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Old 01-24-2012, 07:24 PM   #1
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Ok whats the big difference?

Have owned a surveyor hybrid for a few years and we are ready to upgrade soon. What is the big difference between fiberglass and aluminum sides. I like the fiberglass due to ease of care. But what is the big difference? Thanks Curt
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:27 PM   #2
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Our previous TT was aluminum sides, new one is fiberglass. Main difference for us was the looks. Aluminum was lighter, but dented much easier. A small hail storm we had did a number on the old TT. Seems that a lot of the newer trailers that are fiberglass have some aerodynamic advantages over most aluminum models also. There are some that have fiberglass front caps but aluminum sides to get the aerodynamic advantages without the total weight addition of a full fiberglass model.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:50 AM   #3
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Then, of course, there are the molded fiberglass trailers built like fiberglass boats. Usually small, very light, aerodynamic, not sold through dealers, and more expensive, but seem to hold their value well. (See Casita, Scamp, EggCamper, Lil Snoozy, Escape, and Bigfoot.)
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:25 PM   #4
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There is a significant difference it the way they are constructed. Fiberglas or Filon walls are usually laminated or bonded to form a one piece wall. The inner wall panel, the foam core, and the exterior Filon are all glued and pressed in rollers to form the wall section. Window and door openings are then cut out. Aluminum sided units are constructed in a more traditional manner using wood or aluminum studding with insulation between the inner wall panel and the exterior aluminum siding which is affixed in sheets. It's a matter of preference, Fiberglas may be easier to maintain but could suffer from delamination later on. Aluminum can get damaged but might be easier to repair. Either way, it's how they are put together and the care at assembly that makes the difference.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falconman View Post
There is a significant difference it the way they are constructed. Fiberglas or Filon walls are usually laminated or bonded to form a one piece wall. The inner wall panel, the foam core, and the exterior Filon are all glued and pressed in rollers to form the wall section. Window and door openings are then cut out. Aluminum sided units are constructed in a more traditional manner using wood or aluminum studding with insulation between the inner wall panel and the exterior aluminum siding which is affixed in sheets. It's a matter of preference, Fiberglas may be easier to maintain but could suffer from delamination later on. Aluminum can get damaged but might be easier to repair. Either way, it's how they are put together and the care at assembly that makes the difference.
The OP didn't say what he's interested in upgrading to. Your statement above is generally accurate for hybrids and ultra-lite models, but once you start moving up in price, the fiberglass-sided units will likely be of "hung wall" construction on either wood or, more commonly, aluminum framing with either fiberglass batt or foam insulation (or both). Our last 2 Jayco Designer 5th wheels were gel-coated fiberglass exterior walls over wood framing (Jayco switched to aluminum framing for the Designers in 2001); our current 5th wheel is gel-coated fiberglass exterior walls over aluminum framing. I never had any structural problems with any of them.

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