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Most RVers want a sturdy rig that uses the highest quality materials and will last for years.
However, it’s a delicate balance for manufacturers to meet customer expectations and stay on budget.
Azdel panels have been around since 2006 and are starting to appear more regularly on RVs.
Whether you’re unfamiliar with Azdel panels or considering a rig that has them, you may wonder if they’re worth the hype.
Let’s dive in and see!
What Are Azdel Panels?
Azdel panels are a composite material with a wide range of possibilities. You’ll find them on the interior and exterior, especially on an RV’s sidewalls, ceilings, and roofs.
Azdel uses a patented blend of polypropylene and fiberglass to create a lightweight wall that is durable, quiet, and temperature/weather resistant.
Many RVers notice that the walls are free of odors that are often common with new RVs.
Azdel panels take the place of the standard lauan plywood manufacturers use during construction.
As they are half the weight of traditional walls, the more manufacturers can use these lightweight panels during construction, the more weight they can save on the entire build.
Where Is the Hype for Azdel Panels Coming From?
Some newer manufacturers are making a splash in the RV industry using Azdel panels in their rigs. One example is Alliance, which uses Azdel panels in their Paradigm and Valor RVs.
Alliance is experiencing tremendous growth as a business and gaining a reputation in the RV community. Many RVers see their rigs as superior products compared to other manufacturers.
Since the rigs gaining popularity are using Azdel panels, it’s created a buzz in the community regarding these materials.
Many shoppers seek rigs with these panels instead of the standard lauan construction. As the hype grows, we expect to see more manufacturers embrace these panels in some of their future designs.
Keep in Mind: Alliance is a growing RV brand, focusing on luxury fifth wheels. Let’s take a look at Who Owns Alliance RV!
What Are the Benefits of Azdel Panels?
There are several benefits of Azdel panels in an RV.
Let’s look at a few reasons manufacturers and shoppers are starting to want Azdel panels in their RVs.
Azdel panels weigh half the amount of a standard lauan wall. Manufacturers who use Azdel boards can save 270 to 500+ pounds when building a rig.
The result for many manufacturers is a sturdier and lighter rig providing maximum mobility, flexibility, and tow ability. Creating a giant rig that doesn’t require a beefy, gas-guzzling truck is the goal for almost all RV manufacturers.
Some RVs have low cargo-carrying capacities. Saving weight on construction also means RVers can bring more cargo and gear.
Exceeding the cargo-carrying capacity of an RV can void warranties and cause increased wear and tear on a vehicle.
Water and Moisture Resistant
Standard RV walls can allow water and moisture into an RV. The water and humidity inside an RV can damage the rig from the inside out.
When an RV owner detects the issue, mold growth, rotting, warping, and delamination likely occur.
These situations can cause severe health conditions in anyone using your RV and extensive damage to an RV. Repairing can cost thousands of dollars and leave your rig out of commission for weeks or months.
RV owners with Azdel panels should still do their best to maintain their rig and regularly inspect all seals and roof materials.
Temperature and Humidity Resistant
Changes in temperature and humidity can cause items to expand and contract. As a result of the constant expansion, materials can warp and change shape over time.
RVs that use standard lauan construction with average temperature and humidity changes will undergo structural changes over time.
Azdel panels experience minimal amounts of change when exposed to temperature and humidity. The result is a longer-lasting RV that can withstand the elements.
If you live in an area with extreme changes in temperatures and humidity levels, RVs with Azdel panels will be an excellent choice.
Keep in Mind: Keeping a normal transmission temperature when towing will help keep you safe, but what Is a safe transmission temperature? Click the link to find out!
While you may like that “new car smell” when shopping for a car, the smell of a new RV isn’t that appealing. There’s a distinct odor when you walk into a new RV.
Many shoppers don’t realize it is volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primarily formaldehyde. Plywood uses formaldehyde to help keep it together, and many RVs use a lot of plywood during construction.
This results in a distinct smell that accumulates inside of the RV.
RVs that use Azdel panels do not have this odor. They can help you avoid headaches and other short and long-term effects from exposure to formaldehyde and other pollutants.
No toxic chemicals will release into the air from RVs with Azdel panels. You and your loved ones can enjoy fresh, clean air inside your rig.
Learn More: Are you only getting headaches in your rig? You might want to read Is Your RV Making You Sick?
Azdel panels absorb sound better than standard lauan plywood-constructed RVs. The porous panels can absorb sound waves and avoid transference through the vibration of the wood panels.
This can reduce road noise inside a driveable RV and create a quiet ride.
No matter what kind of RV you’re in, Azdel panels will help eliminate the sounds you hear when set up in your RV. You can enjoy an afternoon nap while your campsite neighbor enjoys their 70s classic rock music.
It may not create a soundproof RV, but these panels absorb sound better than other materials.
Are Azdel Panels Better Than Lauan Plywood?
When constructing a high-quality RV, it’s no contest that Azdel panels are better than lauan.
However, using a premium product like Azdel panels means charging a higher price for an RV. That’s not appealing to shoppers or RV manufacturers.
As a result, many manufacturers struggle to embrace using Azdel panels throughout the entire RV.
Some manufacturers only install Azdel panels where they’re needed most. It’s becoming more common for manufacturers to use Azdel panels on slide-out walls, ceiling panels, and exterior walls.
Which RV Manufacturers Use Azdel Panels?
Technologies and manufacturing innovation strategies are constantly changing in the RV industry. Manufacturers are looking for game-changing technologies to give them an edge over their competition.
As a result, we’ve slowly started seeing the number of manufacturers using Azdel panels increasing.
Currently, 34 manufacturers are using Azdel panels. However, as manufacturers constantly adjust their construction materials and test products, they make adjustments.
This could result in manufacturers using Azdel panels fluctuating throughout the year.
So, Are Azdel Panels Worth the Hype?
Azdel panels are by far the best option for RV manufacturers. However, just because an RV uses superior materials doesn’t mean the result will be a quality RV.
You want to factor in the manufacturer and their construction practices. They may cut corners or lack quality craftsmanship in their products.
However, when picking between lauan and Azdel panel constructed RVs, we’ll lean toward Azdel. They’re worth the hype!
Are there Azdel panels in your RV?