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Old 01-02-2009, 12:51 PM   #1
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We're currently contemplating a "new" camper. But we're not sure of the type of siding to go with. What are the benefits of both? We'd like this unit to last for a long time. The last camper we had was a 19' 1957 Holly TT and it was in great condition. Talking about campers being built to last.

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Old 01-02-2009, 02:32 PM   #2
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Having owned both, get fiberglass. And, if you can afford it, get gel coat finish, not Filon. Fiberglass is less easily scratched or dented and easy to repair. Much better at sealing it from leaks.

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Old 01-03-2009, 07:13 AM   #3
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Actually there are three basic types of sidewall material used. Smooth aluminum, smooth frilon/fiberglass, and corrugated aluminum. I have had all three. I personally prefer and will likely only buy a smooth wall material. I really don't care if it is aluminum or fiberglass. Much easier to clean and maintain, and I personally like the looks better. Buy if that is the only distraction on an otherwise acceptable RV, don't let that detract from your purchase. All can be very servicable in their role.
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:55 AM   #4
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i think the 'glass looks better then the alum if you like the modern look,
but check the weight difference between two same sized trailers with the different siding,
i think on my 32' trailer it was a 800 pound difference
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:52 PM   #5
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Like Fatdog said, fiberglass is heavier. Having owned both metal and fiberglass, I prefer aluminum, even though a hailstorm wreaks havoc on aluminum looks. A hole in fiberglass may be repaired repairing surface damage, it's tedious and time consuming and doable. Dents in aluminum are virtually impossible to completely remove, holes may be "welded" with rods sold at most large flea markets.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:26 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies guys and the info. I read in a forum somewhere about fiber glass cracking around windows and different spots. It put me under the impression that it was a normal occurrence with fiber glass. Is that true or did misread it?
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:44 AM   #7
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I've had gelcoat fiberglass exterior walls on our last 3 5th wheels and have never had any cracking problems. If the RV is flexing enough to crack the walls, there are other more serious problems as far as I'm concerned.

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Old 01-04-2009, 07:44 AM   #8
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Have had both, We like the fiberglass better IMO easier to take care of. A little heavier than Alum., but worth it to Us.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:37 PM   #9
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Hey thanks for the replies everybody. You've been very helpful. Thanks again.
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:01 PM   #10
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I've never had fiberglass, but for me I'll stick with aluminum simply due to the lower weight. I however use smaller tow vehicles an old Grand Wagoneer and a GMC Suburban 1500, so weight is an issue for me. As far as dents, my 20 year old TT has a few here and there, but for it's age they're pretty minimal and not very noticeable.
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:32 AM   #11
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I've had both. I currently have aluminum. One thing with aluminum, you won't delaminate. I had delamination problems on two of the four RV's that I owned, in spite of annual roof examinations and sealing, and pressure testing for leaks.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:29 AM   #12
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Well we ended up getting a fiver with aluminum siding. Not because we just wanted aluminum it was what was available, lol. It was between this one and a smaller Terry with fiber-glass. They made the decision very easy, when we got there the Terry was sold. I was actually kind of leery about the Terry because of the bad reviews that I read online about the Fleetwood brand. But it looked beautiful online, so I still wanted to see it. And we found out that you can't really rely on the online pics for a perfect representation of the camper. The one that we initially found online and thought was perfect for us, was in real bad shape. Smoke smell doesn't show up well on pictures either. The one we actually bought was like an after thought. I just put it on our list basically for comparisons sake. But when we looked at it we all really fell in love with the floorplan and how really clean it was.

So thanks to everyone who replied. It sure helped us understand the difference between aluminum and fiber-glass. And why you might like one over the other.

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