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Do All RV Manufacturers Walls Delaminate?

The short answer is no.

Not all RV manufacturers laminate their walls to begin with. Think of your standard travel trailer like a Prowler or a Terry or Dutchmen from years gone by. Most of these rv’s were built around a wooden frame, with fibreglass insulation using a process called “Stick and Tin”. The “stick” is the 2 x2 framing and until recently most used aluminum siding to cover the wall exterior. These days many stick and tin manufacturers offer an option of fibreglass reinforced plastic (FRP) or fibreglass walls instead of the metal.

Some manufacturers prefer to use aluminum framing, fibreglass insulation (some spray eurethane between the metal studs) and an FRP or fiberglass panel on the exterior, often called a “hung wall”.

Lots of aluminum studding  and fiberglass insulation in this piece of Entegra luxury motorhome wall

Lots of aluminum studding and fiberglass insulation in this piece of Entegra luxury motorhome wall

Confused yet?

Finally, there are at least two ways manufacturers build an RV laminated wall. Both start by spraying adhesive between the layers (usually light panelling, Styrofoam and exterior FRP or fibreglass often with a perimeter aluminum frame on trailers and fifths). Generally on bigger motorized there is more integral aluminum framing on. Some now run the unfinished wall through a “pinch roller” and others use a “vacuum bag” where the wall is place in a big plastic bag and all the air is vacuumed out in about a 20 minute process.

In the early 2000’s manufacturers were legislated in to using a latex adhesive instead of the chemical adhesives of earlier years. I think everybody had some delamination problems during that change over.

Do all RV manufacturers wall delaminate?

It’s certainly possible. Walls, floors and roof’s can delaminate for a variety of reasons, the most likely being; during manufacture they get an incorrect adhesive spray on a component, or because of a bad seal water leaks into the laminate component and dissolves the adhesive or sometimes just because of stress (often around slides).
I think it’s safe to say that everybody has the odd delamination problem although some manufacturers have more delamination then their competitors.

So do your homework. Look closely at the walls, roof and floor. Look for soft spots, waves in the walls. I like to walk down a wall hitting it with my fist; if the sound changes at all you need a closer look because it’s probably delaminated. There is no strength in an area of delamination and it is very expensive to repair.

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