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Old 11-21-2013, 10:52 PM   #1
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How to find aluminum studs?

Does anyone know with a reasonable accuracy how to find the location of aluminum studs in an exterior wall (with fiberglass)? Thinking of adding a door to create a storage compartment in a dead space.

I've read that on cold day when it warms up a little, the studs will stand out because of frost on them. When it's cold out, if you turned the heat on inside, would an infrared gun work because aluminum transfers heat easily? What about a stud finder like you'd use in a house?

Just how far apart are the studs going to be? 16" on center or more like 20" or so? They *seem* like around 20" from what I've noticed in one area but this may not be the same everywhere.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:05 PM   #2
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I used a stud finder and it worked. I had to add a towel hook to the back wall.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:39 AM   #3
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Thanks! I have a stud finder and will give it a try tomorrow. In theory it should work.

I tried it in our old trailer that had wood framing and I could not get it to work very well on the inside through the luan plywood. I'm guessing that the density of the luan and framing may have been too similar.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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Well let me know.

If not I am close enough you can try mine if yours does not work.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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An ultrasonic stud-finder should work just fine, either from the outside or the inside wall. It looks for depth differences, not material density differences.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:20 PM   #6
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I tried my old well-used Zircon stud finder and could not get it to work. Maybe I need to try a newer and better one? I can't remember, do they all work on the same principle?

Fastone, what type is yours?
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #7
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Rent one of the super-duper ones, the folks at the rent-all store should know if what they have will work.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:15 PM   #8
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Gil,
There are no studs. There is only perimeter aluminum tubing and a few pieces that surrounds major openings. You do have one stud at the bathroom/dinette wall. I have the blueprints for your trailer, PM me if you need them.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by lynnmor View Post
There are no studs.
That would explain why I couldn't pick up any then. So there's only a vertical frame member at the four corners? Since we have one separated weld in the front, lower, right corner, could that mean the exterior skin could end up being damaged from movement? So the exterior walls are basically a long stress skin. Off topic, but begs the question, what happens with a lot of frame flex?
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:07 PM   #10
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Hey there I sent you a PM.

I know in our trailer there are aluminum square stock. As that is what my stud finder was showing.

I just can see no support running from floor to roof.
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Old 11-23-2013, 02:23 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by myredracer View Post
That would explain why I couldn't pick up any then. So there's only a vertical frame member at the four corners? Since we have one separated weld in the front, lower, right corner, could that mean the exterior skin could end up being damaged from movement? So the exterior walls are basically a long stress skin. Off topic, but begs the question, what happens with a lot of frame flex?
It is some kind of miracle that this "ice cream sandwich" type of construction can be used in a vehicle. You will notice that the outriggers are made from extremely thin material allowing them to flex. I suppose that this allows the box to float above the ever-bending frame.

The front cap, and some rear panels, does have aluminum studding and fiberglass insulation allowing wires to be run to the roof area. I saw the front corner framing being cut to where there was almost no material left to allow for the wiring.

Where things are attached to the exterior walls there is very thin sheet steel imbedded under the panels. You can find these by using a strong magnet.
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