Fiberglass shell v bonded sandwich construction - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-08-2013, 05:11 PM   #15
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We had a stick built Sunline (Scamp sized) Aluminum/stick trailer. The Sunline was 200 lbs lighter and had a higher useful volume than our Scamp 16. It was about the same age as our present Scamp.

In a heavy rain the Scamp is totally dry. The stick built leaked in numerous spots and most of the wooden frames had significant rot.

If you're interested in long life a molded finberglass trailer is absolutely the way to go.

We also had a fiberglass sided motorhome where the side panels had a steel frame bonded to the fiberglass. Eventually the steel frame rusted in spots and showed thru the fiberglass.

If you do just simple maintenance on a fiberglass trailer it can last forever, truly they are amazing rigs. Our Scamp 16 is now 22 years old. Our son's Scamp is now 36 years old.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:07 PM   #16
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I found this article which is a review of the smallest trailer Pro-Lite has but it tells about the construction, etc.: The world's best travel trailer | Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself I can see if you need lightweight that this might be a good choice but still, the storage isn't there and stacks of stuff can wear you down quickly.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:12 PM   #17
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Appears the walls are just glued, not vac bonded!!
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:22 PM   #18
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Do you see that in the article Cathy posted a link for, Jim?

The only language I see there about the walls seems to me to refer to wood/metal studs-???

Here's the quote:
Quote:
Structurally, the Prolite Suite is built upon a steel frame, with fibreglass walls and sides glued to wooden and metal supports.
This is something that really frustrates me generally in the RV world...tons of info about color swatches, floor plans etc, but virtually NOTHING about the nitty gritties of construction.

And while we're on the subject, in my opinion molded fiberglass trailer manufacturers are no better than everybody else in that department...

Francesca
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:25 PM   #19
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Appears the walls are just glued, not vac bonded!!
I believe that's normal: the stack of layers with glue between them is run through a pair of pinch rollers, or loaded in an enormous press, rather than using a vacuum bag.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:33 PM   #20
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yes, that is where I read it!!
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:34 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Cathy P. View Post
I could not find a stated GVWR on the Prolite ...
I didn't see a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating), either. While this is an unfortunate omission from the specifications, I don't think it's important, and I don't think the GVWR matters to most owners of lightweight trailers. The situation is the same for the Scamp 13': no GVWR on the Scamp web site.

The Prolite Mini 13 specs do include the gross axle weight rating (GAWR): 2000 pounds. The GVWR is likely the same, and is unlikely to be more than 2200 pounds, or less than 2000 pounds.

More importantly, the GVWR doesn't provide much information about the equipped weight of the trailer. It does set an upper limit, but a low GVWR might just mean there is very little allowance for cargo - that would be one thing to watch for. A high GVWR might be interpreted as the manufacturer allowing for a lot of option weight, but it also might be allowing for a lot of cargo, or just an almost arbitrary choice reflecting axle capacity and frame dimensions. I would not conclude that a high GVWR means the trailer is going to be heavy compared to the base dry weight.

The GAWR doesn't mean much, either. An axle rating much higher than the trailer empty weight might mean an allowance for lots more trailer weight, but it might also just the be cheapest or most readily available axle.

For an example, Bigfoot sets the GVWR of their tandem-axle trailers equal to the total of the two GAWRs, plus another 500 lb of tongue weight... giving them a 7500 lb GVWR for a trailer with an empty weight 3000 lb lower. The axles, in turn, are just the most common capacity available over one ton (3500 pounds each). That doesn't mean that their trailers go down the road weighing 7500 pounds, even though a collector of rocks might do that.

In this case, the Prolite Mini 13 and Scamp 13' have similar axle ratings: 2000 lb for Prolite and 2200 lb for Scamp... each likely equal to the maximum rating for the series of axle used, neither optimized to the trailer.

Scamp 13' specs
Bigfoot specs
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:34 PM   #22
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I believe Airstream has several videos on it's construction method.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:35 PM   #23
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Our Motorhomes were glued and vacuum bagged, some 32 feet long.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:37 PM   #24
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Vacuum-bonding and getting away from the use of plywood in the process is becoming a lot more common in stick-built Rv's than it was just five years ago.

Here's one such process, used for Everlite trailers and perhaps others.

Here's another, used by Rockwood in at least some of their units.

And the materials themselves are changing fast- here's a cutaway of the walls on a supposedly "high-end" toyhauler that appears to use no wood at all!



Guess the only way to find out about the Prolite specifically is to ask them, which is what I'd advise the O.P. to do if it's a matter of concern...

Francesca
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:41 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Do you see that in the article Cathy posted a link for, Jim?

The only language I see there about the walls seems to me to refer to wood/metal studs-???

Here's the quote:
This is something that really frustrates me generally in the RV world...tons of info about color swatches, floor plans etc, but virtually NOTHING about the nitty gritties of construction.

And while we're on the subject, in my opinion molded fiberglass trailer manufacturers are no better than everybody else in that department...

Francesca
I agree. That's why I took the bare bone pictures when I visited the Snoozy plant. When I pick it up, then I'll show the "pretty" pictures. Curtain colors, bedding swatches, food coloring in mealtime, etc. lol.

My dad always said the sign of a good carpenter was the ability to "cover up" his mistakes. But I prefer knowing the actual "craftsmanship" that goes into a product.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:44 PM   #26
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Sorry, couldn't resist.....................lol.

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Old 03-08-2013, 07:52 PM   #27
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Carl, What are we looking at there?
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:09 PM   #28
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That is the wall, ceiling, and floor of the Lil Snoozy Trailer.

Particularly, this is the bedroom window cutout.

It's one of the pics in my album.
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