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Old 08-30-2015, 09:12 PM   #1
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Aluminum sides or Fiberglass sides: which is best

Hi All,

Again, I'm stirring the pot, in asking the strange/difficult questions, something that I'm good at.

Fiberglass or aluminum sides, which is best?

I ask this because the TT and the 5er that we have currently, and will be trading in when we go new, are both currently aluminum sided.

I have seen around the area, and I'm including about 100 miles diameter, a lot of fiberglass sided TT's, 5er's, and motor homes that are 'glassed, and have some serious delamination problems.

I don't know about the aluminum sided, if that is any better or not. You still have to do maintenance on them, squirting in Dicor in the seams.

But, who, seriously, wants to spend a boat load of money, only to see their highly priced unit leaking water in the sides due to the aluminum being separated, or delaminating due to water getting in through microscopic holes in the fiberglass? I know that for sure I don't.

So, I ask all of you, who are highly experienced campers, which is the best: aluminum or fiberglass?

May the best answer win!
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:42 PM   #2
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Wait until you get in a good hail storm with an aluminum sided anything.
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:24 PM   #3
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X2 on hail. Had to replace the top wing and tail skins on the airplane after getting caught out in a hail storm. Did it myself to avoid an insurance claim. A trick I have used with success on minor hail damage is to heat the dent with a heat gun (just a beefy hair dryer) and then hold an ice cube on the dent. Usually will pop out the dent if not too bad.

Good Luck on your decision!

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Old 08-30-2015, 11:52 PM   #4
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I believe most people consider fiberglass superior to aluminum for siding. It will also probably be much heavier. I think most delamination on fiberglass Rvs is due to leaks around windows, storage compartments, vents and whatnot, more than due to microscopic holes in the fiberglass ?
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:42 AM   #5
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Since I use Park Wi-Fi. and since it does not penetrate aluminum well (Fiberglass is mostly transparant to radio)

You have my answer.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:44 AM   #6
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Aluminum or Fiberglass Sides

Been wondering, especially seeing a lot of trailers, 5ers, and MHs around this area, and watching on the road also, that have fiberglass sides with delamanation. So, I am wondering which is easier on the pocket book, fiberglass (which I know is more expensive to begin with) or aluminum sides? Also, which is easiest to take care of aluminum or fiberglass?
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:55 AM   #7
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There are not many RV's that use aluminum so once you make your decision it will drive your search.
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BandSA View Post
Been wondering, especially seeing a lot of trailers, 5ers, and MHs around this area, and watching on the road also, that have fiberglass sides with delamanation. So, I am wondering which is easier on the pocket book, fiberglass (which I know is more expensive to begin with) or aluminum sides? Also, which is easiest to take care of aluminum or fiberglass?

We went with aluminum sided because of so many trailers you see that are Fiberglas sided which are all delaminated. I've seen 2 year old TTs that are just ruined I feel unless you buy a big money fifth wheel or motor home that your full timing in is the quality better. I spoke to a guy that his sunset TT was delaminating he resealed it from roof to bottom and still go worse but that is just my opinion


