6 Common Azdel Problems (Troubleshooting)

azdel problems
azdel problems

Recreational vehicles and motorhomes mostly use plywood on the exterior to protect them from water, temperature, and other environmental factors, but it’s not a durable choice. For this purpose, Azdel is used. Azdel is made from polypropylene and fiberglass, which promises a strong coating, but there are some problems associated with Azdel.

Azdel Problems

1. Delamination

The most common problem that you can get with Azdel-made trailers is delamination. This is when the outer layer of your vehicle that’s made out of fiberglass starts to separate from the plywood gradually, which is used on the exterior. Some vehicles often use gel coating to attach these but it’s nearly impossible to stop delamination.

The only way to stop this from happening is to ensure regular maintenance of your vehicle. The maintenance includes cleaning up your RV and wiping off any water that has accumulated because of rain. Also, make sure to park your vehicle in a location where it is not directly in contact with water.

Secondly, it is recommended that you purchase a repair kit. Usually, repair kits designed for delamination can cost around $200 to $300, which is pretty expensive, but it provides value. Keep in mind that if you don’t follow these preventive measures, severe delamination can also damage the interior of the vehicle, and fixing it is quite expensive.

2. Expensive

Expensive

Azdel is a great product, which is 50% lighter as compared to Luan or plywood. In addition, it is more durable and will last you a long time. The product also provides more protection than plywood. When you take all of this into notice, you might wonder why plywood has not already been replaced by Azdel.

This is because Azdel is extremely expensive and will cost you a fortune. For this reason, people are still using plywood on their vehicles. Although, if you have the budget to go for Azdel, you won’t find a better option. Azdel is a direct upgrade from Luan and provides a competitive edge, so it’s actually worth the money when properly maintained.

3. No Warranty

No Warranty

Azdel is an excellent product, which is why it’s widely used in vehicles. However, it is important to note that the company doesn’t provide any warranty services. In case the product is getting damaged, the users will have to repair or replace it at their own expense.

Secondly, if a customer places the order and doesn’t receive the order due to logistics or other reasons, the company provides only a 10% refund. For this reason, it is better that you purchase Azdel panels directly from the retail outlets, so you don’t have to worry about delivery and quality.

4. Wrinkles

Wrinkles

Wrinkles are another common problem associated with the Azdel panels. However, before following the troubleshooting method, it’s important to conduct a free loft inspection as it helps determine the amount of shrinkage as compared to the original size.

The free loft involves putting the panel through the heating cycle but letting it freeze off the mold, which takes around three minutes. It also helps check if the optimal loft has been achieved or not.

Wiper Blades

After this free loft inspection, you need to see if the clamps are grabbing the material with the help of mold close or not and if the tool clamp is working normally or not. If they are working and wiper blades are functioning properly, you need to adjust them in a downward direction and turn them on.

It will help eliminate the wrinkles in the panels. However, the wiper blades might not go all the way down, so you can use spare blades to slide away the wrinkles.

Platens

The second solution is to lower the platens. This is because the platen’s position can create wrinkles. In case you are using dual-moving platens, it’s important to mold below the sheet line, lower the platens under the sheet line, and make sure to use a one-inch increment. As you start lowering the platens, the wrinkles will slide down and will eventually be cleared.

Mold

Mold

The third step is to check the mold because excessively cold mold can also lead to tearing and wrinkles. The average temperature of the mold should be 80-degree Fahrenheit to 140-degree Fahrenheit. The temperature actually depends on the equipment and mold design. So, it is important to keep the temperature in control to prevent wrinkles.

Molded Thickness

The molded thickness should be 1mm, which is actually the thickness of the Azdel board without the foam and fabric. For this reason, you need to take off the Azdel panels and measure the thickness after molding. If the thickness is less than 1mm, it’s suggested to use aluminum tape for the buildup.

5. Not Sticking

Not Sticking

Azdel is one of the best choices for covering the exterior of RVs, and they are designed with high-end materials. However, there are instances when these panels don’t stick and bubble up and there are various reasons behind this problem.

Adhesive

Adhesive

First of all, you need to check the amount of adhesive because too little or too much adhesive can cause problems. It is easy to remove extra adhesive, but if the adhesive is less, there are chances that you were sent old panels, so you’ve to ask for a replacement. However, if you cannot get a replacement, you can apply adhesive on your own. The adhesive should be applied in the crosshatch pattern and spread with the trowel (you must not apply adhesive to the vehicle’s wall).

In addition, the trowel must not have deep ridges because these ridges will push adhesive into the panel, which restricts sticking.

Installation

Installing the Azdel is easy, but it’s essential to consider the temperature. This is because if Azdel is applied when the temperature is less than 40-degrees Fahrenheit, there will be some unexpected issues.

This is because when the temperature becomes warm, the panels will expand, which means the adhesive will pull away from the vehicle’s walls. For this reason, it is suggested that the temperature is warmer than 40-degrees Fahrenheit whenever you install the Azdel panels.

Dirty Surface

Dirty Surface

The vehicles are prone to environmental factors, which means the exterior side is often very dirty. In most cases, people start applying Azdel without cleaning the surface, and the panels don’t stick. So, whenever you have to install the Azdel panels, the surface of the vehicle should be cleaned.

In addition, if there are rough surfaces, they must be sanded and washed to clear the debris. So, once the surface is dry and smooth, you can apply the panels and they will stick.

Spacing

Spacing is another factor that you need to consider while installing the Azdel panels because they need space to expand and contract with the weather changes. So, it’s important that you leave gaps between the panels to allow contraction and expansion and make sure that the panels aren’t flushing against each other. In case you are installing the panels for the first time, it’s important to follow the instructions mentioned in the manual.

6. Trims

Trims

Contrary to usual belief, the users cannot just purchase the Azdel panels and stick them to the vehicle’s surface. This is because these panels need to be trimmed as there are no interlocks in the design. The real problem is that the trimming process often leads to uneven design, which impacts the aesthetic appeal of the exterior. The only solution to this problem is hiring a professional panel installer as they have the right equipment for trimming.

The Bottom Line

Azdel panels are pretty great when it comes down to adding the aesthetic appeal to the RVs. However, it’s prone to various issues, but all its issues can be prevented by taking into account preventive measures. Lastly, it’s best to hire a professional to install these panels to prevent any wrinkles and sticking issues.

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