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hinchy

Aluminium Vs GRP side panels

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Hi all

Looking for some help here in deciding what new to me van to get later this year.....The coachman is the favorite at the moment but they have a one piece aluminium side panels unlike others who are using GRP side. Having only had a van with aluminium side panels and had many a repair done this is slightly putting me off. 

Edited by hinchy
Sp

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GRP is less easy to dent for sure.

 

I prefer them.

 

That said If I really liked a particular van and it had aluminium sides I wouldn't not buy it.

 

 

Edited by Thehappygnome

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I would guess GRP is more insulating than Ali which is a good conductor!!! So GRP  might be a little warmer inside or easier to heat. Might even be cooler in summer?

Not sure which expands/contracts more in heat.

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We have had many aluminium sided caravans from new but in 2018 bought our first GRP caravan, a new Swift. The extra protection offered is great but we did have a very noticeable Fibreglass resin smell inside for a few months, especially on hot days. According to the other owners on Swift-Talk this isn’t unusual but I can’t speak for other makes

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Some manufacturers still use aluminium as it is lighter than grp .

 

I don't think insulation makes enormous difference as they use the same heating units and are grade 3 spec if Ali or grp .

 

Edited by CommanderDave

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I would be much more concerned if either the front or rear panels were ABS.

  • I agree completely 1

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Previous buccaneer was grp and was v pleased with it after the first aluminium sided caravan. Newer van is 2018 Buccaneer and they are back to aluminium sides. I would have preferred grp again but as you can see did not stop me buying the Ali sided one because I liked the caravan. So imho grp if you can.

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I have had both. The aluminium sided one got dented by neighbours children. I am pretty certain the impact would not have dented the current GRP sided van as it was caused by a bit of wood falling against it at an oblique angle.

. The cost of repair for a pretty small dent (3” long and about 1/4” deep) was £300 ! (And I did get a few quotes) 

 

I “crunched” the GRP panel on the back of a motorhome a few years back, it looked really bad. Cost of that much greater repair was £185 

 

I know which I prefer, and it’s not Aluminium.

 

Andy

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I moved to GRP from aluminium last year so new to me.

 

The aluminium sides on my previous Elddis were quite dinged/dented at the end of 11 years where only 3 that I can think of were caused due to my carelessness, the rest were by road stones, stones thrown up by site grass cutters or cleaners of neighbouring caravans whilst in storeage.

 

My concern about GRP is that my previous caravan had one GRP front panel and was affected by the sun which created a dull chalky oxidation after a while and every couple of years needed polishing with my 12v polisher.

 

My new caravan has five panels including the roof and I am not looking forward to the same thing happening (if it does) with these five, near on ten times the area in total of my old front. :(

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Thanks everyone I'll think I will stick with going for grp sides on my next purchase, due to having to  many dents repair in the pasted and only one dent done by me (awning pole oops) 

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