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Old 12-08-2008, 05:12 PM   #15
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That is a good suggestion. Thanks! How small of a lap do you think that I could get by with? My largest piece would have (3) splices. If I only lapped it about 1/2" each then I might get by with 2" angle on every other crossmember. It might work if I layed it out from the front going back. It needs to be 12' total but I might could make up the 1-1/2" by making the trunk piece a bit wider. I will have to crawl under and make measurements to see.

Do you think 1/2" - 5/8" lap would be enough? It would be difficult to fudge much more.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:48 PM   #16
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That is a good suggestion. Thanks! How small of a lap do you think that I could get by with? My largest piece would have (3) splices. If I only lapped it about 1/2" each then I might get by with 2" angle on every other crossmember. It might work if I layed it out from the front going back. It needs to be 12' total but I might could make up the 1-1/2" by making the trunk piece a bit wider. I will have to crawl under and make measurements to see.

Do you think 1/2" - 5/8" lap would be enough? It would be difficult to fudge much more.
That's plenty
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:14 PM   #17
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Todd,

Did you ever find belly pan material in San Antonio and where?

Thanks, Bruce
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:15 AM   #18
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IMOP - from a materials geek

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I used .040 5052-H34, but most sane people use .025 or .032. I bought mine locally from an surplas aluminum supplier.
I was looking into what grade Al to buy for my belly pan replacement...I like your choice in grade. I am a materials geek and this is a good grade. The use of 2024 alclad has the obvious benefits of good corrosion resistance on the alclad side (which you would place down facing the rode) but the inside, 2024 (with marginal corrosion resistance) will be exposed to any and all road spray that leaks inside the belly. Depending on the cost benefit analysis I will be likely to use 5052. My belief is that it will hold up the longest and possibly be cheaper than the alclad product.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:20 AM   #19
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underbelly.

The odd width underbelly aluminum, is available thru a dealer, from Airstream, in long continuous length, eliminating the need to splice.

Andy
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:31 AM   #20
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Andy... What Airstream dealer sales "Alclad Aluminum"?
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:39 AM   #21
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Andy... What Airstream dealer sales "Alclad Aluminum"?
I don't know about other dealer selling "alclad", but we always have, but only up to 12 foot lengths.

Andy
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:27 AM   #22
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. . Depending on the cost benefit analysis I will be likely to use 5052. My belief is that it will hold up the longest and possibly be cheaper than the alclad product.
I used 5052 for the belly also. I agree with your reasoning, the only reason to use AlClad on the belly would be if you wanted to polish it.

I used .032" and it was pretty tough to roll the edges. Doable though.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:54 AM   #23
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Just some more thoughts...

I consider the belly skin a consumable item if you will. Just like a windshield on an automobile. It serves to protect any subfloor framing and systems from impact damage, and to some extent the weather. If it gets dinged from road debris, no one knows unless they crawl under the trailer, or it starts dragging the ground. As such, choosing to use the economical (aka cheapest) material for this application is appropriate for my application (JMHO). If it happens to be more corrosion resistant...Even Better!

As for the inside,

"but the inside, 2024 (with marginal corrosion resistance) will be exposed to any and all road spray that leaks inside the belly."

When the water gets in through the seams (it always does) I'd worry more about the steel framing being attacked than the aluminum. There is some concern over dissimilar metal corrosion if 2000 series alloys are used as opposed to say a 5000 series, but the difference in AI (anodic index) values for 2000 series aluminum and mild steel are still minimal. Of course if road salts are added to the equation...All bets are off.

Funny thing is that most of the time a belly skin drops is when the steel framing let's loose. I've seen many belly skins removed only to expose steel frames that have rusted away.

Regards All,

Kevin

(A former Metairie resident - Corner of Avenue B and Beverly Garden Drive)
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:54 PM   #24
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Underbelly metal

Underbelly metal comes loose for a number of reasons.

Rough roads, vibration due to unbalanced running gear, worn out rubber in the axles, excessive rated hitches and excessive rated tow vehicles, all can play a heavy part in loose underbelly.

Reinstalling the underbelly using large head 3/16" pop rivets, is much superior than the original installation.

Andy
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:03 AM   #25
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What is the general opinion of using 3003-H14 Aluminum in .032 thickness for the belly and/or rolled edges?, Thicker yes, similar to the bananna wraps. A bit more difficult to roll up I know, but the main concern is corrosion resistance. Polishing is not a concern.

And regarding bananna wraps, what grade is used here? It appears to be a softer grade than the venerable 2024-T3.
Cost, availability & matching the bananna wraps better are reasons why I have considered 3003 series as a viable option.
Thanks
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:09 PM   #26
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What is the general opinion of using 3003-H14 Aluminum in .032 thickness for the belly and/or rolled edges?, Thicker yes, similar to the bananna wraps. A bit more difficult to roll up I know, but the main concern is corrosion resistance. Polishing is not a concern.

And regarding bananna wraps, what grade is used here? It appears to be a softer grade than the venerable 2024-T3.
Cost, availability & matching the bananna wraps better are reasons why I have considered 3003 series as a viable option.
Thanks
Banana wraps are on the 4 corners.

Underbelly wrap is on the side from the rub rail to the frame.

Hardened material does not offer any real benefits.

Andy

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