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liquidspaceman

Los Angeles

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Posted: 05/05/13 05:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What year wood frames in RV construction were replaced with steel/aluminum framing? I'm sure different companies might still use wood framing or a combination of various materials, but I am wondering if the industry has shifted to mostly aluminum or steel frame design and if so, what year roughly they might have started doing that?

To put this in context as to why I need to know. I am wondering which RV's and what years are less succeptable to wood rot/leaks because their frames are "mostly" aluminum/steel or combination of non-wood products.

Or am I totally misinformed and most RV's are still made with wood frames?

LakeN

North Carolina

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Posted: 05/05/13 06:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Evergreen rvs are made with no wood, composite called Compositek. Other brands including Lance are made with Azdel a similar composite.
Coachman is making some with composites...not sure if 2013 or 14.
I'm sure others will chime in....

Note: I've read that for 2014, the all composite is now an option rather than being standard for the Evergreens.

Randu

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Posted: 05/05/13 06:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I purchased a 2000 Travel Supreme back in 2000 and it was wood frame. At the time I could have ordered it with the new aluminum frame and many other manufactures were already changed over to aluminum. I'd guess that most built after 2001 will be aluminum. Most water damage rot shows in roof, sidewalls and floor which are still made with wood products. Randu


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JIMNLIN

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Posted: 05/05/13 06:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is current on nuwa owners forum ;

Why doesn't NuWa use an all aluminum structure like popular Indiana manufacturers?

NuWa made the decision to begin the use of aluminum structure based on marketing and the fact that many people were concluding that an "aluminum caged" product was superior in construction technology, weight and strength. Our 40+ years of experience as a leader in 5th wheel design suggests that may be "flawed" information. We have proven that wood construction need be no heavier or less strong than aluminum construction, that is built properly. We now build both materials, and are comfortable doing either, however our opinion is still that wood construction provides a superior product, and today we use both in the construction of our trailers. The strength of the NuWa trailer is actually created by the superior and light weight Blue Dow foam lamination concept.

NuWa uses an aluminum substructure in the sidewalls and ends of the coach only. No aluminum in the floors or attics, where metal promotes conduction of cold and moisture resulting in condensation.

90% of the walls are Blue Dow Structural Foam, rather than wood or aluminum. This creates a superior insulation and the only product with a guaranteed sidewall R Factor. (Water absorption in standard white foam reduces R Factor over time, and the use of Blue Dow Structural Foam eliminates this problem.)

NuWa's aluminum substructure sidewall is actually a "hybrid" wall, as we core fill the aluminum with wood in those areas where additional strength is required, because aluminum will not hold a screw. Not so with the lower priced brands. With NuWa's combined use of wood and aluminum substructure, you get a superior product because of NuWa's unique Blue Dow foam vacu-bond process, which makes the sidewalls virtually resistant to water penetration.


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Ron3rd

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Posted: 05/05/13 06:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As far as I know, they still use wood framing. A dealer once told me that the fiberglass sided RVs are generally steel framing studs. The old fashioned aluminum sided RVs like my current one, and like the ones they still make, are wood construction.

As to your wood rot question, as long as you keep the roof sealed and weather-tight, you won't have a problem with either. Both wood and steel/aluminum stud construction have their advantages. But get either wet and all bets are off as the floors in all are generally a wood product. In summary, if you have a roof leak, you can have devastating damage regardless of the type of construction. We just sold our old 2004 Aljo 250LT (aluminum side/wood stud) to a good friend and she's still solid as the day we bought her. Water kills any of them.

* This post was edited 05/05/13 06:45pm by Ron3rd *


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wny_pat

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Posted: 05/05/13 06:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 1994 coach is monocoque construction with a triangulated tubular framework just under the fiberglass skin. It is said that one could roll it during a accident, and that it could be uprighted and driven back to the manufacturer for repairs. But if it were built on a ladder rail frame, it would be all over. I don't know what year manufactured wood framing went out, but I do know that some people are still building custom RVs with wood framing.


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Homer

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Posted: 05/05/13 07:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many in Indiana are still using wood framing,especially for TT and 5th wheels. It is not so much the type of framing but the quality of the work that makes a difference. Now in a motor home I want a steel cage in the drivers area.

WoodGlue

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Posted: 05/05/13 07:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Using wood today is pure folly! It's 2013 and they're still building RV's like they were in the 1960's!

Here is why you don't build or buy a wood, r-7 insulated aluminum sided trailer:

Wood Rot Trailer Rebuild

And this is how they're usually "literally" thrown together:

Building A Jayco In Less Than 7 Hours

WoodGlue

wny_pat

Western NYS

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Posted: 05/05/13 08:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WoodGlue wrote:

And this is how they're usually "literally" thrown together:

Building A Jayco In Less Than 7 Hours

And they brag about it???

Fishinghat

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Posted: 05/05/13 10:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Holiday Rambler has been using aluminum frame construction since 1989, and possibly before. We owned a 1989 Imperial Class C and it had a "Alumalite" house frame. The chassis was steel. We now have a 1993 HR Navigator and it also has an aluminum frame. My assumption is that all of the Holiday Rambler products back in that time frame had aluminum frames. In the late 90's, they were purchased by Monaco and I'm not sure what the company policy had changed but I understand some of the Class A diesel rigs had steel frames.


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