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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > Wood studs on trailer walls

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ReverendCharles

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Posted: 01/27/12 09:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How do the 2X2 studs stay straight when they build trailer walls. There is no support from the inside ¼” paneling and the exterior aluminum. If I buy a bundle of 2X2’s at the lumber yard and break it open the studs will be twisting all over within 1 day. I don’t get it! Charles

Jim44646

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Posted: 01/27/12 09:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 2x2"s you buy at box stores are junk wood. Most likely pine. Better grades of wood like KD Douglas fir don't warp as bad.

SooperDaddy

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Posted: 01/27/12 10:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just like your house...framing with wood stringers and studs, clear cut 2x3 wood.

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mwebber78

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Posted: 01/28/12 07:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Correct - its the cut of wood. When I wass at Jayco and Crossroads they were pre-cut, top grade kiln dried wood. In addition, the headers and openings are boxed and doubled, studs are shot with large staples and on some brands strapped.


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Disclaimer for the daft: Don't confuse my opinion with facts.


rpegram

Eastern NC

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Posted: 01/28/12 07:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I have replaced studs on my trailer (due to former owner's laziness) I've gone to lumber yard and purchased 2X4 spruce boards. The spruce is lighter than pine and I pick through and get the ones that are perfectly straight. As long as you don't let the wood get wet or set out in the sun it will remain straight. The key here is to get straight boards to begin with and store them dry and in the shade, preferably under a shelter off the floor on a well supported rack. I rip the boards down to the width I need. The width of the boards vary in the trailer, so I use an actual board to determine width. I have also cheated and used the whole 2X4 without ripping it down. I did this on front of the trailer and ended up with a lighter frame than what I removed. This may have been due to the 2X2's being wet, but it was still lighter. Once you remove the metal on the outside, there are screws down each side and along the top and bottom, remove all screws and the entire section comes right out. The paneling is glued to the studs, so this adds an enormous amount of strength to the wall. The original studs are all stapled together, but all the studs not damaged by water were all tight and in place. That little thin paneling you refer to is what really holds that trailer together.

Some people use treated wood to replace any rotten wood, but I don't recommend this. It would probably work if your treated wood was kiln dried again after it was treated and then used, but all I've seen has so much moisture that one: the glue for the paneling won't properly adhere and two: you are much more likely to have the boards warp and twist. My motto with treated is: treated wood will warp and twist, the only unknown is which direction and how much.


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TURBODOG1000

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Posted: 01/28/12 07:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 8000 lbs TT, and more than likely 30-40 lbs are staples, glue and screws.

Staples and glue holding the thin paneling to the studs, staples holding the aluminum siding to the studs. staples and glue holding all the cabnets together, screws holding the cabinets to the walls and floor.(cabinets and interior walls are major overall structure reinforcement)

I am saying the staples and glue are holding most of the 2X2's from warping too much.


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pbitschura

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Posted: 01/28/12 07:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TURBODOG1000 wrote:

I have a 8000 lbs TT, and more than likely 30-40 lbs are staples and screws.

Staples holding the thin paneling to the studs, staples holding the aluminum siding to the studs. staples holding all the cabnets together, screws holding the cabinets to the walls and floor.(cabinets and interior walls are major overall structure reinforcement)

I am saying the staples are holding most of the 2X2's from warping too much.
Correct. The studs are supported by their attachment to other materials and each other. I never purchase 2x2's. always buy spf 2x4's then rip them on the table saw. They start out straight but soon warp and twist if not nailed up.


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westend

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Posted: 01/28/12 09:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In my brief experience, not all the framing is nominal 2"x2" (net 1 1/2"x1 1/2"). The studs in my Starcraft are 1 5/8"x1". I would assume that most manufacturers cut their own studs and plates to dimension or have them cut to their specification. As others noted, species and choice of timber will effect the wood's stability. If the Mfg. chooses to use lateral runners to connect the vertical studs and uses full top and bottom plates, the frame becomes quite a bit stronger. The additions of the outer skin, interior paneling, and the fill inside the wall cavity, all strengthen the frame.
Does the wood tend to bend, cup, or twist? Yes, all lumber wants to become a tree, again. It is the amount of movement that is controllable by selection and manner of cut. The 2"x2" lumber from the big-box stores is the very lowest quality of the milling process, only under-cut by 1"x2" utility grade offerings.
I've found that ripping my own TT framing from larger board results in better quality framing.


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Lowsuv

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Posted: 01/28/12 10:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am a jerk.
I have been a lumber wholesaler all of my life starting in 1969.
I was an owner of a company that manufactured mobile home trusses for a decade.
To make these trusses I bought SPF in MSR ( machine stress rated ) grades because we ripped a standard 2 x 4 into either 3 pieces ( 1.08 " ) or 2 pieces ( 1.68 " wide ) depending upon the size we needed. All of this was 1.5" thick lumber.
I bought the upgraded MSR lumber at a higher cost than std/btr because the grade called for a considerably smaller knot and less wane. We were ripping all of our inbound stock to "2x2" ripped stock.
However, the MSR grades were still 19% moisture content as is the industry standard called for in the national grading rules.

No sawmills make a 2 x 2 on purpose. 99% of all 2 x 2 's are ripped from 2 x 4 's. Universal Forest Products (symbol UFPI ) is the dominant publicly traded REMANUFACTURER of 2x2 stock. UFPI does not buy the more expensive MSR because they have other ways to sell their downgrade material such as shorter lengths.

Douglas Fir is the most stable softwood lumber in the USA. But mostly available on the west coast. The environmentalists have closed down logging of Doug Fir so we have 10% of DF available in the 1970's.

" 2 x 2" twists because the center of the 2x4 it was made from is slightly less dry than the outside of the 2x4. The slightly wetter ripped center ( which is now an edge of a 2x2) will dry down to 12 % moisture content over time and in the process will make the 2x2 twist.

SPF is not better than DF. But SPF comes mostly from Canada where they can still log timber and produce lumber. The environmentalists won. Your 2x2 made from SPF twists more than the Doug Fir ( made in the USA) 2 x 2 of 1970. But SPF is more widely available and cheaper in price.

LVJJJ

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Posted: 01/29/12 05:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Older TT's must have better quality wood in them as I have noticed that our '85 Wilderness does not have "wavy" sides. If you sight down the side of a TT you can tell if the studs are straight if the siding is straight and true. This is the first TT I've had that is straight, unlike most of the new TT's I've purchased over the years.


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