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Old 10-03-2020, 12:43 AM   #21
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Methinks an Al chassis has marketing cache with some buyers (a misplaced perception of 'up-market' on their part) with limited real-world benefit and more than a few real-world drawbacks (not widely available skillset required for competent repairs being just one; not widely understood risks associated with even the 'simplest' and 'apparently superficial' modification being another).

Given the net volume of material involved in meeting the structural needs (the width, depth, and thickness of sections yielding the total cubic-inches of actual Al vs steel in the chassis) I'd be surprised if the actual weight difference of comparable chassis' for the trailer is meaningful in the total scheme of the GTW.

Yeah, I view it as largely a 'gimmick'. YMMV.
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:52 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex View Post
Methinks an Al chassis has marketing cache with some buyers (a misplaced perception of 'up-market' on their part) with limited real-world benefit and more than a few real-world drawbacks (not widely available skillset required for competent repairs being just one; not widely understood risks associated with even the 'simplest' and 'apparently superficial' modification being another).

Given the net volume of material involved in meeting the structural needs (the width, depth, and thickness of sections yielding the total cubic-inches of actual Al vs steel in the chassis) I'd be surprised if the actual weight difference of comparable chassis' for the trailer is meaningful in the total scheme of the GTW.

Yeah, I view it as largely a 'gimmick'. YMMV.
Regardless of the total weights, steel is about 2.5 times the weight of aluminum for the same volume. https://www.wenzelmetalspinning.com/...-aluminum.html
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:55 AM   #23
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Yeah, I view it as largely a 'gimmick'. YMMV.

As were tandem axles on the 19 when it was introduced. My buddy had long discussions with Reace on this topic. What it came down to is that a single axle was sufficient for the trailer weight, but that the market demanded tandem axles.
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Old 10-03-2020, 01:04 AM   #24
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Regardless of the total weights, steel is about 2.5 times the weight of aluminum for the same volume.
The material weight difference is absolutely understood. As I also know that the net volume of Al in a chassis to meet a given structural need is almost assuredly much greater than the volume of steel required to meet the same need (albeit not 2.5 times as much, it does erode the difference). But isn't the net effect on total loaded vehicle weight vs tradeoffs that entails what's really meaningful?
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As were tandem axles on the 19 when it was introduced. My buddy had long discussions with Reace on this topic. What it came down to is that a single axle was sufficient for the trailer weight, but that the market demanded tandem axles.
In that case there can be rational arguments advanced for the benefits of 'redundancy', IMO. I can't find a comparable in the case of the Al chassis decision, but maybe I'm missing something (wouldn't be the first time ).
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Old 10-03-2020, 01:38 AM   #25
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One aspect that I'll be interested in seeing how it's handled is the bonding of the aluminum frame to all the steel parts.

The popular notion is that aluminum being rust free is a forever maintenance free item. But ask anyone who's ever owned an aluminum bodied Austin Healy how maintenance free the aluminum is over time. Galvanic corrosion instead of rust.

OTOH, my F150 has an aluminum body and a steel frame. I'm presuming that Ford has got it figured out.

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Old 10-03-2020, 09:34 AM   #26
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I agree that the aluminum frame does nothing for me...in fact in my experience, I prefer a heavier trailer, as I think they ride better when towed. But of course, I've got a big truck...I'd feel differently if I was towing with something much smaller like an SUV.
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Old 10-03-2020, 10:14 AM   #27
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I agree that the aluminum frame does nothing for me...in fact in my experience, I prefer a heavier trailer, as I think they ride better when towed. But of course, I've got a big truck...I'd feel differently if I was towing with something much smaller like an SUV.
I think this may be the reason for the lighter aluminum frame: to keep the 23 GVWR to 5500lb so the SUV and van people still have the option for the 23 which is both longer and 6" wider than the 21.
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Old 10-03-2020, 10:17 AM   #28
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I think the aluminum frame is a dumb design decision. I see NO advantage either mechanically or in marketing other than it's lighter. Who really cares? I don't, and I'm an old mechanical engineer. Seems like shooting yourself in the foot to me.
From another retired engineer, my opinion also--aluminum is a 'dumb design decision'. 1/3 the stiffness of steel, poor resistance to chlorides (they don't salt runways!), and NO fatigue endurance limit (loads on a trailer's frame aren't predictable). For equal strength and stiffness, an aluminum frame isn't necessarily lighter, but is probably more expensive.

Balancing cost/strength/longevity, a galvanized steel frame might be superior.
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Old 10-03-2020, 11:38 AM   #29
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On the other hand, the aluminum used in aluminum trailer frames is an alloy, just as steel is an alloy of iron. Aluminum frames provide about the same yield strength as steel when properly designed, with much less weight. This alloy typically contains about 95% aluminum, and the other 5% is composed of copper, titanium, chromium and zinc. Some other metals are also added in trace amounts to refine further. It's a far cry from straight aluminum with the limitations mentioned above. There is no maintenance, unlike steel which inevitably corrodes. The resale value and longevity would likely be higher as well. And, those who've towed trailers of similar size and design with a steel frame and an aluminum alloy frame will tell you that the aluminum trailer tows more smoothly.

