We are in the process of removing the water-damaged panels from the front section of our trailer to do a skin-on replacement of damaged panels and rotted framing, and are somewhat stumped by the ceiling to wall connection. Have any of you had success attaching the ceiling beams to the wall framing without removing the exterior skin? It looks like these pieces were not originally attached but were held together by the sandwiched paneling. Is that right?
Photo below shows the ceiling-wall edge with wall paneling removed and one ceiling panel removed.
When I disassembled our 63 the ceiling framing was nailed in through the plywood strip, was not sitting on top of the wall framing. It's a flimsy way of framing and doesn't add any structural value. I tore my trailer down to the frame and I was able to frame it properly during the rebuild. If you’re working from within you might want to try using a pocket hole jig, then you’ll be able to screw your framing into the plywood strip from the inside. It's not ideal but it should work.
the pocket hole jig would work fine to attach the ceiling joist member to the plywood strip. However since the ceiling panels are sandwiched between the wall framing and the laminated plywood, you will have nothing to attach to along the wall between the ceiling joists. So, you will have to cut some blocking that will attach to the laminated plywood and extend out far enough to allow you to nail or screw the new panels to it. Having said that and looking at your photo's I would inspect this laminated plywood carefully as it could be rotted also and would leave you with a weakened ceiling joint. When I did a skin off rebuild on my 61, I ended up replacing all of this material although it was only damaged in the rear of the unit. If it is not damaged, the use of the pocket hole jig and blocking should do nicely. I am sure you will get lots of advise on this so good luck and there is nothing that is not doable with the right attitude and this forum.
Thanks, guys! We did just buy a Kreg jig this weekend, and I suspect we'll be getting a lot of use out of it!
61, I think you're right that we should look at replacing the laminated plywood section shown in the photo. This section is in better shape than a lot of the plywood we've uncovered, but that doesn't mean it's solid!