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Old 02-18-2004, 09:20 PM   #1
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Bulkhead Structural Value

Does anyone know if removing / reducing the bulkheads (i.e. the luan between the galley and the beds) would cause problems with structural integrity? I'm trying to find ways to open up more space in this area but don't want to cause bigger problems. Any input is greatly appreciated
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Old 02-18-2004, 09:39 PM   #2
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Structural value

My .02 worth:

If the bulkhead is structural, it should intersect the shell on or very near a frame member. Otherwise, it will just be pushing on unsupported interior skin.

Also, how is it attached? On my (earlier) model, the plywood panel was press fit into an aluminum extusion with no connection, so it was free to move. This tells me it was non-structural. Your model may be different.
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Old 02-18-2004, 09:52 PM   #3
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Stressed-Skin Construction

I do not think the interior bulkheads are part of holding the trailer together and keeping it in one piece...

The floor and Shell act together, and I think the bulkheads are not part of it.

RobH
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Old 02-18-2004, 10:53 PM   #4
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Go ahead

Every thing inside an Airstream is non structural and can be moved or removed at will.
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:11 PM   #5
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Talking

Is it deja vu ?
Didn't I read this same thread just a few weeks ago ?
I think I am reading way too much !
I think others are searching way too little.
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:20 PM   #6
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If you look at the Airstream manufacturing process, you will notice that the trailer is initially assembled as a shell with no partitions. If the partition walls were structural this would not be possible (or at least probable). On the otherhand, the floor sheathing (unlike most building practices) is part of the initial assembly and is integral to the trailer's structural integrity.

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Old 02-19-2004, 08:06 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the info. I didn't think that the bulkheads would hold up the structure as much as possibly helping with the shape of the exterior in the case of wind. Like a grain bin that is empty and crushed by a strong wind.
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Old 02-19-2004, 11:00 AM   #8
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Wind won't bother it as long as it's on the frame. Ours has been sitting on the drive way throght some serious high winds that we were afreaid we needed it tied down or at least hooked to the tow vhecile to keep from it getting spun.

There is nothing inside. The interrior was are even out up to the windows. I have been inisde for a few big gusts and did not notice any movement the the body independent of the floor.
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Old 02-19-2004, 11:12 AM   #9
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Thanks 59Toaster! Theory is great, but it's better to hear about it in a real-world situation. I've been folowing the pics and posts with your floor repair. I'm going to be gutting to work on the floor but have not seen any problems with rot or separation. I'm hoping to avoid the pan-off route. My '69 is a 29' with a rear bath. I'm going to try replacing the mid-twins and replace with a single flexsteel folding bed on one side and storage / entertainment on the other. I'm hoping that removing the bulkhead between the galley and where the entertainment center and bed is will make the interior seem more open.
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:57 PM   #10
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It's a well thought out design.

Factory ours has no bulkheads down the street side. It's open from one end to the other and that side has windows the full lenght of the coach (see avitar).
Now when the floor rotted out out wardrobe became structural LOL There was nothing from the door to the wheel well connecting body to frame I could run a putty knife under the wall the whole distance. After the wheel well had about 24-30 inches of solid floor again and then rotted out all the way around to the other side to the last rib on the street side. The wardrobe was helping hold up the body in that area.

We were lucky to get it home without it falling appart. LOL
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:01 PM   #11
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the fiberglass/ plastic ends of the trailer

Does this mean I can take out the form fitted ends of the trailer and still have structural integrity??? They are out now and my husband doesnt want to put them back in. Is that a problem. we are going to be traveling a lot, so I need reassurance. Thanks a lot . Silver suz
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:08 PM   #12
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Re: the fiberglass/ plastic ends of the trailer

Quote:
Originally posted by silver suz
Does this mean I can take out the form fitted ends of the trailer and still have structural integrity??? They are out now and my husband doesnt want to put them back in. Is that a problem. we are going to be traveling a lot, so I need reassurance. Thanks a lot . Silver suz
Suz:

What were you going to replace them with? I think it might be a problem to just leave them out. Can you encapsulate them with something hypoallergenic?
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:39 PM   #13
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The basic method of construction of an Airstream is called "monocouque."

Monocouque means a "load bearing shell."

That being the case, the "interior and exterior metal and/or plastics" are important to the integrity of the shell. One depends on the other.

Therefore to leave out sections of the interior that add to the strength of the shell, is not wise.

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Old 03-20-2004, 01:10 PM   #14
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monocoque (sp?)

Thanks everyone, that's really important to know. We can seal them with AFM no VOC sealer. Then I'd like to cover the back one in copper. and the front one ,we are going for the CCD look. Both sealed with AFM sealer and stuck on with??? Elmer's glue?
Dont laugh too hard we glued down a well outgassed piece of linoleum for a small bath with elmer's glue. AFM probably has some no voc adherent.
Has any one seen the trailer done in copper foil? It's really pretty, but I havent found a source for the copper sheets yet.

My husband will love hearing this. Taking it out took a lot of effort by all 3 of my guys.

Well andy , looks like we will be in the market for a black water and grey water tank!
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