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Types of screws for aluminum skin, steel frame

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aimr
Reg. Jul 2019
Posted 2019-07-22 12:16 PM (#172546)
Subject: Types of screws for aluminum skin, steel frame


Member


Posts: 5

I have a 2H BP Hawk trailer for which I'd like to (potentially) install some gridwall and utility holders in the dressing room.

I understand from Organized Barn's website that screws are the preferred thing to use for mounting, and that I'd need to mount everything into the studs. I have a stud finder to find the studs in the dressing room since they aren't visible (it's just smooth aluminum over everything). However, would aluminum pop rivets also work (thinking rivet nuts with the flange), and would they also need to be put into studs? Do studs accommodate mounting brackets with 4 holes or should I try to find mounting brackets only with two vertical holes instead of 2 vert, 2 horizontal?

If I go the screw route: Based on my research so far, I think a self-tapping stainless steel screw (which I understand needs a pilot hole) would work; I talked to Hawk, and they said that their walls are typically 1 1/8" thick, that the max length of a screw that I'd want to use is 3/4," and that their studs are typically 18" apart. Does that sound about right? Are there specific types of screws I should be keeping an eye out for (heads, type, brand) or types to avoid? Can I use a stainless steel sheet metal screw? Would a molly-bolt anchor also work (and do they even make them in stainless steel) if screwing into the studs ends up not being an option? Is there anything else as far as an option goes that I'm missing?

Any installation tips, generally? My husband thankfully has agreed to help with the install.

Thanks in advance!

Edited by aimr 2019-07-22 12:42 PM
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Kay
Reg. Oct 2003
Posted 2019-07-22 3:16 PM (#172547 - in reply to #172546)
Subject: RE: Types of screws for aluminum skin, steel frame


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Posts: 534
50025
Location: Zionsville, Indiana
Hawk trailers are lined in galvaneal steel. Much easier to mount something to than aluminum. I can't imagine that someone at Hawk would not have mentioned that.
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aimr
Reg. Jul 2019
Posted 2019-07-22 4:36 PM (#172548 - in reply to #172547)
Subject: RE: Types of screws for aluminum skin, steel frame


Member


Posts: 5

They mentioned the galvaneal steel when I bought the trailer, but even when discussing today with Hawk on the phone, the person I spoke to didn't mention it as far as ease of mounting goes. His main comments focused on the max length of screw I should use, the overall wall thickness, and the approx. distance of the studs for mounting anything in the studs. The studs in my DR are recessed, so I'll have to find them through the skin vs. having outright access to them, hence the material question. If you don't mind my asking, how does the galvaneal steel vs. aluminum impact the ease of mounting?
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Kay
Reg. Oct 2003
Posted 2019-07-23 8:03 AM (#172549 - in reply to #172546)
Subject: RE: Types of screws for aluminum skin, steel frame


Extreme Veteran


Posts: 534
50025
Location: Zionsville, Indiana
The steel is much easier to deal with, stronger, can use steel or stainless steel fasteners. The main caveat is that you can use a drill or screw that is too long and it will dimple or penetrate to outside aluminum skin. If you look carefully at the steel liner wall, you may be able to see small marks where the wall was welded to the frame. Look for marks that are in a vertical line.
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jmey1820
Reg. Aug 2009
Posted 2019-07-23 9:34 AM (#172551 - in reply to #172546)
Subject: RE: Types of screws for aluminum skin, steel frame



Regular


Posts: 65
2525
Location: Michigan
I have a new to me 2017 hawk trailer.  We installed extra bridle racks in the dressing room this spring.  We used 3/4 inch stainless self tamping hex head screws.  In some case the self tampers worked and in other cases we drilled a pilot hole into the steel frame. We found that the phillips and flat head screws stripped out before they were seated and the hex heads seemed to go right in.
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aimr
Reg. Jul 2019
Posted 2019-07-23 9:43 AM (#172552 - in reply to #172549)
Subject: RE: Types of screws for aluminum skin, steel frame


