I don't know about US manufactured campers but no respected manufacturer in Australia is using wood for framing,companies the likes of AMEZ been using steel framed units with Ali clading with excellent results,these vehicles do a very high percentage of off road/gravel road work and they are very tough.
personally I will not use wood outside my house.
Steel framed floor, aluminum framed side walls, aluminum truss roof joists. I can see why the RV industry has gone that way on higher end equipment. It seems to be the accepted method.
The negative views on wood probably detract from the finished unit and that seems to be the majority of opinion. Looking forward to seeing the build.
While it is still possible to build a house of dried mud and wattle, generally speaking more suitable materials are used when they are readily available.
Similarly, while you can build an RV from wood sticks and staples, more suitable materials are readily available in North America. Ignorance of the techniques required for their use is not a reliable excuse, since such knowledge is easily acquired.
While wood is not a bad material for some uses, it is not durable, and small sections are difficult to join in high stress applications making it a poor choice for motor vehicle coachwork. In contrast aluminum, steel, and modern composites are durable and high stress joints are far easier to fabricate (and repair).
You asked for our "considerations, ideas, and suggestions", those are mine.
Thats why wood is used in so many modern day composites? - Corvettes use balsa wood in construction.
Man this thread is full of so many opinions its horrible -Opinions are like *******s everyone has one.
Fiberglass is was to work with if you know how
So is steel and aluminum if you know how
So is wood if you know how
Composite materials, often shortened to composites, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or microscopic scale within the finished structure.
Do you realize wood itself can be considered a composite?
arg.. reading this thread irritates me.
When looking into something you need to understand significant vibrations, and dynamic forces, alsong with pure structural strength. Another issue of mixing steel and aluminum is corrosion. You don't bolt steel to aluminum without an insulator. The other factor is UV/ozone, and thermal expansion and contraction..
Personally I would like to see a rotomolded TPO camper shell with twin sheet walls filled with urethane foam. Ultrasonic Inserted Brass Fittings for mounting of all components etc.
Now thats not able to be built in most garages or by some job shop but this the the "perfect" camper frame thread
Wood can be used as a core material ("filler") in composites, but it isn't often used anymore in anything where weight or strength are critical factors. A Corvette body, built with balsa and chopper guns, hardly represents the state of the art in composite construction. This is a holdover from the 1950s.
A rotomolded TPO or XPE shell would be damage resistant, but quite heavy and floppy compared to other construction methods - probably including sticks and staples. Ordinary PO and PE has much lower specific stiffness and specific strength than many other commonly used materials - including wood. Damage would also be extremely difficult to repair without some very specialized equipment.
there's a hell of a lot of knowledge on this forum, one just needs to remove the personalities from the responses and get to the nitty gritty.
from my personal experience with both vocational & avocational projects, i would not do it your way simple because i don't know metalworking. it would be all wood and materials i could work in a similar manner & tools to wood. i can't see adding a cloth/ resin patch as easier than a wood/ paint patch, but i hardly think it be reason to negate the design of the camper. i like it.
i read all kinds of stuff and store ideas which can be applied to different things.