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Author Topic: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?  (Read 18477 times)

dacosta

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Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« on: April 16, 2013, 09:42:39 PM »
Newbie here with first post (and RV - C Class)! Ok, I am ready to accept that my "new" 94 c-class has some delamination, if not serious delamination. I am not one to hire out for labor, partially because of budget and partially because I like the challenge. (The one time I tried to hire some help which was on this RV was to help extract the broken 460 exhaust studs. I couldn't find someone willing to do it at least for under 2k. I just finished replacing the heads and got it running this weekend.)

I am prepping it for a trip at the end of the month for my daughters birthday. So now I am looking for my next project (after the trip) and the bumpy walls are driving me crazy. I have been researching the solutions to wall repairs and have come up with only a few leads. I know that Filon is the most common exterior wall material which is a FRP rolled panel. I don't know of other products used perhaps under different names. I have priced it out and it is very expensive. So I found a product called Plas-Tex from Parkland Performance. It is a wall panel, that seems like it could be used on the sides. They show it being used in car washes, but does not necessarily say for outdoor use. It is sold at Lowes in 4 x 8 sheets. I was thinking of using them a section at a time to remove old stuff and repair with these panels - but using vertical seams. Has anybody done anything like this? Or used an alternative panel? I would love to hear suggestions!

Second part of question is what are the wall panels build from? is it all wood or is there aluminum "studs" ? It is a 94 Coachmen Santara. Is there a way to get a schematic or construction diagram of the walls?

dacosta

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 05:16:48 PM »
I guess I can reply to my own message. Looks like the alternative replacement material is a limited subject. I happened to be looking again at the Lowes selection of panels. After reading the company website for the plas tex panels, the explain that there is some expansion and shrinking with temperature. These may not be a desired alternative. SO, just above these panels were the regular FRP panels, the ones with the icky "rain drop" texture. I like the rigidity of these, and looked at the backside. Perhaps I could use the back side of them as they are smooth and come in a "almond" finish. Any thoughts?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 08:38:19 PM »
Are you thinking of removing the existing panels or covering over them? Typically the sidewalls of an RV are a laminate that was vacuum-bonded at the factory, so just replacing the skin is a challenge (I think - haven't tried it myself).

If the delamination isn't too bad and the backing isn't  rotted, it is sometimes practical to glue it back down. Several people here have done that, so maybe they will offer some advice. Here is one such repair, as described in this RV Forum Library article:
http://www.rvforum.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=171
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 08:42:09 PM by Gary RV Roamer »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

dacosta

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 06:24:21 AM »
They are pretty bad, I am sure there is wood rot low. I wouldn't want to re-attach to rotten or swollen wood. That is why I was wondering how the wall frames were made - wood or aluminum.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 07:09:01 AM »
In a 1994 it might be either wood or metal structure, but more likely wood back then. If it was a trailer I would say wood for sure in that vintage, but harder to say with a Class C.

So you are thinking you will need to tear the walls out and rebuild both structure and skin?  Probably right about that if there has been water damage inside the walls. How about the roof? Any softness there as well?
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

dacosta

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 09:51:38 AM »
The roof looks good - needs cleaning and a seal, but no soft spots and only 1 repaired tear that I can see. It looks like they are all from the windows. If I do go through with it, I may eliminate the cab over windows. I was wondering if anybody had a diagram of the side walls, or even photos of the sides removed from a similar vehicle. Another product I was considering is actual laminate - like what is used on counters. I have seen it used on shower walls - over tile and it worked great. (Not my house). Once that contact cement is secure there is no removing it. Oh, and I was not going over existing material - removing it and replacing it.

Molaker

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 11:46:23 AM »
RE: wall framing construction...I have a 2000 Coachmen Santara.  Your 94 may or may not be constructed the same and I can't really tell you about side wall construction, but I can tell you about the bunk area which is a hybrid framing, both square aluminum tubing and wood.  Below are a couple of photos that might help.
 
When I did my rebuild, I replaced old damaged Filon with more Filon glued to new plywood.  Yes, Filon is expensive.  The best price I found was from RV Surplus and if you are anywhere near Elkhart, In., you could save a BUNCH in shipping costs.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

dacosta

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2013, 04:05:58 PM »
Thanks for the images, I think I will be going through the same process. I guess I am looking for a way to improve what the factory did since the originally installed items didnt fare so well. I do plan on eliminating the front windows. I am just not sure if I should start with the cab over or the tail end. I might build some courage with the rear first.

