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Inside of a small-sized recreational vehicle.

Adhesives and the World of Recreational Vehicles

Posted 07/02/2018 by Jim Schone, Durable Assembly Market Manager

With the recent acquisition of Royal Adhesives & Sealants by H.B. Fuller, the global adhesives manufacturer has expanded its adhesive product offerings in the world of recreational vehicles.


According to a July 2017 CNBC article, “This year, RV shipments are expected to hit their highest level ever, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, marking the industry's eighth consecutive year of gains.

In fact, global RV sales is expected to “reach 472,200 units in 2017, the highest annual total since the data has been collected, and a 9.6 percent increase from the number shipped last calendar year,” according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. Furthermore, the industry is forecasted to “reach even greater heights in 2018, with wholesale production projected at 487,200 units.”

Given the uptick in recreational vehicle sales, H.B. Fuller is poised to offer superior adhesive products for the RV industry.

Why the Shift?


This increase in demand within the global RV market, as stated in a July 2017 article from Global Industry Analysts, is “...driven by the growing preference for adventure travel among the urban population trapped in nature deprived modern lifestyles. Use of recreational vehicles is becoming increasingly popular in nature based tourism with people preferring to experience tourism through their own private mode of transportation as compared to mass transit options.”

A Modern Design

Consumers are increasingly demanding RVs with a modern design and functionality, like WIFI and an overall lighter product. According to the July 2017 CNBC article, “Companies have begun to make lighter but more durable trailers. Using laminated walls, for example, allows for more space in the trailer (because the walls are thinner); it also means customers can haul their trailer with a minivan or light duty truck.”


At H.B. Fuller, our full portfolio of products for sidewall lamination is one of our specialties. We offer reactive hot melts and liquid PUR adhesives in addition to sealants, mastics and tapes for the transportation industry. Our “one-stop-shop” for all things RV-related for manufacturers and complete product portfolio allows for overall supplier consolidation.

Adhesive Benefits


Our superior transportation panel adhesives result in overall:


  • improved productivity (high wet tack adhesives along with fast set times improves manufacturing efficiencies)

  • shorter lead times (product portfolio designed and formulated specifically for the RV/transportation industry)

  • less waste (product consistency and high performance equals less waste)

  • reduced downtime (preventative maintenance reduction and process efficiency is the focus)

  • lower unit costs (improved application coat weights results in improved finished goods cost)


For example, adhesives allow for a large reduction of weight when compared to using mechanical fasteners. From a technical perspective, this process involves using a heated roll coat machine and pressure nip for the reactive hot melt adhesives, and utilizing extrusion beading and bladder press for the liquid polyurethane adhesives.


Adhesives also allow the consumer to pull with smaller vehicles and obtain better gas mileage. They also allow for an improved structural bond since the surfaces are 100 percent covered (as opposed to being stitched with mechanical fasteners).

Transportation Industry Requirements


Our full line of caravan panel adhesives include application ranges for wall and floor, floor lamination, repairing, roof, assembly, and even furniture. In addition to recreational vehicles, H.B. Fuller is equipped to supply your railcar, tractor trailer, bus and cargo trailer needs. Our outstanding line of adhesives are designed to meet all transportation industry requirements, which is exciting given that the RV industry does not seem like it will be slowing down anytime soon.

Consumers are increasingly looking to invest in RV ownership over the course of a lifetime. According to Kevin Broom, director of media relations for RVIA, “The first purchase is usually for a smaller, less expensive unit. Then they move up as they start having children, then children bring friends or friends bring children. Then, there's another time when they move down in size. Then it's the retiree couple who is traveling around.”

Discover more about how our solutions can enhance your panel lamination needs and then contact us to learn about H.B. Fuller’s solutions.

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