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Old 09-13-2014, 12:46 PM   #1
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Aluminum vs Fiberglass Exterior Maintenance

First-time RVers trying to decide between aluminum (Jay Flight) or fiber-glass gel-coat (Eagle) exteriors. Concerned about the wear-and-tear on the paint/finish from sun and weather.

QUESTIONS:
1. To keep the finish and paint looking its best what maintenance should be performed on aluminum vs. fiber-glass gel-coated exteriors?
2. What frequency and what products to use?
3. Is it possible to prevent fiber-glass gel-coated RVs from getting dull and faded or is it just inevitable with age?

Many thanks!
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:58 PM   #2
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Both require the same washing and waxing. I wash my fiberglass trailer lots...it is always clean...just my way
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:09 PM   #3
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I think both fade either way. How quick depends on the care. Both have good and bad about them and I think the aluminum may be more durable over time. That being said, having owned both, I prefer fiberglass. Washing and waxing is quick and easy with fiberglass. Washing is not so bad with aluminum but waxing is horrible because of all of the ribs. I find myself cleaning, waxing, and generally taking better care of my fiberglass sided trailers because its very easy.
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UPCamper View Post
I think both fade either way. How quick depends on the care. Both have good and bad about them and I think the aluminum may be more durable over time. That being said, having owned both, I prefer fiberglass. Washing and waxing is quick and easy with fiberglass. Washing is not so bad with aluminum but waxing is horrible because of all of the ribs. I find myself cleaning, waxing, and generally taking better care of my fiberglass sided trailers because its very easy.
Do you store your trailer exposed to the elements/sun or protected in a covered storage area? Are there particular products and accessories for washing and waxing you would recommend that work particularly well?
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2015 Jay Flight 32 BHDS (Elite, Technology, Thermal pkgs, 50-amp)
1999 Ford F-250 7.3L Powerstroke 4x4 Lariat Crew Cab SRW 3.73
6.0L Upgraded Transmission Cooler
Autometer Gauges (EGT, Trans & Water temp, Boost)
K&N Cold Air Intake;
MBRP 4" Turbo Back Exhaust
Curt Class IV Receiver Hitch
Prodigy P3 Brake Controller; ProPride 3P Hitch 1400#
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:42 PM   #5
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I've stored previous trailers under removable covers. I personally think the are a great idea though and would highly recommend one for protection from UV rays. It will help the caulk keep from drying, keep the black streaks off, keep the trailer cooler, and help with that fade. Some people say they are not good for your trailers but I think they help far more than hurt. I haven't seen any damage from them rubbing yet. But 6 months of the year my trailer is in indoor storage in a heated barn. My last trailer I just traded in was a Cougar with a dark gray front cap. In my yard it faces south directly into the sun all day (absolutely no shade, I live in a field) and it faded at about 1.5 years. I didn't cover that trailer but waxed it often.

As far as products, I've used different waxes but never had a trailer long enough to see the long term results so I can't recommend anything in particular. I use Maguires though. I also like ProtectAll. While ProtectAll doesn't last as long on the trailer, it cleans very well and is very easy to apply. It's kind of my - in the trailer whenever I need it wax/polish. I also use a gentle auto soap for washing. Same stuff I use on my Harley. Nothing heavy duty or abrasive. I use Maguires Gold class for that.
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Old 09-13-2014, 02:17 PM   #6
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Thanks, UPCamper. Here in Austin we don't have to contend so much with the harsh winters like you up in Upper Peninsula but we sure have the sun and heat. Sounds like keeping the trailer out of direct sun is key to minimize fading from UV damage. We have covered RV storage as an option near our home in Cedar Park, but it's more expensive than parking it in an open storage lot. Definitely something to consider. Thanks again. -Dave
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2015 Jay Flight 32 BHDS (Elite, Technology, Thermal pkgs, 50-amp)
1999 Ford F-250 7.3L Powerstroke 4x4 Lariat Crew Cab SRW 3.73
6.0L Upgraded Transmission Cooler
Autometer Gauges (EGT, Trans & Water temp, Boost)
K&N Cold Air Intake;
MBRP 4" Turbo Back Exhaust
Curt Class IV Receiver Hitch
Prodigy P3 Brake Controller; ProPride 3P Hitch 1400#
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Old 09-13-2014, 03:09 PM   #7
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I don't wash my metal skin TT all that much (once or twice a year). It always seems shiny, and especially so after I wash it with Maguires wash with wax. I don't think the metal skin tends to fade in color or lose its gloss the way fiberglass skins sometimes do.
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Old 09-13-2014, 04:48 PM   #8
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Mine is a 2010 fiberglass and it lives outside, I just cover the roof because I use it at home when I'm not camping. It's been in the southwest many many months and at Pismo Beach for many months. Same goes for the Oregon Coast and the salt spray that goes with it. I wash it after every trip and wax it twice a year. Looks like brand new.
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:41 PM   #9
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I have a metal skin trailer and was and wax it 2 times a year. In fact I am in the process of waxing it now while it is cool in Payson. When we head home in a couple of weeks then t will be time to wax the Bungalow we live in, and also both vehicles.
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