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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > metal vs. fiberglass siding

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ekirkland

Auburn, AL

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Posted: 06/18/12 09:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can someone give me the pros and cons of metal vs. fiberglass siding? A dealer told me they were getting away from fiberglass due to leaking problems; anything to this? From what I think I know the metal siding models have wood frames and the fiberglass has metal frames; is this correct?

Thanks,
Eddie

ronny7800

Regina, Canada

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Posted: 06/18/12 09:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fiberglass will be more resistant to hail or stone damage. I just traded in a 10yo TT with fiberglass sideing, and never once had an issue with leak (nor have I heard of any for that matter).

When I bought my new one I was planning on going fiber glass as well, but for a similar unit with fiberglass, there was about an 8K (canadian) difference in price. To keep insurance on a metal sided one year round is still cheaper over 10 years than getting the fiber glass one.

Cedarhill

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Posted: 06/18/12 09:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Go to a big dealership and look at what is on the outside of a majority of the high end fifth wheels and travel trailers. Then you will have your answer.

donn0128

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Posted: 06/18/12 10:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Metal= Dents easily, easy to repair by a DIY,more joints for leaks to occur
Fiberglas/frilon IE smooth side= Easier to clean and wax, nicer looking, can be difficult to repair unless you have fiberglas experience, fewer seams for leaks to develop. Did I mention nicer looking?


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the bear II

Torrance CA.

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Posted: 06/18/12 10:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dealers will tell you anything if that's all they have to offer.

Metal siding and fiberglas both will leak if the seams aren't maintained from time to time.

I've had both and both developed leaks in the roof after 12 years. Easy fix because I caught it early.

Only difference is hail and rock resistance. Fiberglas wins....

HappyTrails2U2

Tennessee is home but being held hostage in GA.

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Posted: 06/18/12 10:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

They both have their problems and neither one is better than the other. It's just a matter of personal preference.

If you'll do a search on this forum for fiberglass vs. aluminum siding you'll find enough reading material on the subject to keep you busy for a couple of weeks.


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SooperDaddy

Southern California

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Posted: 06/18/12 10:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are fan's of both types of RV Construction. We've had both Aluminum and Laminated Trailers.

Our current Jayco Jay Flight 5er is Aluminum, 8 years old now and looks brand new. The "Mesa" rippled aluminum panels are painted with automotive paint and backed with 2 X 3 wood stringers with fiberglass batting for insulation.

Aluminum sided RV's have been built for over 80 years, ...are "tryed and true", sturdy and not subject to delamination.
1935 Bowlus

Filon or Fiberglass sided RV's are ding and dent resistant, smooth and easy to repair. When they leak, unfortunately, they are prone to delamination and "bubbling" on the surface....due to the luan wood backing of the filon walls seperating and swelling up.

Expensive and extensive repairs are required.

Usually they are a foam sandwich glued wall construction with aluminum tubing supports.

During the construction process the walls are glued and pulled thru a set of huge rollers to squeeze them together.

Or some brands (all Jayco's and some Forest River for example) are high pressure vacuum laminated for 15 minutes to set the glue and eliminate voids...and are 10 times less likely to delaminate.

It boils down to a matter of preference. I will likely go "smooth" next time!


My posts shouldn't be taken for factual data, and are purely fictional, for entertainment purposes, should not be constituted as related to scientific, technical, engineering, legal, religious, spiritual, or practical advice. After all it's FREE! Amen.


Road Phantom

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Posted: 06/18/12 10:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Holiday Ramblers Evergreen and Airstreams, to name a few are aluminum siding on aluminum framing. Aluminum siding is lighter than fiberglass.
The problem with fiberglass over wood is the potential for extensive damage should a serious leak occur. With all aluminum construction, the damage is less extensive and easier to fix.
Also, fiberglass can delaminate. Aside from that, if the fiberglass skin gets a large tear, the only fix is to replace the entire section. Aluminum can be patched much more cheaply.

* This post was edited 06/18/12 10:55am by Road Phantom *

rfryer

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Posted: 06/18/12 12:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Doing away with fiberglass? I doubt it. What did he have on his lot?
Aluminum is lighter, cheaper, and easier and cheaper to repair, but more vulnerable to hail damage.

Fiberglass is nicer looking and easier to clean. It's heavy and expensive to repair. I'm wary of it because I see far too many complaints of delamination and in my area of the country they tend to get a yellowish cast from the sun.

Overall I prefer the aluminum, but I might reconsider if I lived in hail country. I also lean toward wood construction rather than welded aluminum. I suspect the wood takes the torquing of the body on rough country better with no welds to break. But that's just a supposition on my part, I have nothing to substantiate it.

pappcam

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Posted: 06/18/12 12:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ekirkland wrote:

Can someone give me the pros and cons of metal vs. fiberglass siding? A dealer told me they were getting away from fiberglass due to leaking problems; anything to this? From what I think I know the metal siding models have wood frames and the fiberglass has metal frames; is this correct?

Thanks,
Eddie


What?? Is he not going to sell 5th wheels and high end TT's? I haven't seen an aluminum 5th wheel in years.

I can't believe how high the percentage of people is that are scared of new things. I'm pretty sure that aluminum sided TT's will be gone or very very rare in 10-15 years.


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