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Old 07-19-2013, 11:25 AM   #1
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New aluminum skin interior

Any thoughts on installing aluminum paneling vertical vs horizontal?

Thx
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:51 AM   #2
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There are folks who believe that the interior skins become part of the "structure," and I suppose they do to a limited extent. It just seems like there are so few rivets holding them in place that it is hard to believe they really support anything. Anyway, if you buy into this, then installing them vertically instead of length-wise could cause your shell to be more flexible from end to end.

If you go ahead with the vertical install, ideally you would have the edges of the aluminum coincident with a rib, if not you'll run into trouble supporting it, much like an unsupported floorboard. If the aluminum has a brushed or machined appearance, installing vertically may cause it to look aesthetically wonky, ie., if the grain is going vertically, instead of with the axis of the trailer.

What is your goal in doing it vertically, as opposed to length-wise?
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:21 PM   #3
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Interestingly enough, the exterior is created horizontally. My metal fabricator, thought doing it horizontally would be easier and require less panels. The corners as one would suspect will pose the most challenges because of the curved nature. Thoughts?
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:29 PM   #4
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Corners?
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:33 PM   #5
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Interestingly enough, the exterior is created horizontally. My metal fabricator, thought doing it horizontally would be easier and require less panels. The corners as one would suspect will pose the most challenges because of the curved nature. Thoughts?
I reskinned using the original layout basically. Many of the panels could be used in their original 4' wide configuration. Have him do a layout to see where the joints end up, where the ribs are and how may sheets he needs. I believe it will be a tougher install with more cuts, a bit more scrap and more metal.

One other item, if you plan on leaving it bare, make sure ALL of the panels have the mill finnish going the same direction or it will look odd.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:42 PM   #6
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I reskinned mine horizontally and pretty much used the old skins as templates. Since my metal had a mill finish, it all ran the same way. I then made new endcaps from the same metal. I felt like it added to the structural integrity to run it horizontally, but then again I am not an engineer or anything.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:19 PM   #7
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TedBoxer

Your metal fabricator is probably right.

My experience is limited to the renovation of my own 1976 Argosy but all the original factory panels on the trailer, inside and out, were run horizontally. There must be a good reason for that.

You can cut and bend sheets to fit the Airstream compound curves. See post #59 here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f227...e-18448-5.html


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Old 07-19-2013, 06:16 PM   #8
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Thanks guys for all the reply's, I think horizontal is the right call. Anybody have an idea on aluminum gauge? My guy suggested .032.
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:48 PM   #9
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Thanks guys for all the reply's, I think horizontal is the right call. Anybody have an idea on aluminum gauge? My guy suggested .032.
I have done 3003 .025 and it is easy to ding. I'm using .032 on the one I'm doing right now.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:01 AM   #10
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I don't know exactly when Airstream stopped using aluminum on the interior, (mid 60's?) but I would imagine the aluminum interior units provide more structural integrity than the vinyl covered pressboard of later models. Not as many rivets as exterior, but the geometry of flexed rigid sheet material such as aluminum over non-rigid products as vinyl clad pressboard, must have its advantages. It seems to me that until the rivets on the interior begin to allow the skin to move by stress factors, it would be as structurally supportive as the ext. skin.
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:41 PM   #11
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I'm just looking at an airstream project but if I do it I'm gonna want aluminum interior panels, where do you get them????
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:38 PM   #12
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:20 AM   #13
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Interior Aluminum Install

Hello

Does anybody have install pics or instructions as to how to efficently/correctly install the aluminum panels on the interior

Thanks for any help
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:03 AM   #14
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Come to the Vintage Trailer Academy and you will see a great presentation on interior skin fabrication and installation
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