What are modern caravans made of? (and how are they made)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: What are modern caravans made of? We will discuss the difference between the materials used for modern caravans, and also explain how caravans are made.

What are modern caravans made of?

Modern caravans are generally made from the following materials: 

  • Wood;
  • Fibreglass;
  • Sheet aluminium cladding and
  • Insulating foam.

Inside the caravan, the furniture is made largely from aluminium and composite materials. Ultra-light rigid sandwich panels are integrated into the bed cushions and the bed frame is made entirely from aluminium extrusion.

The debate that persists is whether aluminium or fibreglass caravans are best. Below, we will discuss both materials, and hopefully, you will be able to decide for yourself which one is the best. 

Aluminium made caravans

Aluminum-coated caravans have the same smooth and elegant finish as fibreglass caravans but have the disadvantage that any blow they receive, no matter how small, will leave a dent forever. 

In this sense, aluminium is a very sensitive material, extremely weak even in the face of meteorological phenomena. A day of heavy rain or a little hail will destroy the caravan forever. It is therefore not recommended that a caravan made of this material sleep outdoors.

 If before we talked about fibreglass as an excellent thermal, electrical and acoustic insulator, in this case, we can say that it is just the opposite. Aluminium has one of the highest thermal conductivity values ​​that exist, specifically 209.3 λ, only surpassed by copper, lithium, silver and gold. 

This means that in summer it becomes extremely hot, transmitting the heat to the interior and in winter the same happens with the cold. This material is 100% electrically conductive, with the risks that it entails both from external elements and from the electrical installations of the caravan itself.

Aluminium is not characterized by being a good acoustic insulator either, but rather the opposite. The echo sensation that it produces (can sound) is due to the propagation of sound waves.

Another problem with aluminium is how expensive and complicated it is to fix it, so if you have to repair a dent, a crack or a small hole you will have to change the entire plate. And this is very expensive.

The only reason why the use of aluminium as a caravan coating is justified is simply for aesthetics, but on the other hand, it has many practical problems.

 For all these reasons, fibreglass is postulated as the best covering material. A very important quality differential compared to aluminium covered caravans.

Fiberglass made caravans

Fibreglass is a material that offers high resistance and protection even in extreme conditions. Caretta caravans can be stored outdoors without affecting their useful life. Fibreglass is also the best thermal, electrical and acoustic insulator that exists.

As a thermal insulator, it has conductivity values close to zero (0.03-0.07 λ). In summer, mini-caravans made with this material keep their interior cool very well, while in winter they do not allow the cold to enter from the outside.

Fibreglass is a 100% electrical insulator, thus ensuring a reliable and safe environment. Regarding acoustic insulation, being an elastic and laminated material, it has unbeatable absorption and damping values for sound waves.

Aluminium or fibreglass caravan: which one to choose?

Beyond the advantages of the two surfaces, the choice of your trailer must take into account several other factors such as the traction capacity of your vehicle, the amenities and the desired comfort as well as your budget. 

That said, always keep in mind that no matter what material you choose, regular maintenance of your trailer is what will keep it in good condition for longer. Because a successful vacation starts with a well-maintained trailer!

How are caravans made (step-by-step)

We decided to tell you how caravans are made, step-by-step, just so you are up to date not only with the materials modern caravans are made of, but also how they are made.

  1. Cutting wood panels: The plywood panels are 16 mm thick and arrive directly dressed in a decor. They are cut into boards which will be used to form the various pieces of furniture.
  1. Preparation of assembly: The edges and angles of the panels are routed before glueing the drapes. Then the panels are put away, ready to be assembled.
  1. Furniture making: The furniture is assembled in modules (kitchen, wardrobe, bathroom, bedside tables) ready to be installed. The kitchen and sanitary facilities also receive the taps and pre-wiring for the water and gas circuits.
  1. Preparation of side panels: The side faces are 25 mm each and are made of the sandwich panel (2 mm plywood, extruded polystyrene insulation, polyester skin). At this stage of the chain, the specialist paints stick the stickers and install the electrical panel, as well as the mosquito blinds.
  1. Preparation of the chassis: The 35mm floor is made of the sandwich panel (8mm plywood, extruded polystyrene insulation, 3mm waterproof plywood). This is when it receives the complete electrical rewiring. 
  1.  Installation of furniture and walls: The pre-wired chassis first accommodates the bulkiest furniture such as bed, refrigerator, kitchen unit and bathroom. The side partitions will be fixed in a second step, before the high cupboards.
  1. Roof assembly: Most modern caravan models have an anti-hail roof, made of 32 mm sandwich panel (3 mm plywood, extruded polystyrene insulation, polyester skin). Once completed, it is mounted by a lift.
  1. Development of facades: The front and rear faces are made directly on the module. Gas box, polyester panel insulation are assembled to measure.
  1. Body finishes: This final phase requires patience and thoroughness, in order to attach the waterproof sole to the corners of the panels, but also the awning rails, bays and doors. This is the sealing of the caravan.
  1. Quality control: The reputation of a brand is generally forged on this crucial stage, where the water and gas circuits are put to the test. Now is also the time to check the door settings, lighting and furniture finishes. Finally, the caravan will be weighed before it leaves the workshop.
  1. Details: The final beautification work is done with a smile, even if it requires good housekeeping, the installation of the curtains and the cushions.

The bottom line

We hope that after carefully reading this article, you now know what modern caravans are made of and how much work is put into making them. Please let us know if you have any comments or questions about the content, please let us know. 

FAQ on What are modern caravans made of?

What is the best brand of caravans?

The ranking of the best caravan brands is as follows: Bürstner, Fendt, Hobby, Tabbert, Dethleffs, Adria, Eriba, Knaus and LMC rank at the top of the table and have maintained their position. When it comes to motorhomes, VW is still in the first place.

What is the smallest caravan?

The Elegance 400 CLM is the smallest caravan on the market including a middle bed! This is a modern and very compact caravan.

How does a caravan work?

The caravan is a trailer attached to a vehicle, it can be a mobile housing during the movements of a motorist. Towed by your car, it must not exceed a certain weight in order to allow you to drive in complete safety for you and for other road users

How to choose the right caravan?

To choose the right caravan ask yourself how many people will be on board: solo, in a couple or in a family with children, the size and the arrangement of your caravan will be impacted. The budget is an important criterion, it will determine the model of your caravan and its equipment. the desired use.


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