Molaker

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2013, 06:34:14 PM »
Thanks for the images, I think I will be going through the same process. I guess I am looking for a way to improve what the factory did since the originally installed items didnt fare so well. I do plan on eliminating the front windows. I am just not sure if I should start with the cab over or the tail end. I might build some courage with the rear first.
Uh, just how many years does it have to hold up?  Nearly 20 years isn't too bad.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2013, 07:20:40 PM »
If you do routine maintenance so you don't suffer damage from long term leaks, the sidewalls should last indefinitely.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

dacosta

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2013, 06:15:05 AM »
I agree that regular maintenance would have saved this rig a little longer, and for 20 yrs the condition inst so bad, but I have to think there are some better materials and techniques since it was built. 20 years ago most people did not have cell phones or internet - let alone a computer. I would imagine technology has changes since then. It looks like the rv companies are still using the same processes. I guess the product I am most disappointed with is the use of luan. I was thinking of perhaps a pvc type sheet. I know there are some out there - like Sintra or other similar products. It is available in different thicknesses and the price is relatively low. It is used in the sign industry quite a bit, but tons of uses.

dacosta

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2013, 01:49:59 PM »
I may have some ideas for a "off-the shelf" type product that will work. One, Locally there are FRP panels (water beaded pattern) in almond/off white readily available. While I would never use the textured side out, the backside looks exactly like filon - which they are both a form of FRP. I was thinking of using this on the sides (mainly cab over area) as repair panels. I have two considerations, one is again expansion and contraction. I have known people use this in exterior spaces without a problem. So may work, but I would like to use on the front  "face" of the cab over, but I don't know if it will make the curves. I curved some up in the store, but that is not a good way to determine if it will work. So with that in mind, I was thinking a sheet of laminate might work just as well. It is a little thinner than the original stuff, but is definitely bendable, and able to work in outside/wet locations. Next will be an alternative to the luan, if I can find it.

dacosta

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2013, 01:30:23 PM »
I have begun the massive cab-over rebuild. I was delighted to find the walls (at least the cab-over) are constructed of aluminum 1.5 x 1 boxed tubing. So I will be reinforcing the framing over the next few days. I would love to create some custom corner molding like the "memory roads" RV - we'll see how it goes. Now to cover the framing; I have decided against the "regular" FRP sheets since they expand and contract quite a bit. That will never work with the seals and seams of the RV. I found a Filon Dealer in the state (FL). They have a price of about $4.50 sf. Probably not too bad since I will not have to ship it; just a day of travel. So I am down to two choices, one I had not previously considered seriously; One is the filon, probably about $610 worth. The other option is using .040 Aluminum sheeting - typically used for trailers. I can get that for $295. I will probably have to paint either to match and then add some graphics.  Any thoughts?

WILDEBILL308

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2013, 07:06:29 PM »
For the front cap I would go with the .040 Aluminum. I would see if the place you are buying it from or some sheet metal shop has some slip roles and roll the center to match the front contour. This will make it a lot easier to fit to the couture. when you put it back together fill the voids between the outside and in with expandable foam. This will make it stiffer in the wind and won't flex as much.
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

dacosta

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2013, 12:24:35 PM »
Thanks Bill, I have decided on the aluminum. I have a couple friends that are sheet metal guys, so I will be seeking their help for the install. So I should be able to get any roll, breaks etc. done if necessary. The bends on my cab are pretty large so I may not need it. Well see. I will be using screws - through the metal into the framing, not just glue like the filon. Who knows if this works out well and isnt too ugly, I may wrap the whole thing in it.

WILDEBILL308

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2013, 09:51:26 PM »
Forming it will make it lay down so it is easier to screw down. I would run a bead of sealant under the joint where it lapping over and on the edges. You can use clamps to work it down.
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

cootertate

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2017, 02:02:34 PM »
I have to accomplish this same task for my 93 motor home.  Please provide an update so that I can have better info as to how to proceed.

tc tom

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2017, 09:51:52 PM »
dacosta,

I used .023 prepainted coil aluminum. Most aluminum trailer siding is .019. I opened up an account at Town and Country Aluminum and purchased true whole sale. They have  distributors  all over Fl. They also have an industrial metal distributor in Tampa for sheet goods, angle, square tubing etc. Its less than half the price that you pay at Home depot.

Hope this helps.

CobraVin

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Re: Filon Alterntive? Wall Construction?
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2017, 10:20:29 AM »
Hi I am asking the same question as the original poster and would love to see any pictures or updates to this post. I need to repair the overhang of my 2012 forest river 2250 class c. Has anyone that has used aluminum or Filon ran into any problems? thanks

 

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