it to my house. Then comes the long weekend to install it.

I decided instead to find an quicker but still effective solution. I bought a RV "utility" box which has a solid panel inside, and you are supposed to knock-out the amount you want for access. I left the whole panel in. I enlarged my hole to fit the box, putty taped it in, and screwed it in. Worked perfectly! It's clearly not stock but you can't see it unless you're looking for it. I'm normally a fix-it-like-new type of guy, not a band-aid hack artist, but in this case the amount of work involved (and cost) made the decision for me.

pegmikef
10-27-2011, 04:08 PM
Hehehe, pretty slick. Not being a fiver owner, I probably would have thought that it was supposed to be there.

Urban350
10-27-2011, 04:13 PM
Nicely done!

57chevyconvt
10-27-2011, 04:47 PM
Now that is an idea that will go in my log book. First not to do and then to do.

TravelTiger
10-27-2011, 05:25 PM
Very nice! And hey, you may actually "need" to see inside there sometime, and you have an access point to do so!

E

Birchwood
10-27-2011, 05:26 PM
Filon? a new word in my vocabulary

Thanks

dewwood
10-27-2011, 05:46 PM
I have lost small pieces out of the bed of the truck when towing also. The turbulence created by the nose of the fiver creates tremendous uplift and will pick light things right out of the bed.

Nice recovery on the repair, looks like it is supposed to be there.

DougS
10-27-2011, 05:52 PM
Nice fix. I guess I don't have to worry about hitting anything anymore, I just have to install a little door over the damage. I can see the sides of my RV covered in a few years.

tmcran
10-27-2011, 06:27 PM
Good fix and idea.

jmgratz
10-27-2011, 06:29 PM
Pretty neat. I wonder if you could use it to store anything like a light weight extension cord.

JohnDar
10-27-2011, 07:17 PM
I thought you had the LevelUp system on your rig. If so, why do you need leveling boards? Or do you just have the OEM front hydraulics? Good way to hide a boo-boo, though.

Bernie55
10-27-2011, 07:19 PM
Looks great ...

Dale Smith
10-27-2011, 07:51 PM
You've done us all a big favor by your experience. I always carry loose short lengths of two by fours and two by sixes in the back box of my truck when towing. After reading of your experience I will know now to keep these secured down while traveling. You never stop learning little tricks of RV travel.

Excellent job on your fix solution. I know from experience that when you pull a boo-boo like that the first thing you want to do is get it fixed. We've all been there and done that in some fashion or another!

Take care and safe travels!

beardedone
10-27-2011, 07:57 PM
I think you should start a journal entry about how times you are asked what that door is for. I once lost a 4' long 2X6 out of my box the same way and luckily it went airborne but didn't hit a thing. Now I cut my leveling boards the full width of the box floor so I have to put them in at an angle and lay straight across the back. They never move.

JohnDar
10-27-2011, 08:16 PM
To prevent boards from flying, try putting two screw-eyes in the edge surface and a piece of stout cord as a handle. Then clip them together with those small aluminum caribiners. They won't be able to fly out due to the weight. The handles make them easy to pick up and carry when it's time to move.

ihsolutions
10-28-2011, 06:14 AM
I thought you had the LevelUp system on your rig. If so, why do you need leveling boards? Or do you just have the OEM front hydraulics? Good way to hide a boo-boo, though.

No Level-Up, just the OEM hydraulic legs. I like your eye hole and clip solution, John. If I wasn't so darn lazy I would have done something like that already.

After it happened, and I broke the news to my wife (who was not on the trip with me), she stated "I guess you're not so lucky after all". My response was "Are you kidding? First, the hole is small enough that it can be covered with a utility box. Second, the hole was far enough from the frame members that the utility box could be inserted! That's pretty lucky if you ask me!"

If the hole had been an inch either forward or backward, this fix would not have worked.

The utility box is about 2" deep and is keyed with the CH751 key. I now refer to this as the super-secret hiding spot. I've been racking my brain trying to think of things to hide in there. Not sure why, because the BH has plenty of storage, but I just love the uniqueness of it.

ihsolutions
10-28-2011, 06:16 AM
One last comment about stuff flying out of the truck bed. Normally I keep all these lengths of wood up towards the front of the cab, which is protected by my folding bed cover. The piece that flew out was left towards the tailgate where there is substantially more wind. I've never had anything blow out that was placed all the way forward in the truck bed.

porthole
10-28-2011, 06:36 AM
Filon? a new word in my vocabulary

Thanks

Filon = brand name. It is a GRP (glass reinforced polyester) panel or sheet.
http://www.cranecomposites.com/industries/rv.html

Ray LeTourneau
10-28-2011, 07:27 AM
Great idea Jeff.
I've lost a thing or two as well and have always hoped it never caused any unintended damage to other motorists. I'm hoping if I did, they would have caught up with me and let me know.
I wonder how well your little box would work for an outside temperature monitor. A lot of us have those indoor outdoor thermometers and have to always remember to bring in the outside sensor.

ihsolutions
10-28-2011, 08:26 AM
I wonder how well your little box would work for an outside temperature monitor. A lot of us have those indoor outdoor thermometers and have to always remember to bring in the outside sensor.

Ray, that's a terrific idea. I think I'm going to try that. It's a good spot, out of any direct sunlight. If it proved to be inaccurate you could always drop the flap door down to get a more accurate reading. The sensor I have won't fit, but I may try to get another one that does.