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Old 09-22-2014, 07:35 PM   #113
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I would go with the Filon if for no other reason than the handling perspective. If you were to have a minor issue with Filon, no big deal. With alum. you'll have a reminder (crease) that will haunt you forever....
Well, looks like we're probably going to try and build one test panel soon to see if this whole idea can work. I want to see if I'm even capable of making this look decent before I spend $3k on an engine rebuild.

I was a little worried about the filon not holding a rivet as well as the aluminum. These panels are not glued to the frame... rivets only...

Also, the filon comes in 8' wide sheets... which would force me to buy enough to cover 1 whole side of the RV for my test run. The aluminum is 4' wide, which would give me the opportunity to just buy 1 - 32' long piece to do the upper panel on the passenger side. It's a little less money, which is good, cause if the idea flops, the whole RV is getting parted out.

Also, the .032" aluminum is pretty hefty stuff. The coil stock that came off the RV is actually difficult to bend, and takes a fair amount of abuse.

I'll probably stick with aluminum? I dunno. Mostly I'm worried about the rivets pulling through the filon...
-cheers
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:44 AM   #114
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Regarding the filon holding rivets, thinking a lot of that will have to do with what rivet you use? If you're concerned about pull through, you could go to rivets with a large head. The 3/16" shank version of the type I'm thinking of has a head that's a little over 1/2" if I remember right.

If there is a horizontal member in the wall framing that these rivets will be going into, you could also adjust the spacing (decrease?) between the rivets to help distribute the load a little better.

I realize some of the rivets are exposed, but aren't a lot of these rivets going to be inserted through moldings? Those are surely not going to allow pull through.

Last, you don't want to use a rivet that's going to pull too tight before it snaps. Aluminum shanks aren't generally too bad, but I've seen them where they're pretty tough. In this application, they may set a lot tighter than necessary? Point being, it might pay to order a small sample before ordering what you need for the whole job.
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Old 09-23-2014, 08:37 AM   #115
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May also wish to consult rivet supplier to get correct one.
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:39 PM   #116
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If the panel that your going to attach to is not perfectly flat, your going to get a wrinkle that you won't get out, I have a fair amount of experience working with 4' X 8" .032 aluminum, I am building a trailer now (Totol Rebuild) that you can see on this forum. I also built many race car bodies with the same material. Regarding rivets IMHO they will probably pull thru the filon before setting, when we used fiberglass only we had to use a back up washer.
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:37 PM   #117
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Have you given any thought to the sheet fiberglass that some coaches use. I don't know what it costs but might be cheaper. I see you have removed all the fiberglass bating, you could go back with the expanding foam. You can trim it flush once it stops expanding. Or fill in with chunks of foam and fill the voids with the expanding or non expanding foam.
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:54 PM   #118
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If the panel that your going to attach to is not perfectly flat, your going to get a wrinkle that you won't get out, I have a fair amount of experience working with 4' X 8" .032 aluminum, I am building a trailer now (Totol Rebuild) that you can see on this forum. I also built many race car bodies with the same material. Regarding rivets IMHO they will probably pull thru the filon before setting, when we used fiberglass only we had to use a back up washer.
Yep, I've been subscribed to your total rebuild thread for a while now.

The aluminum I would buy is actually .032" coil stock. 4' wide... 32' long... all one piece. I would laminate it to luan or hardwood plywood (1/4") to make two panels on each side of the rv, just like the original panels. The top one is 36" wide... the bottom one 48" and they all run the entire length of the RV.

If I can get the panels laminated properly, they should hang nice and flat. The original top panel was only riveted at the top and bottom. The bottom panel was riveted top, middle, and bottom, with the middle row of rivets being exposed.

all that said... only thing on my mind right now is not getting overwhelmed about pulling the engine out... The latest in that thread is HERE.

-cheers
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:59 PM   #119
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Have you given any thought to the sheet fiberglass that some coaches use. I don't know what it costs but might be cheaper. I see you have removed all the fiberglass bating, you could go back with the expanding foam. You can trim it flush once it stops expanding. Or fill in with chunks of foam and fill the voids with the expanding or non expanding foam.
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I would love to use spray foam... it insulates super well... has good sound deadening properties... is resistant to water (closed cell variety)... critters don't like it much... it would make the interior panels more rigid... and it doesn't make you itchy.

The drawback is the price... so I'll probably have to stick with fiberglass.

-cheers
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Old 09-23-2014, 07:05 PM   #120
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Listen to me... talking like I'm going to rebuild this RV or something...

In all honesty, I really hope we can... but the jury is still out. One step at a time.

-cheers
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Old 09-23-2014, 08:33 PM   #121
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I would love to use spray foam... it insulates super well... has good sound deadening properties... is resistant to water (closed cell variety)... critters don't like it much... it would make the interior panels more rigid... and it doesn't make you itchy.

