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Old 12-05-2012, 09:21 PM   #1
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I'm in the thinking planning section of rebuilding my bathroom walls/ closets and cabinets for my 69 ambassador. Most of the stuff was made with the .25" plywood, and it lasted 40+ years. I was thinking about rebuilding them with .5" plywood for extra strength, but don't know if it would be an overkill. What do most folks build their walls/ bulkheads out of?
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:21 PM   #2
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The .25 lasted that many years so I wouldn,t go with the .5 wood. First it will not fit the bulkhead rails on the walls. Second you are adding a considerable amount of weight with no real gain. You have a weight rating on the camper and the more weight you add with beefing things up the less load capacity you will have left to load your personel items to the trailer.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:19 AM   #3
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Good points, my plan was to router the edge so it could fit in the track. The weight is a good point. Right now I will have all three holding tanks behind the axles, so adding 6 sheets of ply wood to that area will be a lot of weight. When I upgraded the axles, I upgraded them to 3800lbs each. So I can carry the weight, but it will still be mostly in the rear, so it will reduce the tongue weight. I don't know it will be enough to cause a problem. I wonder what others have used over the years..
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:47 AM   #4
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Weight behind the axles is a real problem and the source of "rear end separation." The 1/2 plywood in itself itsn't that much of a penalty, but it all adds up. You have to be significantly more careful about weight behind the axles than in front of them.

That being said, all six Airstreams I've modified use 1/2 plywood. I used the orginal rails and machined the edge of the plywood to fit. A better solution is to use a shrinker and some "L" channel to make new rails.

Zep
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:18 AM   #5
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The only place I've used 1/2" plywood for a wall is on the forward wall of the fridge cabinet where I plan on mounting a TV. Other than that, my walls are a single layer of 1/4" ply or 2 layers of 1/4" ply with a basswood frame in between to give a void inside the wall for running wires for lights, control panels, thermostats, etc. Veneer core 1/4" alder ply is very lightweight - much lighter than mdf core 1/4" alder ply. I'm sure the same would apply to 1/2" ply. We used the original wall rails, and routed the 1/2" ply to fit the rail.

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Old 12-10-2012, 10:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
Weight behind the axles is a real problem and the source of "rear end separation." The 1/2 plywood in itself itsn't that much of a penalty, but it all adds up. You have to be significantly more careful about weight behind the axles than in front of them.

That being said, all six Airstreams I've modified use 1/2 plywood. I used the orginal rails and machined the edge of the plywood to fit. A better solution is to use a shrinker and some "L" channel to make new rails.

Zep
A shrinker? And where could you find the L channel?


Yea, I have close working knowledge on rear end separation. I got that fixed, including replacing 2-3 feet if the rear main rails, outriggers, and 4 feet of rear floor. I used .5 " SS bolts on the back and tripled the bolts holding the floor in. I even bolted the through the main rails. Even with all that, I know that I will have to dump the grey and black tanks before towing. I plan to install a dinette in the front, so hopefully that will add some extra weight in the front. I have also been kicking around the idea of adding back a fresh water tank in the front..
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:05 AM   #7
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A shrinker is a metal working tool that grabs a piece of metal in two places close together and pushes them a bit closer. It's a slow process with a lot of little repetetive steps, but gets the job done. You get teeth marks on the surface the tool grabs, but the other side of the L just follows along.

I've gotten both angle (L) and channel aluminum from Outwater Plastics and from Brunner Enterprises. If you have one nearby, a metal recycler often has a selection of aluminum angle in good condition.
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