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Installing hooks in the Airstream

So this is not beer related, but if you’ve got an Airstream, or really any travel trailer or camper, you have inevitably found that there are some places you could use hooks or shelves.   But without studs and sheetrock like a standard house, hanging these simple everyday things in your camper can be a challenge.

While we tried several non-drill solutions, like 3M Command Hooks and industrial Velcro, neither was strong enough to hold items like our bathrobes and certainly wouldn’t hold up the shelves we had in mind.

The Project

We wanted to install some hooks around the Airstream that could hold some heaver items like coats and bathrobes.   We used two methods, existing screws and existing rivets.

The Hooks

Blecka Hooks from IkeaIn the interest of making the least impact on the inside of the Airstream, we used some existing screws to hang a simple aluminum hook called Blecka that we found at IKEA.

These hooks only require one screw, which makes them perfect for this application.

Simple installation with existing screws

Hanging these is a super simple process:

simple hook next to door frame1. Find existing screws in places where you might want a hook.

2. Remove the existing screw

3. Replace the screw, with the hook attached.   If necessary obtain a longer screw to secure the hook and original materials.

coat hook next to doorDoesn’t get much easier than this right!

Of course, not every place you want to install a hook will have a screw already located there.   In that case, the next level is to look at the rivet locations.

If you can align your new hook with an existing rivet, you are assured that there’s appropriate material for the new hook to “grab” onto as well as minimizing the impact to the original interior.

To install a hook in an existing rivet

1. Drill out Rivet

Drilling out existing Airstream rivetUsing a 1/8″ metal drill bit drill out the existing rivet carefully.   Don’t use too much pressure, or be sure to use a “stop” on the drill so that you don’t go too deep.

2. Install new Hook

Use an appropriately sized screw, install the hook.

That’s it.  Simple right?

If you don’t find enough material to fasten a screw to securely, check out our post about hanging a planter in the Airstream to learn how to use rivets instead, which grab securely with only a thin sheet metal surface.

IKEA hook installed in AirstreamIKEA GRUNDTAL hooksWe also used some “fancier” hooks from IKEAs GRUNDTAL line, these have the single screw hidden inside the cylinder by a cap which
threads on and is quite elegant.  These are also a bit “deeper” so they hold a bit of a bulkier item.  We used them for dishrags, towels and such.

Of course, we couldn’t be so lucky as to have existing rivet holes line up for the shelves and wall mounted pen and pencil holder that we wanted to install…. So that was a bit more advanced.   You can read about it in our post about installing a wall mount planter in the airstream, or installing shelves in the airstream.

And of course we couldn’t wrap this post without at the very least mentioning a beer, so….

The Beer

During this project we were enjoying some Whetstoner Pale Ale fresh from the tap (via growler) from Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery in Brattleboro Vermont.

Hope this was of some help to our fellow travelers and we’ll see you on the road!


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