Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: Aluminum or fiberglass trailer
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 > Aluminum or fiberglass trailer

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nmhuntr

Las Cruces, NM

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Posted: 10/03/20 06:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I currently have an aluminum side camper and have no issues with it. I am looking into trading and I am wondering what you see as the pros and cons of either aluminum sideline or fiberglass. My concern when I see fiberglass is a lot of them have ripples in them and I don’t know whey that would be. Also, I am only looking at used units.

Thanks


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Seon

Lake Camanche, CA

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Posted: 10/03/20 06:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The ripples are the results from water damage and that section of fiberglass and luan backer. Delamination.

Lwiddis

South of Lone Pine, California

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Posted: 10/03/20 06:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NO fiberglass issues with my 2015 TT. Still shines too. Covered when in storage. Used units with documented roof maintenance?


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


jdc1

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Posted: 10/03/20 07:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

True fiberglass exterior....Bigfoot truck camper.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 10/03/20 08:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jdc1 wrote:

True fiberglass exterior....

There are a few travel trailer that are "true" fiberglass. Built very much like a boat. The top half is built in one mold, the bottom in another. They are then "joined" together. Then they whole unit sits of a (typically) steel chassis.

They get expensive very quick as the get larger, but they tend to last a very VERY long time with few if any leaks.

theoldwizard1

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Posted: 10/03/20 08:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

nmhuntr wrote:

...what you see as the pros and cons of either aluminum sideline or fiberglass.

Aluminum siding is less expensive and tends to use wood for most of the structural parts (studs) of the walls. The aluminum siding is attached directly to the studs. Water damage (from a leaking roof or windows) typically only show up on the inside. Rotten structural wood can be fairly easily repair, except for heavily rotted plywood floors. RVs made this way tend to be less expensive.


Most people believe that the smooth fiberglass siding "looks nicer". It is heavier than aluminum siding, but they make up for it by using aluminum for the studs. Frequently (but not 100% of the time) they uses a lightweight non-organic (no wood fiber) sheathing between the aluminum studs and the outer fiberglass skin for rigidity and to provide a perfectly smooth surface for the fiberglass to adhere too. When there is "delamination" (the glue between the sheathing and the fiberglass skin has failed) it can be difficult to repair. The floors are still plywood so if they rot, it is they same difficulty to repair. RVs made this way tend to be more expensive.

In both cases, the roof is the critical item in the design. You want an RV that does NOT have a perfectly FLAT roof. It need some pitch to help water drain. Typical "rubber" (EPDM) require some care when installing. There are many small things that can go wrong than can cause a leak. Proper maintenance for maximum durability includes wash twice a year and applying a UV protectant. (Of course storing out of the sun and rain is the best.)

jdc1

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Posted: 10/03/20 08:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

jdc1 wrote:

True fiberglass exterior....

There are a few travel trailer that are "true" fiberglass. Built very much like a boat. The top half is built in one mold, the bottom in another. They are then "joined" together. Then they whole unit sits of a (typically) steel chassis.

They get expensive very quick as the get larger, but they tend to last a very VERY long time with few if any leaks.


Casita and Scamp come to mind.

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 10/04/20 05:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

nmhuntr wrote:

...what you see as the pros and cons of either aluminum sideline or fiberglass.

Aluminum siding is less expensive and tends to use wood for most of the structural parts (studs) of the walls. The aluminum siding is attached directly to the studs. Water damage (from a leaking roof or windows) typically only show up on the inside. Rotten structural wood can be fairly easily repair, except for heavily rotted plywood floors. RVs made this way tend to be less expensive.


Most people believe that the smooth fiberglass siding "looks nicer". It is heavier than aluminum siding, but they make up for it by using aluminum for the studs. Frequently (but not 100% of the time) they uses a lightweight non-organic (no wood fiber) sheathing between the aluminum studs and the outer fiberglass skin for rigidity and to provide a perfectly smooth surface for the fiberglass to adhere too. When there is "delamination" (the glue between the sheathing and the fiberglass skin has failed) it can be difficult to repair. The floors are still plywood so if they rot, it is they same difficulty to repair. RVs made this way tend to be more expensive.

In both cases, the roof is the critical item in the design. You want an RV that does NOT have a perfectly FLAT roof. It need some pitch to help water drain. Typical "rubber" (EPDM) require some care when installing. There are many small things that can go wrong than can cause a leak. Proper maintenance for maximum durability includes wash twice a year and applying a UV protectant. (Of course storing out of the sun and rain is the best.)


Framing and siding are unrelated. You can get wood or aluminum framing with aluminum or fiberglass siding. In fact many manufacturers provide the same unit with either siding option.

Fiberglass looks really good when new but go wander a campground. By the time you get to 5yrs old, it's rare to find a fiberglass unit without some delamination. Also, you often see the framing mirroring thru the fiberglass.

It's not uncommon for aluminum siding to look like new 20-30yrs later. One catch being if you are in an area with a lot of hail. Functionally, it will be fine with hail dents but it can look rough.


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WNYBob

Tonawanda, NY

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Posted: 10/04/20 05:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look for "azdel" backed fiberglas. Lance is one mfg.
It is resin based, not wood.

GrandpaKip

Flat Rock

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Posted: 10/04/20 08:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I believe that the floor plan is the first consideration. I would take whatever surrounds the interior that I liked the best.


Kip
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