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Old 08-18-2017, 01:50 PM   #1
chuckalanpayne
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Where are wall studs in my 2012 Outback trailer

My exterior rear Wall on my trailer is coming loose at the top. I need to know if there are studs, wood, aluminum, etc. are they 16 inch or smaller apart. I need to put in screws to keep the wall from falling completely out and loose. It does not seem to have a header at the top either. Little confused on how to retain this wall back to its original position. Its a 260FL travel trailer, the wall came loose from the top and is getting worse and starting to open up. Also, whet is best sealer to use once I screw it back in.
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:10 PM   #2
chuckster57
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Your trailer has a "floating" rear wall. In units with a rear window, there is some added support from the window flange squeezing the window frame.

Without a window, I wouldn't know where any framework would be and Keystone doesn't publish that information. Your best bet IMO is to remove the top screw rail to expose the upper edge of the filon. From there you may see what "failed" and easily formulate a repair plan.
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:16 PM   #3
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I don't have any pictures that clearly show the rear wall framework on your trailer and I can't find one that clearly shows the framework from the "rear looking angle" What I do have is a picture from the Cougar assembly line that I took a couple of years ago. Maybe it will help you at least visualize how the frame is constructed. It is definitely not on any "regular measurement centers" and does not measure 16" on center. It's more a "divide the space and make allowances for the refrigerator vent or for the windows" so it may be 12" on center on the sides and 18" on center in the middle.... Hopefully the picture will sort of clarify what I'm describing....
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:44 PM   #4
chuckalanpayne
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trailer wall stud location

Yea a floating wall is what is looks like. Wonder why it was built like that to start with. Thank you for your great and fast advise. I did manage to find a stud in the center of the wall on the inside, right down the middle. But the frame wall pic and looking down inside the panel are both good ideas. Looks like I got some work to do.

I plan to find some studs and use self drilling screws to secure it from coming completely loose and fall off. Its slowing coming loose from the top below the metal trim at the center and bowing out, leaving an open hole for water to come in. No water damage yet, so far.
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:59 PM   #5
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It was built that way because it's the most cost effective way to attach the rear wall and to still be able to remove it for repairs in the future. If it was "permanently sealed, there would be no way to attach it to the side walls without "going through the FILON or having visible and accessible attachments either on the inside of the coach or on the outside. So, the side walls are secured to the frame outriggers and the roof rafters, then the inside rear wall (luan is hung, followed by the framework which is then secured "inside the FILON" to the side walls, rear of the frame and the roof rafters. Once that is done, then the wiring is installed, insulation hung and the FILON is hung. It is secured around the perimenter and at the windows, vents and tail/clearance lights. Otherwise, it's "hanging".... If the rear wall were a "vacuum bonded structure" it couldn't be secured to the side walls, rafters and frame without some significant (and visible) attachment points.

There are "other ways to do it" but they cost more, are harder to maintain and don't provide any better security/repairability, so almost the entire industry uses the "hung wall concept" on the rear wall. It's not just Keystone.

ADDED: Many of the "higher priced models use a fiberglass cap on the rear that's very similar to the fiberglass front cap on the intermediate priced trailers. The lower end models typically have FILON front and rear walls, the intermediate priced models have a fiberglass front cap/FILON rear wall and the upper priced models have fiberglass front and rear caps. It's pretty much determined by the economy of the model.....
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Old 08-18-2017, 03:58 PM   #6
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I suspect others (Chuckster, John, ...) more than likely can provide more detailed information on what I'm about to say.

We took a tour of the factory for our model line this spring. Never got to see inside the rear end, but the front of the trailer has no vertical studs at all - there are aluminum (?) or galvanized (?) metal strips that are used to mount the various internal hardware using screws. I've attached a photo so you can see what I'm talking about.

Perhaps the hung rear is constructed in a similar fashion?
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:25 PM   #7
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The front wall is built with horizontal studding so it can conform to the airfoil of the trailer's forward curve. The rear wall is vertical, flat and doesn't bend or curve like the front wall. It is built with vertical studding with cutouts (boxes) built in the studding for any openings that are required. You can see the refrigerator vent cutouts and the interior luan in the picture I posted.

Thanks ShacterShack, for posting the front wall picture. As you can see, there's a substantial difference in form and a very different way of "forming" the radius of the front wall vs the "slab" shape of the rear wall.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:24 PM   #8
chuckalanpayne
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Ok that makes perfect sense now. Do you have any ideas on how to secure it to the top so it does not come out again. the luan has separated away from the top trim starting in the middle and about one foot or more. I thought about attaching a steel flat plate and bolting or screwing it into a stud or completely into the inside wall to a coat hanger about the same size with a couple bolts and washers. Then sealing the top with ATV.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:28 PM   #9
chuckalanpayne
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The only thing inside is a closet running the entire wall. I found one center vertical stud. but the rest seems to be hollow. but there has to be something there to hold up a 4 by 7 foot wall up.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:32 PM   #10
chuckalanpayne
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I'm afraid of taking apart the trim from the roof and starting a leak. So trying to come up with a way to push the wall back in flat and up under the trim and secure it.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:40 PM   #11
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As long as you use butyl tape under the screw rail and cover it with Dicor when your done, you'll be fine. I would put an additional stud across at the top to run another row of screws into it. Then just use 2 rows of screw rail and go crazy with the Dicor.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:45 PM   #12
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If you look at the picture I posted, you'll see a "welded aluminum rafter" that is installed on top of the rear wall studding. There is a "squared off top" on the rear wall framework and the "rounded rafter" sits on top of that. The "curved part" of the rafter is where the aluminum transition molding is attached that joins the TPO and the FILON. If you carefully remove the transition molding you'll see that the TPO is folded over the rafter and the FILON is pressed up against it, sealed with BUTYL tape and the transition molding is then screwed in place to secure the assembly. It's not difficult to remove the aluminum transition molding, clean the surface of the TPO and the FILON, reseal the area and reinstall the transition molding. BE SURE TO USE BUTYL PUTTY TAPE and DICOR !!! DON'T USE ATV or silicone on the roof !!!!!!


Next time you're at your trailer, you'll notice there are only 8 or 10 #2 screws that hold that transition molding in place. They are on the roof, covered with DICOR self-leveling sealant. Just pull that piece off, the rest will "fall into place" once you see how simple the structure really is.

DON'T try to "jamb it back in place" you won't get it properly inserted, you won't be able to seal it and any water will "wick" back up into the joint and you're going to have major problems a couple of years downstream.... Do it right the first time. If you're lucky, you can get it completely disassembled in a couple of hours, then 2 or 3 hours to clean everything up and a couple of hours to reassemble it. Be sure to wipe everything down carefully with alcohol before the final coat of DICOR self-leveling sealant. The, relax, watch the paint dry and enjoy a "cool one"....

ADDED: Chuckster and I were "typing at the same time" again !! LOL
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