Originally Posted by SC182
Would like to stiffen up the engine hatch floor panel in bedroom. It feels spongy when walking on it. It approx 30x30” 1/2 inch plywood with aluminum sheet glued to botton. Wood looks factory and zero leaks or water damage. Wonder if i could screw some aluminum channel to bottom to stiffen it up? Have you run into this before?
11’ Fleetwood Discovery 40g on freightliner
Without actually seeing this project, it's a tad difficult to really advise on different remedies. But, I'll give it a shot. If this is in fact, your engine cover, just how much clearance do you have, from the underside of this "hatch" in question, to any engine parts, i.e. valve cover(s), hoses, structural parts, air or any other hoses, anything?
If you have clearance, as in say, oh, maybe 3"-4" or so between the bottom of the engine hatch and any obstacle, here's an idea. If you were to find and purchase, some aluminum angle, say, 2" x 2" x 1/4" thick, then, cut it so the lengths you cut, are almost the exact width of the hatch. Cut say, 3-4 of these angles, then place them on the underside, equal distance apart. Drill some holes, equal distance apart, along one side of the angles. The holes would be just adequate for some screws to go through, without interference fit.
The screws now would go into but, NOT THROUGH the hatch. My advice here would be that the screws are no more than approximately 2"-3" apart.
Now, you have 3-4 or so of these angles that are attached to the bottom of the hatch, and they will be acting as *beams* or, *truss's*. Now, when you put your hatch on, and walk on it, you'd be trying to actually BEND that 1/4" thick beam section of each of the aluminum pieces. That's not gonna happen. Your hatch will significantly strengthened.
You see, sheet products don't really provide any strength in the flat side. Stand them on end, and they're SERIOUSLY strong.
I just advised a friend to do this very same structural enhancement, to the bottom side of is poorly designed Alpine coach bed. His bed was sagging quite a bit and, it's directly over the engine. I told him to get 3" x 3" x 1/2" thick aluminum for his project. He did so and put 4 of those, at the maximum length, equal distance apart, and screwed them to the bottom side of his bed platform.
He is REALLY HAPPY NOW. The bed doesn't sag AT ALL. And, it's not all that much harder to raise, to gain entrance to check the engine out. Just an idea here. Good luck.
P.S. You could do the same thing with 1" x 2" or 1" x 3" pieces of oak or ash or any hardwood. Screw and glue the edges of the hardwood to the bottom side of the hatch, again, equal distant apart (maybe a half dozen of these pieces of wood). Now, the hardwood is acting like beams and or truss's.