I am ready to skin my new camper, however, I have learned today that a 5' by 10' sheet of 24 gauge aluminum cost around $75.00 each. I had no-idea it was precious as Gold. Does anyone know if there is anything else to use other than aluminum, or am I stuck with paying a fortune to skin my little camper that has already exceeded my budget of $1000.00. Thanks to anyone who can help.

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Hey Kevin, I know how you feel! That's the very reason I didn't buy the aluminum siding for my roof extension...WAY too expensive for the little you get! You can actually use quite a few homebuilding supplies to side with that won't break the bank, and they're as close as your nearest lumber supply house. Vinyl siding, 4' x 8' x 3/8" cedar plywood and batten strips, any number of other less costly exterior grade 1/4" plywood (even $10/sheet lauan plywood primed and painted with batten strips) or, if you have access to a metal brake, trim coil can be braked to resemble the aluminum siding @ around $65-85 per 50' x 24" roll. You might even check with an RV salvage yard and find a wrecked or junked motorhome or travel trailer that has enough for your project. It would be much cheaper too! Hope this gives you some ideas.

 

Dave

Thanks for the info...I have checked around different salvage yards, however, most of the old trailers have already been de-skinned because someone thought they would get rich from it. It is very discouraging and once I get some skins or aluminum to finish my trailer, I will never build another one. The way everything cost so much today it just isn't worth the headache anymore.
Check out jims discussion on the rebuild of a class c on the home page, he has a fantastic list of suppliers that might be of help.
We are going through the same thing too. We have been checking into, I know this sounds crazy but shower panels, they make a plastic one that is recycled pvc pipe that is 11$ for a 4x8 or a reinforced fiberglass that is 33$ for a 4x8, we would prefer to find a roll, because we cant figure out what to do with seams. its just an idea, and the guy at home depot said it was a bad one! Hahaha, he never built a rv on a budget!
I thought of the same thing, however, shower panels crack going through winter. I will have to bite the bullet and pay for aluminum, but now that I know what I know about comodities, I will forego another project in the future.

What if you didn't skin it?  Boatbuilders have been using PE penetrating epoxy, dynel (think airplane fusealodge or fiberglass over plywood for years. Some primer on top and final paint job and you're all set.

Not the same look, but the price is right.

 

Just an idea.  

That sounds good...is that what it is called, Dynel?...is it a spray on or are they actual panels and where can it be purchased at?...Thanks for your help, Kevin.
Dynel is a nylon or nylon type fabric. most larger fabric stores carry various types. see youtube videos of airplane and boat builders skinning with it... Also, check out Todd's class C rebuild bottom of home page using sheet metal, marine plywood and paint. here's hisLINK
Thank you for the quick reply. I think I will have to go with aluminum and pay the price, but now that I know what it cost ( I should have checked before I built ) I doubt I will be building anything else after this, it's just too expensive of a hobby thanks to the ongoing greed in this country. I have to wait until I can get the skins before I can continue on this project, but I will upload more pics once I can resume the finishing work. Thanks again, Kevin.

I used sheets of aluminum from a race shop that builds dirt race cars.

I wasn't skinning an entire camper but did have to buy three peices and cut two of them up and had waste.

The sheets were pre-painted which I repainted to match my RV.

At $75 a sheet it was not the cheapest option but way cheaper than anything I found at RV stores.

Good luck with your project.

Its really coming together! We hope your hand is okay, we're all cheering you on! Where ever did you find the alumimum? We are looking everywhere! Any advice is greatly apppreciated.
Hi, my wrist and hand is still swollen, however, I managed to get quite a lot more done on the inside today as we had strong winds from the outer edge of the Hurricane that moved through. Not a good day to install aluminum. I got the aluminum from a salvage yard, it was new, but it sat outside and was dirty, so tomorrow I plan to wash it and paint it. I got 160' of 2-4' rolls aluminum for only $100.00 and I have a lot left that I haven't even touched, I really don't need all that is left. If I had a way to get it to you, I would sell it to you dirt cheap, but the rolls are big and heavy. I ran an ad on Craigs list under "Items Wanted" and a guy that is in the mobile home business called me after I bought the rolls and said he had a ton of flat aluminum panels that is used to side house trailers. That type of siding is very simular to camper siding, just a tad heavier. Try contacting people who are in the mobile home business or run a ad on Craigs List, you might be surprised with the responses you get back as a lot of people read under the gategory "Items Wanted". You might get as many phone calls as I did, and there were many offering aluminum for sale cheap!....Good luck, Kevin

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