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Old 11-24-2004, 04:07 PM   #1
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Some interior constuction options?

My 1973 31' AS was mostly gutted on the inside when I got it. I am going to build a completely custom interior for it when I get to that point in the work. I am giving some thought to my options for the interior walls and thought I would like to spark some discussion on the topic. Here are some questions that I have:

1.) Is it desirable to have rigid attachements to the outer walls or a flexible attachement that can move some as the AS moves? My unit had aluminum channels with 3/16" thick panels slipped into them. They were attached just at the top and bottom so that the rest of the panel could slip and slide a bit.

2.) Has anyone given any thought to making the interior walls flexible instead of hard? What about using fabric tightly stretched on some form of framework for example? This might not be a cheaper solution but I can bet it would be lighter. I think about all the things that can be done with theatrical stage props made with painted canvas.

3.) How about using hollow core doors for partitions? I know they are thicker but they are pretty light and strong. My AS ceiling is about 80" tall and standard doors are as well. They have enough framework in them to make good supports for the rest of the things that I will need to install. They are available in nice varieties of wood. They could easily enough be cut to fit the curve of the body. One issue would get back to question #1 - namely should I allow slip or flex where the doors attach to the side walls?

4.) What about using fabric shelves and cubicles in the wardrobe area? I have been looking at some of the closet enhancement items that are available and wondering if I really need entirely rigid shelves and draws.

Some food for thought, and discussion I hope...

Malcolm
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Old 11-24-2004, 04:22 PM   #2
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The fabric stretched over frames would be cool looking, I envision something like a japanese screen wall. Kind of eliminates the ability to mount other things to it though.
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Old 11-24-2004, 05:58 PM   #3
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Very timely advice. I'm just starting to rewire my Tradewind, and I think I will forgo wiring for the lamps mounted on the partitions. I really like the canvas/frame idea.
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:16 PM   #4
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Stretched canvas creates a whole whirlwind of possible designs and themes from plain canvas or triggercloth to numerous painted, faux techniques. I am betting that all of us envision something entirely different!

As for rigid versus flexible, one of the engineering-minded people will have to answer that.
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:31 PM   #5
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Canvas was used for partition walls in sailing ships in the late 1700's and early 1800's. The idea works with the ship connection that Airstreams have.
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium
How about using hollow core doors for partitions?
Hollow core doors usually have solid wood inserts only around the top, bottom, and edges; the remainder of the interior volume is filled with a cardboard honeycomb. This solid portion is maybe 2" wide - enough to mount the lock and hinges to, and trim the bottom a bit to clear carpet. Once you cut away these edges to match the curve, you have very little structure left. Of course, you could glue in filler strips around the edges to restore the door's strength once you'd made your cuts.

Bob
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:39 PM   #7
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Malcom,

One global thought - On the surface, I see nothing wrong with anything you outlined above. If you want something different, I say go for it. If you are looking for something better, its important to note that Airstream has not done anything like that in the past. At least they never marketed it...

Would you end up with a better end product?

Tom
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Old 11-24-2004, 07:14 PM   #8
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Malcom,

Its important to note that Airstream has not done anything like that in the past. At least they never marketed it...

Would you end up with a better end product?

Tom
On that basis we should stick with plywood floors?

Regarding the structural contribution of the partitions, we've discussed this before, and I think the consensus was that they aren't structurally important. There was some disagreement.
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Old 11-24-2004, 11:01 PM   #9
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More thoughts...

Stephanie,

I thought it would be pretty easy to add cross members to a framework in any key location where something needed to be attached. Also it does seem to me that a lot of the original stuff is attached to the outer walls rather than to the partitions. If the fabric was stiffened with sizing and paint like an artists canvas it could probably support some amount of weight. Instead of hanging art on the wall we could paint it on the wall.

Bob,

I would indeed envision either adding a filler strip around the edge of a door or mayby even stiffing the edge in some fashion with how I mount it. For example if I were to attach a door to the outer wall with a channel that the door slipped into then it could be that the channel would be sufficient stiffening for that edge.

eljay,

I am not familiar with trigger cloth. What kind of material is it?

