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Old 08-26-2005, 04:48 PM   #1
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Interior Skin Aluminum or Wood??

I have acquired a 67' Caravel.. The Trailer has been completely gutted, including the interior skins. Is the aluminum skin required for structural reasons or could I also use a maple or birch plywood riveted to the exterior skin supports? If I want to put plywood in the entire interior do I need to first put a skin of aluminum? thanks for your input..

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Old 08-26-2005, 05:04 PM   #2
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The interior Aluminum is part of the structure of the trailer. Adding a plywood layer to the interior walls will increase your weight in a major way. Be careful how much weight you add, your axle can only handle so much.

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Old 08-27-2005, 12:30 PM   #3
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I agree that the interior aluminum skin does add to the structural integrity. I, for one, have wondered just how much it adds, though. When I took my inner skins out I was suprised at how relatively few rivets were involved in holding them in. I admit to having wondered if a person could add some interior bracing using cables or straps on the diagonal instead of full sheets of aluminum.

At any rate if you would like the wood look on the inside one thing you could do would be to put aluminum in first and then use very thin plywood to keep the weight down. If you are going to cover up the aluminum I suppose that you could go with a less expensive grade. 1/8" thick plywood is available in a number of wood types at fairly reasonable prices. There are some more expensive alternatives too. You can buy thinner aircraft grade plywood. You can also buy fabric or paper backed veneer plywood that could be glued to the aluminum substrate. Check out the following sites for starters: <-- aluminum <-- veneer plywood <-- all sorts of plywoods

There are other sources for aluminum listed in these forums too. Of course you could also go for the aluminum look on the inside with all new aluminum. The 2024 T3 ALCLAD that sells is the type of aluminum that is on the outside of our AS's and would be really beautiful on the inside if you like that look. It not cheap though. I think that the .025 thickness is about what you would need on the inside. The original inner skins were installed in horizontal strips by the way.

I hope all this helps at least some.

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Old 08-28-2005, 08:55 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input.. I have thought about putting the skins in first and then overlaying it with the plywood. I have decided to do a combo with ply and aluminum.. What is horizontal placement of the Aluminum skins?
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Old 08-30-2005, 11:55 PM   #5
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By horizontal placement I mean that the strips of aluminum are run in a horizontal direction rather than in a vertical direction. For example in my 31' AS there are pieces that are long enough to go all the way from where the rear curve starts to all the way to where the front curve starts. My inner skin side pieces are something less than 48" wide by up to about 20' long. Mine were installed with the bottom row first. The second row up was overlapped over the bottom row about 3/4" and so on.

Does that clarify what I mean enough?

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Old 08-31-2005, 07:33 AM   #6
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End Caps?

Do you still have the end caps? Those are fiberglass of abs caps that fit into the upper curved end fore and aft in the trailer.
If you still have those, then the inner skin replacement is going to be relatively easy.
I vote for using at least some aluminum under the wood covering, if you decide to go that route.

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