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Old 09-23-2014, 12:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by putback View Post
Normal, on the ones I've done, all pre '68, the front corner .032 channel type ribs are not connected to the floor. What has really shocked me is how few of the original extruded aluminum body bows [ribs] that are not connected to the C channel or floor. The worst example I've seen is my '62 ambassador. Only 2 full length bows connected to the floor, at the front and rear end caps. Every other rib stops at the top center and not attached to the floor, none full length and no apparent reason why not. Even the ones on either side of the entry door not anchored. I extended and anchored all.
That is absolutely normal.

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Old 09-23-2014, 12:03 PM   #16
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What's Andy's user name?
Which Andy?

Andy
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:40 PM   #17
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I'm no structural engineer so I cannot give an expert opinion about any problems the "short ribs" might cause, but my intuition suggests this could be a problem. If it this occurred on my rebuild, I would make sure all the ribs extended and were secured to the C channel. It would not be a big deal to do this when the trailer is in a deconstructed condition.

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Old 09-23-2014, 01:14 PM   #18
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That's what we were thinking. Most of the ribs are U channel so since w're getting ready to fab or buy some, we think we'll just extend what is there. He says it's easy and can't hurt not to.
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:17 PM   #19
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Then I start to worry about lengthening and connecting the ribs making things to stiff. I always find something to worry about.
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:21 PM   #20
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The way the shell gets its strength, mostly from the outer skin, the short ribs will make little to no difference in rigidity...

I would not worry about them if it was my trailer.
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:32 PM   #21
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Looking at the curvature on the bottom picture; I'm guessing that that is the lower rear street side corner of the trailer and the rib's only go from above the bottom of that exterior panel to somewhere still below the top of the bottom of that exterior panel; if that makes sense(ie they're pretty short, probably just z shaped as well) those are normal, they can't run rib's all the way from the floor to the overhead so these help provide some basic rigidity to the exterior skin in that area.
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Old 09-23-2014, 02:06 PM   #22
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I've got some short ribs on my 67 Overlander. I don't know why it was built that way but I'm not going to spend time "fixing" it.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:19 PM   #23
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I think when the inner skins are attached to the bows you end up with a pretty strong structure. I believe I have read where some rebuilders do extend the bows to the C channel making even a stronger structure.

Aerowood seems like an aircraft structure expert and is another source for information concerning the short bow lengths and their effect.

David
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:23 PM   #24
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Those "ribs" are correctly called "main bows".

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Old 09-23-2014, 07:21 PM   #25
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I can't imagine so many Airstreams would have them if they were a problem, since I've never seen this issue come up, I'm guessing it's not something to stress over. Since my husband is doing the work, I'll leave it up to him. Will keep you posted.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:52 PM   #26
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I just opened up the front end of my 1957 22' Caravanner and have noticed that the ribs do not extend all the way to the bottom. It looks like it was made like that originally. I'm planning on extending them to the bottom C channel when I get to that point.
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:43 AM   #27
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I attached all of my ribs to the lower C channel, very little work involved.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:58 PM   #28
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AW, where do you get the channel to construct the ribs. I have a '65 that I am redoing and am looking for quite a few feet of this material. I will use for the horizontal ribs where I will beef up where new shelving will be installed and use for wall studs for new walls.

I believe it is .032 channel and definitely measures 3/4"x11/2"x3/4". I do not have the tools to bend it and being I need so much, I have decided just to buy it if I can find it.
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