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Old 07-06-2015, 08:34 AM   #1
kapelli79
 
1969 23' Safari
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Question Interior Skin

Having gutted our 1969 Safari 23, I would like to use 4mm or 6mm plywood to reskin the inside of the trailer. Would probably fasten with screws. My question is how this might effect the integrity of the shell. I have all the aluminum interior skin but it has so many holes and coats of paint that it would be easier use the plywood. Also, I am basically a woodworker not a metalsmith.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:41 AM   #2
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Others have done it. The inner skin on my 93 seems to be other than aluminum. If you replaced the fiberglass insulation with rigid foam I think that would also siffen up the shell as well as improving insulation.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:35 AM   #3
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Put it on over the aluminum and there will be no loss of strength at all.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:29 AM   #4
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I plan on having spray-on foam insulation put on by a proffesional insulation guy. That should firm up the sides. Wiring will go in after the foam isulation.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:32 AM   #5
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I would recommend putting the aluminum back up as well for several reasons. If somehow you've missed sealing a rivet or seam, the aluminum sheets are waterproof and will allow the water to run down the inside wall without delaminating the plywood. You could also veneer wood to the aluminum instead of plywood. However, more than anything, the aluminum internally is structural. It's essential to the rigidty of the trailer. Since you're a wood worker, this is simiar to building a hollow core door with glued skins. The reason that the door is ridid is the glue. When you try to screw the ply wood to the frame, you're not going to want to use as many screws as they did rivets - it will probably cause issues. Also, a single trip down the road will cause the screws to compress the wood around the screws, and everything will start to slip. The difference with other trailers is that they used much more substantial frames than Airstream. Your 69 may only have a 4" frame (can't remember) so, there's more flex than say a silverstreak of the same year that may have had a 8 or 10" frame and wood internal.

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Old 07-06-2015, 11:36 AM   #6
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I consider myself a woodworker, and, have found the transition to working with aluminum pretty easy. It's not as hard as steel, I don't have to worry about rust, rivets are fun, filing it is easy, the shavings are not freaky sharp, cuts easy, etc. FWIW.
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:33 PM   #7
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Interior Skin

You will find that putting the wood over the skins will be easier than trying to hook it to the trailer ribs, they are not really spaced regularly.

With the skins in place, I could screw the wood down and put a seam wherever I wanted.

I was thinking spray foam on mine but no contractor was really interested. In the end I am glad because working the foam, wiring, pipes, etc, would have been a pain in the butt.

Keep in mind that the skins add to the structure of the trailer, I say quite a bit, and there is really no down side to putting them in. It is a days task at worst.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:17 PM   #8
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You probably want to get a pneumatic riveter... that will give speed and consistency..
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