A structural question...
I know that my 1973 31' Sovereign
has monocoque construction where every aspect of the frame and body contribute to the overall strength. I am also aware that there have been discussions in the forums about the notion that the inner skin contributes to the overall strength. Having just removed all the inner skins on my unit (for various reasons) and observing how few rivits there were I am wondering just how much the inner skin does contribute to the overall strength. I can also understand how the rear end of an AS could indeed separate from the body if the connections from the frame through the floor to the body degrade.
So here are some questions for discussion:
1.) Is it reasonable to think that the main structural issue that the inner skin would contrubute to is keeping the ends of the frame from sagging relative to the middle?
2.) Is it also reasonable to think that this is more of an issue at the back end than at the front - in light of the fact that the front is supported by the towing vehicle or jack stand?
3.) If the above is true would it make sense structurally to add some sort of suspension cable on each side of the trailer? On each side I am picturing a vetical member (steel I suppose) perhaps 4 feet tall and centered over the wheels. I would then picture a cable with a turn-bukle for adjustment going diagonally from the top of the vertical member to the end of the rear most cross member and one to the front most cross memeber. I would then picture some re-enforcement of these cross-members to better transfer the load to the frame main channel.
Would this approach work?
Could it eliminate the need for the inner skin to be considered structural?
Could this mean I could put light-weight wood paneling (maybe even 1/8" thick) on the inside of my trailer without re-installing the aluminum first if I wanted to go for that effect?
What do you think?