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Old 06-09-2015, 07:14 PM   #1
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We need an information thread...

With all the appliances, plumbing fixtures, entertainment systems, etc being pretty much the same in all these units, a wise RV shopper is going to want to know what materials and construction techniques are used in building the frames, axles, floors, walls, roofs, and now days, front and rear caps. That's where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Leaks seem to be everyone's number ONE big concern.

It seems to take a lot of digging to find out just how well, or poorly, the rolling house part of these units are made... if you can find it at all. Yes, I know there are numerous sales propaganda videos done by the manufacturers, but they don't show much. When they show these people running to keep up with the production line, that's NOT a positive thing if you've just spent the week end fixing a ton of small things that weren't done correctly, even after 3 years of ownership. I really hate finding screws... What's about to fall off or break loose? Manufacturers seldom seem to think the consumer is smart enough to want to know any of this, apparently. I know that most are vacuum bonding walls with aluminum tube frames. A lot of good that does when the luan they're bonding to separates at the first hint of moisture. The one video I saw of a guy "welding" the tubing together was another kind of scary scene. He sure wasn't taking much care with it, and his welds showed that. What Jayco calls a "roof truss" isn't really a truss at all, but at least I know how it's made, and seems to be better than many.

So, the question is, where can someone find out this info without driving from Texas to Indiana, or Wisconsin, or.......... to take the tour?

Jack and Dee Dee Weatherford, Texas
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab 4X4 w/CTD 6.7
2016 Jayco White Hawk 28DSBH Travel Trailer
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Old 06-13-2015, 10:12 PM   #2
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Something like these travel trailer construction videos?

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member,FMCA."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:30 PM   #3
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All campers are junk build like crap and are over sized bird houses.. Like you said about smooth sided campers delaminating at a hint of moisture I would never buy one. 90 percent of fiberglass trailers that are a couple years old are covered in waves that are well cared for and are caulked ever year..I'll stick to my aluminum sided wooden trailer

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Old 06-14-2015, 09:58 PM   #4
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It's hard to find a perfect TT/5ver, or toy hauler from the factory. I've found for the most part conversions from the utility or car hauler trailers make much better campers.

They are tightly built, well insulated and sealed compared to camper specific trailers.

If you were to order one made to your specs, you can get any combination of suspension you want/need to carry just about any load range you expect to carry.

If you need something that is capable of winter camping, you can't beat what you can do with a utility conversion. It's just a better build all the way around. If you spec it right, you can't beat the price for what you get.

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Old 06-15-2015, 04:33 PM   #5
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I'm a fan of laminated structures. I'm a glider pilot and I know what can be done with foam/fiberglass laminations. Unfortunately, while this is a really good advancement in trailer construction, the manufacturers need to lose the luan and go to something more weather resistant. Some have gone to a composite material, but they are charging way more than it's worth for it. It's all about the dollar... I guess... My current unit is 3 years old, and I've had no delamination problem. I do get on the roof and clean everything, and I've found 1 small place that needed to be sealed, but I have no problem with that.

Fiberglass roofing may be better, unless it has to flex. If it does flex much, it's going to crack and break and pull seams with other outside structure members. Arched foam/plywood roofs with stamped aluminum joists might be ok and strong enough if they'd use something besides luan plywood on top. Wood truss with 3/8 ply on top isn't bad, unless you get a leak and the wood rots. The reason I'm looking for more info is that I've worked out all the bugs in my current TT, but I have to trade up soon, and I'd like to know what I'm buying before I plunk down a piece of my IRA... I'm retiring soon, and don't want to spend a lot of time fixing instead of traveling. I can deal with the appliances and general fixes, but delamination, roof leaks, frame problems, etc... I don't want to have those kinds of problems. I really don't have the time for a conversion... I will find what I'm looking for, eventually... I hope.

Supposedly, anything will last if it's taken care of. DC-3 airplanes built in the '30s are still going strong. That being said, something that just isn't built well to begin with, isn't going to stand up to normal use regardless of how much care is taken.
Jack and Dee Dee Weatherford, Texas
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab 4X4 w/CTD 6.7
2016 Jayco White Hawk 28DSBH Travel Trailer
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:00 AM   #6
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Hey Jack, I think you have a great point !!! We are pretty much in the same boat as you,,, looking to buy a TT or 5th wheel within the next year...,. Our class A now is fiberglass and I love it !!! Its a 95 and NO delam that I can see, and I look over every inch.... Yes I've replaced the skylight, and sealed the front cap once,,, no biggy for a 95 model... Everybody has personal prefferences,,, mine is smooth fiberglass... I'm going to have to keep notes on things like suspension, tires, general build quality,,, etc... Unless you can get this thread going...

Monkey, pilot of a Great Dane hauler,
2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax/Alison 4x4 CrewCab 2016 Cougar 28SGS
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