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Old 07-07-2013, 02:40 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
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Plastic "wood"

I'm a woodworker. A good one, I like to think. I understand wood, and I understand finishing. And I *like* wood. I like the way it feels, and the way it smells, and the way it looks. I'm also fairly put off by things that try to look like something they're not. So plastic veneers that try to look like wood really aren't my thing. Yeah, there's a bit of hate a good deal of disdain going on here...

When I learned that Escape used a plastic composite that just looks kind of oak-ish for most of their panels, I was a little disappointed. When I was planning on having a 19' built over this coming winter, I wondered about asking what it would cost to use plywood panels with real wood veneers. I figured there might be problems since it's not a material Reace and his team are used to working with, but I figured they'd be able to work out the kinks. Wasn't sure how much he'd charge, and never got around to asking.

In the end I picked a 19' up off the lot and figured I'd get used to the paneling. Not something I'd ever like, but not a big deal.

Well... I have to admit that I've come around a little.

We got back from our last trip about 4 weeks ago. I've been puttering since then, but haven't had reason to get into the cupboard under the sink. I did today, and found that I'd left pressure in the water system, and the screw-in attachment to the sink was slowly leaking. Slowly, just a drop every couple of minutes, but enough so that over 4 weeks there was a good puddle on the shelf.

Dried it up, and there's no sign of any damage on that plastic veneer (or whatever wood-substitute is under it) at all. That's not something you could do with real wood (at least not without using a finish that would end up looking like plastic anyways).

Saves me worrying about the effect of hanging a wet jacket against one of the "wood" walls...


2013 Escape 19 ("The Dog House") , 2018 Ford F150
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:02 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: ..., New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Esc19/'14 Silvrado
Posts: 3,258
Yes, I love wood too, for all the same reasons. Think it's the most agreeable substance on earth... so functionally pliable, so willing to forgive and adjust to my mistakes with it, ex-cetera... Except, of course, everything changes when it gets wet. I have had the same misgivings about fake wood finishes. Your post resonates well.

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Old 07-08-2013, 09:36 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
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Cost and weight are the reasons that Escape uses this type of plywood. Woodworking is part of my profession, and I have never used this material. When I redid my floor, I replaced the fake with the real wood trims, as they are in wear areas. At a glance, you can't tell which ones are which.

Heck, I remember balking at MDF for interior trim work, but after costing out the difference for using something like fir for our paint-grade finishes, and the ease of milling MDF, it became clear which is the most economical, by far. If a customer wants, and is willing to pay for, fir we will gladly use it.
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
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