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Old 01-30-2015, 04:20 PM   #1
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Something between the interior skins and ribs?

Big day today. Finished my insulation! Now thinking about getting the interior skins back in. I've gone over all the foam board seams with foil tape, but I read that it may be better to go over the rib seams with some kind of cloth tape to reduce the conductivity and "cold aluminum wall syndrome". (Mostly worried about cold here in Oregon).

What's the consensus on this and what's the best product to use? Also, does going over the ribs with tape make it hard to line up the holes when getting the interior skins back in?
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:46 AM   #2
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"I've gone over all the foam board seams with foil tape, but I read that it may be better to go over the rib seams with some kind of cloth tape to reduce the conductivity and "cold aluminum wall syndrome"." You have a direct riveted connection between the exterior skin and the ribs, so those ribs will (eventually) reach the same temperature as the exterior skin. When you rivet the interior skin to those same ribs, any aluminum skin will try to reach the same temperature as the ribs.

There are a couple of things you can do to avoid the "cold aluminum wall syndrome" since you have all of the interior skins off. One is to use some sort of glue to attach the interior skins to the ribs instead of the rivets. That leaves the old rivet holes in the skin to deal with. Another is to use something other than metal for the interior skin. Another idea is to figure out some other thermal break between the ribs and the interior skin. You might attach a thin sheet of plywood to the ribs first, then rivet the skin to it, making sure that your rivets do NOT line up with the ribs.

The simplest solution is to put the skin back on and then put some sort of insulating material between you and the aluminum skin wherever you are likely to contact it (bed, sofa, etc.).

Disclaimer: I don't have an Airstream and have never owned one, but this is an area of concern for us and we've given it some thought.
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Old 01-31-2015, 11:28 AM   #3
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Thanks Kbozke,

So this morning was chilly and I am out there early with the shop lights heating up the interior. I notice actual frost inside on the surface of the ribs! Then I notice drips on the floor as the frost is melting!

Your first 2 ideas aren't practical for me at this point so I am going for idea #3 with the addition of duct tape (rather than foil tape) over the ribs. This should at least reduce the conductivity some if not significantly. I'll first check at Home Depot to see if there's anything more insulative but I don't want anything that's going to break down and leave me with loose rivets later.

My front end cap (which is fiberglass) is going in today...that's my goal.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:29 AM   #4
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I had to pull the duct tape. Too hard to line up the holes.
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:42 PM   #5
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Do a search. This topic is covered. A particular tape is recommended.
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:14 PM   #6
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The factory uses a rubber like tape between the rib and interior skin as some help for insulation but the rivets still conduit the temperatures in both directions (hot and cold).
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
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The factory uses a rubber like tape between the rib and interior skin as some help for insulation but the rivets still conduit the temperatures in both directions (hot and cold).
Interesting! I have had two of the interior skins off in our 2012 (long story) and there was nothing between skin and ribs.when was the tape used in production?
Just curious...
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:06 AM   #8
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I saw it both in October of 2012 on a plant tour and when our unit was being built in January 2014. It was specifically mentioned and pointed out by the elderly long time employee tour guide whose name just went up in a puff of mental smoke.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:10 AM   #9
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A ha! It appears we missed that with our trailer. Ours was built in October of 2011.
We missed the external propane hook up too although that was easy enough to retrofit. Got to love forward progress...
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:44 AM   #10
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I used thin double sided tape on my ribs. I poked some of the rivet holes through before I put the walls back so I could line them up. Worked well. Don't skip this if you can help it. It's amazing how much heat/cold can travel through without a barrier....even a thin one is better than none.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:10 AM   #11
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Cool Becky. What kind of tape and why double sided? I have tried to search and haven't been able to find a specific recommendation.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:17 AM   #12
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It was double sided with the thought that it might stick better to the interior skins, not sure if that really made any difference tho. I just went through my receipts of the Bambi II rebuild & came up empty. I think I might have some left somewhere. If I find it, I'll snap a picture of it for you.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:42 AM   #13
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what about something like this:

4 Rolls RV Home Gaska Tape Foam Seal Insulating Tape 1 8" T x 3 4 w x 75' Mylar | eBay

I've been searching for "rubber tape", or "solid silicone tape", or "adhesive backed insulating tape" (which is what found this stuff).

My guess is that this would work great, but my concern would be that the foam would break down over time. How long?? I dont know- 10-15 years? Worth it???

Interested to see any other ideas you guys have.
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Old 02-11-2015, 02:49 PM   #14
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I used Scapa Tape , see post 563 here;
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f109...ml#post1565193
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:43 PM   #15
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What about the tape they use at the factory to seal the exterior panels at the seams!
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:02 PM   #16
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I used Scapa Tape , see post 563 here;
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f109...ml#post1565193
I'm pretty sure that's what I used as well. I thought it was double sided, but ???? I couldn't find any, so I must have pitched what I had left. Should be the ticket!
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
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What about the tape they use at the factory to seal the exterior panels at the seams!
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What tape is that?
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:47 AM   #18
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Why not call the factory and ask what tape they are using?
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Old 03-01-2015, 12:37 PM   #19
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I ended up bagging the idea. I'm trying hard to line up all the original holes to make sure everything goes back lined up and in the way it was. I doubt these skins have been removed and replaced before, but for some reason there are tons of holes in my ribs, making it really hard to figure out which holes to use. If I covered them up I'd have to poke them all out and it would make things difficult and be a ton of work.

If I was going to be in more extreme climates I would worry about it more, but I am going to move on to other battles.
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:41 PM   #20
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In the plumbing department at HD they have a vinyl/rubber tape 1"& 2" wide - it's about 1/16" thick with adhesive on one side. I use it for many uses around the shop - and used it extensively when I rebuilt my AS - sounds like what you need.
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