Member


Posts: 5

Thanks so much! That helps tremendously.
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aimr
Reg. Jul 2019
Posted 2019-07-23 9:45 AM (#172553 - in reply to #172551)
Subject: RE: Types of screws for aluminum skin, steel frame


Member


Posts: 5

Interesting; good to know about phillips and flat heads vs. hex heads! Will definitely keep that in mind. This isn't an "immediate" need project, so making sure I do my research before we go drilling holes into the new trailer
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aimr
Reg. Jul 2019
Posted 2019-07-23 12:23 PM (#172554 - in reply to #172549)
Subject: RE: Types of screws for aluminum skin, steel frame


Member


Posts: 5

Another follow up question: can I use stainless steel fasteners (being mounted into the galvanized steel frame) even with the aluminum skin? That won't cause a galvanic reaction (by virtue of the fastener "resting" on the aluminum to mount gridwall) will it?
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jmey1820
Reg. Aug 2009
Posted 2019-07-23 1:38 PM (#172555 - in reply to #172546)
Subject: RE: Types of screws for aluminum skin, steel frame



Regular


Posts: 65
2525
Location: Michigan
On my previous trailer I had to have an aluminum ramp added to the aluminum frame. I took it to dealership and they bolted it on with stainless steel hardware. When I asked I was told that the stainless would not react with the aluminum. He was a long standing dealer with a great reputation so I trusted him to know what he was talking about. That is why we used the stainless screws on the new Hawk. But I am in no means an expert!
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HOUSE
Reg. Oct 2008
Posted 2019-07-25 12:37 PM (#172561 - in reply to #172546)
Subject: RE: Types of screws for aluminum skin, steel frame


Veteran


Posts: 140
10025
Location: riverside ca
 I personally do not use screws anywhere on a trailer, either use a pop rivit or a bolt and a nut, preferrably with a nylon lock nut. (i guess machine screws work too).  I find anything you screw in will eventually back out and over time wallow out the hole, if you dont travel that many miles it may not be an issue for you. Screws are faster and easier dont get me wrong, I just have gotten to the point that I have too many projects to keep doing them over and over again is not an option.
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Amorallity
Reg. Jan 2020
Posted 2020-05-14 4:33 AM (#173085 - in reply to #172546)
Subject: RE: Types of screws for aluminum skin, steel frame


New User


Posts: 4

aimr - 2019-07-22 12:16 PM

I have a 2H BP Hawk trailer for which I'd like to (potentially) install some gridwall and utility holders in the dressing room.

I understand from Organized Barn's website that screws are the preferred thing to use for mounting, and that I'd need to mount everything into the studs. I have a stud finder to find the studs in the dressing room since they aren't visible (it's just smooth aluminum over everything). However, would aluminum pop rivets also work (thinking rivet nuts with the flange), and would they also need to be put into studs? Do studs accommodate mounting brackets with 4 holes or should I try to find mounting brackets only with two vertical holes instead of 2 vert, 2 horizontal?

If I go the screw route: Based on my research so far, I think a self-tapping stainless steel screw (which I understand needs a pilot hole) would work; I talked to Hawk, and they said that their walls are typically 1 1/8" thick, that the max length of a screw that I'd want to use is 3/4," and that their studs are typically 18" apart. Does that sound about right? Are there specific types of screws I should be keeping an eye out for (heads, type, brand) or types to avoid? Can I use a stainless steel sheet metal screw? Would a molly-bolt anchor also work (and do they even make them in stainless steel) if screwing into the studs ends up not being an option? Is there anything else as far as an option goes that I'm missing?

Any installation tips, generally? My husband thankfully has agreed to help with the install.

Thanks in advance!

Oh man, I had similar situation couple months ago. It was my first time doing reparation and I faced the problem of invisible stuff inside my wall. My friend (he is a builder) told me that I need to buy a stud finder to finish my work faster. I had no clue what it was and how to find a good one for me. He send me a link with reviews about different stud finders. By the way here it is https://electricstudfinder.com
Because of the reviews I bought myself a good finder with appropriate price.
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