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Old 02-11-2016, 08:16 AM   #1
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1970 31' Sovereign
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Interior walls

I am wondering about the interior walls when we put up the new aluminum. My dad is helping me fix the walls and he suggested to put half aluminum up and then the other half, which will be covered by counters, fridge, etc. to leave exposed for future renovations or problems that occur. Meaning that top half new aluminum and bottom half insulation. Is this a common practice or something to avoid in general?
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:53 AM   #2
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Exposed as in no skin is not a good idea. The shell strength comes from both inner and outer skins firmly attached to a rib. If one piece is missing the whole structure is compromised, big time.
I am 2 years into a frame off.
Good to ask questions before rather than after.
Main thing is have fun. A straight line of rivets will definitely make your day.
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Old 02-11-2016, 04:29 PM   #3
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I would say that it is definitely uncommon to have a configuration such as you are describing.

There have been several threads debating just how much the interior skins contribute to the overall structure of the trailer, and I am of the camp that believes you can get away without them entirely, BUT that they do serve the purpose of firming up the structure so that the overall movement of the shell is diminished. For instance, I towed my trailer hundreds of miles without any interior skins at all, using it as an aluminum tent for a while. It survived just fine, but I did notice that the entry door was inclined to pop open if I wasn't using a wooden doohicky to hold it shut during travel. Haven't had that problem since I pust the interior skins back where they belong.

In the original construction of my trailer, the interior skins not only form the backs of the interiors of the cabinets, but also provide something to anchor cabinetry and gauchos to as it was rare that the anchor points coincided with a rib. Furthermore, a common problem is rodent infestation between the walls, and that is when the interior skins are in place and every effort is made to eliminate access to the inside of the wall. I would imagine leaving the lower skins off altogether would be a serious invitation to critters to make themselves a nest.

Another thing to consider is that you want the area behind your refrigerator to be as air-tight as possible so that air is drawn in from the bottom, run past the back of the fridge, and then up the chimney. Some people even build the wall out with a piece of aluminum to help the air flow be concentrated across the back of the coils. Exposed insulation in this area just seems like it would be a mess.

good luck!
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Old 02-11-2016, 04:42 PM   #4
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1960 24' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
I would say that it is definitely uncommon to have a configuration such as you are describing.

There have been several threads debating just how much the interior skins contribute to the overall structure of the trailer, and I am of the camp that believes you can get away without them entirely, BUT that they do serve the purpose of firming up the structure so that the overall movement of the shell is diminished. For instance, I towed my trailer hundreds of miles without any interior skins at all, using it as an aluminum tent for a while. It survived just fine, but I did notice that the entry door was inclined to pop open if I wasn't using a wooden doohicky to hold it shut during travel. Haven't had that problem since I pust the interior skins back where they belong.

In the original construction of my trailer, the interior skins not only form the backs of the interiors of the cabinets, but also provide something to anchor cabinetry and gauchos to as it was rare that the anchor points coincided with a rib. Furthermore, a common problem is rodent infestation between the walls, and that is when the interior skins are in place and every effort is made to eliminate access to the inside of the wall. I would imagine leaving the lower skins off altogether would be a serious invitation to critters to make themselves a nest.

Another thing to consider is that you want the area behind your refrigerator to be as air-tight as possible so that air is drawn in from the bottom, run past the back of the fridge, and then up the chimney. Some people even build the wall out with a piece of aluminum to help the air flow be concentrated across the back of the coils. Exposed insulation in this area just seems like it would be a mess.

good luck!
I second his opinion! You'll save your time not having to put a backing on your cabinets. Your interior skin will act as the backing of the cabinets. That is the easiest portion to sheet, take advantage of it. That is not to mention the insulating factor of sheeting the entire interior. you could use 1/4 ply if your worried about cost
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:47 PM   #5
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I'm an aircraft sheet metal technician. My experience in these types of structures is, do not leave any skins off of the interior, these skins adds structural integrity to the entire vehicle. These panels where defiantly not just installed to close out insulation. You may have allready seen this condition through out the trailer, sometimes you have rivets popping out and must be replaced inside and out. This is because of the movements the whole structure takes while towing over time. Good luck with your decision either way it's your AS.
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