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Leading UK Manufacturer of Caravans and Motorhomes

SoLiD Construction

Frequently Asked Questions

What's different about SoLiD Construction?... Everybody's bonding…

We are the first and only Manufacturer to build fully-bonded touring caravans and motorhomes. Everybody has a bonded panel, we have a fully-bonded structure. All external panels are bonded together (keyway joint - back and front panel, plus chassis to floor).

Not all bonding is structural bonding … We ONLY use structural grade adhesive in the construction joints – NOT lesser strength sealant adhesive. This allows us to dispense with mechanical fixings that intrinsically create a path for water ingress.

We work with and are backed by the biggest name in the structural bonding industry: Henkel.

Where are your SoLiD Construction vehicles made?

All of our caravan ranges (Elddis, Compass, Xplore and Buccaneer) and our motorhome ranges (Elddis) are built at our County Durham factory.

We use industry-leading state-of-the-art equipment and have made a sizeable investment in our two production lines.

Is every one of your caravans and motorhomes fully-bonded?

Every Elddis, Compass, Xplore and Buccaneer model – regardless of its price – is fully-bonded.

We do not charge extra or charge a premium for SoLiD Construction.

We believe that SoLiD Construction is so important that it must be the only way we build caravans and motorhomes.

We will never compromise the construction of any model, so whether you buy at the top or bottom of our price range you are guaranteed the same unrivalled benefits of SoLiD Construction, backed by our industry-leading manufacturer-backed FREE 10 Year Water Ingress and Body Integrity Warranty.

Why is SoLiD Construction strong?

Our vehicles have more integrity and rigidity by spreading stresses and strains evenly across all joints.

Panels are bonded directly together along the full length of our motorhomes and caravans. We use the least amount of parts, effectively deployed. This makes for an altogether stronger joint compared with the spaced screws and bolts, jointing strips or trunking used by other manufacturers.

We are the ONLY manufacturer to bond the floor and chassis along its entire length, thus creating a uniform structure with uniform strength – only possible with structural adhesives.

Consequently, our panels are engineered to work as one piece rather than an assembly of components.

The screws, nuts and bolts used on non-SoLiD Construction vehicles can eventually work loose and need retightening or in some cases replacing because of the point contact and excessive stresses and strains that they are exposed to.

Our fully-bonded Monocoque-style shell spreads all these loads to work as one and not as individual parts – so SoLiD Construction is comparable to the way your car is built.

Why is SoLiD Construction light?

Firstly, we have removed steel screws and some timber (see below). Secondly, because the construction is more rigid and durable, components do not need to be over engineered.

The structure is now so strong that components previously needed to strengthen the vehicle have been removed.

Why is SoLiD Construction dry?

While many manufacturers aim to minimise damage, manage the problem or even ‘channel’ water through the van, our philosophy is clear and simple: Water can not get past a SoLiD Construction joint.

Are you first to bond a vehicle?

Yes - refer to point 1 - we are the first and only Manufacturer to build fully-bonded touring caravans and motorhomes.

Unlike others, we are using structural adhesives and employing the latest in automotive engineering so we do not need to rely on screws and bolts. This makes us unique.

Who are Henkel?

Henkel is the World’s largest adhesive and sealant manufacturer with a reputation second to none. They are leaders in adhesive technology and are used by the world’s top automotive, aerospace and marine manufacturers.

Watch our online SoLiD Construction videos for more information and see just how influential Henkel is!

Henkel has worked with Elddis for over 5 years to share their knowledge and skills in bonding and adhesive technology and introduce structural bonding to the leisure vehicle industry.

They are proud to put their name and world-wide reputation behind our products, in what is an unprecedented and unique collaboration.

What's the difference between sealant and bonding?

Sealants don’t always stick and so need mechanical fastenings – structural adhesives do not - i.e. SoLiD Construction does not require bolts, clamps, screws etc.

Our adhesive seals and cures itself and does not require bolts or braces – which can ‘squeeze’ the adhesive out, making it unusable.

Tell me about the adhesive used…

Each adhesive has been matched to each application. We copy the most demanding automotive manufacturers and use 2-part structural polyurethane for utmost structural performance and reliability.

We also us a single part MS polymer (similar to the windscreen in your car) where flexibility and possible accident repairs need to be considered.

