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Old 04-23-2016, 09:29 AM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
kellyville , Oklahoma
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 9
can i remove cabinets and partition walls

hello all,
i have a 1972 Sovereign that i am renovating and would like to do away with all the dark fake wood ie. partition walls and cabinets. my question is...
do they play a part of the structural integrity? if i take them out will it weaken the frame? i am looking for a more open and airy floor plan. some partitions i will replace with a thin paneling but i'm not sure i will be able to use the runners that attach partition walls to frame. any suggestions?
thanks for your input

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Old 04-23-2016, 09:33 AM   #2
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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I do not think that should be a problem. I believe all the strength comes from the exterior framing. People strip out Airstreams all the time and use them as open tin tents. Never heard of that being an issue.

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Old 04-23-2016, 09:37 AM   #3
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1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
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Estancia , New Mexico
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I have not done it, but am familiar with your trailer. Can't say for sure but the cabinets and bulkheads probably play a minor role in stiffening the monocoque, but the structure is basically freestanding without them. Perhaps you could replace the bulkhead with a brace. Just my opinion, not necessarily fact.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:55 AM   #4
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1976 29' Ambassador
Fitchburg , Wisconsin
Join Date: Oct 2007
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In our '76 the bulkheads are primarily 1/4" plywood with a vinyl covering. The only 3/4" areas are near the refrigerator and the end of the kitchen. The partitions give minimal strength to the shell.

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Old 04-23-2016, 10:31 AM   #5
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1972 23' Safari
Arlington , Massachusetts
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I took some but not all of the partitions and cabinets out of my '72 Safari with no problem. However, You can paint the dividers with excellent results and the stuff that they are made of is much stronger than plywood, weight less and won't be damaged by dampness or water.Click image for larger version

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Old 04-23-2016, 11:21 AM   #6
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Sunrise , Florida
Join Date: Sep 2015
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'76, 31' Soveriegn

I COMPLETELY gutted my '76, no structural integrity issues. In fact, you'll find that most of the attachments actually hang off/depend on the cross-beams, rather than vice-versa
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Old 04-23-2016, 12:51 PM   #7
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
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You can take out as much of the interior as you like, HOWEVER before you go Rambo with the sledgehammer stop and consider your options.

I for example found that the interior gables in my 1983 AS 310 turbo diesel were aluminum clad paper core; quite strong and very light. I couldn't replace them with anything lighter or stronger, so I kept them. However like you I hated the MacTac dark walnut fake wood look, so it had to go. I revinyled them and other panels with 3M Di-noc Weave and have absolutely no regrets. It brightens the spaces and gives the illusion of being a brand new space.

By the way, be careful removing the panels, even the ones you don't want, just in case you do need them for templates or to use them; you never know, plans do change.

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Old 04-23-2016, 01:36 PM   #8
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1972 31' Sovereign
kellyville , Oklahoma
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 9
thank you so much for all the help and advice. not sure what will stay or go and i like the idea of recovering or painting some of them. mostly i want a bigger bathroom, i am being very careful taking anything out just incase i decide to put it back or use for a template. i do like going Rambo on a demo but not this one. slow and steady wins the race. i will check out covering them with 3M Di-noc Weave. i love it when someone tells me what i want to hear and it's correct.
thank you tons

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