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Old 01-24-2014, 12:52 PM   #1
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Interior Alum. / engineering

I have removed the entire interior and aluminum walls from the interior of my 1979 31' Land Yacht. I am using new aluminum (with coating) to re-form the entire interior. The original aluminum is run front to back in long lengths (riveted to the studs)... It is my understand that the interior skin is important to the over-all dimensional support (stability) of the Airstream.

My question is... Will I be significantly weakening the unit if I run the aluminum lengthwise up the sides instead of from front to back? I plan on riveting the sheets together and to the studs at every stud.

Note: this unit needs to make a 1000 mile journey and then will not be moved.

Thank you! I appreciate your ideas and thoughts.

Muffinman
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:16 PM   #2
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I'd say yes you would weaken the trailer. A buck riveted joint could reduced the "strength" of the panel to say 75% however you would most likely be pop riveting the skins which is not considered particularly structural. Hardest of all would be getting the rivet holes in the skins in the correct (exact) location and the associated stringers (horizontal stiffeners). I'm all for trying something new but I think you will be making a simple task pretty tricky. I'd bet it would make the 1000 miles without incident though...
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:38 AM   #3
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Thank you for your thoughtful response!
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:34 PM   #4
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From an engineering standpoint the skins would help the ribs from deforming from their usual horseshoe shape so you might actually be making it stronger in that regard. Front to back I don't think the inner skins do much for the trailer. The outer skin has a huge moment of inertia anyway and I don't think the inner skins are a big component in that direction. The shell is very strong and Airstreams suffer from a weak attachment between the shell and the frame. Like I said above, I think the inner skins are more important to help support roof loads than do much lengthwise.

Perry
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:29 PM   #5
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The interior skins are not buck riveted into the ribs of any Airstream ever made except for around the door opening were you can reach both sides.... It may appear that they are in some trailers because there are two or more panels buck riveted together and then rolled up and unrolled in the trailer and pop riveted in place. The exterior skin is the structural part of the trailer and the interior skins are more for cosmetic but due to the nature of how they are pop riveted to the ribs do add some additional strength but are not truly needed. Question: I have to ask, why would you not want to run the aluminum length wise and instead run it the way you want to?
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:36 PM   #6
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Your overthinking this. Relax. Think it out and you will see that it would make no difference. Now, why would you want to do that? Take the old panels, copy them, including the rivet holes. Instal them and then apply your magic.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:40 PM   #7
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Now why didn't I just say that! Much more concise.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:04 AM   #8
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Yes... I admit to over-thinking, but thought it worth checking with folks with a bit more experience. The reasons I am considering changing the int. aluminum direction: 1. 12 ft. is the longest aluminum I can source (with coating)...need 21 footers to replace as original. 2. This is a complete custom and there will be no cabinets above counter height... this will mean very long exposed seams. 3. The visual impact... more seams, but the Olympic rivets running up along the supports with give a unique industrial look.... aluminum will have a 'brushed stainless' finish. Thank you to everyone for your thoughts on this subject... no final decision yet. Muffin Man at The Redwood Muffin Research Kitchen
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:39 AM   #9
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Muffinman. I haven't taken my walls out yet, but was looking at doing the same thing as you. My walls have the "yellow flower wallpaper" on them, and some of the seams just look bad. Love to see some pics of the finished product. Also, how did you sort the endcaps?

You can reply here or canadiansoldier819@hotmail.com

Thanks

Lee
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