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Old 09-10-2002, 01:28 PM   #1
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Question Standin' on the Top of the Trailer

Standing on the roof!
Sure obviously you can, ~~But Should You Ever~~??

I know I know....Never At Highway Speeds...

But seriously now, it seems that access to the top would on occasion be necessary, right?

Are there certain "marked" areas to stand or kneel or lay? Probably Not!

Are the rivet lines always over a support strut (joist/rafter).

What is the on-center spacing of the ribs,struts? Is this always dead on on all models of Airstream trailers.

Are all support struts equal? i.e. some end over doors and windows, thus not carring load alway to floor I suspect.

Actually I have very little idea of the skeletal system of the trailers. Any idea where there is a good diagram. I am expecting to buy a 1974 Excella-31.

Is a mistep an instant dent? I weigh 222 lbs. naked.
Guaranteed heavier if on roof of anything.
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Old 09-10-2002, 02:09 PM   #2
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Sooner or later you have to get on the roof. I have spray foam insulation which substiantially strengthened the skin, but would not walk between ribs (vertical rivet lines). I think in the right place it would kink and be impossible to get out.

The horizontal rivet lines are panel joints, stay off them. The rivet lines that end at windows are still safe, the shape of the rib is what gives it strength even thought it doesn't make it to the floor. There is really no specific on center dimension, it is related to windows, doors, etc. Watch the rivet lines.

Ribs This is a link to my interior before it was insulated. The flat rib above the window I added, the others are Airstream originals. You can see how it curves up, and helps support the ac.

When you get on the roof use a padded board or piece of plywood (no scratching) and span 2 ribs. I measured them at one time, it seems to me the widest was 42" so it is not all that far. Pad your ladder where it will touch, be careful on the curves and you will be fine.

John
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Old 09-10-2002, 03:16 PM   #3
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We've been told it's okay on the "flat" panels but not on the curved ends. John's advice of using plywood to disperse the weight is also recommended, using a thick moving-type blanket to protect the surface from scratches. Also, don't do it naked...the sunburn reflecting up from that shiny trailer will kill you!

Shari
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Old 09-10-2002, 06:01 PM   #4
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I used the straightest 12' 2X4's I could find then screwed 2X4's appx 3' long perpendicular to them. This made it look like a ladder but missed areas such as the AC and vents. I then stapled pieces of carpeting around the long 2X4 where the ribs of the trailer ran underneath the skin. I was worried that when I used the wood screws that the long 2X4's would raise up causing an edge that would crease the trailer skin. That wasn't a problem because the only contact was on the ribs and the carpeting raised the rest of the 2X4 off the aluminum even while standing on it. Last, I layed sheets of 1/2" plywood on top of the 2X4 frame and slid them around to where I needed to sit or stand. I had scaffolding on one side of the trailer and ran two 2X4's with a plywood plank from there to the plywood sheets. It worked out great. I was afraid if I placed a thick blanket on the skin first and then a sheet of plywood, I would be thrown to one side or the other. The group is right, stay off the ends.
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Old 09-11-2002, 05:09 AM   #5
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Go to Airstreams' web page for a pictorial tour of a trailer under various stages of construction. You can see how the ribs,etc are istalled.
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:20 AM   #6
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Yes sir, that "HEX" was quite a guy..You just had to admire his sense of "humor"..
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:53 PM   #7
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reviving a thread. I've been on my roof once to wash it and remove leaves, pine needles, etc. I got up with a step ladder (with the girl holding it so I didn't bust my @$$) and pretty much stayed on all fours over ribs only, or layed down on my belly. Hope I didn't hurt nuthin'
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:14 PM   #8
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I'm 290 and on the roofs quite alot, stay on the rivet lines....no damage yet.
Greg
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:44 PM   #9
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A "Little Giant" type articulating ladder can have the top section angled so that the end rests near the roof center. I glued carpet with contact cement to the areas on the ladder which come in contact with the skin to avoid scratching.
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Old 12-05-2009, 06:59 PM   #10
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I guess hex fell off the roof in Feb. 2003. That was his last post.

Gene
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:54 PM   #11
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Could it be?

More likely I think he crossed swords with the wrong person.
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:18 PM   #12
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Pics?

Are there any pictures posted of the devices that have been made for roof work? I am more afraid of losing my balance and denting the aluminum than I am of falling off the roof. If push came to shove, I think I'd jump. Maybe I'll try telling my wife how graceful she is, and how clumsy I am.
I've got it! I have a tower for my ham radio. I'll park the trailer beside it, and lower myself down from the tower. Has anyone tried that under a big tree?
Regards,
Ken
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:35 PM   #13
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Here is a simple setup made by Zeppelinium. It's a ladder up each side with a pad to protect the skin on the sides of the trailer. Across the top a 2X10 is secured to each end. The two ladders are roped together above and below the trailer.

That's me at the 4CU Restoration Rally working on the hole for my new air conditioner.
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
Here is a simple setup made by Zeppelinium. It's a ladder up each side with a pad to protect the skin on the sides of the trailer. Across the top a 2X10 is secured to each end. The two ladders are roped together above and below the trailer.

That's me at the 4CU Restoration Rally working on the hole for my new air conditioner.
Thanks Richard,
What were you kneeling on?
Ken
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