Are molded FG trailers 'green'? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-10-2018, 04:50 PM   #1
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Are molded FG trailers 'green'?

We all love our molded FG trailers- but are we being selfish?

I have no agenda here - just curious.
There are a lot of clever folks on here that may be able to contribute to this.

My question is - Are Molded FG trailers greener than Stick-built trailers?

What I mean by this is which one has the better carbon footprint?
Both trailer styles basically use the same appliances/running gear/systems.
Most seem to have some "wood" in the floor
The only significant build difference is the "shell"

So, does spraying gelcoat and laying up fiberglass put more Volatiles into the air than powder coating aluminum?

Since they end up "heavy" does the extra fuel burn to pull them around matter?

I really dont know.
Do you?

We know that FG lasts a lot longer so we can allow them to be less green based on their durability, but which style wins overall?

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Old 09-10-2018, 05:08 PM   #2
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The building process is not as green however once they are built fiberglass trailers win hands down.

1) They last much much longer than stick built. I would venture to say that a clear majority of fiberglass trailers are still in existence whereas stick built wear far worse and end up in landfills.

2) Fiberglass are much lighter thus require less fuel to travel with.

3) Fiberglass are much more aerodynamic also requiring less fuel.

4) Fiberglass have a smaller footprint and require less fuel to heat/cool.

I'm sure there must be more to say on this subject but I'll have to revisit the topic later.

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Old 09-10-2018, 05:10 PM   #3
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I think the fuel consumed while traveling long distances for pleasure far outweighs any pros or cons of green during construction.
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:13 PM   #4
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My Personal opinion

How many stick trailers are trashed/recycled in one fiberglass trailers life span ! Sure fiberglass does take a LONG time to decompose if not recycled when finally it has lived its life span. The rest of either campers remains would be the same as a stick built. Also depends on size of camper compared to,
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:23 PM   #5
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Most that I've seen are white
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Speedbump View Post
How many stick trailers are trashed/recycled in one fiberglass trailers life span ! Sure fiberglass does take a LONG time to decompose if not recycled when finally it has lived its life span. The rest of either campers remains would be the same as a stick built. Also depends on size of camper compared to,
I think the fact that they tend to keep their value is a pretty good enticement for people bringing molded fiberglass trailers back to life. We all know that a fiberglass trailer would have to be pretty far gone for somebody somewhere to not be interested in a rebuild. I can't say the same about stick built trailers.
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:29 PM   #7
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I think that FGRV trailers do have a longer lifespan. That alone can offset some of the carbon footprint versus stick built.


But I am not sure you can generalize easily. For instance are some of the components of newer trailers being made with recycled materials? Are the components installed in the trailer the most energy efficient available? Is there good insulation? That is going to vary from one company to the next.
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:34 PM   #8
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Are molded FG trailers 'green'?

Without a definition of "green," the question is meaningless. Whoever writes the definition controls the answer. Carbon footprint is only one aspect of "greenness."

My imprecise, unscientific, and biased opinion is that molded fiberglass is a little more green than the "average" RV, where "green" is defined roughly as the aggregate of all detrimental environmental impacts- carbon output, depletion of non-renewable resources, use of toxic materials, impact on land, water, and air quality, and waste output- during production and use.

If you really want to be green, ride a bicycle and sleep in a tent.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:43 PM   #9
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Based on the VOCs I smelled during a factory tour, the process is definitely not green. In addition, any wood products are renewable (trees).

But when you consider total product life cycle, as others have mentioned, I have no doubt that molded FG wins the green product race.

If you want to be a green camper, then go with a tent, and drive a Prius.
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:30 PM   #10
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Most that I've seen are white
We’ve owned three and all have been white .
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Based on the VOCs I smelled during a factory tour, the process is definitely not green. In addition, any wood products are renewable (trees).

But when you consider total product life cycle, as others have mentioned, I have no doubt that molded FG wins the green product race.

If you want to be a green camper, then go with a tent, and drive a Prius.
The jury is out on the Prius.
Ya wanna be most green... get the camping app for your phone, stay home and pretend to camp. Don't get too excited about it though, or you will breathe out more CO2.


I expect the least green would be those who own a Scamp13D...
Everyone else is green with envy!!
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:13 AM   #12
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Fiberglass trailers can be green just like anything else with a little green paint!
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:14 AM   #13
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Our fiberglass shells are made from petroleum products which come from recycled plant matter from ancient times. So since it has been recycled it is very green. The wood floor is recycled trees, the frame and steel is recycled rock, the glass is recycled sand. The only non green application in the whole trailer is the acid in the batteries. But that is recycled in acid rain which is then separated into drinking water and acid for the hippies.

Aluminium is not very green stuff, it take huge amounts of resources to make.
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by JMS View Post
Most that I've seen are white
We’ve owned three and all have been white . --Steve Dunham

Fiberglass trailers can be just like anything else with a little green paint! -----------------Mike

I expect the least green would be those who own a Scamp13D...Everyone else is green with envy!! --Floyd





Oh, you funny!

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