Join Truck Conversion Today
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-07-2011, 08:11 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 105
Default Lowering trailer height - ideas

I was looking at the construction of a commercial trailer yesterday. Looks like the roof is attached to the side walls with continuous aluminum bracket/channel that is riveted every 2" or so all the way around. I was thinking of 2 ways to reduce the height from 13'6" to something more manageable for the RV lifestyle. Prior to doing either method I would install temporary cross braces inside to hold the walls even and square:

1). Remove the rivets holding the roof to the side walls all the way around, lift the roof section free from the walls using multiple hanger/hoists, cut the appropriate amount down on the side wall, then lower the roof section back onto the walls, drill and rivet to attach like original. I'm wondering what type of sealant is used along with the rivets in the bracket, which may make pulling the top free almost impossible.

2). Cut the appropriate amount down on the walls and remove the roof/unwanted wall pieces all as one piece. Attach continuous aluminum angle/channel along the top of the newly cut wall section, then weld slightly curved aluminum cross braces (trusses) across the roof 12"-16" on center and attach the appropriate underlayment and roofing. The curved sections will allow for easy water drainage, and removing the unwanted top section and fabricating a new roof from scratch may be easier and faster.
Feedback on these ideas or addition of others you may have?
__________________

dgorila1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2011, 11:17 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Kenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Willamina Or
Posts: 276
Default

Are you talking about a trailer with aluminum sides or some other material? If aluminum I think you will need to deal with some type of vertical suports.
__________________

Kenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2011, 11:33 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
blizzardND's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: West Fargo ND
Posts: 300
Default

an idea that seems to work in theory...

Build your ceiling inside first, build your outside wall studs, set ceiling crossmembers on those walls, thereby everything stays tied together and ridgid.

then you block up the roof up with timbers set across those crossmembers to support your roof and remove all the rivits and such to free the roof.

chalk a line on the walls and trip the wall down.

then with a post jack just lift your roof and remove the support timbers one board at a time to lower it down to your desired height.

redrill ad re-rivet the roof to the wall

Like a big house moving job only smaller scale.
blizz
__________________
2001 GMC 6500 Topkick, 22' box, dropped frame, designed to fit into a 9' garage door. 3126 CAT 6spd Man Lo-Pro 19.5's w/ 3.07 rear axle ratio
blizzardND is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2011, 07:42 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 105
Default Lowering roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzardND View Post
an idea that seems to work in theory...

Build your ceiling inside first, build your outside wall studs, set ceiling crossmembers on those walls, thereby everything stays tied together and ridgid.

then you block up the roof up with timbers set across those crossmembers to support your roof and remove all the rivits and such to free the roof.

chalk a line on the walls and trip the wall down.

then with a post jack just lift your roof and remove the support timbers one board at a time to lower it down to your desired height.

redrill ad re-rivet the roof to the wall

Like a big house moving job only smaller scale.
blizz
Correct, in theory it should work,but several critical factors are how tight is the roof rail holding the side wall panels, and is it glued/sealed as well as riveted? If a sealant is used then it might be next to impossible to pull it free of the walls and reuse it.
dgorila1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2011, 08:38 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 212
Default

I am probably missing something obvious, but it sounds like a combination of your two origional ideas would work. Specifically...

Cut the appropriate amount down on the walls and remove the roof/unwanted wall pieces all as one piece.

Remove all the rivets holding the side walls to the origional roof, and peel the top portion of the side wall off the roof. I am assuming that it is caulked and will otherwise be difficult to remove, but you can peel it back in sections, you don't have to remove it all around in one shot as per your origional proposal #1.

Now with the top side walls removed, and the caulking residue peeled away from the origional roof, you can lower it back down on your lower side walls and attach it, per the 2nd part of your proposal #1.

The problems I see are:

1. I have no idea how the underlying side wall structure integrates with the roof structure. Dropping the roof onto existing walls means everything has to be perfectly cut and trimmed and ready to join. There also has to be a way to tie the structures together. I am assuming that this involves more than just riveting the outer skin to the roof. The inner structure must attach as well.

2. Getting the roof to slip down and inside the side walls might be frustrating. I can imagine that the side walls will bow and wiggle and keep getting under the roof rather than slipping around to the outside all the way around. You might need 10 good friends to help massage the side walls outward as you lower the roof down. Sometimes putting together things piece by piece is easier than trying to get really big heavy pieces to fit just right, especially if you are working all by yourself. There is also the issue of how you get a really watertight seal between the new lower wall and the roof. You would have to caulk the two surfaces and push them past one another which would probably mostly push the caulk out of where you want it.

I am assuming way too much here, sight unseen.
Ran D. St. Clair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2011, 06:14 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 527
Default

Wow, most of us are trying to figure out how to get more space inside and you want to throw it away!

I can maybe see the campground clearance issue, but most of the modern "big rig" class A motorhomes are at or approaching 13'6" anyway with the roof obstructions so I would think most campgrounds would be trimmed up for those units to get through without damage. The length would be a bigger pita to get maneuvered into place in my opinion.

Be happy with all that extra room! Do something creative like raise the floor on the bedroom and bathroom and have a couple exta feet to fill with water and holding tanks and other mechanicals or add outside access doors for basement type storage under the raised floor. It'd be just like home with a few steps up from the living area to the bedroom. Or I've seen some tall units have a second floor loft for bunks etc., with perfectly usable stand up room underneath.

Stop cutting! Get creative!

Dave
hot rod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2011, 09:22 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
blizzardND's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: West Fargo ND
Posts: 300
Default

The problem with a 13'6"trailer is you have no inches left for AC units, SAT domes, vents, solar panels but more importantly...

flip up handrails for the NA$CAR races, chicks dig climbing up and getting a better veiw, at that time you can do the same.

so chop the top and enjoy the view!
-blizz
__________________

__________________
2001 GMC 6500 Topkick, 22' box, dropped frame, designed to fit into a 9' garage door. 3126 CAT 6spd Man Lo-Pro 19.5's w/ 3.07 rear axle ratio
blizzardND is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:10 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×