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Old 03-26-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
Rivet Master

1973 25' Tradewind
Beautiful , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 547
How do things attach to the inner skin.

How do things attach to the inner skin of an Airstream, more correctly where? Anywhere one wants? I pretty much get that it appears to be done with 1 #8 pan head screws (at least in my 73 Tradewind) but are they sometimes just catching the skin like for the bulkheads or are they laid out on the ribs and structural cross members only?

What about the runs of electrical? Are they protected or can you hit a line with a screw? The 1 screws are more than half the cavity between inner and outer wall.

When are rivets used and when are screws used?

Thanks in advance.

Rogue River, Oregon

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Old 03-26-2013, 02:32 PM   #2
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2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 8,197
What is it that you are attaching? I would never use screws for items like pictures etc. I use 3M Command Strips.

If you are attaching cabinetry or heavy stuff, I'd use ribs only ( on rivet lines).

I may be missing somethiing in your question??

Electrical isn't protected and a 1" screw could get there.


"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:16 PM   #3
Rivet Master
2010 27' FB Classic
N/A , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,654
Look for AS U TUBE video of basic way AS wiring is run. Tim Maxwell of AS Service made one. Sorry, I can't find the link. Maybe someone else has it, or you can call him, then repost it , with link, for all to see.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
Rivet Master

1973 25' Tradewind
Beautiful , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 547
I have my trailer close to half gutted as I add grey, new larger black, new plumbing, new propane and so it grows.

As I took things apart I saw most was attached with 1" screws as described. This included bulkheads. It just seemed to me that things like the narrow closet in back just in front of rear bath (two bulkheads) would not have a rib for each side. Other things left impression that things weren't always attached to a rib. Like you suggest going into a rib seamed to me the desirable way to go. I figured it would be like hanging something in a house to sheetrock only (molly withstanding). I also had concerned about hitting wires.

The longer story; I am so close to rebuilding my perfectly good 70's laminate interior with wood. I will be building a dinette to replace the gaucho which will have to work with the existing decor. I am looking for an excuse one way or the other. Wife says keep what we have. Basically don't go too mental about it, Good is Good etc. Me, its but after all this invisible other work I should really make it mine. However, my real lifes "to do" list is real long so she is logically correct. The other ironic things is I build wood furniture in real life not any of the rest of the tasks I have been engaged in.

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Old 03-26-2013, 10:13 PM   #5
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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Check out my blog. I have done what you want to do.
If you have questions. There is plenty of help here.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:23 PM   #6
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1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
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For things that need considerable strength (counters, desk, etc) we used a series of 3/4" pan head screws. You just need to come through the inner skin, so shorter screws are fine too. Some lighter stuff is riveted w/ 1/8" rivets.

Rarely did we hit ribs; the original interior was the same. Airstreams are all about distributed load, so multiple lighter fasteners are usually a good idea, just like in a boat or airplane.

For example, our 1.5" butcherblock cabinet tops are fastened to the inner skin along the back about every 6-8". This works quite well and pulls the often flexible inner wall close to the butcherblock.

- Bart

Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
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