Motorhomes and caravans made from wood-why?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by joner8888, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. joner8888

    joner8888

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    I paid a visit to a company yesterday where they carry out a lot of damp repairs on caravans and motorhomes:Eeek:

    There were vans only 2 and 3 years old with rotten wooden frame structures ,to repair this they have to some times completely gut a van to get to it.

    The leak is a pinhole in some sealer which drips very slowly.

    I cannot believe in the 21st century that we still use Victorian principles for making vehicles to use.

    Do they still use wood on a Mini /Morris traveller ---No

    Would anyone want to go into a showroom and ask for a BMW or Mercedes "oh , can I have a wooden chassis please"

    There must be a fibre / resin / carbon / plastic material that could be used that wont rot, or do manufactures like to have a `timed life ` for a vehicle:whatthe:
     
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  2. olley

    olley Funster

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    Wood is cheap, easy to fix to and easy to work. The right wood used properly is excellent, and that I guess is the problem.

    Ian
     
  3. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Cost, Weight and lack of investment but I agree it's out of the ark. I'm sure some RVers will have some ideas.:Smile:
     
  4. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Some top-end manufacturers have been wood-free for a while.

    The rest of the industry is catching up! The requirement to keep even quite large motorhomes below 3500 kg will keep the manufacturers using wood for a while, I reckon.

    Remember, in addition to the over-70s, there's a whole new generation of drivers who passed their tests after 1997 and don't have C1 licences.:whatthe:
     
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  5. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    The box framing within the roof and walls is [STRIKE]aluminum[/STRIKE] aluminium on my present RV and also the Four Winds Hurricane we had last :thumb:
     
  6. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    Wood treated properly can last many years. There are a lot of wooden framed houses near me that are hundreds of years old and still as solid as the day they were built
    It's not the wood that is the problem, it's the poor workmanship that allows damp to penetrate the outer skins
    Wood is also a sustainable resource and doesn't contribute to harming the environment
    But, I get your point. There must be a lighter, less prone to rot alternative that is cheap to use and kind to the environment.
    Allan
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
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  7. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    The 1987 Hymer 660S... built on an aluminium frame with a one piece wrap around roof.

    JJ :Cool:
     
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  8. Wildman

    Wildman

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    plastics and carbon fibre are lighter than wood but that would mean new investment in manufacturing techniques. There is no real excuse apart from wanting to build something with a limited life. Designers need to rifle their brains and come up with a soloution. Instead of shooting themselves in the pocket by continuing to produce leaky vans.
     
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  9. Terry

    Terry Funster Life Member

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    they already have and been doing so for many yrs ::bigsmile:but at a cost (mono- coc):Smile: hence still useing wood
    terry
     
  10. Scout

    Scout Funster

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    last time read the bible the ark didnt leak:RollEyes:
     
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  11. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    The only wood in mine is the furniture. Mono-coc shell with alloy bracing. No joints to leak either. Vorsprung durch technik :thumb:.
     
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  12. Bluemerle

    Bluemerle

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    1990 Hymer s660 built on an aluminium frame with a one piece wrap around roof.::bigsmile:
     
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  13. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    my trailer is ally chassis ally floor, ally framework .,ally walls, fibre glass roof . only steel is in a simple bogie to carry the axles and springs .
    oh and a steel plate around the pin .
    hopefully it will last along time .
    its all ready 26yr old .
    buily in uk by lynton trailers .
    quality as been around along time .
     
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  14. duane0001

    duane0001 Funster

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    <---wood? :roflmto:
     
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  15. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    It does now...


    JJ. :Cool:
     
  16. bigfoot

    bigfoot Funster

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    Morgan cars still use an ash frame which they Cuprinol it,which up to a few years ago,was an optional extra. Also Marcos used a body supported by Marine ply. A laminated beam encased in resin can be as strong as steel with non of the rust issues. My late father was a boatbuilder and used to say 'I've never seen fibreglass growing on a tree!'
    Wood if treated and prepared correctly can be durable,but it is often overlooked for speed.
     
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  17. busby

    busby Funster

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    You are always prone to leaks around roof lights and vents but not the problems of vans with seams. BUSBY::bigsmile:
     
  18. daisy mae

    daisy mae

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    Todays wood doesn`t last long, not like years ago, for a start it is grown quickly, for cheapnessthe variety, ,when grown slower and there are more rings round the trunk so is denser and would last longer, also wood isn`r treated,
    Years ago I bought a board for a window ledge, left it in the room to climatise, next morning it was like a boomerang, so took it back.

    You only have to look at the houses being built today, why do you think there are more roof struts than there use to be, reason wood is thinner and not so substancial, so have to put more in, to, the take the weight of the roof, you only have to look at older wood along side new and see the difference.

    Our first caravan was an old one 70`s, it was solid, the floor was solid wood we did 18,000 miles in that and no problems, had a new van, first time out,6 days, water in the back end, the roof had to be rolled back and the back end completely rebuilt,we didn`t want it back, manufactuer said , as it was repairable we had to have it, never did like it after that, changed as soon as possible. That is why I would never have a new van, well built means older in my book. Each to there own, pays your money and makes your choice, do realise that if no one bought new there wouldn`t be the older ones available.
     
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  19. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Very true, but if you do get a leak around a roof vent on a van with alloy bracing, once the leak is repaired the only thing you have to worry about is getting rid of the stain on the ceiling. You only get dry rot in wood :thumb:.
     
  20. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    In answer to the original post, the reason, is that quality and longevity comes at a premium price. How many UK buyers would be prepared to pay for a new Kabe or Polar caravan when they could buy perhaps 4 UK built ones for the price of one of those. There are premium built caravans and motorhomes out there but they are prohibit-ably expensive here. We constantly hear some complain about the cost of a campsite, do you think they would complain about paying £50000+ for a caravan or £100000+ for a motorhome. I appreciate quality in any product but price still dictates what I buy.
     
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