Fixing 9kg Bottle Harness to A Frame

Submitted: Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 19:18
ThreadID: 106826 Views:6708 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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I currently do not have access to a welder and would like to know the following:

Is it possible to screw down using tek screws a 9kg bottle harness to the top of the A frame of my camper?

Are there regulations to how these are mounted?

Any suggestions to how I could securely fit the harness to the top of the A frame of my camper?

Any help greatly appreciated.

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Reply By: Erad - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 19:52

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 19:52
When I bought our Jayco Pop-top van, I specified a shorter than standard drawbar (to fit into our garage). No problems - Jaycos made it even shorter than I asked for. Great. We go to pickup the new van, full steering lock to do a U turn in the dealer's yard, CLANG! The gas bottle which was mounted on the right side drawbar hit the rear bumper of my tug.

First thing when I got home was to make up a cradle to support the bottle in the middle of the drawbar. I used 25 mm square hollow tube, and cut the sides of the tube down at each end where it lapped over the top of the drawbar. I then screwed the frames down with Tek screws into the top of the drawbar. You can do this on the top surface, because any flexing of the bar will try to squash the screw, whereas if you tried on the bottom of the drawbar, you are opening up the drill holes when the bar flexes down (the top surface is under compression, the bottom surface is under tension).

I did use a welder, but did not weld to the drawbar because it is fully galvanised and also I dodn't want to leave a stress concentrator in the drawbar. Ideally, you should have some form of vertical bracket to stabilise the bottle, but generally the ride for componentry in this area is fairly gentle. You may be able to use part or all of the existing cradle as the vertical part. I did that and so far it has worked very well.
AnswerID: 528818

Reply By: Athol W1 - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 20:59

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 20:59
Teds 01
Be very careful about welding or drilling ANY thing to the top, or bottom, faces of the draw bar that has not been done by the vehicle manufacturer.
I have seen a number of broken draw bars over the years and a draw bar almost always, if not always, will commence the failure from the top face at a place where a weld has been placed across the top face, or a hole has been drilled into the top face. The safest position to secure anything to a draw bar bar is to weld along the drawbar at mid height on the sides. Never weld a location that you would not cut and leave.

AnswerID: 528825

Reply By: steved58 - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 23:13

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 23:13
obtain some ubolts from a trailer parts shop to suit your a-frame size extend the bottom of the gas bottle holder with a bit of flat bar if needed drill and bolt this do not use tek screws use nylock nuts to stop from vibrating loose Then drill holes in the extended bar for the u-bolts in the appropriate position to bolt over the a-frame also use nylock nuts on these I hope you can follow this
Cheers Steve
AnswerID: 528834

Reply By: The Bantam - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 23:28

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 23:28
Um yeh stay right away from tec the best of time they are weak and prone to problems from vibration.....very often the heads break off for no reason.

Better off thinking along the lines of nuts and bolts and clamping devices.

A few bits of angle, flat or RHS and tome well selected nuts & bolts and you can come up with a realy neat & strong result.

One of my favorate tricks is to use RHS.....drill right thru witn a small drill as a pilot....then drill one side with the clearnace bolt diameter and the other side with a hole saw.
This allows the bolt or nut head to remain inside the square section, removes the tube crush issue and results in a neater look with less things hanging out to gouge you body parts.

The other thing is that you need a socket spanner to get the thing off...making things hard for crims with a shifter.

Oh dont forget to use nyloc nuts, some flat washers to distribute the load and put some grease on the threads so they they come off when you want.

AnswerID: 528837

Reply By: teds01 - Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 11:16

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 11:16
Thanks for all the replies, greatly appreciated.

I used some U Bolts and nyloc nuts and sat the gas bottle carrier along the top of the rhs of the drawbar and bolted it down. Seems very solid and doesn't look like its going anywhere.
Thanks for the help, much appreciated!
AnswerID: 528872

Reply By: Ross M - Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 13:42

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 13:42
Yes, definitely only use a bolted on cradle, ie, ubolts, with no welding and NEVER EVER USE TEK SCREWS as a fitting/fastening device on a caravan and especially not on a drawbar.
Even some manufacturers welds on drawbars/A frames, cause the A frame to break where they put them and they "should know" where to weld.
AnswerID: 528883

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 23:16

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 23:16
One thing to be aware of is that the LATEST regs call for the whole of the gas bottle must be within the the area enclosed by the draw bar ,
Can no longer protude over the draw bar sides!!

FollowupID: 811510

Follow Up By: awill4x4 - Sunday, Mar 23, 2014 at 10:13

Sunday, Mar 23, 2014 at 10:13
What about if the gas bottles were within a toolbox going across the draw bar Peter?
I'm looking for somewhere to put my Honda generator and I was thinking of relocating the gas bottles into a full width toolbox on one side and the generator on the other side with a divider in between to balance things out.
Regards Andrew.
FollowupID: 811537

Follow Up By: John and Regina M - Sunday, Mar 23, 2014 at 12:37

Sunday, Mar 23, 2014 at 12:37
Not allowed. Totally within.
FollowupID: 811556

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