How to choose the most durable caravan materials and components – and the right subcontractors to supply them

Lightweight, long-lasting and even luxurious – modern caravans and campervans have come a long way in recent years. It’s all thanks to the materials and expertise used in their construction.

Aluminium frames and cladding offer lightweight, durable outers and steel chassis’ deliver robust load-bearing, while protective coatings ensure resistance to the elements. Together, these make caravans and campervans comfortable, spacious and durable.

Crucially, though, each needs to be carefully sourced and expertly delivered.


Finding the right metal subcontractor for your caravan manufacturing

The right materials require the right suppliers. Subcontractors with expertise, capacity, and thorough processes, like ADS, ensure caravan manufacturers like you achieve all your objectives during production – creating attractive, durable, cost-effective and efficient caravans that your customers know they can trust. Reputable, experienced subcontractors can also undertake the necessary testing to certify the compliance of components and roadworthiness of manufactured goods.

Our manufacturing facility is home to specialist kit able to laser cut, fold, fabricate, finish and assemble metal components up to 6m x 2.5m – producing a steel chassis in a single sheet. We can deliver assembly services too. And we also offer PPAP testing, using our 2D scanner, 3D tripod and granite table to rigorously test and quality check parts, to reduce failure rates or errors and ensure compliance.

At ADS, we work exclusively with reputable UK-based suppliers, sourcing only high-grade materials to ensure our clients receive goods made from fully traceable, batch-coded components. All our finishes undergo rigorous testing, such as salt spray tests on zinc and powder coating, to ensure superior performance and durability.


Choosing the best metal components and materials for your caravans and campervans

Caravan manufacturing materials like aluminium, steel and protective coatings can be used on all types, from simple trailers and touring or static caravans, to campervans, motorhomes and distinctive fifth-wheeler caravans. Each supports the final product to withstand a range of forces – from the movement of occupants inside and the impact of roads or rough terrain during transit, as well as all the heat, cold, wind, rain and light – while being as lightweight as possible to lower fuel consumption during transportation.


Aluminium for caravan frames or components

Strong, lightweight, and highly resistant, aluminium is ideal for caravan frames, roof trusses and/or exterior cladding, as well as for smaller elements to house wiring for lights, appliances and vents.

As a lightweight material, it suits all caravan and campervan types as it limits the overall weight. As a durable, resistant metal, it can stand the test of time in a range of weather conditions. And as a pliable material, it is easy to use and can be manipulated to create streamlined, aerodynamic frames that lower fuel consumption during towing or transit.

Aluminium is used by caravan manufacturers like you as the foundation for a range of caravan frame types:

  • Part aluminium frames, connecting metal components with timber elements, offer a cost-effective construction method. However, these frames can be less durable, due to the risks of timber elements becoming exposed to moisture and tend not to travel as well.
  • Welded aluminium frames allow wiring and utilities to be worked through the framing. However, welded joints can be inflexible and risk being damaged if subject to regular movement.
  • Riveted aluminium frames are the lightweight, durable and flexible option, and are highly resistant to moisture, corrosion and movement. However, these can be more costly.


Steel for caravan construction

Strong, durable, and resistant, steel is the ideal base for a caravan’s chassis. It can also be used for frames too.

Delivering both tensile and impact strength, steel offers robust bases for caravans and campervans. It is also ductile and weldable, supporting smoother manufacturing processes. However, steel chassis in particular can be a challenging element for caravan manufacturers, given the complexity of manufacturing such large pieces of metal.

The different grades of steel offer a range of benefits as caravan metal components too. Stainless steel is highly resistant and able to withstand corrosion, while galvanised steel offers extra protective properties thanks to the addition of protective zinc coatings.


Protective coatings for caravans

Water resistance is arguably the most important consideration for caravan construction, to deliver long-lasting caravans that won’t let water get in and can cope with internal moisture.

Protective coatings on the metals used for caravan construction are essential for keeping caravans watertight and preventing metals from being degraded or damaged by weather events or natural elements like tree sap or bird droppings.

Zinc or powder coatings ensure metal products are highly resistant to the elements, including water, frost, fire and heat.


Metal manufacturing for caravans

At ADS we can support you with metal selection and manufacture for caravan construction. We offer a range of services suited to their manufacture, from the production of individual components up to the mass production of parts and large-scale elements, supporting modular build methods.



ADS Laser Cutting is the Premier Metal Laser Cutting, Folding, Fabrication, Finishing and Assembly in the UK. Providing Bespoke to Volume Solutions.

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