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Old 03-11-2012, 11:20 AM   #1
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Cabinets not staying fastened to wall

Looking for advice on securing cabinets. The cabinets I installed over the axle area will not stay fastened to the wall. Here's what I've done so far...

1. First attempt: Used small L-brackets with screws
2. Second attempt: Used large L-brackets and riveted them to the wall.

Seems like there is a lot of flexing in this area as all the other cabinets are fine.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:59 PM   #2
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I suggest a running gear/tire balance.

This statement makes some folks roll their eyes. But your case sort of makes one think for a second.

Why would all the other cabinets be ok, and the ones over the wheel wells fall off the walls?
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:29 PM   #3
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I thought maybe there was some extra flexing or natural bounce in this area. Or that I don't have them secured properly.

What about shocks? How do I check the running gear. Tires I get. he tire valve stem on that side ruptured, so I just had the tire remounted and balanced.
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:09 PM   #4
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If the axels are the originals, they may need replaced. There are several threads on this subject. The way to check is to look at the arms coming from the ends that the hub and wheel mount on. If this arm is level or deflected above the axle tube, the axel is bad. This will make the trailer ride like a buckboard wagon.

A long time vendor here on the forums suggests balancing the hub and wheel/tire as a unit. I chose to buy Centramatic dynamic balancers. A google search will find them for you.


Good Luck.
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:19 PM   #5
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I suspect it is the running gear. I went on a 900 mile trip with my 73 before I changed the axels and I had some cabinets come loose. I riveted them back in and put new Dexter axels on my trailer. The problem has not happened since.

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Old 03-11-2012, 03:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adwriter73 View Post
I thought maybe there was some extra flexing or natural bounce in this area. Or that I don't have them secured properly.
By all means look at wheel balancing and get new axles if you need new axles, but I note that you have a 31 foot trailer, and I agree with you that flexure is probably greater in the vicinity of the axles, and in longer trailers.

For what it's worth, I need to refasten the cabinets in our 1980 22 footer, but then, it's 32 years old.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:07 PM   #7
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I will definitely check the running gear, but I had all that inspected just a year ago by and Airstream shop and they said it was fine.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:18 PM   #8
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You might want to try attaching the to the ribs not just the internal wall.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:20 PM   #9
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If I am not mistaken, Airstream usually attaches cabinets to the floor and not the walls for this very issue. The walls are flexing in and out as the trailer shell responds to loads. Overhead cabinets are obviously attached to the ceiling but they can float. Running gear out of ballance and bad axels will make all this worse.

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Old 03-12-2012, 12:25 PM   #10
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The main support for the overhead cabinets in our '71 comes from the walls on either side. The ones above the kitchen sink, where there is wall only on one side, have have a support strip of aluminum angle.

They are framed with aluminum extrusions which are both light and stiff. The flat pieces are no more than 1/4" thick. There is much less weight to put stress on the attachment points than there would be will solid wood cabinets.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:12 PM   #11
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Are these overhead cabinets or on the floor?

If overhead, the cabinets or a supporting bar behind them should be attached to the ribs and not the inner skin. You may have to use a bar if the ribs don't line up correctly. In a house you would want to screw into studs; same idea. If you use a bar, attach the cabinets to them. You'll need a thick enough bar so screws will hold and may want to thread it so machine screws will work in it.

If on the floor, screw to floor and then towards the top, a few screws into ribs will stabilize it.

Screws should be stronger than rivets.

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Old 03-12-2012, 04:09 PM   #12
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Attaching to the ribs sounds like the way to go. These are floor to ceiling cabinets. I would say it is due to the weight, but the same cabinets not sitting over the axles are staying attached just fine.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:11 PM   #13
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CrawfordGene, you have a newer model with veneered plywood cabinets, how are they attached? And can you tell if they are attached to the ribs?
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:53 PM   #14
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Ad', it is really hard to tell how the overhead cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom are attached. Same with the pantry cabinet. Some screws seem to go into the inner skin and may hit the ribs. Some support may come from adjacent cabinets. In the kitchen ones, there are pieces screwed in that look like they are just interior parts and may hide the screws that hold the cabinets up.

The axles and wheel balance, as other have said, may be all or part of the problem. It would be good to check that first and then attach the cabinets as firmly as you can. I suppose you could use toggle bolts if all you have is the inner skin, but it flexes quite a bit and you might want to have several every foot or two.

Usually you can find ribs by where the rivets are, but sometimes it is confusing to figure whether it is a rib or a crossmember. A magnet should detect steel and ignore aluminum.

Every once in a while someone posts how their overhead cabinets came loose and fell down, so the factory may not be so good at this and you are not alone.

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