The drawback is the price... so I'll probably have to stick with fiberglass.

-cheers
No, use rigid foam. Its tons cheaper and is going to be a lot more predictable to use. Use spray foam only along the edges to seal the rigid foam into place. Also if you glue it to both the inside wall and the outside skin, that will have a major impact on wall strength and rigidity. Contact cement will also make it much easier to get the aluminum to stay in place while you rivet it.

I used rigid foam on my holding tank covers. Sealed all the edges with spray foam. Quick and easy to do. And it was cheap.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:32 AM   #122
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Hi Piker. Daveinet is right! Use rigid foam boards for insulation, and for strength also. They used batting probably because it was cheaper, and then used aluminum for rigidity. With filon, there has to be a rigid backing, but it is so much smoother and nicer to paint than ribbed aluminum. If you glue foam board of the right thickness to the back of the inner wall, and then glue the skin backing wood onto the outside of the foam and to the frame, you will have a totally rigid backing for filon to be glued to. You don't need or want rivets, if done this way, and the result is smooth and strong. I had to replace the skin on our "Pig" in a few areas, as leaks caused rotting and delamination of the wood, and it had to be replaced. I fiberglassed all the seams on the MH to get rid of all the moldings and make a smooth, one-piece skin. It worked well, for the most part, but I had some de-lamination of the filon from the wood after a few months due to moisture trapped in the foam insulation causing the glue to not hold. Had I known there was still moisture there, I would have let it dry longer before glueing on the skin. Other than that, I highly recomend the filon method of re-finishing, but that's just me I'm going to have to live with a couple of areas of bubbles and wrinkles that pop out when the sun hits the skin, but not many motor homes are wrinkle free, including some expensive new ones I've seen. Another little tip...don't buy the overpriced thin plywood they sell at motor home places for re-skinning the outside. You can use the door skin plywood available at most lumber yards and home improvement centers at a much cheaper price. Good luck with your project, and enjoy the adventure. Remember, the worry about a project usually turns out to be worse than the actual doing of the project
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:32 PM   #123
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Piker, Sorry I never got back to you. The forum was not sending me e-mails for some reason. The Rot Doctor stuff would be fine with the aluminum, it is just a thin epoxy. Against solid foam I think it would melt it though. If you use the luan you could coat it with this stuff and that would waterproof it so you would not have issues down the road.
Here is the web site for Rot Doctor, a lot of good info on there.
Wood preservation, rot repair, and restoration using epoxy resin on boats and homes.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:51 PM   #124
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Thanks again everyone for the input. A couple of things though...

I won't be trying to glue my new panels to the framework. The original panels weren't glued, so the new ones shouldn't need to be either. I don't know for sure, but i think the reason why people get rough and wavey sidewalls that sometimes delaminate quickly after a rebuild is this: if you try to glue the panels to the frame and to the foam between the studs, you are bound to get areas that don't stick, or at least don't stick well. It seems almost impossible to get enough even pressure to get out all the bubbles and gaps. Even if it's a small area, it's going to work loose quickly once the RV starts rolling and pitching down the highway, and eventually you will see huge bulges. Just my opinion based on what I've been reading and what I've seen on this particular RV... I have no practical experience yet... just conjecture.

Also, I don't think I care to use the foam board for insulation. I do agree that foam can be used to make structural panels that are super strong... I just don't think I need it, and working around all the wiring and stuff in between the framing seems like a hassle with foam. The framing is actually quite sturdy... The fiberglass batting lasted 20 years... and had it not gotten soaked it would still be good.

At this point... IF... and it's still an IF at this point... IF I attempt this, I am going to use the following method: I will laminate the panels on the garage floor, laying all 32' of the luan/plywood down first, then suspend all 32' of the aluminum over top of it from the ceiling. I'll spray the contact adhesive on both, and then carefully roll the aluminum on to the luan from one end to the other, being careful not to leave any air bubbles. Once the panel is laminated, I'll suspend it from the rafters in the garage with little pulleys, hoist it up into position and then rivet it to the frame in the same places it was before. That's the theory on how it should work anyways. If I screw it up, it'll be about a $700 mistake per panel.

For reference, here's a shot of the side of the rv with all the siding off so you can see the framing. The rear end is also jacked way up in order to get the engine out, hopefully this weekend.

Yes, the garage is a mess right now...

All for now.

Cheers

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Old 09-24-2014, 06:57 PM   #125
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Now would be a good yime to check wiring and plumbing as well as adding anything as easy to do.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:58 PM   #126
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Now would be a good yime to check wiring and plumbing as well as adding anything as easy to do.
Excellent point.

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