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Old 07-04-2017, 11:43 PM   #1
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Reinforced 19' Wall NOT Solid

I'm putting up shelf brackets on the rear surface of the "reinforced" wall between the stove and the bed in my 19', built October 2015. I screwed in the first shelf standard no problem, but the first drill hole for the second standard ran into a hollow wall section. Guess "reinforced" doesn't mean "reinforced" everywhere. The "tap test" isn't real conclusive, and I sure don't want to start just drilling holes hoping to get lucky and hit something solid. Does anyone have a map of what areas of the wall are solid and what areas aren't? The brown plastic screw head covers along the edge certainly imply that there is some framing or something solid along the edge, but since the wall curves and the shelf standard doesn't, I'm still likely to hit air somewhere in there. I recognize that the particulars can differ from one trailer to the next, especially over time, but if anyone has experience finding solid areas, please let me know what you found.

The bad hole is where the angled piece of tape meets the vertical piece of tape, at the tip of the felt pen arrowhead; click to enlarge the image.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:02 PM   #2
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You can use a stud finder to tell where the reinforcement starts and stops in the wall. I use one and lay everything out on the wall with tape first.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:25 PM   #3
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What is the round hole from and is it solid?
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kountrykamper View Post
You can use a stud finder to tell where the reinforcement starts and stops in the wall. I use one and lay everything out on the wall with tape first.
So OK - maybe it's time for me to finally break down and get a stud finder after all these years. In your experience are they very accurate? I get the feeling that I might be close to the edge of some solidness, so accuracy of +/- 1/8" or so would be nice. I can relocate the shelf standard side to side a little if needed to find some solid wall.

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What is the round hole from and is it solid?
The 1-1/2" hole was a "quick and dirty" on our first trip - cordless drill and hole saw in a Home Depot parking lot somewhere in California - to allow use of my CPAP (VPAP actually). The PAP machine sat at night on the stove cover, and the power cord and nose hose snaked through the hole in the wall to the 120 outlet and proboscis respectively. The chef hated having the PAP and stuff sitting on the stove when she got up to do breakfast, hence the shelves on the wall: a small top shelf for phone, MP3 player, etc, way up by the reading light; middle shelf for PAP machine; bottom shelf for Bose SoundLink III speaker. Now I'll be able do all the "lights out" stuff lying in bed without getting up to turn things on or off, and we won't have stuff scattered all over the stove and counter every morning.

The wall is definitely solid where I drilled the pass-through hole - looks like 3/4" plywood sandwiched between the 2 layers of the oak finish plywood. I was assuming that for my 100 bucks I would be getting a solid solid wall, and although it appears that the vast majority of the wall is solid, I of course drilled a hole for the shelf bracket where it wasn't. In any case, having the pass-through hole has come in handy - when we need to plug something in, it's easier to run a 120 cord from the stove area through the hole and plug into the receptacle by the bed than to snake it by the sink and into the receptacle by the door.
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:12 PM   #5
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If you slept the other way, you can use the 120v plug below the refer or does the unit have to be above you for operation?
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:14 PM   #6
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You may have to mount the brackets closer to the refer end once you find the edge of the reinforcing. Perhaps the reinforcing goes all the way over but not that high? Any build pictures you have?
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:41 PM   #7
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Thanks for your ideas, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
If you slept the other way, you can use the 120v plug below the refer or does the unit have to be above you for operation?
The PAP machine can go pretty much anywhere, limited by the length of the nose hose. In fact I was considering putting it up in the overhead cabinet and drilling holes through the bottom of the cabinet for the power cord and the nose hose, but will try it with the shelves first. We tried sleeping both ways, and agreed that it just felt better with heads on the passenger side - less like being in a cocoon. Anyhow, we already have our magazine rack / book shelf unit on the driver's side and it sticks out too far to sleep that way.


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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
You may have to mount the brackets closer to the refer end once you find the edge of the reinforcing. Perhaps the reinforcing goes all the way over but not that high? Any build pictures you have?
The solidness seems to go high enough - the top screw of the first shelf bracket is in solid wall. It seems like there is a non-solid vertical gap between the framing adjacent to the shell wall and where the solid part begins. I 'm thinking of drilling a 1/2" hole in the rear-facing oak plywood and cutting a piece of 1/2" wood dowel just the right length, gooping it up real good with quality wood glue, and sticking it into the 1/2" hole so it will bond to the inner surface of the front-facing oak plywood and be flush with the surface of the rear-facing oak plywood. I don't want to use a plastic anchor or toggle, and a t-nut on the stove side of the wall would just squeeze the oak plywood together.

Unfortunately, I don't have any build pics that show what I need.
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:57 PM   #8
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Stud finders are fairly cheap these days and very accurate. I usually go over the area from several directions and can get very close to laying it out. I had the same problem for a shelf on a different wall. After laying it out I found there was a area left open for the thermostat wire. A quick email to ETI confirmed what I thought I was seeing.

Being that close to the outside wall I would say you found a area between the reinforcement and the attachment point for the wall.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:05 PM   #9
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You could also mount a support piece on the stove side, maybe a spice rack that could give you that top support thru the entire wall. Just be careful, there my be wires in there someplace.
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