I suggest that owners of all years check any tabs on the front of the frame that hold the fiberglass shell on. The frame recall added additional tabs to some early models with 3" frames but most (all?) trailers have them as far as I know. Examples in the attached pictures. These should have silicone or some other type of quality sealant around all edges of the tab where it meets the shell and I would put some over the end of the bolt and nut. Depending on your configuration these have the potential to get considerable spray from the tow vehicle tires on a wet road. When I did my recent lithium battery upgrade I had a soft spot in the floor around one of the bolts in the front passenger side dinette bench. It was hidden underneath my battery box which I added when I moved the batteries from the tongue and the linoleum flooring so it went unnoticed. Water must have worked its way in over several trips. It was not fun to fix. A little prevention may be very beneficial.
Good catch. I guess I had a bit of complacency given the solid f.g. shell and the interior floor being plywood not OSB. However, now that it has my attention I'll be doing some caulking around them when the weather warms up. I guess if I want to do a really good job I could remove one bolt at a time and coat the interior of the bolt hole with epoxy. Maybe overkill.
After some research I ended up using Bondo All-Purpose Putty. Its a versatile filler rated for interior and exterior applications. I needed something that would adhere to both the wood along the edges and the fiberglass shell underneath. Very durable that should not shrink or crack. Was able to sand it smooth. Because of the thickness it had to be applied in several layers. Recovered with new vinyl and all is well. If I had more time a piece of marine grade plywood with some fiberglass resin would have probably done the trick but I don't have much experience with that.
I attached a picture of the brackets with silicone which I recommend to avoid any chance of water intrusion.
Correct me if I m wrong, but are not these bolts on the underside of the trailer and does not water is still impacted by gravity? Any water will/would drip away and not go up inside?
I think this goes out the window if the water is coming back with force off a tow vehicle tire. Once it is under the plate it could possibly work it’s way in. Might only be a potential problem with certain tow vehicles and trailers based on how things align. Not sure. All I know is I had a soft spot that was clearly at its worst all around one bolt hole inside. A little prevention outside can’t hurt.
I've been regularly checking these nuts after long trips and after several shorter trips, along with the big axle mounting nuts, stabilizer nuts, lug nuts, etc, etc.
A cautionary note...
Way back when, I confirmed with Reace that they used carriage bolts through the floor from above (at least in October 2015), and they just torque them down so that the bolt heads get sunk into the plywood, then they lay down the floor covering. As the plywood gets compressed under the bolt heads, the nuts can loosen up - hence the need to retighten the nuts periodically - but not too much. Be careful not to over-torque the nuts so you don't have to go on a search mission digging around from above looking for the bolts hidden below the floor covering if they have gotten too far dug into the plywood and/or the square depression for the carriage bolt heads in the plywood get rounded off and the bolts just spin around.
Discretion is the better part of boredom.
Trailer: 2016 Escape 19 Chevy 2012 Express 3500 Van
Originally Posted by Ron in BC
Osmosis? Once you have dampness at the bottom of the hole the water will wick upwards.
Same phenomena that dries you when you towel off after a bath. I use it to dry out my water heater when in storage. Remove the drain plug and stick in, with a dowel, a 1-2" wide, long strip of cut, old towel fabric (wick). Water will, in time, drip off the dangling end of the strip.