Replacing basement plywood ceiling cover
The ceiling cover in our main basement compartment was badly warped and interferes with large items in the slide out storage tray. This is the carpet covered plywood piece that makes up the basement storage area ceiling between the frame rails. Its purpose is to cover up and support the massive amount of wires running through the center of the chassis basement ceiling area. I had to remove the basement ceiling cover to access the HWH leveling system and didn’t want to reinstall the old sagging cover, so I’m making a new one. The original cover is 11/32” pine plywood covered with indoor/outdoor carpet. It spans the main frame rails and is roughly 4’ x 4’. Our original cover sags downward over 6” in the center.
I did some online research and they recommended Birch hardwood plywood for stiffness. I found ½” Birch plywood at Home Depot and they cut the outside dimensions to size. I peeled the indoor/outdoor carpet from the old cover and then used the old plywood piece as a template for all the slots and holes. It needs a large rectangular hole for the HWH leveling system as well as several slots for Aladdin wiring and battery cables running across the bottom of the main frame rails. I wish there was another way to route all these wires and cables, but it would be fatal to cut holes in the main frame rails.
I cut all the slots and holes out with a skill saw and saber saw and did a couple of trial fits. The new Birch plywood is much stiffer than the old pine plywood. I also beveled the ends of the new panel so my tool box and large storage containers will not hang up when rolling the slide out tray from side to side. I then used 3M Super 77 spray adhesive to glue indoor/outdoor carpet to the panel. Gluing the carpet to the panel actually turned out to be very easy. Just trim with scissors and spray and stick.
I also found a large steel cross member running across from one frame rail to the other. It is recessed 1 ¼” from the bottom of the frame rails. I’m attaching a strip of wood to the bottom of the cross member so I can also screw the cover to it for support across the center.
I’m letting the glue dry over night before installing. If you want to make the panel even stiffer you can apply Minwax Wood Hardener or fiberglass resin to the panel.
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