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Old 06-18-2014, 04:37 PM   #1
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Question Classic Argument?

If I were to assume that the Fiberglass vs Aluminum is one of those classic arguments such as:

-Ford vs Chevy
-Apple vs PC
-Canon vs Nikon

...would I be assuming correctly?


And if I am assuming correctly, would it be worth the time to ask the advantages of each? Because to me, the no brainer is Fiberglass walls and aluminum frame. No moisture, no rot factor. But then again, I'm only being influenced by sales people right now, so there may be something I'm overlooking. But I haven't ruled out aluminum walls and wood frames either, because one of the front runners that we are looking at is an aluminum trailer. I'm just not convinced it's a good choice yet.

Should I sit patiently and await the flames, or will this thread self destruct in 3...2...1.....
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:29 PM   #2
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I have a "stick and tin" camper, with the aluminum siding. Don't have any personal experience with the fiberglass exterior. From talking with other campers, it seems the fiberglass ones are lighter, easier to maintain (less seams to worry with) and easier to clean, this on top of what you already mentioned, no rot. I know I see aluminum campers (mine included) with those long gray streaks running downward from the windows and doors (caused by water running over the gasket/sealant used around the opening). I can't say I've ever seen a fiberglass one with the streaks.
IMO the only advantage to the aluminum and wood would be the price. I'm no expert and will watch this thread for others' opinions.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mavagrand View Post
I have a "stick and tin" camper, with the aluminum siding. Don't have any personal experience with the fiberglass exterior. From talking with other campers, it seems the fiberglass ones are lighter, easier to maintain (less seams to worry with) and easier to clean, this on top of what you already mentioned, no rot. I know I see aluminum campers (mine included) with those long gray streaks running downward from the windows and doors (caused by water running over the gasket/sealant used around the opening). I can't say I've ever seen a fiberglass one with the streaks.
IMO the only advantage to the aluminum and wood would be the price. I'm no expert and will watch this thread for others' opinions.
Fiberglass will get the streaks (and then some!) if you let the finish oxidize. Keep it waxed though, and it is very trouble-free.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:01 PM   #4
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Our last coach was fiberglass and the decals were starting to crack and starting to delaminate,our current coach is aluminum with full body paint and I think it looks much better and is easier to take care of and wouldn't have another fiberglass one.(jmo)
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:27 PM   #5
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Owned two of each. For me, glass is easier to clean and wax. I haven't owned a Ford or Chevy in years.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:12 PM   #6
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Aluminum siding is cheap, but a pain to replace and dents easily. The construction is usually wood.

Fiberglass (filon and gel coat usually) is still backed by wood a lot of times. So don't think no rot. Coachmen Chaparral and Freedom Express are Azdel backed, so literally, no rot.
Gel coat repairs can be reasonable and easily done.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JaycoPhoto View Post
If I were to assume that the Fiberglass vs Aluminum is one of those classic arguments such as:

-Ford vs Chevy
-Apple vs PC
-Canon vs Nikon

...would I be assuming correctly?


And if I am assuming correctly, would it be worth the time to ask the advantages of each? Because to me, the no brainer is Fiberglass walls and aluminum frame. No moisture, no rot factor. But then again, I'm only being influenced by sales people right now, so there may be something I'm overlooking. But I haven't ruled out aluminum walls and wood frames either, because one of the front runners that we are looking at is an aluminum trailer. I'm just not convinced it's a good choice yet.

Should I sit patiently and await the flames, or will this thread self destruct in 3...2...1.....

Fiberglass
Ford
Apple
Nikon
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:36 PM   #8
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Fiberglass
Ford
Apple
Nikon

We'd get along fine. 'specially on that Nikon part.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:04 PM   #9
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I'm watching this thread also, our first and only is alum/wood. What about delamination on some of the fiberglass units ?

Jim
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:17 PM   #10
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Canon vs. Nikon? Does anyone actually use a camera anymore? Sounds like one of those Beta vs. VHS opinion polls!
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:29 PM   #11
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Canon vs. Nikon? Does anyone actually use a camera anymore? Sounds like one of those Beta vs. VHS opinion polls!

I'll do you one even better.


I still shoot film!!! I even rebuilt my darkroom and do my own processing. I still shoot with a film collection dating back to the 40's.

All of these still shoot fine...

Click image for larger version

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Old 06-18-2014, 09:53 PM   #12
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Sweet collection of cameras. (Understatement!)

I use a variety of digicams these days, but still use my OM-1 on occasion for old times sake. Nothing exotic like your stuff, but can't part with my old Olympus XA, with A11 flash. That little thing has a really sharp lens.

Back on topic, you continue to ask great questions...so it will be interesting to see what trailer you and your partner find. The pooches will be happy whatever you choose...!

Cheers!

PS. I avoided the whole Canon vs Nikon thing by going (usually) with Oly's .
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:12 PM   #13
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Well put question! If we stay on Topic, that is.
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:51 AM   #14
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I rebuild (to resell) salvage autos & campers.

I have bought two FG campers to repair. One had a tree limb across the back, the other some collision damage.
Never again.
It is an unbelievable pain in the @$$ to replace/repair the FG/ply siding.

At these salvage auctions I pass camper after camper that have been "totaled" just because of delamination from water damage.
And water will get in there. There is no way to stop it. Just too much flex in the cabin while going down the road. Eventually the seams will open up and start leaking.

I will only buy alum siding campers from now.
No argument the FG looks better. But from a purely repair standpoint alum wins hands down.

That said, it seems that's what the buying public wants, so I don't see FG campers going away anytime soon.
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