Thursday, November 12, 2009

Decisions, decisions and more decisions...

While I continue to toil on the thought of which RV might best fit us in our future lifestyle I always come back to either a 26-29 foot class C or a 30 to 32 foot class A.  Now either way we will be purchasing a used vehicle so I continue to research what the gotchas are in the used RV market.

Number one gotcha is delamination!  What is delamination?  Well according to wikipedia - Delamination is a mode of failure for composite materials.  So what does that mean to me?

First the history: Long ago RV builders changed the way they did construction.  They began putting smooth fiberglass exterior walls on RV's that were constructed by sandwiching fiberglass with the frame's structure and other materials.  Each of the layers were held together with adhesives making a single bonded wall which decreased the cost of building the walls and also provided for better aerodynamics and they just looked better :).  But as time passed some had noticed the early models started having problems with the bonded layers of the wall coming apart or delaminating.

So to avoid buying an RV with delamination one needs to look for evidence of bubbles or blisters on the sidewalls.  Now remember delamination is usually caused by moisture getting between the layers resulting in the bubbles or blisters.  They also may cause cracks so look for these too.   And since moisture is the culprit causing the damage look for signs of moisture leaks in and around the windows, vents and any other exterior openings.  Discolorations on the ceiling may also be a sign of future trouble.

Moisture on the inside is the enemy so make sure the used RV you are buying does not have any signs of moisture on the inside.

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