RVs and caravans far outweigh standard automobiles. However, that weight can also create lots of challenges in moving down the highway. Lightening that load in creative ways ensures a smoother ride without compromising the integrity of the vehicle. One of the best solutions to reducing weight is through the use of composites and MVP equipment. Some of those reasons are highlighted below:
Industry Sees Push to Get Light
Reducing the weight of RVs is a trending topic in the industry. In a recreational vehicle, it is estimated that for every pound of mass removed, another pound of consumer comfort can be added without affecting towing capacity. In addition, an overall lighter RV translates to a less expensive drive train or tow vehicle, meaning less fuel consumption and reduced cost of ownership.
Time to Shift from Wood
Commonly used in RV manufacturing, wood is rapidly being perceived as an unsuitable material due to its weight and susceptibility to water intrusion and rot. In addition, post-purchase maintenance of wood products can be extremely cost prohibitive. According to a Composites World article, it could cost up to $10,000 to replace a single RV panel of wood. Now that there are better alternatives from a material standpoint offering longer lifespans, those are the materials that should be used. And for those wood loving RV owners, these alternatives can still include wood finishes.
Time to Shift to Composites
A composite material, by nature, is flexible, so it can be easily formed to the shapes and sizes necessary in RV manufacturing. These efficient materials are not only changing how these vehicles are made, but the end user experience as well. By offering innovation in production, manufacturers are now producing longer lasting, higher quality products to the customer’s benefit. Lighter composites are attractive, making the replacement of heavier, bulkier manufacturing materials aesthetically beneficial. And composites are durable—they don’t rust when used in flooring, and have better resistance to leakage when fitting skylights in roofing.
New Composite Hits the Market
The composite market is ripe for innovation as the need for slimmed down campers and caravans continues. While better fuel mileage is an added bonus, the focus on reduced weight is really about a better overall performance of the vehicle. A ceramic-matrix composite (CMC) is a new material with attributes that include low density, high hardness, and high compressive strength, and remains stable in thermal or chemical situations. In addition, CMC has ceramic fiber reinforcement for extreme low fracture toughness to mitigate crack growth. And with the capability to be manufactured up to 35% lighter with a price increase of just about 10%, it’s also possible to design the strength and density of CMC based on specific application, with the potential to revolutionize production too.
Composite Tools for the RV World
As a partner to RV manufacturers, Magnum Venus Products (MVP) delivers quality composite equipment, including pumping systems, spray guns, and more. Our goal is to help recreational vehicles look and perform optimally. Using composite materials in production ultimately helps to keep RVs and their owners on the road longer. Learn more about how our tools work by reading some of our case studies.