Measurements, Layout, Planning, etc.
At the roof this trailer measures 7 ft across to the bottom of the slot on each side, including the curvature. The aluminum sheet that I used is available in several different widths; the widest I could find locally was 24 inches, in 50 ft rolls. I had previously done the horse compartment of a 2-horse bumper-pull trailer from 1 roll using 3 strips a little over 11ft 6in long.
By using “H” section plastic joining strips there is no need to make allowance for overlapping at joints and there is only scrap/waste if you make significant errors. Since I knew I would need to run 4 rows of panels anyway I decided to make it centered by using 18 inch wide panels on the outside and 2 ft wide panels on the inside. Rivets are placed on every roof rib on 4 inch centers. Starting at the outer edge of the 18 inch wide panel I placed them at 4, 8, 12 & 16, leaving 2 inches to the edge where the 24 inch panel would be joined to it. Then at 2, 6, 10, 14, 18 and 22 inches on the 24 inch wide panel, again leaving 2 inches to the join that would form the center seam. I worked from one side to the center, then from the other side to the center.