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Old 09-26-2021, 06:47 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member
1987 34' Limited
Hantsport , NS
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 168
Adding a Rear Hold Down Plate

Hello; I've read a lot on the value/benefit of hold down plates, which our 1987 34' does not have. Most commentaries support adding these. The shell has been off for a frame rebuild and new subfloor, and I'm finally ready to screw down the last pieces of C-channel at the rear. I've had one of each hold down plates fabbed for the front and back. The front is 1/8" aluminum plate painted both sides that I'll bolt to the vertical face of the front cross member. 17 degree bend. I've duct taped and POR15-ed any contact surfaces to inhibit electrolysis. I prefer to have aluminum in contact with the front panel vs steel. I'll remove a few rivets from the front ribs and slide this under the front panel once the body is back on the frame.

I've had an aluminum plate fabbed for the back that's 4' wide and 16" high with the 107 degree bend, so it'll extend beyond the vertical rivets and be captured by the rear ribs. The horizontal run extends for 5" and will side under the C-channel and over the rear cross member. I'm using stainless 3/8" bolts through the channel, floor, and frame mounting points. I've fashioned this based on some excellent drawings offered by members of this forum.

Based on the c-channel and floor that I removed, I've got exact measures for the new floor and C-channel front to back and side to side; 92" from outside edges of channel across the sides, and 30' 3 3/4" from front to back. I've agonized with extreme OCD over getting these spot on after reading of many painful experiences fitting the shell over the corners of newly installed floors/C-channel.

Finally, my question. When lowering the shell back onto the frame, if I remove the lower run of vertical buck rivets from the rear panel to allow the rear plate to slide between the ribs and the panel on the outside of the C-channel, will adding this hold down plate likely add enough interference to cause the shell to not fit over the outside corner edges of the channel? It's only 1/8" thick material, but I've read of some miserable ordeals getting the shell back over the outside edges of the channel. I'm working outside in a windy environment, so am trying to control for as many variables as possible.

Where you have added a rear hold down plate, I appreciate any insight on whether it impeded the shell fitting back over the edges of the C-channel, and if so, your remedy?

Comments are appreciated. Cheers.
Daytonacoupe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2021, 07:08 AM   #2
Rivet Master

1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 2,920
Personally, I don’t believe having the front and rear hold down plates made dropping the shell on our 55 difficult at all. Actually, it helped us with having the shell positioned correctly at the front and rear as we were lowering the shell. Then we could concentrate on the four corners with the front and rear following the hold down plates as we lowered. Good luck, and yes, I think they are important.
Bubba L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2021, 03:34 PM   #3
3 Rivet Member
1987 34' Limited
Hantsport , NS
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 168
Thank you Bubba for the comment. Had the trailer been fitted with hold down plates from the factory I can see where the alignment front and rear as the shell descended would be so much easier as you’d have the old holes yo use as a guide. I do see how even recently added pieces will stabilize the shell as we tackle the corners. Fingers are crossed that the thickness of the plates don’t cause the shell on tight corners to not want to fit. Taking it off suggested a super tight fit. Cheers.
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