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Industry News
All-composite, zero-wood recreational vehicle introduced

Pilgrim International will unveil an all-composite RV at the annual Recreational Vehicle Industry Assn. (RVIA) show in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 27.

Author:
Posted on: 11/20/2007
Source: CompositesWorld

Pilgrim International Inc. (Middlebury, Ind.) says it will introduce the recreational vehicle (RV) industry's first all-composite recreational vehicle in its 2008 product display booth at the annual Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) show in Louisville, Ky., at the Kentucky Exposition Center, Nov. 27-29, 2007.

Working closely with TekModo LLC, Pilgrim International will debut a display unit with floors, walls, roof and end caps completely Luan and plywood free and comprised entirely of CosmoLite, a thermoplastic fiber-reinforced composite. Additionally, Pilgrim International and TekModo will introduce the exterior surface SpectraLite, enhanced with DuPont (Wilmington, Del.) Surlyn - the same impact-resistant coating found on golf balls. Pilgrim's all composite RV also is formaldehyde free.

"We are adhering to our vision of continuous improvement to remain the forerunners in innovation of new technologies that will change the recreational vehicle industry,"said Pilgrim International cofounder and chairman Dave Hoefer.

"The all-composite prototype unit displayed at this year's RVIA show features a dramatic weight reduction over conventionally manufactured recreational vehicles,"stated Hoefer, "We are aspiring to build units weighing 15 to 20 percent less. This will improve fuel efficiency and will enable families to take more equipment. But more significantly, this dramatic weigh reduction will allow almost any vehicle to become a tow vehicle - from the family sedan, to the millions of mini vans on the road today. What was formerly towed by a one-ton truck will be towed by a three-quarter-ton truck, three-quarter ton truck to a half-ton, and so on. This technology opens up significant opportunities and markets for Pilgrim International dealers,"stated Hoefer.

"The introduction of SpectraLite to the marketplace represents a true advancement for Pilgrim International and their consumers,"stated TekModo co-founder Mary Wetzel. "Consumers today expect consistency in product and high levels of quality that will keep their units looking and performing as showroom new for years to come. Wetzel further stated, "Consumers will have a choice of color with all the benefits of higher quality, high-impact, lighter weight, and a superior finish. Eventually, we foresee TekModo SpectraLite Enhanced with Dupont Surlyn as a colorable choice to enable consumers to customize their RV. Matching your RV with the color of your tow vehicle is now a reality. We are extremely pleased to partner closely with Pilgrim International to bring all of these innovative technologies to market just in time for the Louisville RVIA show,"concluded Wetzel.

Using the new CosmoLite thermoplastic fiber-reinforced composite, introduced by the company in October of 2007, the new Pilgrim all-composite travel trailers and fifth wheels will be completely formaldehyde free with no out-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In addition, the new Pilgrim International trailers manufactured with CosmoLite are completely recyclable. CosmoLite can be ground up and reused like many plastic composites. High-density Styrofoam insulation within the vacuum laminated walls can be pulverized and recycled as blown-in insulation. Aluminum framing can also be re-melted and reused.

Pilgrim says that when used in the floor system alone in a 28-ft trailer, CosmoLite eliminates close to 100 lb of weight yet is three times stronger than wood products. The CosmoLite used in a Pilgrim engineered floor is 0.53 lb/ft2 - about one-third less weight than wood products. Lighter weight translates to improved fuel efficiency and the added ability to use smaller tow vehicles.

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