General,

I wondered if I could make partitions that had a frame around the outside edges (in a sewn in pocket probably) that would be a bit springy and stretch the fabric tight to the outer wall. Maybe something like fiberglass tent poles of the type that are used for dome shapped tents could work. If I installed some sort of channel around the outer wall the wall panel could stretch into the channel to help locate the wall panel front to back.

I could envision using bright colored rip-stop nylon fabrics such as is used for jackets or maybe Sunbrella fabric like what is used on outdoor furniture and awnings. Maybe a very shiny silver colored material could be cool.

Just think we could change our walls just as easily as we can change our curtains.

Malcolm
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Old 11-24-2004, 11:15 PM   #10
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I don't think hanging things on the walls is particularly necessary (well, actually, it's pretty handy in mine, but I'm working in a minimum amount of space). I think a partition that was translucent and let some light through would really change the feel of the interior. It would be more bright and open, while still being separated into room. Pretty cool idea. That would be neat if you could change it easily too.
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Old 11-25-2004, 06:17 AM   #11
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Trigger cloth has a canvas feel but it lighter weight, available in a variety of colors. Usually easy care cotton/polyester blend.

I like the idea of ripstop or Sunbrella. The fiberglass poles may not hold in the direction that you would like them to. They must remain under constant tension. Probably not likely to do curves. Aluminum tubing would allow you to "sculpt". A rigid frame could also be constructed of pvc. Rather than pockets, consider lacing the pieces on using grommets.

If the fabric is under enough tension and heavy enough you could hang anything from it by creating a thread loop with needle and thread. Figure that the fabric will fatigue and sag with time. Could also hang things from the frame using something like a wreath hanger.

Doing canvas like theatre would permit you to change design as often as you liked.

Oh geez I love these ideas!
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Old 11-25-2004, 01:37 PM   #12
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Where to get theatrical canvas?

Having some fun with our Airstreams will definitely help make up for some of the less desirable parts of the remodeling work.

Do any of you know where theatrical canvas is purchased? It seems to me that the normal canvas that is available at fabric stores is probably not what would be used for large scale theatrical props. For one thing it is typically not very wide. I am also guessing that there must be different weights and colors of canvas available.

So the question is:

What is the perfect type of canvas and where do I get it?

Malcolm
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Old 11-25-2004, 02:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium
Having some fun with our Airstreams will definitely help make up for some of the less desirable parts of the remodeling work.

Do any of you know where theatrical canvas is purchased? It seems to me that the normal canvas that is available at fabric stores is probably not what would be used for large scale theatrical props. For one thing it is typically not very wide. I am also guessing that there must be different weights and colors of canvas available.

So the question is:

What is the perfect type of canvas and where do I get it?

Malcolm
http://www.chicagocanvas.com/ I would go with canvas rather than muslin. You may be able to find it in a regular fabric store in 60 inch width which may be adequate for your purposes.
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Old 11-25-2004, 04:14 PM   #14
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Interior construction options

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljay
http://www.chicagocanvas.com/ I would go with canvas rather than muslin. You may be able to find it in a regular fabric store in 60 inch width which may be adequate for your purposes.
My mind just went into an entirely different spin - Japanese minimalism. Use shoji screens for closet doors, put tatami on the floor (spend the money for good ones - except right at the door, have linoleum or tile and have a place to remove shoes. Use futons for sleeping & couches.
For room partitions, shoji screens don't come with curved edges, but are basically built as sliding partitions or removable pocket doors. You could build a frame for the roof and side curve with two or three shoji that could slide open. The idea behind traditional Japanese houses was always the flexible use of space. Frank Lloyd Wright's designs were heavily influenced by Oriental design.

The downside to shoji (or canvas for that matter) is that they aren't effective sound barriers. Keep a regular door on the bathroom!

OK, everyone clearly lets their imagination run wild when it comes to imaginative Airstream design. Think I'll go eat some turkey now. Bye.

Paula
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