There are pros and cons to each. But I would not go so far as to call an aluminum frame a "stupid" design choice. Personally, I would much prefer it, and would even pay the premium for it if I had a choice between the two.
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:03 PM   #30
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For purposes of this discussion, it would be helpful to know more about the exact metal type, gauge, and construction they'll be using on this new frame. Such details will hopefully be revealed soon. My most recent trailer was made by Northwood, and it had heavy gauge aircraft grade aluminum tubing with a solid wood core...which is quite different than light-gauge hollow tubing made from a cheaper alloy. What will ETI be using?
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Old 10-03-2020, 02:03 PM   #31
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For purposes of this discussion, it would be helpful to know more about the exact metal type, gauge, and construction they'll be using on this new frame. Such details will hopefully be revealed soon. My most recent trailer was made by Northwood, and it had heavy gauge aircraft grade aluminum tubing with a solid wood core...which is quite different than light-gauge hollow tubing made from a cheaper alloy. What will ETI be using?
That's true, we don't really know what Escape will be using. My post was only to point out the fact that most modern aluminum frames are made from advanced aluminum alloy, and are quite strong.
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Old 10-03-2020, 08:18 PM   #32
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I'd love to be having this discussion with you guys over a campfire--
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On the other hand, the aluminum used in aluminum trailer frames is an alloy...
Of course it is an alloy, but
--the Young's Modulus of ALL aluminum alloys is ~70MPa, around a third that of steel
--NO aluminum alloys have an endurance limit; stronger alloys raise the S/N curve, but don't flatten it.

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...most modern aluminum frames are made from advanced aluminum alloy, and are quite strong.
Don't know what Escape will use, but the most common structural and high-strength structural ('aircraft') alloys continue to be 6061 & 7075, which have been around since the 1930's.

How much weight can be saved by using aluminum? Just spit-ballin' here, but: estimate the steel weldment of my E19 frame to be maybe 350 pounds. At any cost, what would an aluminum frame of equivalent stiffness and assured fatigue resistance weigh, 250 lbs? 225 lbs? On my trailer, that 125 lb difference wouldn't be very significant. Would the weight savings be twice that on the E23'? Worth the cost? An opportunity to screw up? (O-L-I-V-E-R...)

Again, wish we were kicking this around over a beer!
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Old 10-03-2020, 09:23 PM   #33
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Slides

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You can always buy something else, but if you want quality.

Have you ever been at a campground and seen a slide on the ground?
I have not seen a slide on the ground but I did camp next to a very nice couple with a $400,000 motor home ( his quote) and when he went to extend a slide it made some noise and jammed. He came out and looked up under the slide and analyzed. “Sheared a pin again honey,” he said to his very nice wife.

I asked if I could help but no, it was a project that entailed taking some things apart, getting the old pin out and putting in a new one. He had done it before and had spare pins. We were gone for the day the next day and when we returned all was well.

I don’t need a slide and just think our 19 and now our 21 have served us very well. “It’s all you really need and more”.

The new units might have some bugs, that’s typical, don’t give up on Escape.
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Old 10-03-2020, 09:32 PM   #34
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“The new units might have some bugs, that’s typical, don’t give up on Escape.
Iowa Dave“

Common advice is to not buy the first year of a new vehicle.

Let someone else be the beta tester.
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Old 10-03-2020, 10:17 PM   #35
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I have not seen a slide on the ground
Iowa Dave

I have a nephew that dragged his monster sticky, with slides, to a family reunion. Couldn't get them to open, so he spent the entire weekend waiting for a mobile RV tech. They had to crawl over furniture to make their way to the bathroom. Not sure where they slept.
All the relatives were impressed with his success.
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Old 10-04-2020, 06:09 AM   #36
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I had a slide on a Lance 1575, broke within 90 days of purchase. Dead in the water, fortunately I was home. Never again..........
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Old 10-04-2020, 10:28 AM   #37
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The gray tank piping issue likely goes way beyond the number we are hearing about since only a fraction of owners are on the forum.
I do not think you have any evidence to support this statement. It is conjecture on your part.
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Old 10-04-2020, 11:25 AM   #38
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I had a slide on a Lance 1575, broke within 90 days of purchase. Dead in the water, fortunately I was home. Never again..........
We never want any slides of any kind . I can’t tell the numerous times at a campground and owners needing a mobile repair to fix their slide and these were newer units . In our family their Class A couldn’t close their slide when leaving , needing to leave RV , go home and get repair to their RV . Luckily they didn’t need to go far for home . Not our idea of fun ! Pat
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Old 10-04-2020, 12:52 PM   #39
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I do not think you have any evidence to support this statement. It is conjecture on your part.
I said “likely”. I could be (and hope I’m) wrong but do you really think this piping issue is limited to just the unlucky owners that have reported it on the forum?
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Old 10-04-2020, 03:44 PM   #40
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“Slideout” is an RV marketing term for “leak entry/structural compromise point” IMO.
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