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Monday, October 26, 2009

Different, Not Necessarily Better

I am shopping for a new class C motorhome and have narrowed my choices down to two different brands. I note that they both use aluminum "skin" for the exterior wall covering as well as for the roof covering. This differs significantly from the competition. How would you choose which type siding is the best?
Joe, (Avinger, TX) 


Joe, just as there are more than a couple of varying floor plans and coach layouts available, so also are there multiple construction techniques to choose from. Some makers like a rubber roof; others favor fiberglass or aluminum. Obviously, makers choose those methods that best suit their design characteristics, retail market, corporate vision and budget. This isn't to say that one technique is "better" than another; just different.

I collect acoustic guitars. For me, no guitar I own is "better" than any other one, (though maybe more expensive!). They each have their own select tone woods and body design. They each produce a distinctly different sound. I'd hate to have to choose just one. Am I suggesting you buy more than one RV? Hmm, your dealer would like that, but that’s certainly not my point with the guitar analogy. It proves that different does not always equate to better.

Some RV sidewalls are solid, laminated pieces; others are hollow with softer insulation. Some are more durable, easier to clean and more aesthetically pleasing (as subjective as that can be). Others are heavier, more costly or easy to ding/damage. Some are a combination. There are many factors when considering which construction method is best suited for your RVing needs. I take the approach that all such methods have their pros and cons and I also realize that my pro just may be your con.

I do, however, believe that regardless of which type construction method you favor, all require an assertive program of preventive maintenance for best results. I would suggest you contact a few manufacturers directly and have them extol the benefits of their construction techniques. Be sure to get a cross-section of makers, using various methods. Don't bother asking the dealer. They may know, but most assuredly they will try to steer you to their inventory at hand. Have the manufacturers "sell" you on their product. Ask neighbors or fellow RVers what their opinion is, but realize it is only their opinion. Carefully analyze your results, sleep on it a day or two and then make an informed decision.

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