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Old 05-20-2006, 02:05 PM   #1
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I'm in the process of looking at new 5vr's and have it narrowed to down to a couple. One has laminate fiberglass and the other has gelcoat Filon fiberglass. I'm assuming the Filon is the better fiberglass product?

Looking at a Laredo 29RL and a Cougar 311EFS. Any comments on either of those?

As always, thanks for any help
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Old 05-20-2006, 02:05 PM   #2
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I'm in the process of looking at new 5vr's and have it narrowed to down to a couple. One has laminate fiberglass and the other has gelcoat Filon fiberglass. I'm assuming the Filon is the better fiberglass product?

Looking at a Laredo 29RL and a Cougar 311EFS. Any comments on either of those?

As always, thanks for any help
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Old 05-20-2006, 06:04 PM   #3
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my cedar creek has ownes corning fiberglass
i think filon is a brand name of sorts and is a bit rougher texture.......
all need to get in gear and make em thicker
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Old 05-20-2006, 06:25 PM   #4
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Filon is a plastic reinforcing panel used as the first step when laminating fiberglass fibers with resin.
Gel coat is a thickened fiberglass resin used as the first coat when laminating fiberglass. It is basicly a heavy duty outer shell. It's color is usualy white and most often, when the correct componds are added, is UV resistant. This gives the product it is used on a longer life. Also, if cracks begin to form on the surface and are caught in time, it can be repaired before damage is done to the fiberglass. Gel coat also adds weight to the product it is used on, (i.e. RV's). You can expect your Gel coat RV to be a bit heavier than a standard Filon fiberglass unit.
I hope this helps.
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Old 05-21-2006, 06:08 AM   #5
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I'm a motorhome guy and know nothing of 5ers
except that I like 'em
But I have had some experience with Filon.
We had thousands and thousands of our dollars
invested in a Fleetwood Class A, whose outer
skin was a Filon material. The sidewalls were
"Vacu-bond" construction (a glued sandwich)
and it delaminated on us (the wall came apart).
Fleetwood said they'd replace the whole sidewall
for $5500 at Riverside, Ca., but we'd have to get it there and pick up all motel expenses, food, and etc...while they fixed the coach...
too much, as the MH was only worth 16K at the time of delam..we traded it off for a Newmar with gel-coat sidewalls, like a dragboat hull.
Nothing to delaminate.
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Old 05-21-2006, 01:31 PM   #6
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Gelcoated fiberglass can delaminate. All my experiance with gelcoated fiberglass is on boats, but it is the same principle. When fiberglass delaminates, it is the layers of fiberglass mat seperating from themselves, or its core material, ussully the result poor resin. I am not too familiar with the construction methods of both the filon or gelcoated sidewalls on our trailers. But the reason the filon is a rouhger finish, is that there is no finish coat on the outer wall of the fiberglass other than being pained. So you are left with the texture of the fiberglass mat and resin, while gelcoat is the equivalent of a clearcoat on a car paintjob. It can have color added to it. Gelcoat does do a better job of sealing the fiberglass to the elements. Gel coat can fade in the sun. When I had boats it was an ngoing battle of buffing and polishing every year to keep the gel coat looking good. Gel coat finish will also weigh much more than products like filon. I personal feel both will hold up extremely well for many years if maintained properly. I think gel coat is probably easier to maintain as it is smoother, making it easier to clean and wax.
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Old 05-22-2006, 06:06 PM   #7
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I have a 2004 Cedar Creek 5th wheel that has Ownens Corning Fiberglass and I think it is one of the smoothest on the market. If you look at the surface at an angle, you will not see and fiberglass fibers in the surface of the wall. I can also barely see any difference between the just waxed section and did not get to section of the exterior wall. I will be looking for this Filon Fiberglass at the next RV show and see for my self.
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