Home Forums Truck Camper Adventure Forum Aluminum versus Wood

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    • #29375

      This is a subject that I have spent a great deal of time thinking about since my retirement is on the horizon and my plans include embracing the Snowbird life style for at least a couple of years. With high end 5th wheel trailers costing between 100K and 250 and medium quality motor homes starting at 250 and going up my concern for longevity is of paramount importance. Reading the article about the new Northstar Laredo and especially thinking about what Rex has to say about the pit falls of aluminum framing and fiberglass siding versus wood walls bonded to fiberglass has convinced me to go with the latter. There are several other builders who are on record and agree with Rex. We have all seen the catastrophic results of de-lamination. Currently I own a low end 16 year old travel trailer with wood walls and tin sides. The unit has been kept outside since the beginning and is water tight and ready to go. My first motor home I kept 25 years, it had wood walls and gel coated fiberglass and it never had any delamb issues. I sincerely hope the bean counters that run the RV industry read opinion’s like mine and make the necessary changes. I can assure all of them that my retirement dollars will never be spent on a aluminum framed RV. We as consumers have the power to force the builders to build a better product. Our opinion may only mean a little to the industry but our dollars mean a lot.

    • #29410

      I see the aluminum versus wood issue as presented by Rex as more marketing than substance (my opinion). I worked on literally hundreds of aluminum framed RVs of all persuasions for decades and his suggestion that all aluminum framed campers delam is simply off the mark.

      Delam depends on how something is built and how seals are maintained. There thousands of aluminum framed rigs that are decades old and not delamed. Heck, our fifth wheel is 12 years old and not a spot of delam anywhere except the back wall because Keystone short sheeted the rubber roof. Just saying plenty of examples pro and con either way. I also worked for a truck camper dealer for a time who carried entry level wood framed campers. Quality construction was simply not there.

      We just bought a new Laredo SC yesterday and also have a Hallmark so I am not a proponent of one material over another, but you can also jump on SearchTempest to find examples of delam in Northstars. My opinion here is delam is a complex issue with honest disagreement for both types of framing material.

      Steve and Andra
      2012 F350 6.2 gasser SRW LB
      Fab Fours front and rear in case we run into a rhino
      2019 Northstar Laredo SC

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