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Old 06-26-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1991 34' Limited
Meridian , Idaho
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 6
Where can I screw (things) up?


Proud new owners of 1990 34' Limited. We are eagerly tweaking it to fit us just right - very pleased with the conversion of the twin rear beds to a corner fitted queen went - opens up a lot of room for more storage. We would really like to fasten various things to the walls (get it, screw up?)- tv mount, hooks, shelves but don't know how much weight we can place where? Is there any way to get a hold of a schematic that shows lateral and vertical supports as well as locations of wires and pipes?

Does anybody ever just drill all the way through the walls and outer skin to bolt something like a tv mount? I have an aluminum horse trailer with LQ and that was a great way to mount the TV there - solid as a rock. Somehow I get the impression that these are not as sturdy?

On another note , my trailer has approximately 12x18x6 curved moldings/boxes in all four corners, abutting overhead cupboards. They fell like fiberglass. Does anybody know their purpose and can small holes be drilled in them - picture hangers etc..


John & Amy

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Old 06-26-2011, 10:28 AM   #2
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
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These trailers are not as sturdy. I shudder to even think of the idea of drilling through the walls to the outside for a fastner. Plus about all you are going to accomplish is to collapse the interior and exterior skins together. Leaks in the skin are devasating to an airstream because they travel undetected thought the walls and then rot out the OS
B floor and rust the frame. Try to avoid penetrating the outer skin in any manner. I personally would not drill a hole in the interior wall or the mouldings to hang anything either.
The way I have seen tv swivel mounts installed is in the vertical panel between the frig and the living room. Some sort of backer plate, either aluminum or plywood behind it. I would not attach anything the weighs anything to the skin of the trailer.
Are you going to pull the trailer or live in it in a fixed location? Stuff hanging on the walls is a liability for travel. It will all need to be attached so that it can not swing or bounce off. We take a couple of things down and let them ride in the sink.
A TV set, in particular, bouncing up and down is going to make a awful heavy load for where ever it is hooked. We set ours on the floor on a rug when we travel, and up on the counter when we are stopped.

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Old 06-26-2011, 10:54 AM   #3
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1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
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Light objects can be attached to the walls(you can use a doubler panel), but anything substantial needs to be supported by the frame members between the skins. Through drilling makes more trouble than it solves. You can drill into the frame members and use rivets or rivet nuts.
"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:11 PM   #4
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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No way can you drill through both skins and hang anything that way. There is only fiberglass insulation between those thin skins and the outside skin would pull in as soon as you applied weight.

You might span between 2 frame members but the size of the plate and thickness required to support a TV would not look to great.

As for the fiberglass corners they will support picture frames of light weight. If your 90 has the same corners as my 91 you may see cracks form in the top corners from extra weight in the cabinets. The PO had cracked 2 of mine from weight and I had to remove the cabinets and repair them from behind with fiberglass cloth. Picture is very poor but you should be able to see the crak location. Collapsing the innards of the metal cabinet requires cutting the ends and when replace them I cut thin plywood panels to cover the cuts and screwed them in place to support the cabinet.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:58 PM   #5
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1988 34' Limited
1960 24' Tradewind
Mt. Pleasant , South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 379
There is no schematic as to where the structural frame members are between the inner and outer aluminum but you can see basically where they are by where the interior rivets are attached. The rivets run in vertical or horizontal lines and behind them are the aluminum framework. I would not hang anything substantial to the inner walls but the best bet is to attach to these areas where the inner ribs are. Certainly do not pentrate the exterior skin.
You can rivet fasteners for hanging things by first drilling a hole with a 1/8" drill bit only through the inner skin and rib and then using a 1/8" pop rivet. If and when this item is to be removed in the future you could just drill it out and replace the rivet to cover the hole--since the rest of the interior is covered in rivets it would not be noticeable.
Anything of substantial weight, like a tv stand, should be attached to the interior wood cabinetry.
I wouldn't hang anything from the fiberglass end caps. They are brittle and crack over time anyway and would be best left undisturbed.
Good luck,
Bill Cantrell
AIR 24338
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:00 PM   #6
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1983 34' Excella
1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
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As HowiE noted, the inside end caps are flimsy ABS plastic and prone to cracking even without the stress of trying to support anything else. Some of the older Airstreams, like my 67 Trade Wind had fiberglass endcaps and they are much sturdier, but I' wouldn't dream of drilling holes into them anyway. It's not like patching sheetrock.

As you have discovered, there aren't a lot of places to hang artwork inside Airstreams. Counterbalanced by the fact that they are works of art themselves.

Seriously, I'd restrict hanging activities to the flat "wood" bulkheads and leave the shell alone. The curved surfaces don't really lend themselves to that purpose anyway. Even on the flat surfaces, you may want to consider Velcro for mounting rather than drilling holes. The Velcro will hold things in place during travel.
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:09 PM   #7
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1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
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Like the others said, I would suggest you not hang anything on the outer shell!

I have a 120v tv wall mounted in the bedroom on the closet wall and another 12v tv beside the fridge on the enclosure (PO installed this one). Both walls are 1/2" plywood. The tv's are mounted on a swivel arm so they can be placed for best viewing. The swivel arm I installed is mounted with four 1/4-20 bolts, double nuts, and washers, with nuts and washers on the hidden side of the closet wall. These tv's are the flat screen LED type so they are not heavy. I fastened a wide velcro strap to the wall, which I wrap around both the tv and swivel arm while we are traveling to hold them in place against the wall. I have towed more than 5,000 miles in the last 12 months without any problems. I had a similar setup in my previous trailer and did not have any problems.

I also removed the fold down table/mirror in the bedroom and installed a small shelf in it's place to hold the tv remote and things taken out of my pockets during the nights.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:33 PM   #8
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1991 34' Limited
Meridian , Idaho
Join Date: May 2011
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Thanks so much for the replys...I will not drill through the whole thing...I will not drill through the whole cowboys need watching......why are the fiberglass endcaps even there? The whole trailer seems so well built and thought out I have to think there is a raison d'etre for them...
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:49 PM   #9
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1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
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Originally Posted by johnfreeman6 View Post
Thanks so much for the replys...I will not drill through the whole thing...I will not drill through the whole cowboys need watching......why are the fiberglass endcaps even there? The whole trailer seems so well built and thought out I have to think there is a raison d'etre for them...
They are cheaper than aluminum. Also, the molded shape allows the formation of a cabinet and mounting for the control panel. The molded item also installs as one piece. (But that's reason 1 again)

And again, they are not fiberglass, they are ABS plastic! Not nearly as good, but that's how it has been for a long time.

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drill, screw, tv mount, wall

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