construction question from a newby. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-10-2009, 09:58 AM   #1
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i was wondering if the fiberglass trailers have a single wall construction or double wall? if they are double wall, is there anything in between the 2 layers? i assume most of them have wood floors?
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:59 AM   #2
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That depends on the trailer brand. In the 13-ers, for example, there are just a few basic "families" of trailers, which were made from the same (or tweaked) molds.

Boler and clones (Scamp/Casita/Trail-mite/Love Bug, etc.)
These have single shells. Most Bolers and also the pre-mid-80's Scamps have a closed-cell combination insulation and wall surface foam called Ensolite. Later Scamps have Reflectix insulation and "rat fur" fuzzy fabric covering. Casitas have a carpet covering.

Cloud and clones (Burro, U-haul, Companion, etc.)
These have what are referred to as "double hulls" although they are actually single-shelled trailers with a very extensive liner, to my mind. So the inside is also smooth fiberglass with the exception of a strip along the centerline, the insides of the lockers, and the floor. Some of the Burros have fiberglass batt insulation between the shells; the U-hauls don't; and I don't know about the others.

Compact Jr. and clones (Compact II, Hunter I, Trails West Campster, etc.)
These are single-walled trailers that either have no insulation (just the back of the fiberglass is painted) or have a layer of open celled quilted foam with a vinyl covering. These have a pop-top center portion with canvas walls.

Trillium and clones (Surfside, new Trillium, Escape, etc.)
These have a single shell with Ensolite insulation (although the new Trillium and the Escape I think have something like Reflectix with vinyl over it*).

All of the trailers that I know of have a wood or wood-cored floor. Some, like Scamp, are waferboard type wood with a resin coating, some, like Boler and Trillium have a sandwich floor of plywood core with a fiberglass layer on each side. The Compact family has a partial wood floor, with the fiberglass shell running around and providing the first foot or so of bottom (in the cabinets and bunks).

I've probably left some out, but these are the major ones I can think of.

Raya

*See correction below
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:52 PM   #3
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Oliver trailers have a double wall.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:16 PM   #4
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Oliver trailers have a double wall.
If I remember right so are the EggCampers. But bet a owner could fill us in.
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:02 PM   #5
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I thought Heath said (in another thread) that he was looking for a 13' to 16' trailer so I left out the Oliver, thinking that it started at 17' () That's also why I didn't mention the Boler 17, etc.

I also want to clarify a couple of things I noted above:

1) There are some variations in what I noted, such as some early Boler 13's having a wooden floor, and etc. I was trying to summarize the main points so I left out some details that only pertained to certain rarer models.

2) I've learned that the Escape trailers don't use Reflectix covered by vinyl, but instead use a foam-backed vinyl wall covering. I'm guessing that, unlike Ensolite, it is an open celled foam, but I don't know that for sure. I bet someone else does though
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:16 PM   #6
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2) I've learned that the Escape trailers don't use Reflectix covered by vinyl, but instead use a foam-backed vinyl wall covering. I'm guessing that, unlike Ensolite, it is an open celled foam, but I don't know that for sure. I bet someone else does though
I bet it's closed-cell, doubt Reace would put anything in an Escape that would soak up water like a sponge. From the Escape website:
"Insulated Interior
Fire rated, durable, soft-touch vinyl headliner with 3/8" foam backing keeps the Escape warm in the winter, and cool in the summer with easy cleaning. Thermal windows and extra insulation package available."
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:55 PM   #7
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I understand what you're saying, Donna. I just haven't seen a foam-backed vinyl that was closed cell on the market recently. Most of the foam-backed vinyls made now for the marine or headliner industry do use open cell foam, to my knowledge.... but maybe I have that wrong

I see that they say "3/8" foam backing" in your quote, but I don't see that they specify open or closed cell. Would be interesting to know for sure. It's possible that they are assuming the trailer won't be wet on the inside, and after all cushions are made of open cell foam (that said, I do like the closed-cell Ensolite).

Raya
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:04 PM   #8
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I just asked if anyone knew over on the EscapeForum... Reace and Tammy pop in to answer questions. I'll let everyone know when I find out.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:56 PM   #9
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wow! thanks for the great info!
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:44 PM   #10
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Heathc, and wow what are the chances of finding another person with our name and on the same forum. well just saying hi and welcome talk to you another time.
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:42 PM   #11
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Oliver trailers have a double wall.
That is correct. The Oliver's floor is gelcoated fiberglass over the aluminum frame and tanks, etc.; it is molded as part of the interior and is covered with vinyl tile. There is no wood or wood product there or below the floor. The insulation on our Oliver is a sprayed-on ceramic product called LizardSkin, which also serves as a sound barrier.

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Old 08-11-2009, 04:06 PM   #12
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Steve,

I'm just curious: What is it on the Oliver that gives structural strength to the floor? I come from the boating world, and a "solid" fiberglass deck would have to be very very thick in order to be firm and supportive. Usually the decks are fiberglass on each side with a thin layer of wood in the middle. This separates the "skins" and puts them in tension (like an I-beam) and results in rigid deck that's very light for how strong it is. But without the wood in the middle there would have to be a lot of cross beams to make things rigid (indeed, a few boats are built this way but they are typically heavier or the deck is a bit springy).

So if the Oliver doesn't have a core in the floor, do they get their strength and rigidity from a multitude of support beams? Or...? Maybe a foam core? The Oliver looks like a great trailer, and my curiosity is piqued

(And Heath, sorry about hijacking your thread with trailers over 16')

Raya
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:21 PM   #13
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Heathc, and wow what are the chances of finding another person with our name and on the same forum. well just saying hi and welcome talk to you another time.
i would say slim! haha! also, i used to date a girl named Candy! not anymore though.
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:22 PM   #14
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Steve,

I'm just curious: What is it on the Oliver that gives structural strength to the floor? I come from the boating world, and a "solid" fiberglass deck would have to be very very thick in order to be firm and supportive. Usually the decks are fiberglass on each side with a thin layer of wood in the middle. This separates the "skins" and puts them in tension (like an I-beam) and results in rigid deck that's very light for how strong it is. But without the wood in the middle there would have to be a lot of cross beams to make things rigid (indeed, a few boats are built this way but they are typically heavier or the deck is a bit springy).

So if the Oliver doesn't have a core in the floor, do they get their strength and rigidity from a multitude of support beams? Or...? Maybe a foam core? The Oliver looks like a great trailer, and my curiosity is piqued

(And Heath, sorry about hijacking your thread with trailers over 16')

Raya
no worries! i'll learn all i can, thanks!
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