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Old 08-31-2015, 03:23 PM   #9
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I'd never own an aluminum corrugated side trailer. They look cheap and quite frankly aren't as nice as fiberglass sided trailer. There's a reason that the more you pay the better you get. You're not going to find nice mid to high end trailer with aluminum sides. There's a fine line on some brands where they have similar lines of trailers that are close in amenities but can be had in either exterior choice. Jayco Jay flight is one example. Fiberglass siding is an option. But then jump to the Eagle line of TT's and it's strictly fiberglass. The Eagle is a step up in amenities.
I very rarely see delam on TT and 5th wheels where I live. Now Keystone had some issues in certain years.
Unless it's a factory defect with the adhesive then proper yearly maintenance is all that's required for years of delam free ownership. I inspect my 5th wheel monthly. it only takes a few months to walk around and look at the caulking.
I have a friend with a Springdale TT. He's told me he'll never get another aluminum trailer. He says it dents too easy.
JMO but aluminum sided trailers are a thing of the past. They're the trailers that dealers can put low price tags on in hopes of getting customers in and then when they see a fiberglass trailer they can make a sale on a more expensive trailer.
If I only camped a few weeks a year and maybe 5-6 weekends I could certainly see going aluminum. But we go out 50 nights a year and only slack off a bit from Nov to March. Generally fiberglass sided TT's have better insulation or at least the option to upgrade it. Higher R values really pay off in hot or cold weather.
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:31 PM   #10
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I have a Evergreenrv I-Go LIte and have had delamination issues in a few spots mainly because of poor quality work at the factory.. I won't go there on this thread but between the two I would still do the fiberglass sides.. I believe if you have a water leak the aluminum will hide it untill the wood is too far gone to repair easily..Dents do show more on the aluminum also..Fiberglass does show the delamination spots and ripples but with a proper fix and frequent inspections it will look good for many years. Just remember to do a good inspection on the trailer and make sure there was sealer put on in the first place..Check Evergreenrv products especially close..
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:04 PM   #11
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I believe if you have a water leak the aluminum will hide it untill the wood is too far gone to repair easily..
That's it right there. The fiberglass will show any delamination long before you realize you have leaks in a corrugated aluminum RV. Aluminum is as likely or perhaps more likely to have leaks than smooth fiberglass sides - you just normally don't discover the problem until later.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:25 PM   #12
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Thanks to all for answering my questions on this. Personally, I feel that this is a very important subject that should have been brought out a long time ago. But, I'm always a dollar short and a day late.

But, most importantly, thanks to all who answered this. It is much appreciated.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:04 PM   #13
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aluminum or fiberglass sides

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cumminsfan View Post
I'd never own an aluminum corrugated side trailer. They look cheap and quite frankly aren't as nice as fiberglass sided trailer. There's a reason that the more you pay the better you get. You're not going to find nice mid to high end trailer with aluminum sides. There's a fine line on some brands where they have similar lines of trailers that are close in amenities but can be had in either exterior choice. Jayco Jay flight is one example. Fiberglass siding is an option. But then jump to the Eagle line of TT's and it's strictly fiberglass. The Eagle is a step up in amenities.
I very rarely see delam on TT and 5th wheels where I live. Now Keystone had some issues in certain years.
Unless it's a factory defect with the adhesive then proper yearly maintenance is all that's required for years of delam free ownership. I inspect my 5th wheel monthly. it only takes a few months to walk around and look at the caulking.
I have a friend with a Springdale TT. He's told me he'll never get another aluminum trailer. He says it dents too easy.
JMO but aluminum sided trailers are a thing of the past. They're the trailers that dealers can put low price tags on in hopes of getting customers in and then when they see a fiberglass trailer they can make a sale on a more expensive trailer.
If I only camped a few weeks a year and maybe 5-6 weekends I could certainly see going aluminum. But we go out 50 nights a year and only slack off a bit from Nov to March. Generally fiberglass sided TT's have better insulation or at least the option to upgrade it. Higher R values really pay off in hot or cold weather.

I agree with you for the most part if I was living in it full time I would buy the best of the best or out on long trips in cold temps but we are mainly weekend warriors so buying a brand new aluminum sided TT was are route. Yes the Fiberglas sided will show a leak then it has the delam for life. But let's be honest there all over sized bird houses thrown together in hours and shipped to make a buck 90 percent of people's delamination and water damage problems on newer rvs are from poor quality and they don't know much about them or check caulking I mean you go to a dealer and can almost pick out missing or cracked caulking on most new rvs. When We bought ours i resealed everthing and check them all the time and use Dicor cleaner and protectant on the roof once a month I hope in ten years it will never have had a leak and the way I keep it looks just as good as the day we bought it


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Old 08-31-2015, 10:34 PM   #14
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Some people swear by aluminum and others love fiberglass. My first TT is aluminum. The only negative so far is that it is heavy. The same size/layout is around 800lbs less on a fiberglass version. As far as maintenance, not sure if there is to much of a difference.
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