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Fla2RI 06-12-2011 08:28 PM

Hung gel coat fiberglass vs. laminated walls
Hello All,

I've been shopping for a new 5th wheel, 34-37'.

I'm down to Cedar Creek/Silverback 29RE, Jayco 315RL and Montana 3150RL.

Cedar Creek claims their gel coat fiberglass glued to 16" on center aluminum studs is much stronger and easier to repair than vacuum laminated walls that have no support. Their gel coat is 6X thicker than laminated fiberglass.

The competition states the laminated walls are stronger.

I am sooo confused! I'm thinking gel coat with studs is probably a more expensive process and probably why the rest have gone to laminating to save money.

Any thoughts on this subject??

mhs4771 06-12-2011 09:05 PM

You lost me, as far as I know, just about all the better units have an Aluminum frame, with studs on 16" centers. Montanas are Gel Coat Finish.

RVhauler 06-12-2011 09:16 PM

Haven't seen/heard of unit being built without a frame supporting walls/etc but I sure wouldn't be buying one of that construction

Fla2RI 06-12-2011 09:18 PM

Montana has laminated walls with luan and styrofoam center, meaning no studs. The only aluminum would be around the perimeter, lamination is suppose to give it it's strength.

Cedar Creek uses aluminum studs every 16" o.c. and places roll fiberglass in between the studs and hangs a "true" gel coat sheet of fiberglass and using silaprene sealant (475psi)to weld it to the frame. They claim "true" gelcoat fiberglass is the best of the best and has higher impact resistance and can't delaminate.

ralper 06-12-2011 09:57 PM

What ever a company is using to build their product is always the best. Just ask them and they will tell you it is.

Route 66 06-13-2011 05:08 AM

I've had both.

I prefer the fiberglass and stud walls.

mhs4771 06-13-2011 06:30 AM

Look at my sig, I have a Montana and I can tell you there are aluminum studs in the wall. Yes they use styrofoam panels but they are placed between the 16" center aluminum studs. I think someone is trying very hard to sell you a bill of goods by cutting down their competition.

dayle1 06-13-2011 10:38 AM

I'm not familiar with how the Montana is built today, but I suspect it does have studs every 16". I have owned a fully laminated wall (and floor and roof) unit that had no studs, just perimeter aluminum framing and around windows and doors. That was a very light unit, 27.5ft fiver with a dry weight of 5000 lbs. And I have owned hung wall units as well. I had no problems with either type of construction.

There are pros and cons to each assembly technique, but if one method was clearly superior, the other would not survive for long in the industry. There are plenty of things that can go wrong with an RV besides the exterior walls, so I think that what is important is how well a manufacturer builds the unit, not the method they use. And of course, how good is their customer support. Join specific RV forums, I know there is one for Keystone, Heartland, Forest River, Crossroads, probably one for Jayco and others. Anyway, you can learn a lot more brand specific info on them. I learned that different divisions of Thor have completely different approaches to customer support which helped my decision.

LadyFitz... 06-13-2011 02:24 PM


Originally Posted by dayle1 (Post 878026)
...Join specific RV forums, I know there is one for Keystone, Heartland, Forest River, Crossroads, probably one for Jayco and others...

Ray,IN 06-15-2011 09:44 PM

Well, I don't know how it works but our Grand Junction has laminated walls and the factory replaced a section of sidewall that cracked. They replaced both the the outside gelcoated fiberglass, and the inside paneling after re-welding the aluminum superstructure where a weld had broken. There is a difference between laminated sidewalls and vacu-bonded sidewalls, or so I was told by the shop tech.

Mr_D 06-15-2011 09:53 PM

If you can find a video of a laminated wall being constructed you will see that they don't have studs, nor do many have even frames around the window or other openings. They are also subject to delamination.
Then take a look at hung wall construction, studs every 16" of so, frames around every opening and no chance of delamination since there is no lamination at all.
I've been present during both types of construction and I'll certainly take hung wall construction even though the outside walls are wavy.

LadyFitz... 06-16-2011 10:03 AM

The Jayco Eagles, Pinnacles, etc., use laminated construction with a welded aluminum frame. Studs are placed wherever there is a window or door (and they have a lot of windows). The combination should be stronger than either a hung wall with studs or a laminated wall that only has a perimeter frame.

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