I'm not sure who coined the term "stickie" and when, but its use has evolved, and likely means different things to different people.
It's not in my dictionary, so I have to speculate a little.
My guess is that it originally described wood-framed ("sticks"), aluminum-skinned trailers:
This remains the fastest, lowest cost way to build a trailer, and plenty are still built this way.
Today many builds replace the wood frame with aluminum. A variety of materials are used to skin the trailer, including aluminum and fiberglass. Some even use molded fiberglass for some of the panels (which does not qualify them as all
-molded fiberglass). Livin' Lite's Camplite line is somewhat unique in that it uses aluminum for much of the chassis as well as the superstructure:
Here's a more conventional aluminum-framed fifth wheel on a steel chassis:
Airstream was a pioneer in the use of aluminum for the upper frame, but what continues to distinguish Airstream from other aluminum-framed trailers is the shape and, especially, the aircraft-stye riveted aluminum skin. Here's an Airstream frame:
Many builds now use laminated structural panels. Outer skin, insulation, structural wood, and interior paneling are bonded together with adhesives before being installed on the chassis.
So what's a stickie?
On this forum, it often means anything other than all-molded fiberglass. That includes Airstreams, Camplites, laminated trailers, aluminum-framed trailers, as well as modern and vintage wood-framed trailers.
I'd be willing to bet that on a general RV forum, it retains its narrower sense of a trailer having a wood frame.
I've heard that on the Airstream forum, "SOB" means anything that's not an Airstream. I suppose it is meant to be pejorative, much as we use "stickie" here. Myself, I don't find anything insulting about being called a Son of a Boler…
It is presumptuous to think that any type of trailer, including all-molded fiberglass, is immune to the general woes of the RV industry. For one they all use many of the same components and mechanical systems. For another, careless assembly can happen anywhere, even Oliver
or Airstream or Prevost. It doesn't help that many plants are running at full capacity during the current cheap-gas-fueled sales boom. It doesn't help that modern RVs take almost every system and feature you have in your house, and some you don't, like a 12V system, cram it into a space smaller than your garage, make it light
enough to tow, and subject it to earthquake-like forces every time it rolls down the highway.
Some manufacturers have better quality control in the manufacturing process, and some handle post-purchase problems better than others. Unfortunately, there are no independent consumer organizations collecting data, so the buyer is left to sift various anecdotal reports found online at sites like this one. One reason is money. It takes a lot of paid subscriptions to keep a no-advertising organization like Consumer Reports
afloat. I doubt you'll get enough RVers to cough up the money. Another is the rapid turnover of makes and models. As soon as a brand gets a bad reputation, it disappears and the same company and plant starts making a "new and improved" line of trailers.