Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: All Aluminum RVs
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otterslide

Toronto Ontario

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Posted: 07/16/19 04:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Other than the 2007-2008 Starcraft StarStream and the AirStreams, is there anything else with all aluminum construction(walls/roof) ?

I also wonder what the starcraft StarStream uses for flooring if anyone knows.. is it plywood under the vinyl?.. OSB?

Is the "TuffShell" StarCraft only aluminum frame, or does it have any aluminum that makes up the wall as well?.. From the photo it almost looks like it has a thin layer of metal , but it says bonded laminate with aluminum frame.
Also I wonder what the climate package adds in terms of insulation.

SidecarFlip

SE Michigan

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Posted: 07/16/19 05:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Aluminum rots, just like wood, only slower.


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otterslide

Toronto Ontario

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Posted: 07/16/19 05:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SidecarFlip wrote:

Aluminum rots, just like wood, only slower.


I see these AirStreams still selling for high prices from 1960's.. They look like they are still good.

StarStreams are protected by good paint/clearcoat as well.. but if water runs on aluminum then it will corrode as you mention for sure..

midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 07/16/19 06:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I,ve been told aluminum does not like treated wood.

afidel

Cleveland

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Posted: 07/16/19 11:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Living Lite made a series of all aluminum travel trailers, truck campers, small toy haulers, and one 5er, even the cabinets are metal. To me the interiors are a bit Spartan on everything but the 2018 models.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 07/16/19 11:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

midnightsadie wrote:

I,ve been told aluminum does not like treated wood.


Aluminum HATES dissimilar metals. It creates a battery that will eat thru it very quickly. I've heard of stories where people have dropped a coin in the bilge of an aluminum boat and it literally ate a coin size hole in the bottom.

Treated wood uses metals in the treatment, which can create a similar effect.

Assuming the aluminum is isolated, it's a very good material that will last a very long time. The biggest issue is the airstream style RVs are so expensive, you could replaces them 3 times over and still come out better financially.


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GrandpaKip

Flat Rock

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Posted: 07/17/19 08:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are probably hundreds of thousands of aluminum spars on sailboats around the world existing in a marine environment. All aluminum hulls, too. With stainless steel fittings attached with SS screws. Some have brass and copper attached, also.
No building material lasts forever. But with proper maintenance, any of them will probably outlast you.
The Starstream is pretty cool looking. From a quick search, it seems the walls, floor, and roof are Al framed, styrofoam panels with luaun on both sides. The roof and walls are skinned with Al with a “special” coating similar to an automobile finish.


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 07/17/19 03:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GrandpaKip wrote:

There are probably hundreds of thousands of aluminum spars on sailboats around the world existing in a marine environment. All aluminum hulls, too. With stainless steel fittings attached with SS screws. Some have brass and copper attached, also.
No building material lasts forever. But with proper maintenance, any of them will probably outlast you.


Untreated/unfinished, raw or unpainted aluminum in contact with the wrong metal AND water/moisture simply dooms the aluminum.

The "marine" uses you speak of for aluminum ARE treated and or painted.

Copper, steel and even many types of stainless steel and possibly brass (which contains copper) in direct contact with aluminum are a absolute no no.

The aluminum used for interior framing of RVs is most likely UNTREATED AND/OR UNPAINTED.

To protect raw aluminum, it MUST be anodized (chemical/heat treatment) which creates a controlled stable oxidization layer on the surface of the aluminum OR SEALED VIA PAINT.

Granted, aluminum does create a oxidation layer on it's surface when scratched, but keep in mind, that layer is extremely thin and will deteriorate at a higher rate than anodized aluminum.

I seriously doubt that any RV manufacturer is going to be willing to anodize the aluminum structure/framing inside the walls/roof/floor due to costs and hazards of setting up a anodizing line (welds/rivets other fastener holes and cut ends need sealed).

Constant water/moisture exposure will eventually corrode the untreated aluminum to the point it simply turns to powder..

Ask anyone who has had RV aluminum develop PINHOLES in it out of nowhere.

ZERO "advantage" of a all aluminum framed RV, if you keep a RV dry by checking and replacing old caulk, pretty much any type of RV can last for a long, long time. Fail to do the maintenance and aluminum framed trailers can fail just as quickly as a wood stick framed RV.

trailer_newbe

Tucson

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Posted: 07/17/19 09:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look at commodity prices and look at who makes aluminum Trailers. Now look at the price tag.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 07/18/19 12:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GrandpaKip wrote:

With stainless steel fittings attached with SS screws. Some have brass and copper attached, also.


Absolute NO NO!!!

If you go to the boat forums, you will find long discussions of how to isolate aluminum from stainless steel because it cause the aluminum to fail or how a DIY job turned ugly in just a couple years because the guy didn't understand this.

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