Originally Posted by schrederman
Hate to bust anyone's bubble... but airplanes are being made of fiberglass and carbon fiber, these days...
Yes, but those are very highly engineered structures built to stringent tolerances and specific carbon fiber quality and fiberglass quality. They are 3D computer modeled with stress simulations performed to ensure durability. They are also built as a monocoque design and are inspected with a fine tooth comb on a daily basis. If they are fiberglass, they are done as one peice, or joined and more fiberglass is applied to join them as one peice.
RV's are nowhere near the same. They build each wall and roof seperately. Then vaccum bond. Then slap each wall together and seal the seams where they join, these seals are a main point of failure. The floor and frame is built for light weight, most manufacturers use cheap plywood. I was at an RV show last year, and many of the floors felt spongy even brand new. The frames aren't necessarily engineered except for those automotive style stamped frames, many are just slapped together and welded. The current trend is to shave weight so smaller vehicles can tow, plus it saves money and increases profit. Plenty of frame issues on new RV's because of this, with wheels not tracking straight as a result and/or tires wearing out very prematurely. Also, if the roof seals aren't maintained yearly, leaks coming down the walls are very common, and after a few years the window seals will do the same resulting in rotten floors, insulations and walls delaminating. RV's generally are as good as their owners. Some sit for long periods of time with no maintenance, some are at least maintained yearly or regularly.