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Old 03-12-2014, 07:55 PM   #1
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Fiberglass Front Cap: Desireable Feature?

We are shopping for a ""lite Weight" travel trailer. Some units we like come with fiberglas front caps, and some without. (Bullet Premier vs. Sunset Trail Super Lite for example).

It seems logical that wrapping the cap around the front corners and roof should be more weather-tight than one with applied seam strips. However after reading this forum I learned that logic sometimes does not apply to the RV world!

All things being nearly equal, would you choose a unit with a molded cap? Would it be a deal breaker?

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henboy View Post
We are shopping for a ""lite Weight" travel trailer. Some units we like come with fiberglas front caps, and some without. (Bullet Premier vs. Sunset Trail Super Lite for example).

It seems logical that wrapping the cap around the front corners and roof should be more weather-tight than one with applied seam strips. However after reading this forum I learned that logic sometimes does not apply to the RV world!

All things being nearly equal, would you choose a unit with a molded cap? Would it be a deal breaker?

Thanks for your advice.
I have owned both and had no problems with either one. It would not be a deal breaker for me. Get the one that fits your budget and the one you like the best. There are more important things to consider besides the front cap.
Mel
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:00 PM   #3
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Neither really matters. Molded looks better, that's it. The seams around the edges all depend on the manufacturer.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:11 AM   #4
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To many people reported to me with front leaks and damage front sheets that i feel front FG cover would be an advantage.
Also seen many sheets deformed by traveling air pressure. Thicker is better as the front sheet seam to be thin on light units.
Front molded cover is also easier to do repairs.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:39 AM   #5
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Don't forget aerodynamics - wind flow. It is not uncommon to see fiberglass caps on the front of boxes being towed by the big rigs [18 wheelers]. Less resistance with a head wind and Helps with mpg.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:57 AM   #6
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We have owned one of each, and although there is not that much difference, we prefer the molded fiberglass due to looks, better edge sealing, possibly better aerodynamics (but from what we read, the square back end causes more resistance than the front), and less chance of delamination. While ours has white gelcoat that has not been a problem, we have seen darker colored ones that have oxidized near the top horizontal surface, and heard others complain about the dark colors absorbing more heat than white.

We would not let the type of front end be a determining factor in a trailer that we liked for other reasons ....
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:12 AM   #7
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IMO the cap is better. Better edge seal. No chance for delam. Better aerodynamics and they look nicer.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:45 PM   #8
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The front cap looks nice but does a a bit more weight if you are on the limit.
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:57 PM   #9
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I think people see the moulded cap as a premium feature. Trailers without it are economy level trailers. So you could surmise that a trailer with the cap would have better resale value, if that is something that matters to you.

The aerodynamic benefits are not insignificant. I've had both and the trailers with caps are much easier to tow. Also, depending on the shape of the cap, you may also have a bit more interior storage, as some manufactures will use that extra space with cubbys or cabinets.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:55 AM   #10
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A molded front cap is high on my must have list as is fiberglass construction. It looks a lot more classy especially once it starts to age. a lot of the older trailers would also have rear caps with tail lights molded in very nice looking. It would have to be a steal for us to buy a trailer with just a sheet and molding on the front.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:43 PM   #11
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All things being equal I prefer no cap. I don't like the lack of a front window. I'm camping OUTSIDE, I like to see it and the window sure helps. My understanding is that the change over to caps was because there are more leaks on front windows. That was per a manufacturer. I also prefer the look of my TT with the front window cap raised and being able to see my grand kids inside from the front. I also don't think that the lack of a cap is less classy. Would the ultimate in class be caps on all four sides? Since I have a front bed I like to look out on the lake, mountain, desert or whatever the view is when I go to sleep or wake up!
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:18 AM   #12
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All things being equal I prefer no cap. I don't like the lack of a front window. I'm camping OUTSIDE, I like to see it and the window sure helps. My understanding is that the change over to caps was because there are more leaks on front windows. That was per a manufacturer. I also prefer the look of my TT with the front window cap raised and being able to see my grand kids inside from the front. I also don't think that the lack of a cap is less classy. Would the ultimate in class be caps on all four sides? Since I have a front bed I like to look out on the lake, mountain, desert or whatever the view is when I go to sleep or wake up!
Different strokes for different folks buddy. This is why they make them with and without caps fiberglass and corrougated aluminum for people who prefer one or the other. FYI Rockwood/Flaggstaff makes a molded cap with a window.
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:58 AM   #13
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I also have owned one of each. The first was a non fiberglass unit and had a rolled single piece of some type of plastic sheet. Over the coarse of 3 years it started to show ripples and detentions. I don't know if it was caused by the warm sun or wind while traveling down the road. It never leaked it just looked odd. When it got cold out some of it would disappear. The new coachman I purchased in the fall has a fiberglass wrap. Much more durable and nice looking.
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:18 PM   #14
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The other issue is durability. How many 40's, 50's and 60's Airstream are rebuilt and still on the road. Why does Airstream no longer manufacture slides? Are there not advantages to them, extra room etc? Of course but not worth the problems associated with them. I think Airstream is considered the highest quality TT. That's what I like about travel trailers and all other products, there are many choices for each person to make and they end up happy. If someone doesn't choose what I like it doesn't make them inferior to me. If someone doesn't like what I like that doesn't mean they will be unhappy. If I thought or verbalized that everyone who doesn't have a Prevost class A is a lowlife what does that tell about me. Nothing good!
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