Camper wall siding

cumminscruiser

Adventurer
I'm sure this has been asked before, but I'm looking for a composite panel to build a expedition camper. I would like the exterior something like fiberglass the core either plywood or some kind of structural foam. I will build a 1" x 1" steel frame then skin the outside with the panels. It would also be nice if there were corner and joining extrusions available too.

One other thing is I would like to attach the outside panels with VHb 3M two sided tape, I have seen this done before. Minimizing screws.

Thanks,
 

rruff

Explorer
Member Victorian sells panels, custom cut. Don't recall the name of his company. Konakid has started selling panels too I believe.

There is a cheaper option using panels from Carbon Core that have a polypropylene honeycomb with fiberglass wet layup skins (or light ply skins if you prefer). 4x8x1" panels were a little over $200 as I recall. They also sell structural foam, though many people get by with XPS from the hardware store.

I haven't seen a source for extruded edge pieces. Panels can be joined pretty easily with epoxy and fiberglass though.
 

Haf-E

Expedition Leader
The company is called "total composites" up in BC Canada and they sell the edge extrusions as well in both fiberglass an aluminum. If you have a steel framework I would just glue light 3 x 3 inch by 1/8 inch angle extrusions on the corners / edges.
 

downhill

Adventurer
Andreas, at Total Composites sells complete, precut kits with premade floor sections, fiberglass or aluminum extrusion construction, and very high quality panels. You just glue it togetherHe also has windows and doors for the kits.
 

cumminscruiser

Adventurer
Great Ideas,

I'm not sure I would want someone else to cut the entire wall set out. I would have to have all the doors and windows pre-hand. I will contact them regarding panels, A US mfg would be closer however. Unfortunately I live in California where no one is allowed to make or build anything.

Thanks
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
The chinese honeycomb core panels are a great option, but they negate the need for a frame of any kind.
You could attach the panels to the exterior of the frame, insulate from the inside, and install an interior paneling, but considering the cost of the chinese honeycomb panels, I dont see the point.
One of the significant benefits of such panels is its strength. As in, you dont need a frame. That said, there have been recent threads showing serious quality control, leading to separation of skin and core. Choose wisely, I suppose. And look to find a vendor stateside that will warranty their panel.


If you are dead set on a steel frame, you will probably be best served by bonding an aluminum,steel, or frp skin to it, insulate from the inside with XPS rigid foam, and install an interior panel.
With a metal frame of any kind, you will have significant cold bridging, but from a structural and cost standpoint it is one of the better options.
 

cumminscruiser

Adventurer
I've seen several years ago trailers made using a 1" x 1" steel frame then the outside was skinned with a fiberglass covered plywood. Also the covered plywood was adhered to the frame using 3m VHB two sided tape. then 1" insulation (pink hard board) placed between the steel frame. Last the interior skinned with some plastic I don't remember what it was.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
I've seen several years ago trailers made using a 1" x 1" steel frame then the outside was skinned with a fiberglass covered plywood. Also the covered plywood was adhered to the frame using 3m VHB two sided tape. then 1" insulation (pink hard board) placed between the steel frame. Last the interior skinned with some plastic I don't remember what it was.

Probably an FRP product. (fiber reinforced plastic)

Commonly used for commercial bathroom walls.

Only real problem is the joints. Unless you glass them, you pretty much have to use FRP trims (junk) or some sort of overlay trim to hide the joints.

That is, if you are concerned about the joints :)
 

rruff

Explorer
I'm sure this has been asked before, but I'm looking for a composite panel to build a expedition camper. I would like the exterior something like fiberglass the core either plywood or some kind of structural foam. I will build a 1" x 1" steel frame then skin the outside with the panels. It would also be nice if there were corner and joining extrusions available too.

Does DIY appeal to you?

I've been experimenting with different options for sandwich panels. I keep coming back to a wood stringer framework of 1x(wall thickness), cheap XPS blue or pink foam that fills the spaces between wood frames, skins of thin ply (3mm Okoume) with an external layer of hand laid fiberglass, plus gelcoat, paint, or Monstaliner. I've been playing with FG laid directly on the foam, but in order to make it thick enough to have the same resistance to blunt pressure as the plywood+FG, it ends up heavier. And it cost more too. I think the danger of rot with the plywood will be none existent with the FG layer and a little care.

I don't see the point of steel. The panels alone are plenty strong without it.
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Probably an FRP product. (fiber reinforced plastic)

Commonly used for commercial bathroom walls.

Only real problem is the joints. Unless you glass them, you pretty much have to use FRP trims (junk) or some sort of overlay trim to hide the joints.

That is, if you are concerned about the joints :)

Most FRP Skins are not compatible to be laminated over. The connections will fail sooner or later.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Most FRP Skins are not compatible to be laminated over. The connections will fail sooner or later.


Well, EVERYTHING fails sooner or later. :)


That said, Id love to see some data to support your claim.

FRP has been bonded and repaired for decades with little more than resin and hardener (polyester or epoxy) without problems in the marine, RV, and trucking industry.
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Well, EVERYTHING fails sooner or later. :)


That said, Id love to see some data to support your claim.

FRP has been bonded and repaired for decades with little more than resin and hardener (polyester or epoxy) without problems in the marine, RV, and trucking industry.

That info was send to me by our German FRP supplier. They are the biggest manufacturer in Europe of FRP skins. I'm sure it would be fine for spot repairs, but certainly not for structural bonding.
 

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