Traditionally there are 3 major external cladding options for caravans. These include Aluminium, Aluminium Composite and Fibreglass Sandwich Panel (Full composite). In this article, we look at the pros and cons of each construction material.
Most of industry still using garden shed style aluminium cladding however the problem is that it is only 0.7mm thick. The thin aluminium sheeting is vulnerable to damage, whether it be from hail or being scraped against a solid object.
Another downside is that the sheets come in 300 high joins, so every 300 mm on the height of the van you have a join. With the numerous joins in the external aluminium sheeting, over time water leaks can also become a problem.
The industry should have moved away from this style of cladding altogether, and you will find that most of the better manufacturers have.
Aluminium Composite Cladding
This type of cladding is 3 mm thick, meaning it has better insulation properties, it is much stronger and is mostly hail resistant. You also only have 1 to 2 joins in the walls of your van compared to the 30 or so with the Aluminium, which reduces the chance of leaks and water damage dramatically. Another key advantage of aluminium composite is the ease of repairs.
We believe that the Aluminium Composite cladding is a better and more modern product.
Fibreglass Sandwich Panel
This type of cladding has been used on and off since the 7o’s, however we still hear about problems associated with Fibreglass including delamination, bubbling and crazing. If done right, this material is light weight, extremely strong and resistant to water damage. However, you do need to be mindful that if damage occurs, getting it repaired can often prove quite difficult.
In summary – if you look at service ability and long term and overall strength – Composite wall construction is the way to go for the future.
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