Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construction

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Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construction

Postby richardc » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:03 pm

Is there a list of Caravan constructors who specialise in Fibreglass/foam sandwich wall and roof construction of "off road" vans?
I am wanting an 18 foot (internal approx) van constructed of the sheet products such as is made by "Vanglass" and "Windspeed.
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby Chris R » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:06 pm

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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby Peter_n_Margaret » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:39 pm

Hunter.
Some years ago I saw a Phoenix prototype, but not sure if it saw the light of day.

Ask Vanglas.

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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby Stewart9224 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:27 am

Try this link they are now doing them .

http://www.opalitecaravans.com/products/ltd-series
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby Happygolucky » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:16 am

Or this one to.

Dropped into Murray Bridge Caravans (SA) on my way home and saw a Colorado Caravan with this fibreglass finish.

http://www.coloradocaravans.com.au/index.html

or

(03) 9305 2444
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby rossbarb » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:30 am

Hi!
I suggest you check out Free spirit caravans, after a long deliberation we signed up with them this month. Great to talk to, factory tour many times if you like. We spoke to owners, and asked from advice etc. we are just in the process of designing our layout.
here is a link
http://www.freespiritcaravans.com.au/
barb
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby richardc » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:00 pm

Thanks for the responses. I looked up web sites for those manufacturers suggested. Gemhunter is another I found.

One thing I note is the manufacturers usng these body panels I have noted want a large premium. I would have thought that the material lends itself to much simpler fabrication and less assembly time.

Has any one owned a van built of these materials and had moisture/water penetration into the sandwich, or repair issues?

A custom manufacturer who builds in all materials has told me that water in the sandwich can be a problem, and accidents to sandwich panels tend to require more major repairs than a wooden framed van?
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby Peter_n_Margaret » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:08 pm

richardc wrote:Has any one owned a van built of these materials and had moisture/water penetration into the sandwich, or repair issues?
Our OKA has seen harder country for 8 years than any caravan will ever see.
There is no apparent deterioration beyond a few light surface scratches that will no doubt come out when it gets its first polish.
Using fibreglass sandwich panel for DIY the construction was by far the best decision I made.

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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby hazo » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:22 pm

Our unit is built with this material and it is fantastic, very light and very strong,and amazing insulation properties. Mine is 40mm thick and I can easily walk on the roof with no flex at all.

I queried the repair issue with the manufacturer and was assured a competent fibreglass person could easily effect a repair with no problems. I was told a lady owner had reversed into a tree branch putting a large hole in the rear panel of one unit ! it was repaired by cutting out the damaged area and inserting a new section then glassed and filled and sprayed with 2 pack and was indistinguishable from the original panel.

As for water penetration, in the unlikely event it did happen, the foam is waterproof and rot proof ,It is HD closed cell polyurethane with the glass sheet bonded directly to it.There is no timber at all to rot.

We have been in some pretty bad storms and even 20mm hail with no issues at all.
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby Happygolucky » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:18 am

Hi again Richardc

I think one of your biggest concerns when it comes to repairs with caravans using sandwich panels is electrical wiring.
You cant just remove a sheet of the standard cladding most caravans use to fix the problem and replace it with a new one.
Dont quote me on this and maybe Cabcar might be able to confirm this or not as im sure he would have the knowledge being a repairer, but to repair an electrical short or connection the furniture in the van needs to be removed from the inside or perhaps the wall removed all together. Either way it would be a big job.
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby slownsy » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:50 am

Some sandwich panels youse ply below fiberglas and delaminatien can hapen.
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby dazby » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:52 am

Happygolucky wrote: Hi again Richardc

I think one of your biggest concerns when it comes to repairs with caravans using sandwich panels is electrical wiring.
You cant just remove a sheet of the standard cladding most caravans use to fix the problem and
Dont quote me on this and maybe Cabcar might be able to confirm this or not as im sure he would have the knowledge being a repairer, but to repair an electrical short or connection the furniture in the van needs to be removed from the inside or perhaps the wall removed all together. Either way it would be a big job.


Electrical systems need to be done differently in true sandwich construction. It's more likely to be ducts and conduit inside the body than embedded in the walls. If you do put wiring in the panels, you better have it in conduit, and have detailed information about the location of them. You should not have to open the panel to repair wiring, unless the panel is badly damaged
Darren
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby hazo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:56 am

In my unit all wiring is done internally in concealed ducting and is totally accessible. It does not form part of the panel at all.
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby Peter_n_Margaret » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:20 am

hazo wrote:In my unit all wiring is done internally in concealed ducting and is totally accessible. It does not form part of the panel at all.

Ditto.
A great long term advantage too, when it comes to wiring additions or modifications.

Our panels are only 19mm thick, but we have had 4 people sitting on steamer chairs on the pop top watching a street show.
Strength and durability that is in quite a different league from traditional caravan construction.

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Peter
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby hazo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:20 pm

Re access to electrics and cabling, I fitted two Bora fans recently in the bedroom, one either side of the bed.
It was an absolute breeze to get the cabling in due to the manufactured wiring method. Being a retired sparky, I noticed that correct segregation of cabling (12vdc from 240vac ) had been easily done as each set of cables run in their own ducting. unlike many traditional cladded vans, where cables are thrown in a spiders web configuration.
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby norto » Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:08 am

Does anyone know of more foam sandwich van manufacturers
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby Peter_n_Margaret » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:00 am

norto wrote:Does anyone know of more foam sandwich van manufacturers

Lots of motorhomes, not many caravans.
Wait another 10 or 15 years until they catch up. :twisted:

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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby PipandPop » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:59 am

We have been looking at a Nova Terra Sportz. It has 3 mm aluminium composite cladding.
I was wondering if this was something the OP was looking for. I have no idea if it is any good or not,
but would appreciate any opinions.
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby Peter_n_Margaret » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:22 pm

PipandPop wrote: It has 3 mm aluminium composite cladding.

What is that, exactly?
Damage to fibreglass can be easily repaired.
Damage to aluminium will require the whole piece to be replaced.

Cheers,
Peter
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Re: Manufacturers using fibreglass foam "sandwich" construct

Postby PipandPop » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:25 pm

Peter, I have no idea. I was hoping some one here would know. They claimed it was very strong.
Cheers Chris

It is called durabond.
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