Azdel is a composite panel used by top travel trailer manufacturers as an alternative to Luan or other plywood. Azdel composite panels are resistant to rot, lighter than wood, and provide better insulation. It makes excellent RV replacement walls, both interior, and exterior. So which travel trailers use Azdel? Let’s find out.
Many travel trailers use composite panels, and Azdel is a major supplier to the RV industry. (Back in 2011, Azdell did change its name to Hanwha Azdell better to align itself with its parent company, the Hanwha Group.) It was around 2006 that they began supplying panels to RV manufacturers as a replacement for Luan plywood panels.
Over 60 million square feet of Azdel composite panels, specifically Superlite RVx, have been used to build recreational vehicles.
Which Travel Trailers Use Azdel?
- Forest River in the following lines (Flagstaff, Solera, Forester, Sunseeker, Rockwood, R-Pod)
- Coachmen in the following lines ( Chaparral, Brookstone)
- Jayco – Jay Feather Micro series and behind the front diamond plate on the Hummingbird, Jay Feather, and White Hawk travel trailers.
- Lance Campers
- Nexus RV
- Prime Time
- Apex RV
- Heartland RV
- No Bo (No Boundaries)
- Renegade RV
- Work and Play RV
- East to West RV
Please Note: Not all models of particular manufacturers above will use Azdel in their construction. In some cases, they use Azdel in just some parts of their models and not necessarily the walls. Check with the manufacturer or dealer for confirmation of Azdel use.
Azdel is a composite panel used by top travel trailer manufacturers as an alternative to Luan or other plywood. Azdel composite panels are resistant to rot, lighter than wood, and provide better insulation. It makes excellent RV replacement walls, both interior, and exterior.
Many travel trailers use composite panels, and Azdel is a major supplier to the RV industry. (Back in 2011, Azdell did change its name to Hanwha Azdell better to align itself with its parent company, the Hanwha Group.) It was around 2006 that they began supplying panels to RV manufacturers as a replacement for Luan plywood panels. Over 60 million square feet of Azdel composite panels, specifically Superlite RVx, have been used to build recreational vehicles.
10 Advantages of Azdel composite panels?
A spokesman for Azdel notes the following advantages of their Superlite RVX composite panels:
- Lighter than wood by up to 50%, yet it is 2x stronger than wood
- Provide better insulation, 3X the insulation value of wood
- Do not contain formaldehyde
- They are impact and puncture-resistant
- Sound and energy-absorbing create a quieter ride with diminished road noise
- Mold resistant
- No delamination
- Temperature and humidity change tolerant – Azdel panels are not damaged from freezing and thawing. Change in humidity does not affect the panels either.
These attributes make them perfect for use in travel trailer interior and exterior walls, ceiling and roofs, partitions, floors, and cabinets and doors. Over 20 manufacturers are using Azdel panels in some or all of their RV models. Coachmen RV, a division of Forest River, is one of the leading users of Azdel.
What makes a composite Panel?
Azdel composite panels consist of several layers. The top layer is fiberglass, which is what you see on the exterior of the travel trailer. You then have the Azdel panel followed by a layer of insulation and a decorative interior panel.
Azdel panels are made in the USA by Hanwha in their 213,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in Lynchburg, Virginia. The original name of the product is “Superlite”; however that word has become so over-used in the RV industry that the name of the company Azdel has taken hold as the product’s name.
Azdel versus Luan
If a camper manufacturer isn’t using Azdel, they are using Luan plywood. So how do Azdel panels compare against Luan? Let’s see how these RV replacement walls fair against Luan.
- Compared to Luan, Azdel is up to 50% lighter: Advantage Azdel
- Azdel panels are resistant to rot, mild, and water as opposed to Luan or any other wood: Advantage Azdel
- The insulation factor of the Azdel composite panel is three times the insulation of wood so again: Advantage Azdel
- Sound absorption, impact, and puncture-resistant give Azdel the edge over Luan: Advantage Azdel
- Cost is a major factor, and this is where Azdel loses its advantage to Luan. Luan is relatively cheaper than Azdel, and the cost of the travel trailer reflects that.
One of the most common problems with travel trailers is delamination. What is delamination? This is when the outer fiberglass or gel-coat outer layer begins to separate from the substrate, which is usually Luan or lightweight plywood. It typically begins as a small crack that grows larger over time. Once the water gets in the crack, the repairs become much more expensive.
The water seeping into the wall and freezing, thawing, and hot temperatures will cause the panel to decompose and separate. In addition, mold and mildew will develop.
Azdel does not suffer from delamination since water does not affect the material. A soak test was performed using Luan and Azdel in which a piece of a panel of each type was placed in water for 51 days. The Azdel panel was 100% unaffected, whereas the Luan panel had visible mold and decay.
Even though Azdel is your best protection against delamination, you will need to perform regular maintenance on your travel trailer. That means you need to check and maintain roof seals, around windows, and slide-outs to help keep water out.
Azdel Panels Video
Below is a video that goes over the production of Azdel panels.
Which Travel Trailers use Azdel Conclusion
Don’t get me wrong, Luan plywood is a good material and is still used in many travel trailers. But moisture issues with Luan are typically very high. Azdel composite panels eliminate those issues as well as provide many other benefits as well. Yes, you will pay a premium but in the end, I think it is worth it, and it does make a difference in the quality and maintenance of your travel trailer.
Check out who we think makes the highly-rated travel trailers.
Azdel Composite Panel Q&A
Q. Does Forest River use Azdel?
A. Forest River uses Azdel in many of its Flagstaff, Solera, Sunseeker, and Forester models.
Q. Does Jayco use Azdel?
A. Yes, Jayco uses Azdel on several of their models.
Q. Where can I buy Azdel?
A. There are several places online where you can buy Azdel panels. Their true name is Superlite; try Rober Weed Corp, Mirage Inc.
Q. When did Coachmen start using Azdel?
A. Though there is no definitive answer, we can speculate it was around 2011-2012. That is the time Azdel started shipping its composite panel to the RV industry. Coachmen have always been on the cutting edge of technology so it’s safe to assume they probably received one of the first shipments of Azdel.
Q. When did Forest River Sunseeker start using Azdel?
A.From what I can tell, Sunseekers were being constructed with Azdel exterior walls going back to 2013. It’s possible Forest River was using Azdel sooner than that, but I have no sources to support that.
Q. Who is Hanwha Azdel?
A. Hanwha Azdel is located in Lynchburg, VA, where Azdel is produced in a 212,000-square-foot facility. Close to 200 employees work on five production lines 24/7. They only stop for occasional maintenance routines.