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This is a list of the manufacturers who use Azdel in their travel trailers.
- Forest River in the following lines (Flagstaff, Solera, Forester, Sunseeker, Rockwood, R-Pod)
- Coachmen in the following lines ( Chaparral, Brookstone)
- Lance Campers
- Nexus RV
- Prime Time
- Apex RV
- Heartland RV
- No Bo (No Boundaries)
- Renegade RV
- Work and Play RV
Please Note: Not all modesl of a particular manufacturers above will use Azdel in their construction
Azdel is a composite panel used by top travel trailer manufacturers as an alternative to Luan or other plywoods. Azdel composite panels are resistant to rot, lighter than wood, and provide better insulation among other things.
Many travel trailers use composite panels and Azdel is a major supplier of composite panels to the RV industry. (Back in 2011, Azdell did change its name to Hanwha Azdell to better align itself with its parent company the Hanwha Group.) It was around 2006 that they began supplying composite panels to RV manufacturers as a replacement for Luan plywood panels. Well over 60 million square feet of Azdel composite panels specifically Superlite RVx have been used to build recreational vehicles.
What are the advantages of composite panels?
A spokesman for Azdel notes the following advantages of their Superlite RVX composite panels:
- Lighter than wood by up to 50%, yet it is 2x stronger than wood
- Provide better insulation, 3X the insulation value of wood
- Do not contain formaldehyde
- They are impact and puncture resistant
- Sound and energy absorbing create a quieter ride with diminished road noise
- Rot resistant
- Mold resistant
- Water resistant
- No delamination
- Temperature and humidity change tolerant – Azdel panels are not damaged from freezing and thawing. Change in humidity does not affect the panels either.
These attributes of the panels makes them perfect for use in travel trailer interior and exterior walls, ceiling and roofs, partitions, floors, and cabinets and doors as well. Over 20 manufacturers are using Azdel panels in some or all of their RV models. Coachmen RV which is a division of Forest River is one of the leading users of Azdel composite panels.
What makes a composite Panel?
Azdel composite panels consist of several layers. The top layer is fiberglass and that is what you see on the exterior of the travel trailer. You then have the Azdel panel followed by a layer of insulation and a decorative interior panel.
Azdel panels are made in the USA by Hanwha in their 213,000 square-foot, state of art facility in Lynchburg, Virginia. The original name of the product is “Superlite” however that word has become so over-used in the RV industry that the name of the company Azdel has taken hold as the name of the product.
Azdel versus Luan
If a camper manufacturer isn’t using Azdel chances are they are using Luan plywood. So how do Azdel panels compare against Luan? Let find out.
- Compared to Luan, Azdel is up to 50% lighter: Advantage Azdel
- Azdel panels are resistant to rot, mild and water as opposed to Luan or any other wood: Advantage Azdel
- Insulation factor of the Azdel composite panel is three times the insulation of wood so again: Advantage Azdel
- Sound absorption, impact an puncture resistant give Azdel the edge over Luan: Advantage Azdel
- Cost is a major factor and this is where Azdel loses its advantage to Luan. Luan is relatively cheaper than Azdel and the cost of the travel trailer reflects that.
One of the most common problems with travel trailers is delamination. What is delamination? This is when the outer fiberglass or gel-coat outer layer begins to separate from the substrate which is usually Luan or lightweight plywood. It typically begins as a small crack that grows larger over time. Once water starts to get in inside the crack the repairs become much more expensive.
The water seeping into the wall along with freezing, thawing, and hot temperatures will cause the panel to decompose and separate. In addition, mold and mildew will develop.
Azdel does not suffer from delamination since the material is not affected by water. A soak test was performed using Luan and Azdel in which a piece of a panel of each type was placed in water for 51 days. The Azdel panel was 100% unaffected whereas the Luan panel had visible mold and decay.
Even though Azdel is your best protection against delamination you will need to perform regular maintenance on your travel trailer. That means you need to check and maintain roof seal, around windows, slide-outs to help keep water out.
Azdel Composite Panels Video
Below is a video that goes over the production of Azdel composite panels.
Don’t get me wrong Luan plywood is a good material and is still being used in many travel trailers. But moisture issues with Luan are typically very high. Azdel composite panels eliminate those issues as well as providing many other benefits as well. Yes, you will pay a premium but in the end, I think it is worth it and it does make a difference in the quality and maintenance of your travel trailer.
Check out who we think makes the best travel trailer?
Azdel Composite Panel Q&A
Q. Does Forest River use Azdel?
A. Yes, Forest River uses Azdel in many of their Flagstaff, Solera, Sunseeker, and Forester models.
Q. Does Jayco use Azdel?
A. Yes, Jayco uses Azdel on several of their models.
Q. Where can I buy Azdel?
A. There are several places online where you can buy Azdel panels. Their true name is Superlite, try Rober Weed Corp, Mirage Inc.
Q. When did Coachmen start using Azdel?
A. Though there is no definitive answer we can speculate it was around 2011-2012. That is the time Azdel started shipping their composite panel to the RV industry. Coachmen have always been on the cutting edge of technology so it’s safe to assume they probably received one of the first shipments of Azdel.
Q. When did Forest River Sunseeker start using Azdel? From what I can tell Sunseekers were being constructed with Azdel exterior walls going back to 2013. It’s possible Forest River was using Azdel sooner than that but I have no sources to support that.