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Old 01-04-2020, 08:12 PM   #1
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drilling holes in the frame is it ok?

The wife bought me a bal hide a spare for christmas so looking at the directions i am supposed to drill a couple of holes on each side for the mounting brackets. i have been searching for anything that can tell me if this is ok or not. any assistance is greatly appreciated.

we have a volante 240rl. not sure if that makes a difference.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:24 AM   #2
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You say a couple holes. Is it just two ? If so how big, and where?

If not huge holes or more then a couple I wouldn't hesitate myself. One thing to keep in mind, they used to say your warranty would be voided for that.


I have drilled holes for different applications and have never experienced any ill effects.
Your situation could be different.
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:25 AM   #3
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You say a couple holes. Is it just two ? If so how big, and where?

If not huge holes or more then a couple I wouldn't hesitate myself. One thing to keep in mind, they used to say your warranty would be voided for that.


I have drilled holes for different applications and have never experienced any ill effects.
Your situation could be different.
Lloyd
Thanks for the quick response. The hide a spare brackets mount to the vertical part of the frame there are six predefined holes and it says to use at least two. The holes need to be big enough to accommodate 5/16 bolts. I am still deciding the exact location on the trailer that I will be mounting. They recommend close to the axles to ensure ground clearance but I also have to avoid plumbing and gas lines.

As for the warranty, that's only good for the first three years then your on your own correct?
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:35 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=jalapeno;140973

As for the warranty, that's only good for the first three years then your on your own correct?[/QUOTE]


The way I understand it, they are calling it a 3 year structural warranty.
I don't know if the frame is covered under that, or if Lippert handles the frame warranty.


There are some other members on the forum that have installed hide a spare. So far I haven't read of any issues.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:29 PM   #5
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The size of the holes seem very minimal and should not be a problem.
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:40 PM   #6
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As poorly as RV's and Motorhomes are engineered and with the short cuts taken in construction I suspect that when you inspect your frame you'll find the Mfg. has put extra holes everywhere to secure undercarriage components with screws. That said, there is no way to calculate what the frame is any longer capable of in terms of strength - there are many engineering terms that I could quote - most would be meaningless unless you understand calculating the strength of materials. My point is that there is no answer to your question without knowing what the frame was rated from it's original Mfg., how many things were done after mfg. by the assembler that weakened the frame(weldments, drilling, stress cycles, laden weight, and etc.).
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Old 01-05-2020, 06:56 PM   #7
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Hi Jalapeno,


If drilling holes in the frame to support your BAL hide a spare were an issue, trust me, they'd be enough lawsuits already to pull them off the market.

Think about it, certain weight distribution hitches, their associated sway control dampers and aftermarket bicycle and generator racks are drilled into the 'A' frame at the front.

And probably, technically, they all void the warranty.

You're sensible to ask the question, and no-one should ever advise you otherwise, but if a 5/16" hole or two results in catastrophic failure of a chassis I think we're all up the metaphorical creek as I' sure most of us have done it.

I certainly have.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:35 PM   #8
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Lloyd
The hide a spare brackets mount to the vertical part of the frame there are six predefined holes and it says to use at least two. The holes need to be big enough to accommodate 5/16 bolts. I am still deciding the exact location on the trailer that I will be mounting. They recommend close to the axles to ensure ground clearance but I also have to avoid plumbing and gas lines.

As for the warranty, that's only good for the first three years then your on your own correct?

After thinking about this through a couple football games I don't think I would trust 2 5/16 in. bolts to hold that bracket, plus, the spare tire.
Knowing me, I would probably go for the over kill and put a #5 grade in each one of those six holes.
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:03 PM   #9
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After thinking about this through a couple football games I don't think I would trust 2 5/16 in. bolts to hold that bracket, plus, the spare tire.
Knowing me, I would probably go for the over kill and put a #5 grade in each one of those six holes.
the way the brackets are made they actually wrap over the horizontal of the I beam frame and the bolts go through the vertical to hold the brackets in place. I believe this puts the weight on the I beam and the bolt hold the brackets in place, but like you said i will probably overkill just to make sure.
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:23 PM   #10
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I didn't realize they wrapped over the top of the frame. I've never seen one.

On my camper the spare was mounted up front under the front storage compartment.
It's raised and lowered with a cable that you work from inside the compartment.
I was always worried the cable might break and drop the spare. So I have a chain wrapped around it also. (just for insurance)

Good luck with your project.
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:25 PM   #11
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Personally i see no problem with bolting the spare carrier on. 6 small holes would not compromise the frame. Most stabilizer jacks are bolted on and if the dealer were to install it they would drill the holes anyways. Now if you were to cut out several large holes that would be a different matter.
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:47 PM   #12
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Personally i see no problem with bolting the spare carrier on. 6 small holes would not compromise the frame. Most stabilizer jacks are bolted on and if the dealer were to install it they would drill the holes anyways. Now if you were to cut out several large holes that would be a different matter.
I agree and i was all in but then i read something online about the bottom of the frame being under tension and the top was weight loaded and drilling into the frame could cause stress fractures. so i freaked a little and thought i would ask for help before making a mistake. thanks.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:29 PM   #13
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I would be more concerned about what's behind the few spots you're drilling, hopefully you've checked very carefully.
Reading several of these forums I find lots of folks that "the sky is falling" with any mention of alterations/modifications to your RV. As to voiding the warranty, if you get anything from any manufacturer after the 1st year whether you've drilled holes or not you'd be one lucky dude.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:23 PM   #14
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Of course there is another option...


You could replace the OE POS springs and 'Equalizers' with some quality components from say 'Dexter' or Mo-Ryde'. While you're at it perhaps even add set of shocks to each axle. The resulting softer ride would by definition reduce the stress on the 'Lippert' chassis, thereby counteracting any loss of strength incurred by drilling a few holes.


Don't quote me on this, I just made it up, but it sounds reasonable right ?
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:44 PM   #15
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Of course there is another option...


You could replace the OE POS springs and 'Equalizers' with some quality components from say 'Dexter' or Mo-Ryde'. While you're at it perhaps even add set of shocks to each axle. The resulting softer ride would by definition reduce the stress on the 'Lippert' chassis, thereby counteracting any loss of strength incurred by drilling a few holes.


Don't quote me on this, I just made it up, but it sounds reasonable right ?
Lol yes sounds reasonable and also defines another problem. One mod leads to another and another, it's a never ending chain.
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:47 PM   #16
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I would be more concerned about what's behind the few spots you're drilling, hopefully you've checked very carefully.
Reading several of these forums I find lots of folks that "the sky is falling" with any mention of alterations/modifications to your RV. As to voiding the warranty, if you get anything from any manufacturer after the 1st year whether you've drilled holes or not you'd be one lucky dude.
You are correct and I will be dropping the underbelly for an inspection before drilling any holes. Thanks
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:36 PM   #17
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I installed the BAL Hide a Spare and really like it. I have not had any issues.
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Old 01-09-2020, 05:56 PM   #18
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A grade 5, 5/16" coarse thread bolt is good for about 3300 lbs. of force in single shear at ultimate. Apply a safety factor of 5 (to allow for forces seen on highways) each bolt should hold just over 550 lbs. each. Two should be adequate.
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:26 PM   #19
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re: spare mount

Quote:
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A grade 5, 5/16" coarse thread bolt is good for about 3300 lbs. of force in single shear at ultimate. Apply a safety factor of 5 (to allow for forces seen on highways) each bolt should hold just over 550 lbs. each. Two should be adequate.
(Maybe just me) but I want three bolts at any point, so not swiveling/ hanging by one, but also would much prefer NYLOC Nuts over lock washers... had too many come loose for unknown reasons
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