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Old 10-09-2007, 01:00 PM   #1
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1989 29' Excella
Tyler , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8
Smile Newbie- Screw lengths

Building a new dinette for a 1989 29ft Excella. Need to know the thickness of the floor and walls to sellect screw lengths ,e.g. fearful of puncturing outer skin and structure. Appreciate help from any of you knowledgeable AS owner/restorers.

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Old 10-10-2007, 10:36 AM   #2
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1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
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The thunderous silence you hear is just caution personified. Screws really are not good in aluminum expecially where the assembly can/will vibrate, rattle and shake as weeks of over-the-road travel will induce. Using two, four or more heavy duty pop-rivets in a thick aluminum bracket or tie plate that spreads stresses over a larger area then screwing or bolting into may be your best bet. If screws must be used, tying them into the ribs to get additional thread bite would better key them in. With chances of wiring being present caution is required both drilling and setting fasteners, more than 1/4 or 1/2 inch penetration will not add anything but risk.

One place to check the flooring thickness on your trailer is at the hot-water tank exterior cover even if you have to remove it to measure it.

The flooring thickness is 3/4-inch on my 1973 Overlander but to get positive long term clamping one would need to tie into the frame cross-brace spars and outriggers with self-tapping bolts in at least a couple of locations as true anchors then anywhere needed for structural stability with heavy screws at least the thickness of the plywood - but know where your under-floor water and waste tanks are and don't even think of full-length screws there...


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Old 10-10-2007, 11:27 AM   #3
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1989 29' Excella
Tyler , Texas
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Thank you so much. I understand. A new approach is mandated. Know nothing about rivets but will now learn. Again, I appreciate your response and warning.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:59 AM   #4
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Originally Posted by jim&rita
.... A new approach is mandated. Know nothing about rivets but will now learn......
A great start would be to obtain a service manual. I think Helen Davis Secretarial might have your year available. If you anticipate much DIY work on your baby it would be money well spent.

There might be several places you could check the actual thickness of your floor - the furnace penetrations and the refrigerator penetrations are two that come to mind. IF your floor is OBS, be very careful attempting to insert a screw - glueing a base plate might be a better option.

Plan and fit before you screw -

Let the censors try to do something with THAT phrase

The good news is that there is not much in the way of gas, electric, or plumbing in the lower wall area - especially in the area of the dinette. Be careful drilling around the kitchen and bath areas, though, lots of plumbing in that area, and the ceiling on either side of the center line is chock-a-block full of electricals.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Old 10-10-2007, 12:28 PM   #5
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1989 29' Excella
Tyler , Texas
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I had not thought of gluing. I now have a plan which will glue some tack strips for anchoring. Without your thoughts, I could have made some serious mistakes. Again, thanks so much! I will use care.
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