Are the new Somersets really rot-proof?

Discussion in 'Camper Manufacturers & Manuals' started by MIlover, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    Many of you may know this already, but I recently read that Columbia Northwest Somersets have NO wood in the roof or walls, and have a high-quality wood floor. Their website makes pup-lover, drool-inducing statements like:

    Somerset Campers are the only – yes, only – tent campers that feature automotive frame construction. Translation: a full metal skeleton and skin, so there’s nothing to rot, warp or ruin your day five years from now. And,

    onepiece, seamless, .030 gauge aluminum-skinned, insulated roof that is folded on all four sides for added strength without added weight. It is the only seamless roof in the industry and the only roof constructed completely free of wood. NO WOOD! NO SEAMS! NO PROBLEMS! And,

    Powder-coated, poly-textured, .030 gauge galvanized steel body panels are riveted directly to the trailer’s structural
    skeleton. This permits the trailer to flex due to road conditions. Most competitors rely on staples, screws, laminated wood
    framed side-walls and interior furniture for structure instead of a durable skeleton. Which means their body and
    furniture joints are prone to loosening and weakening, shortening the lifespan of the vehicle.
    And last but not least,

    Strong, durable Performax 500® floors will not warp, buckle or delaminate. Floors are under-coated with an Ovation Layer to create a protective, water-tight seal to guard against the elements.

    I know there have been some recent rants on the portal regarding some other quality control issues with the new Somersets. However, I can't help but think, if these pups are really rot-proof, I can deal with the other stuff! Does anyone know more about this?
     
  2. Ted S.

    Ted S. Member

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    I read initially atleast, the Somerset trailers would be very similar to the FCTA products. If that is/ was the case, I can't see how water could not damage it. As much as I love my Niagara, there is plenty to be damaged by water, quite quickly I might add.

    If you want something truly resistant to water, I'd look at Livin' Lite.
     
  3. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    Ted, you're right that they are modeled after the FCTA products, but they did make some changes/enhancements. Apparently, a wood-free roof is one of them. Since we currently have a 2010 Jayco with floor rot, I find this bit of marketing very interesting. By the way - I'm going to PM you about towing the Niagara with your Pilot.
     
  4. Ted S.

    Ted S. Member

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    Here's an important piece of information: Somerset floors are made out of OSB.

    I work in construction and am very familiar with products made by Huber Woods, which Performax 500 is manufactured by. I will say Huber products are fantastic, they make a product called Advantec which has taken the industry by storm, it is wood sub flooring. They have also more recently developed a product call the Zip System which includes a tape producing very good wall and roof sheathing.

    However, there products are OSB (Orient Strand Board), but with very good resins. I would consider them at the top of their respective market.

    It maybe called "Performax 500" and claim tremendous properties, but understand it is in fact wood OSB, the same material I see every trailer floor made out of.

    http://www.huberwood.com/other-products/performmax
     
  5. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    Ted S. - Great info! I had Googled Performax 500 and never came across that website. It provides the best description I've found. Hmm. So Somerset floors are still OSB (or SOB, as I like to call it!) [;)] I suppose it does look like high-end OSB anyway. I wonder how it compares to the marine grade plywood everyone wishes pup floors were made of. One promising bit of marketing - if it's accurate - PerformMAX 500's protective Ovation® overlay, which is thermally fused to the panel during the manufacturing process, provides a 100% bond that will not peel or delaminate during use even if subjected to moisture That alone, would be a step up from most pup floors.

    Who has a new Somerset pup and is willing to test the floor out for us? [:D]
     
  6. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

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    Outside of the roof being wood-free, nothing else is different from the prior FTCA products. My walls are sheet metal, and the framing is aluminum. I can say, a wood-free roof would be one less thing to worry about rotting. [MOD] [:(O]

    Do not fool yourself into thinking it is rot-proof.. nothing is rot proof.
     
  7. metro6775

    metro6775 New Member

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    Gold is rot proof. I'm also willing to bet that a Livin Lite trailer will not rot in your lifetime. The canvas yes but not the trailer.
     
  8. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    OK, my title for this thread was a bit of an exaggeration. I do realize nothing is truly rot proof - even metals can oxidize, rust, etc. My intent was to point out the marketing for this pup being especially resistant to water damage. I didn't realize that the older FTCA products had wood-free walls as well? I thought Somerset was the first brand to do that (aside from the QuickSilvers). This is why I like the Portal - I learn something new every day. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  9. steved

    steved New Member

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    There were some older (read: 1990s) travel trailers that were steel frame, aluminum structure, and aluminum skin...they might be a first popup, but not the first RV.

    I haven't dug into my E3 to know if they have an aluminum frame.
     
  10. teejaywhy

    teejaywhy Active Member

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    Sounds like basic marketing FUD.
     
  11. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    All aluminum aircraft quality construction from the 1940s and 50s. Spartan Manors, Mansions, and Spartanettes- 25 to 40 feet long.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. saratogaowner

    saratogaowner New Member

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    my 1978 coleman has steel exterior walls however the roof is not 1 piece it only has 2 pieces of wood for reinforcement in the aluminum roof
     
  13. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    Jeez Baron! I suppose. They look like an Airstream on steroids. That might be a little ambitious to tow behind our Honda Pilot [LOL]
     
  14. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    They are just an example of how something that is built properly can last, like Colemans.
     
  15. kpic

    kpic New Member

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    There are materials which resist rot far beyond any expectations.

    Some high performance cars have floors built of balsa wood covered with multiple layers of an aircraft composite material and it doesn't rot. It is stiffer than OSB. Anodized aluminum, stainless steel, etc resist corrosion, salt etc. Hydro-formed frames reduce welds.

    Although you can have your cake, the problem is paying for it. [;)]
     
  16. Ted S.

    Ted S. Member

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    There are some compelling reasons why wood is actually a superior material for a RV frame. Beyond thermal performance, wood has exceptional properties for producing strong, rigid joinery. I was a skeptic, but found many top end manufacturers insist on it such as Lazy Daze and Teton Homes:

    "Wood frame won't crack at joints and handles the stresses placed on our coach better than a metal framed wall."
     
  17. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    An unlike Coachmens and Jaycos, right? [;)]

    To wrap this post up, I suppose all we can do is hope that Somerset gets rid of the hiccups and goes on to create a pup legacy that is even better than Coleman (a legacy without roof problems). I for one, will be watching to see how their wood-free roofs hold up.
     
  18. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    That may be why there are so many wood framed planes built today. Talk about stresses on the body. Every good salesman can come up with reasons why their construction is better. Seriously though, I'd rather a properly built aluminum frame coach than a wooden one.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free
     
  19. Ted S.

    Ted S. Member

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    I agree
     
  20. steved

    steved New Member

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    When we were looking at full trailers (the iteration where we bought our 5vr), I was looking into the Sun-Lites if I remember correctly. They are an aluminum/aluminum TT, and they don't look like an Airstream.

    Point is, they are out there...and they usually command a ridiculous price too.

    On a side note, I almost bought a 20ish foot Airstream to restore...it was very tempting.
     

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