Caravans can either be built from aluminium or fibreglass. However, which of these two materials is better? To answer this question, people must first understand the key differences between these two materials.
Both types of caravans have their features as well as pros and cons. Here is everything you need to know about fibreglass vs aluminium caravans:
Benefits of Owning a Fibreglass Caravan
• Easy to Make Into Different Designs
Perhaps the most significant advantage of fibreglass over aluminium is the ability to mould it into different shapes. Fibreglass can be shaped into a nozzle, rear end, or entire fibreglass van in a variety of aerodynamic designs. As such, your options are only limited only by the designer’s creativity in construction methods.
• More Sturdy
The ability of fibreglass to wrap around corners strengthens the road vans significantly. In addition, mounting places for lighting, shaped tank inlets, and box sections may all be integrated into the mould. Many of the components and substantial composite panels found in aluminium caravans are not a necessity when using fibreglass.
• Can Handle Heavy Impact
A fibreglass van is more impact resistant which makes it a perfect long-term solution. This is because fibreglass can survive many bumps for years that might dent an aluminium van.
Additionally, fibreglass caravans are immune to hail damage which may produce pockmarks on an aluminium roof. What’s more, even if little damage occurs, boat designers or even surfboard craftspeople can restore the fibreglass.
• Easy to Maintain and Keep the Coat Clean
Later models of fibreglass vans have better UV resistance and less fading and discolouration than aluminium. This is unlike earlier models whose finish was easily scraped.
That said, if you’re refurbishing an older model, a decent polish can help improve even the appearance of sandwich panels. However, always try to use the polish recommended by the manufacturer rather than just any old car polish.
Benefits of Owning an Aluminium Caravan
• Lighter than Fibreglass Counterparts
Even with the additional fittings and bracings, aluminium vans can be more lightweight than their fibreglass counterparts. This is especially important if you have minimal towing needs or want to save money on fuel.
• Easy to Do Repairs
Another significant benefit of aluminium is the simplicity with which it can be repaired. Although fibreglass is more immune to minor bumps, serious damage to a full composite panel may necessitate the write-off of an older fibreglass van. This is because of the high cost of restorations or replacement.
On the other hand, vehicles made from aluminium sheets rarely need an entire replacement. Replacing the aluminium frame or the aluminium cladding is usually enough.
Why Choose Fibreglass Caravan?
The fibreglass caravan is generally heavier than the aluminium caravan. As such, they usually need to be hauled by most SUVs and household van-type vehicles depending on size and brand. However, the fibreglass trailer also has a more aerodynamic form, which is a very useful feature for nomads.
Its profile, which is far more appealing than that of an aluminium caravan, makes it easier to maneuver on the road. If you prefer to drive long distances to see new places, this is a huge plus!
Finally, many caravanners believe that the fibreglass caravan is more attractive than the aluminium caravan. And, unlike aluminium, the paint on fibreglass does not peel, giving it a more modern aspect. Lastly, insurance companies charge less to insure these caravans because they are hard to write off after an accident.
Why Choose Aluminium Caravan?
Caravans made of aluminium are often less expensive than caravans made of fibreglass. This is a significant benefit for first-time caravan users and families with young children interested in learning about caravanning.
Furthermore, the aluminium caravan’s external covering is more impervious to cracks than fibreglass. This is undoubtedly a significant benefit if you intend to travel with your caravan through rough terrain where loose rocks and stones often fly about when driving.
The aluminium caravan is often less expensive to repair in the occurrence of water ingress or infiltration. This is because the aluminium sheets rarely rot. However, be cautious if your caravans have some timber frame parts since timber rots easily.
To decide which type of caravan to purchase, you cannot rely on just the pros and cons of each. This is because many other factors such as the vehicle’s traction capacity, amenities, and desired comfort come into play. More importantly, you have to work within your budget.
That said, whatever the material you pick, proper maintenance of your caravan is what will determine the durability of your caravan. After all, a well-kept caravan is the foundation of a successful road trip and holiday!
Visit RV & Caravan Centre for Your Caravan Servicing Needs
Caravans are not only fun to drive around with, but they also are an affordable way to take a holiday with the family. That said, you must do everything in your power to keep them in good working condition.
Luckily, you do not have to worry about caravan maintenance when you have us. Our employees are skilled and passionate about taking care of your caravan to make it serve you longer.
Please give us a call today on 1800 782 236 to learn more about our caravan services or leave an enquiry.