Outfitter MFG Announces New Fiberglass Roof
Gordon White | Tuesday, 16 November, 2010
We talk to Brian Ward, Owner of Outfitter Manufacturing, about Outfitter's new fiberglass roof and learn about a few model changes on the horizon. ... ... ...
Outfitter Manufacturing’s new fiberglass roof is a great example of a material being applied to improve quality. Naturally fiberglass pop-up roofs don’t fall from the sky so we talked to Brian Ward, Owner of Outfitter Manufacturing, to get the inside scoop on how the new Outfitter fiberglass roof came to be.
TCM: What brought you to develop a fiberglass roof?
Brian: The most overlooked maintenance procedure we find customers neglecting is resealing the seal on their roof. Every RV, whether it is a motor home, travel trailer, or an Outfitter pop-up truck camper, has at least one seal on the roof that needs to be maintained.
About seven years ago, we started using an inside aluminum extrusion that locked together with the outside aluminum trim over the rubber to eliminate part of that seal. That extrusion lengthened the time between reseal on a roof (from one year to one and a half to two years). Still though, customers were just not maintaining the seal. The easiest way to eliminate the warranty calls on something like that is to just do away with the rubber and aluminum rail and go with a fully molded piece. With our new fiberglass roof there is no seal to maintain.
We have been testing our prototype roof on Brian's new Apex (Bob sold his Juno!) over the summer and now have inventory coming off the mold from the manufacturer. This TRUE composite roof is a foam core piece without any seams, has a gel coat exterior, and no paint. Our new roof has a rigid structural foam core that absorbs resin for an increase in strength as well as provide excellent insulation properties. An Apex 8 roof like the one in the pictures below, weighs only 190lbs. finished. This is not a shell that fits over an existing frame. We are proud to be the only manufacturer to offer a true fiberglass composite roof.
Here are some "construction" pictures. This is new to the RV world but commonplace in sailboats. This is not top secret. Not a sham. No need to hide the construction.
The part is made upside down. So the pictures are showing the inside and are shot from the rear of the roof mold.
Not much to see yet. We're just giddy from all the resin on a Saturday and OUR NEW COMPOSITE ROOF!!!
Initial glass and gel-coat down; before foam, roof circuit wire, and top coat is added:
Bob helping with some trimming of the foam core:
Foam and roof circuit wire installed with cabinet backing in place.
Top layer of resin being applied before final fiberglass coat:
Top coat of fiberglass: