Removing or cutting underbelly? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 05-26-2018, 02:37 AM   #1
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Removing or cutting underbelly?

One project down and the next one is scheduled tomorrow. Dilemma: I am drilling holes and mounting plates to under side of floor in garage area , left side . Do I cut the under belly or unscrew and drop it, I see some attachment points are rivets and not screws. I have heard people using weather proofing tape to patch “opening”.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:36 AM   #2
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I would keep it intact if possible. If not, use belly or Gorilla tape, but sew it up first with zip tie stitches. I would also take the opportunity to put in some alum/foam insulation on top of the thin radiant barrier.
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Old 05-26-2018, 01:10 PM   #3
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removing is best but a lot of work. If u cut a flap be sure the hinge side is forward. Use something like Zip tape for Zip boards. It's really tough sticky tape. The zip ties on the flap is also a good idea. I would drill small holes for the ties to attach.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:04 PM   #4
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If your going to be in any sub freezing temperatures, DO NOT REMOVE the underbelly! I cant tell you how many campers around me last winter wound up with frozen pipes. While the underbelly is thin it does allow the air under the trailer to remain slightly warmer than the ambient air temperature if your keeping your RV heated. I was able to fill my water tank, disconnect from the water spigot and run the water without fear during cold snaps. It will make a difference. Not to mention it keeps the plumbing, wiring and other items from being sprayed with road gunk while traveling on rainy days. I lower sections where I can and replace the hardware with good quality self tapping screws. In more isolated areas I cut out small access squares with the hinge towards the front as others have mentioned. While your on this adventure I would replace the black sewer valves to Valterras while you have EMPTY clean tanks. Theres nothing worse then replacing a valve on the road that is stuck closed with a full tank! The Factory valves are garbage.
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Old 05-29-2018, 04:31 AM   #5
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I have cut the underbelly under the garage to install a mount for my motorcycle wheel chock. There are two gas tanks that I needed to work around so I needed to see what was happening. Also, there is no insulation, no holding tanks, and no valves under the garage, at least not under my 3600.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:17 AM   #6
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Only cut a 3 sided hatch. As a previous poster said, put the hinge or uncut edge into the wind
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:47 AM   #7
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When I had to rebuild the drain valves, I had to do both, drop and cut. The only way to get to my kitchen gray valve was to cut. I used Gorilla tape, and zip ties to out it all back together.
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Old 06-01-2018, 01:58 AM   #8
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Rivets are easy to remove with a hammer and a 1/2 in chisel. Place the chisel head on the rivet head and give it a good whack or two....to reinstall the underbelly, I used self drilling screws and a washer. Hole left by rivet makes a good pilot hole in the frame.
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Old 06-01-2018, 02:27 AM   #9
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Done!

I removed the underbelly successfully and reinstalled it. It wasn't too bad. The only place I cut it was around the rear dumb valve. I was able to fix that with some Eternabond tape. Everything turned out great.
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhoadzie View Post
I removed the underbelly successfully and reinstalled it. It wasn't too bad. The only place I cut it was around the rear dumb valve. I was able to fix that with some Eternabond tape. Everything turned out great.
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