If you go with Aluminum look for what they call Krystal Kote finish. It is a hard finish that is put on the siding. It makes it very scratch and dent resistant.
Last summer my camper was in a large hail storm. My brother lost his wife's brand new Acrida SUV in it it pounded so bad. After the storm was over I went to look at the camper. I walked around the entire camper and WOW, no damage. Well that was until the sun came out. I have a piece of non Krystal Kote siding down the center of the camper. The decals are mounted on it. That 6" wide strip is peppered up pretty heavy. However the siding above and below that went through the same hail storm did not show anything. I'm sold on it.
Here is the hail
Here is the peppered siding.
It is hard to show up in the pic. It is on the decal strip. Above and below are the Krystal Kote
Sunline used it on their aluminum campers. I have seen it advertized on other brands as well. You also do not have to wax the Krystal Kote.
Hope this helps
John & Cindy
2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver
2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)
I have a Passport. According to their website it is Gelcoat Filon. I just waxed all 32 feet of it...Made me miss my old aluminum one because it was only 25 feet with no slide, but the Passport sure is easy to maitain and shine up. Since I have owned it I have waxed it twice (less than a year) Just want to keep it from fading.
2002 Silverado 2500 HD 6.0 Crew Cab long bed 41,500 miles
2012 Passport 3220 BHWE
Me, the Wife, two little ones and two dogs.
Not many trailers have true gel-coat exteriors, most ar Filon which really is more like a plastic sheet than actual fiberglass.
Our Komfort is Filon, easier to seal, wash, wax, generally easier to maintain.
Our old Nomad was alum skinned, I had to rebuild the front wall after a leak which is WAY easier with the alum skin, just start at the bottom and each section comes apart revealing the framing, insulation etc.
Some filon trailers delaminate, you get bubbles forming between the filon and the luan back board when water seeps in, makes for a much harder, costlier repair.
Each has pros and cons.
06 Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins 6 spd std with a few goodies.
2007 Komfort 274TS, SteadyFast stabilizers, Trimetric 2025RV, PD9280, Honda EU2000i, Xantrex SW600, shocks and EZ-Flex suspension, Reese Strait-Line 360 watts of solar
My 29 foot Filon over aluminum travel trailer is 4650 pounds DRY. I am currently in a park in Florida and my neighbor has an aluminum trailer. While his trailer is very clean, it doesn't shine like my gelcoat.
I like the looks of a gel coat better as they are smooth looking,but I have the aluminium siding and to make it look good, I go to the car wash and stop in the truck bay and use the wax that comes out of the wand. it keeps the sides of the aluminium siding look brand new all the time. and if you have to know, if you get a TT the same size in gel coat it is at least 500 lbs hevier than the metal sides
Thanks guys for all the feedback. I know one of you said do the gel coat and get a buffer, i have a buffer for my hybrid which has the filon or gel coat which ever it is. I truthfully don't know which it is either. I'm actually looking at both a pre-owned 2010 Jayco 26BH and a new 2013 Gray Wolf 26BH which are both pretty much identical on the floor plan. The Gray wolf has the aluminum siding on the sides and the gel coat on the front ends for what ever reason. Then we looked at a couple other that has the gel coats. I'm actually leaning towards the 10 Jayco 26BH which has the aluminum. It sounds like as far as the siding goes its pretty much which ever you like.