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Suncrest79 03-03-2009 12:46 AM

Dyrwall for Mobile Home
I have a 1979 Suncrest Mobile Home and I plan on replacing or covering all the wood panel walls with drywall. I basically have the following 4 questions:

1) Is the 1/2" thick drywall too heavy? Since my mobile home was built in 1979 I'm pretty sure all my walls have 2 x 4's in back of them, as opposed to weaker 2 x 2's that were often used prior to 1972. However, if this is true then the 2 x 4ís must be placed sideways as the walls are only about 3 inches thick, so I'm not sure.

2) Can I install the drywall vertically? This would obviously be much easier on my back, and much easier to install this way. It would also mean that there would be no butt joints except for in some corners, so the tape joints might be easier to hide this way.

3) Would it be alright to attached the drywall directly over the wood paneling? It would obviously be easier to do it this way than to remove all the wood paneling first. The current wood panel walls are pretty flat, but there may be some minor bulging in certain spots. But removing the paneling would probably not take that much extra time, so if it will make a noticeable difference I have no problem removing it.

4) Would there be any major problems with drywall joints cracking if I taped them correctly? I live in Connecticut, where the average yearly temperatures can range from 10 below zero in the winter to over 100 degrees in the summer. However, it took almost 4 years before I noticed any joints cracking between the wood panels that I used joint compound on (see below), and I didn't even tape them. This makes me think that my particular mobile home doesn't shift THAT much, and maybe I'm overly concerned about this.

Please note that about 7 years ago I used the technique of filling in all the wood paneling with joint compound, then using 2 coats of primer, then 2 coats of paint. And it came out looking much better, almost like drywall.

But about 3 years ago I started to notice cracking every 4 feet, where the panels meet each other. And now the cracks run all the way down the walls every 4 feet.

When I did the walls 7 years ago I removed all the joining strips where the panels meet and just used a few coats of joint compound, but did not use any drywall tape, which may have prevented the cracking now that I think about it.

Obviously my greatest hope is that the everyone who responds to this post will reply that it would be fine to screw 1/2" drywall directly over the existing wood paneling, to install it vertically, and that the drywall joints, if taped correctly, will hold up fine and will not crack for a long time. But I would rather know the truth if this is not the case.

Thanks - Joe

buletbob 03-03-2009 03:28 AM

I would remove the paneling, for the simple reason you will be able to see all your studs. however You do run the risk of having the drywall crack, it will depend on the foundation the trailer is on. trailers are known to flex with the freeze and thaw of the ground. that is the main reason why they use paneling. if the foundation is good then I do not see a problem. BOB.

Suncrest79 03-03-2009 11:46 PM

Thanks Bob - how about installing drywall vertically?
Thanks for the quick reply Bob. I'll definetely remove the paneling first. As far as the cracking is concerned I think I'll just take my chances. If the paneling lasted 4 years, I think a properly taped sheetrock wall will last at least as long, at which point I hope to be in permanent home anyway.

The only real issue I still have is if I should install the drywall vertically. As I already said this would result in basically no butt joints, except for in some of the corners. And it would also be much easier for one person working alone to install it this way. However, if anyone thinks this will create any problems please tell me.

Thanks - Joe

buletbob 03-04-2009 07:05 AM

I had a friend of mine who had a mobile home We used it as a place to stay when we went up there to hunt. we had a foundation put in and moved the trailer onto it,because of the constant heaving from the frozen ground. The foundation eliminated that problem. we also installed drywall on the walls vertically. and had no problems with it. except on three seems. but we decided it was because of the trailer going from outside temp.18degrees. to 70 degrees in 20min. when we came up there and turned the heat on. I think you should be fine. BOB.

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