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Old 05-17-2012, 09:04 AM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Irvine , California
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
Removed inner skin

I am a new owner of a 1976 31ft center bath sovereign. I am in the middle of ripping everything out including the inner skin. I want to replace it with wood panel. My question is:

After I remove all the interior panels -

Do I just install the wood panels or

Attach the wood to the interior skin I removed then rivet it back?

Any help will be appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!

By the way I have renamed my trailer to the USS RAT SH_T. I have NEVER seen so much rat droppings


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Old 05-17-2012, 10:21 AM   #2
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1973 Avion Travelcader 25' , ...
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Hi Jean,

The inner skins are part of the shell support structure. As such, you should reattach them then attach your covering. While your down to the bare walls you should perform a thorough leak investigation. If you had siginificant vermin infestation you'll probaly find nest evidence between the skins, and in the belly pan areas so plan to discard existing insulation materials.

Keep us posted.


"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Old 05-17-2012, 10:28 AM   #3
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,284
You could probably get away with the wood only as long as you attached it to the ribs well it would serve the same function as the inner skins. The inner skins are not attached all that well and I am somewhat skeptical that they do much for the structure. Now if more rivets were used and they were bigger rivets then they would be able to support the structure better. The inner skins that would provide the most strength are the ones in the curved ceiling areas.

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Old 05-17-2012, 03:16 PM   #4
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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Welcome! I'd leave the inside skin on after cleanup and floor repair. Now's a good time to check out all three electric systems, and add another 120 volt line for a second air conditioner. Replace/add air conditioner drain lines now too.

I hope your wood body will be stored inside. These old Airstreams leak water like a homemade row boat. Be double double sure to do all the vent replacements, sewer vent seals, window gaskets, and seam sealing before even thinking about putting wood inside the skin. If not, after the first good day long rain, that wood will be ruined.

The one good thing I've found about Airstreams is that they don't have any wood in or on the body.
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:05 PM   #5
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,157
I would leave the inner aluminum skins in place also and cover them with wood if you want. The aluminum will give you a better support structure for cabinets than thin wood veneer would, especially as you shake, rattle and roll down the highways of life. Attaching the cabinets to the walls and "floating" them on the floor keeps them from getting jarred as much as we learned at the Resto Rally last summer. Good Luck!

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