Elddis Solid Construction
Solid Construction is the new manufacturing method from Elddis
Wednesday, 15, Aug 2012 11:17
Solid Construction from Elddis is an all-new manufacturing process, which employs a proven chemical bonding solution to replace more than 90% of the screws and bolts normally used in building a caravan or a motorhome.
This technique results in a strong, light and dry vehicle. Exclusive to Elddis, this construction process is behind every motorhome and caravan that the company has made since the beginning of the 2013 model year.
Elddis began the three-year design process by looking into various different solutions on the market, talking to engineers and university researchers to find a solution that was cost-effective, but also fitted the three key criteria: strong, light and dry.
Henkel, an international company that specialises in chemical bonding, was chosen as the specialist provider, due to their background in producing solutions for the aerospace and marine industries and Formula One motor racing.
From this idea of structurally bonding rather than screwing or bolting, the prototype for the first Solid Construction caravan was born.
Using a keyway joint, Elddis devised a new way of joining the sides, roofs and floors of a caravan or motorhome to evenly spread the working loads and create an impervious barrier to water ingress.
The bonded process was also applied when fixing the chassis to the floor, giving the whole structure added integrity and rigidity.
When combined with the fully-bonded floor, roof and side panels, Elddis created a structure much like the monocoque chassis that is often used in modern sports cars.
Many traditional timbers were no longer needed, and could be removed - further reducing the weight, without compromising the strength of the unit at all.
Elddis was keen to keep the remainder of their construction process intact, with lightweight materials such as aluminium and glass-reinforced plastic.
For the testing process, Elddis worked with Lommel, in northern Belgium, regularly used by Ford for testing their passenger vehicles, Maarkbron in Germany, where Iveco tests its commercial vehicles, and the world-renowned Millbrook test centre in the UK.
The prototypes were put through their paces to ensure that the expected benefits of strength, lightness and dryness had been achieved.
In order to do this, they were towed over twist humps, potholes and cobblestones to simulate 30,000 miles of heavily-loaded towing, well beyond expected levels of usage.
This is double the industry standard, as Elddis was keen to prove that the Solid Construction system was more than up to the job.
What's more, Elddis are one of the few manufacturers to test their vehicles at maximum load weight and beyond.
At the end of the process, the caravan was scoured for any signs of wear and tear, but no adjustments were necessary before towing nearly 600 miles back to the headquarters in the North of England.
But Elddis still wasn't satisfied that the vehicles had been comprehensively tested, so a test in the company's rain simulator was carried out over several weeks to thoroughly drench the exterior.
During this time, much of the rain froze to the surface of the prototypes, meaning that they were exposed to ice as well as water.
For added hot and cold testing, the vehicles were taken to the Millbrook proving ground, where they were subjected to extreme temperatures, ranging from minus 15 to 40 degrees centigrade.
The vehicles were then deconstructed, right down to the chassis to check for any signs of water ingress. Yet again, both the caravans and the motorhomes came through with full marks.
Finally, the Solid Construction prototypes were rebuilt from the ground upwards, to ensure that should a customer incur damage, the vehicle is fully repairable by service and repair teams.
At the end of this three-year process, Elddis were so satisfied with the results that they rolled out this process across all of the Elddis caravan and motorhome ranges, and the Buccaneer range of luxury touring caravans.
Furthermore, each Solid Construction model comes backed up by a ten-year bodyshell integrity warranty as standard.
What's more, all of this is possible without increasing the cost or changing the exterior look of the product in any way.
For more details, news, rumour and discussions on the Elddis Solid Construction, join our community group for Elddis Caravan Owners.