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IECamper

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Posted: 10/13/10 04:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The wife and I are in the final stages of selecting a TT to buy. One concern I still have is with the potential of delamination of Lamilux or Filon sided trailers. I prefer this type of construction over the corrugated aluminum.

My question is, what exactly is delaminating in the walls? Most of the units we're considering have aluminum frames with foam core and luan plywood laminated together, either with a pinch roll process or vacuum bonded.

Is water or condensation getting into the walls and causing the adhesive that bonds the plywood to the foam and aluminum to fail, or is it the layers of plywood itself that are coming apart? My thinking is it is likely the plywood as I doubt the plywood manufacturer is using an exterior/marine rated glue to bond the ply's together.

We're leaning towards an Evergreen, Everlight design, partly due to floor plan offerings, weight, aesthetics, but also because they do not use plywood in the construction of the walls, floor or roof. They use a composite material that does not absorb water.

I'm wondering if this design would be less likley to delaminate. Evergreen makes no such claims on their website, this is just me wondering.

We're interested in this as there are a few Forest River and Keystone units we also like that use Lamilux or Filon walls with the typical, luan plywood lamination.

Any thoughts on this from those with more experience than I?

Regards,

John


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LewMichele&Paws

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Posted: 10/13/10 05:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Its' my understanding that the glue used to hold the siding is water based and breaks down with any seepage or leak and creates an air pocket which over time will only get worse through condensation even if the leak is fixed.


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dalmationlovers

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Posted: 10/13/10 05:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lew is correct in what the causes are. You will either see or begin to see delamination around the windows mostly. That has been my experience in looking at both TT and MH. If you are looking for used than you will notice it right away. If new than it would be up to you to continue to check for issues. New will also give you a warranty that will probably cover it.

Good Luck
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Lantley

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Posted: 10/13/10 05:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is not a single cause for delamination. It can occur from a roof leak. It may come from a leak around a window. It maybe due to poor bonding of plywood layers or bonding between foam substrate and Filon. Water may infiltrate where walls meet floor or roof.
In the end delamination is a shortcoming of all smooth sided trailers. There is no bona-fide solution to guarantee it will never occur. Even and Everlite unit that is made using little to no wood and lots of composite materials may still delaminate.
While the various smooth sided processes have improved, none of them are foolproof. Delamination is an expensive risk that is inherit with all smooth sided trailers.
Everlite does not state their units are not subject to potential delamination for a reason


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Jimehc

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Posted: 10/13/10 05:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

Everlite does not state their units are not subject to potential delamination for a reason


I would not think any MFG would..

But would think that because they do not use material that absorbs water - the risk of it is less..

amxpress

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Posted: 10/13/10 06:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Manufacturing processes make a big difference, too.
For example, when holes are cut in a exterior wall of a trailer to install windows, doors, vents, etc, the "guts" of the wall are exposed. Improper sealing or lack of sealing this area can allow water intrusion. This can result in delamination.
Some manufactuers do not seal this exposed section of the wall. Others use a sealing compound that prevents water from entering inside the wall.
I just toured a fiver factory and witnessed a worker sealing the openings after they were cut, thus reducing the chance of delamination.


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IECamper

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Posted: 10/13/10 07:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the replies.

To clarify, I'm not really interested in what is causing the delamination. Let's just assume it is infiltraton of water or water vapor. My question is WHAT is actually delaminating???

Is it the layers of plywood seperating from one another or is the adhesive that bonds the plywood to the aluminum/foam core letting go? Or both?????

While Evergreen doesn't specifically state that their trailers won't delaminate, they do shout quite loudly that their composite material to aluminum/foam core bond is 100% waterproof. Every dealer who sells their trailers has the manufacture supplied, water filled mason jar with a cross section of their wall inside of it. The one at my local dealership has been immersed in the jar for over a year and the composite is still fine as is the adhesive and the foam. Pretty impressive to see and hold.

So, I'm not too worried about delaminaton of Evergreen's products, inasmuch as I'd like to know what is actually delaminating on trailers manufactured with luan plywood.

Key point is I don't want to discount the other trailers due to a lack of understanding of what the real problem actually is.

Regards,

John

Jimehc

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Posted: 10/13/10 07:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The thin fiberglass outer layer and it's inner backing..

b_salgado

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Posted: 10/13/10 07:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The real problem is the glue that is used to bond the Filon or Lamilux to the luan substrate. Once it gets wet, the bond is broken and the area will spread. Once the bond is broken, the Filon will bubble, blister, or begin to wave. It is very thin and cannot hold it's shape on it's own. There are a ton of pictures on the web. There are a ton of posts on this site.
De-lamination can be caused from poor sealing at lights, windows, doors, vents, roofs, or ANY other fastener that goes through the siding. I have found lights on my TT that the screws were completely rusted out! You can see pictures here This was shipped this way from the factory in 06. I have been pretty diligent in preventing delamination on my rig. There is another member here (Larry) that has completely Eternabonded his entire rig! I will stick to sealing and checking every year. I hope this helps.


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IECamper

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Posted: 10/13/10 08:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

b_salgado wrote:

The real problem is the glue that is used to bond the Filon or Lamilux to the luan substrate. Once it gets wet, the bond is broken and the area will spread. Once the bond is broken, the Filon will bubble, blister, or begin to wave. It is very thin and cannot hold it's shape on it's own. There are a ton of pictures on the web. There are a ton of posts on this site.
De-lamination can be caused from poor sealing at lights, windows, doors, vents, roofs, or ANY other fastener that goes through the siding. I have found lights on my TT that the screws were completely rusted out! You can see pictures here This was shipped this way from the factory in 06. I have been pretty diligent in preventing delamination on my rig. There is another member here (Larry) that has completely Eternabonded his entire rig! I will stick to sealing and checking every year. I hope this helps.


This is excellent information, thanks.

So, since Evergreen advertises that their glue bond of their composite to the foam and aluminum frame is waterproof, I would think that it would be much less likely to delaminate.

There's a big manufacturer's RV show at the Pomona, CA., fairgrounds this weekend. The wife and I are going to attend and I'll try to get some time speaking with the Evergreen manufacturers rep about this.

They most certainly advertise that their vacuum bonded composite is impervious to water, but they don't necessarily say anything about delamination on their website. On the other hand, they do give a 2 year bumper to bumper warranty, and I've seen the sample floating in a jar of water. It looks perfectly fine.

I'll pick his brain on this and see what he says.

This begs the question, why don't the manufacturers just use a waterproof adhesive to bond the materials? I'm a woodworker and there are a LOT of quality, water proof glues and adhesives out there that are rated for water submersion. What gives?

Regards,

John

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