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Old 10-16-2013, 08:42 PM   #1
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,900
Any slick aluminum tent advice?

After two years of working on my '73 GT, we took it out for an "expeditionary maiden voyage" a couple of weeks ago. The trailer has no interior at all, just the bare insides of the exterior skins with the original wiring strapped in place. We threw a couple of folding camp chairs inside, an air mattress on the floor, and a portable toilet in the corner. It was an aluminum tent, but just barely. I was a bit embarrassed by the interest my neighbors all showed to see inside, as it was all so rough.

Anyway, we thought we would take it on a few trips this fall to help us decide on the optimal layout. What I was wondering is if some of our fellow (past and present) aluminum tenters had some slick solutions to all the temporary stuff that makes the tent a bit less rough, ie., window coverings, furnishings, storage that gets the "stuff" up off the floor, etc...


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Old 10-16-2013, 09:08 PM   #2
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1972 25' Tradewind
Hopkins , Minnesota
Join Date: Sep 2012
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My '72 Tradewind is just about in the same state....structurally ready for a test ride, but nothing inside other than new electrical.

I would say get yourself some Prodex insulation...or the cheaper foil faced bubble insulation that you can get at the big box stores. Cut them to fit your windows. And there you go....a little insulation and privacy. Store your stuff in tupperware-type tubs to keep things neat and tidy. You could also probably fit a klick-klack futon through the door, as well as some other light furniture from stores like IKEA.

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Old 10-16-2013, 09:17 PM   #3
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1993 34' Excella
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From what I have heard the interior skins and bulkheads have an important structural role in maintaining the strength and integrity of the shell.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:22 PM   #4
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1970 23' Safari
2005 30' Classic
1986 31' Sovereign
Lorain , Ohio
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I believe the interior skin is structural, but I don't believe the bulkheads are.

Sure would love to hear "official" word on this from the designing engineers!
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:51 AM   #5
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2,684
I built a pedestal to put a queen sized mattress on, that I can slide plastic totes under. I also built a temporary galley with a sink that drains into a plastic gas can and I also bolted my camp stove down to. My wife and I did the camp cot route also. We ended up changing the interior layout from our original idea to the one we are doing now. The temp. bed and galley are in the location where the finished product is going to be except there will be a closet between the bed and the galley. The wet toilet and 7 cubic foot fridge will be on the opposite curbside wall with a dinette up front.
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:22 AM   #6
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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On the topic of interior skins, I suppose they might add some support to the structure, but I expect it is negligible compared to what the outer shell offers (this considering the relatively sparse pop rivets that hold the interior skins in place). For my expeditionary maiden voyage, I had my AC unit mounted on the roof, and just clamped to the outer skin and the spacer that will eventually exist between the inner and outer skins. I didn't notice any damage, movement, etc., in the shell after driving 200 miles.

Since the expeditionary run, I did pick up a mostly free futon from craigslist and put it inside for seating and to get the mattress up off the floor. I also found a nifty quick-release mounting plate that screws to the floor to lock my portable toilet in place--now just have to decide on a tentative location.

On our first run, we used those paper temporary blinds to cover the windows, but they took a lot of little spring-clips to keep them close to the wall and window. Was thinking about making some reflectex inserts as described above. We also had good success using some of those springy automotive windshield heat reflector things in some of the bigger windows.

I was also considering getting some of those hanging fabric "shoe organizer" type things and using them to make a partition for the bathroom. This may offer some light storage in addition to creating some privacy.

I bought some of those "puck" lights and stuck them to the ceiling, but have had a heck of a time keeping them in place. It could be that when the sun beats down mercilessly and the shell heats up to 120 degrees, that the adhesive just gives up, or it could be that a $1.25 puck light just isn't bound to stick regardless.

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