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Delamination

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No, delamination is not the title of a hit song. It is something you need to know all about if you are in the market for an RV.
Most RVs are either built out of “stick and tin” or are laminated.
“Stick and tin” usually refers to 2×2 (sometimes 1×2) wood framing, fiberglass batts for insulation, wood paneling on the inside and a painted aluminum  exterior. There was a time that almost all RV’s were built this way. These days some travel trailers and most park models still use this construction.
“Laminated” usually means some sort of aluminum framing with block styrofoam laminated with adhesives between the interior paneling and the exterior plastic or fiberglass.
Most rv’s these days are laminated and as long as they stay that way offer a light and strong construction.
However, if the wall, floor or roof delaminate  the strength disappears. That’s what you see in this picture. Either the wall was never properly glued or water has got in between the fibreglass reinforced plastic (FRP) and the styrofoam and the wall pieces have seperated.

So what you ask? So that area of the wall with what appears to be bubbles has very little strength left. It can be repaired, but costs thousands, often more than the value of the RV.

This doesn’t mean “walk away” but like rust on a car it does mean “be careful”. Know what you are getting in to.

When you are looking at a laminated wall it should appear flat and “tight”.  A good wall/roof/floor will have no soft spots. If you are shopping for a used rv check the walls/roof/floor carefully for soft spots.

Then, with proper maintenance, you’ll be enjoying your new-to-you RV until you decide to trade up.

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