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Old 09-30-2008, 06:56 AM   #1
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Reattaching bottom awning arms securely...

I have a 1960 Safari 22' and the belly skin is in pretty bad shape and both awning arms are barely attached to the bottom of the trailer. The PO let things get pretty mangled. I need to find a way to reattach them securely. I'm not looking for something to look perfect and new again, so if my best bet is to mount an aluminum plate at floor level and then attach the awning to the plate...I'm fine with that, but I'm not sure exactly how to proceed.

There are two bolts/screws a the bottom of each awning arm that hold it to the trailer. Should those go into the side of the plywood floor? Should they go into the aluminum "C" channel? What should they be anchored to?

Thanks for the help.

Doug
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:03 AM   #2
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awning arms

If you could post a picture of where the awning arms are currently attached, that would be very helpful.

Are the arm mounting plates over one of the ribs? Are they above the floor level? I recently replaced all the old lag screws that attach the Carefree awning to our '74, and used both rivet nuts and newly-tapped threads to install the new stainless steel machine screws.

I am not very knowledgeable about 60's Airstreams, though, so I am not sure my approach would be the best for your trailer.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:02 AM   #3
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Hi Mac!

The plate with the 2 long screws, the screws mount into the side of the plywood floor.

Michael
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:15 AM   #4
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Here are details of how I fixed the upper bracket on a Zip Dee for my Sovereign.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f442...fix-33935.html

I'm doing the same thing for the upper and lower brackets on my Safari. In all cases the original metal screws (bolts, really) went through the skin and into the rib (two of the three, the other one went into skin only).

Although these appeared to work OK for 30 years (well, I don't think the trailer was actually used all those years), they show signs of pulling dimples in the skin and causing leaks.

In the 70's models you can access the interior of the rib by removing just a few pop rivets on the inside skins and "peeling" the skin back a little. It's a pain, but possible. I recommend adding the inside doubler plate (with threaded nutplates, which is the most important modification), as well as the outer shim and doubler, and attaching them with driven rivets.

Zep
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:52 PM   #5
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Here are the pictures of my lower mounting brackets.

Zep...I understand you backing plate idea...but I'm not sure if mine mounts into a hollow wall or if it goes into the side of the plywood or exactly where. If it goes into the side of my plywood then I'm guessing that the edge of the wood has been destroyed by the screws bouncing all over and elongating the holes.

Suggestions?

Doug
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:55 PM   #6
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Rots of ruck

You might want to inspect the plywood and see if you have floor rot in those areas.

I'm guessing you have

Michael
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:07 PM   #7
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I just recently had the front completely gutted and inspected the floor all the way around. It was amazingly solid. I think that it's just those bolt holes that are messed up.
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:24 PM   #8
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First, putting screws/bolts into the edge of plywood isn't very useful. It may seem strong at first, but the bolt will invariably loosen.

Based on your photos, I would cut the trim to allow the awning fitting to fit tight to the skin. Actually, I'd cut it about 1" wider on both sides so that you could install two layers of .032" doubler that is at least 1" wider all around than the fitting. You can install the doublers using flush Avex rivets, which are stronger than the typical aluminum pop rivets you'll find at HD.

Hanson Rivet and Supply Co., Multi-Grip - Avex - Stavex Rivets

Then use large sheet metal screws to attach the fitting. You can install Rivnuts for a stronger attachment, but I believe you have to have a special tool in order to deform the shaft. You might be able to do two or three by hand, but I don't know about that.

Custom Rivnuts Fasteners and Plusnuts - Rivnut Blind Fasteners at Cardinal Components

IMHO, the only way to attach awnings is with a doubler inside and nutplates, but no one does this, since you have to open up the inside skin. I'm almost of the opinion that it's worth cutting an access hole in the inside skin and then patching it after the awning hardware is installed.

Zep
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:58 PM   #9
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Thanks Zep. That gives me a nice clear direction to go with. I appreciate it.

Doug
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Old 10-14-2008, 01:04 AM   #10
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novice question - can you explain a "doubler"? I have the same problem on my 69 Sovereign....photos look the same as the crdouger ones. I'm fine cutting access hole, etc.... just maybe a side view sketch of what you suggest?

Thanks!

- jc
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:38 AM   #11
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a "doubler" is just another layer of skin, maybe thicker than the existing skin, which helps carry or distribute the load. When I put in nut plates, I install them first using flush rivets on a small piece of aluminum sheet (the doubler) about 3x4 inches. Since the Zip Dee attachment castings are mounted right along a rib, the nut plates are usually at one edge of the doubler and there is an additional shim required under part of the doubler in order to allow for the rib thickness.

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I usually put a doubler on the outside, too. You wind up with 4 layers of aluminum that carry the bolt load over the entire 3x4 inch area, rather than just at the bolt hole.

Zep
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:36 AM   #12
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This photo shows the parts I used to repair the bottom mount for window awnings. The one part not shown is the shim piece that levels the inner doubler. It's required due to the rib thickness, per the drawing above. Actually, the shim is two 0.032 pieces of sheet aluminum to roughly match the rib thickness.

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In this case, I used all flush rivets to attach the doublers under the Zip Dee fitting. In some cases, my doublers are larger rectangles that have domed rivets along their edge. The outer doubler also has a shim (on the left, under the doubler) to adjust for the skin lap at the rib joint.

Note the three bolts that secure the fitting--all the bolt holes are on the same side of the rib flange, which allows you to install one doubler with all the nut plates on it. The upper main (I'm using "main" here to described the curb side long awning above the door) Zip Dee fitting is like this--all the bolts on one side of the rib flange. This isn't the case with the lower main Zip Dee fitting. Two bolts (the two that are aligned vertically) are on one side and the third is on the other, so you have to install two separate doublers with the nut plates attached.

Zep
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:52 AM   #13
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Now THAT is an awesome reply - I'm going to go for it armed with that full explanation!

Thanks!!

- jc
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:03 PM   #14
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one arm finished

I've got one of my awning arms securely done and I love how it came out. I cut two aluminum plate pieces the exact same size and riveted them to the side of the trailer all the way around the edge. Then I drilled two larger holes in the middle where awning will attach and attached a rivnut (see above link provided by Zep...actually it was a racenut or something close to it...it was inexpensive) where the awning actually bolts to it. So I have my outer two plates, the original skin, and I hit the c-channel inside the wall. I think it looks good (up to my standards) and seems very strong and solid. Thanks for all the help. (sorry about the quality of the picture...I took the picture outside in the rain at night!)
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