Trailer Width 61.5

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Trailer Width 61.5

Postby jgerqano » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:52 pm

The width of my trailer ended up being 61.5 inches wide. It is the only width that makes sense to fit a queen size bed that is 60 inches wide. This is my first build and there is a steep learning curve for things I haven't considered. How would you suggest I skin the trailer with aluminum if the widest I can find is 60 inches wide. Should I just put more seams in it and run the aluminum in the other direction. Please give me some insight. Thanks in advance for your knowledge.
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Re: Trailer Width 61.5

Postby Andrew Herrick » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:52 am

Unless you have access to 102-inch-wide semi-truck aluminum roll roofing (check with local truck n' trailer repair shops), I'd say your best bet is to purchase 4x12 or 5x12 aluminum online (check SAF or Ryerson) and split them in half. In my personal opinion, horizontal seams look much better than vertical seams. Pop-rivet the seams using blind aluminum rivets and waterproof the backside of the seam with waterproofing tape. It's laborious, but at this point, it's your only option if you want to use lightweight aluminum sheet :)
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Re: Trailer Width 61.5

Postby jgerqano » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:53 am

Andrew Herrick wrote:Unless you have access to 102-inch-wide semi-truck aluminum roll roofing (check with local truck n' trailer repair shops), I'd say your best bet is to purchase 4x12 or 5x12 aluminum online (check SAF or Ryerson) and split them in half. In my personal opinion, horizontal seams look much better than vertical seams. Pop-rivet the seams using blind aluminum rivets and waterproof the backside of the seam with waterproofing tape. It's laborious, but at this point, it's your only option if you want to use lightweight aluminum sheet :)

Thanks for your insight. i agree a horizontal seam will look better. What type of type specifically are you suggesting to use?
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Re: Trailer Width 61.5

Postby Andrew Herrick » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:28 pm

You mean what type of seam? I'd almost always say a pop-riveted seam ...

... upon re-reading your reply, you may have intended to write "tape" instead of "type." :) So with that in mind: If you're taping the backside of the seam, obviously, you only get one shot for the life of the camper. So it needs to be tough stuff. Most EternaBond tapes work well. EternaBond even makes RoofSeal Plus, which has thicker sealant, which would help to waterproof around the rivets. Other good tape manufacturers include Co-Fair, Nashua, 3M, etc. 3M 4412N is supposed to be pretty good. I think you can buy a 5-yrd roll on Amazon. It's pricey stuff, but again - you only get one shot. Of course, thoroughly wipe down the work surfaces with isopropyl alcohol before application.

I think tapes are a good use for this application because, unlike a caulk, you don't have to worry as much about thermal cycling, cracking, etc.
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Re: Trailer Width 61.5

Postby jgerqano » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:32 pm

Yes I was referring to tape. Thanks again for all of your insight and experience!
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Re: Trailer Width 61.5

Postby halfdome, Danny » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:43 pm

I've done this on my last 3 builds.
Image

I put 2 strips of 3M VHB (very high bond) tape next to each other at every seam and I face the edge away from freeway driven rain.
After 36 hours it's like a weld according to 3M.
As mentioned before you need to clean both edges with rubbing alcohol.
Image
I also seal the edges with silicone sealant and screw down "L" shaped trim for durability and appearance.

Someone sent me a PM for clarification so I thought I'd share it here.
I put two strips side by side because of all the upward pressure from aluminum on a curved surface, besides a roll is 100' long so I can afford to use two strips.
I lap my roof seams at least 2".
I use a long 2"x4" across the taped joint to clamp it to the trailer for 36 hours.
That black tape (Gorilla Tape) you see is to hold the aluminum to the contact cement that I use to adhere it to the plywood roof.
Some may not agree with this method (some like to float the aluminum skins) but it works for this Cabinetmaker.
:D Danny
Last edited by halfdome, Danny on Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trailer Width 61.5

Postby Andrew Herrick » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:15 pm

3M VHB tape is the bomb. Feel free to call 3M for recommendations, though. There are over two dozen variations of VHB tape, some recommended for glass, some wood, some metal, etc. I forget which kind I used. Thicker is better - at least 45 mil. Like Danny, I've had good luck with 3M tapes, but it does come with some caveats. You have to wait 24-36 hours after application before mounting your aluminum, and they are at higher risk for failure on sharp (<18 inch radius) curves due to cleavage stresses.

A properly prepared adhesive bond is just as good as pop-riveted seam. A pop-riveted seam is just a little less finicky to DIY construct and easier to repair, though. Good luck!
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Re: Trailer Width 61.5

Postby halfdome, Danny » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:46 pm

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Re: Trailer Width 61.5

Postby Andrew Herrick » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:58 pm

halfdome, Danny wrote:I use the foam tape on the roof.
:D Danny
https://www.uline.com/BL_6040/3M-VHB-4950-Foam-Tape?keywords=vhb+tape


Which 3M VHB tape do you use, Danny? :)
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Re: Trailer Width 61.5

Postby halfdome, Danny » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:30 pm

Andrew Herrick wrote:
halfdome, Danny wrote:I use the foam tape on the roof.
:D Danny
https://www.uline.com/BL_6040/3M-VHB-4950-Foam-Tape?keywords=vhb+tape


Which 3M VHB tape do you use, Danny? :)

I use the 1" 4950 white in the above link.
I also place a spar wherever a lap seam will occur as you'll need it to back up the 2x4 for the 36 hour clamping of the VHB joint.
A warped 2x4 works best on edge as the bow out will supply pressure where you can't clamp.
That extra spar also gives some wood to screw in the aluminum trim in this photo.
Image
:D Danny
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