How is the adhesive applied?

Extensive cleanliness and preparation is maintained to ensure the glues are applied under the most favourable conditions. The adhesive can then be applied using calibrated semi-automatic dispensing equipment.

Care is taken in joint preparation to raise the surface energy of the materials being bonded, for example, most plastic surfaces are Plasma treated.

How long will it last?

The lifetime of your caravan - with our FREE class-leading manufacturer-backed 10 Year Water Ingress and Body Integrity Warranty.

Will the Henkel structural bonding adhesive lose its strength over time?

No - The structural bonding adhesive cures to an inert thermoset plastic, which will not degrade over time. It is very similar to the way in which a car windscreen is bonded.

Henkel has fully tested all their adhesives in various accelerated environmental conditions, climates and temperatures. These adhesives have been in the market place and tried-and-tested for many years already.

How strong is the adhesive?

It is even stronger than the materials being bonded. Watch our online SoLiD Construction videos for more information.

During our track-testing at Lommel the test had to be repeatedly stopped to cool down the car’s suspension to prevent failure. The structural bonding, however, remained intact and unchallenged.

What happens in adverse weather conditions?

It is even stronger than the materials being bonded. Watch our online SoLiD Construction videos for more information.

During our track-testing at Lommel the test had to be repeatedly stopped to cool down the car’s suspension to prevent failure. The structural bonding, however, remained intact and unchallenged.

UV stability - will the adhesive fade?

No. Structural bonding is UV and photo-stable.

Does the glue melt?

No. The glue cures to an inert thermoset plastic and can not melt.

Will the adhesive ooze out?

No - it permanently cures.

Why is bonding better than fixings?

It is a continuous joint - not point fixings, which are weaker and can allow water ingress.

The screws, nuts and bolts used on non-SoLiD Construction vehicles eventually can work loose and need retightening or in some cases replacing because of the point contact and excessive stresses and strains that they are exposed to.

Our fully-bonded Monocoque-style shell spreads all these loads to work as one and not as individual parts – so SoLiD Construction is comparable to the way your car is built.

Water can not get past a SoLiD Construction joint.

Does the sea or salt water affect the adhesive?

No.

Is the bond too strong or brittle?

No – it has been specifically selected for this purpose. The adhesive can absorb shocks and impacts without failing. It’s no different to the exacting requirements of cars, trucks, boats and planes.

Is the box too strong and rigid? Will the joint snap?

The sum of the parts means that the construction is stronger than others, but it is not brittle.

The panels are bonded directly together so that they work together. Otherwise the panels would want to flex against a stiff frame which could cause leaks. The construction has been tested to prove it will last without failure.

The structural adhesive used in the SoLiD joint was specifically chosen because it has 30% elongation. This allows the adhesive to absorb shocks and impacts without failing.

The specific 2-part adhesive we use is the same specified to counteract the twisting and bending forces that wind turbines are subjected to.

Why is Elddis still using timber in SoLiD Construction?

Wood is still the best material for the job. It is strong, green, provides good insulation and it bonds very well. Weight for weight – where strength matters – we choose to use wood. It is unbeatable and provides properties that polyurethane foam etc do not.

Wood has been maintained in the overall construction for a number of reasons:

Firstly, it is easy to bond to and does not require any complex surface treatments which other possible alternative materials may.

Secondly, wood is anisotropic, for example wood is easier to split along its grain and immensely strong across the grain. It is nature’s high tech composite.

The defined structure and properties of wood give strength that cannot be matched by plastic or polyurethane timbers. The use of cross grain construction within the load bearing parts maximises strength in all directions.

It is also warm. With SoLiD Construction there is no need to worry about condensation from cold plastic and metallic surfaces.

It’s encapsulated and protected meaning it will last and last without damage or rotting.

But what happens if the wood gets wet?

It won't – SoLiD Construction prevents water ingress. Our philosophy is simple: Water can not get past a SoLiD Construction joint.

Do you use a ‘Cold Bridge’ or similar device, used elsewhere in the industry?

No – we don’t need to.

We do not use cold, plastic or metallic surfaces and therefore our caravans and motorhomes maintain a warm, cosy homely feel. Temperature is easily controlled.

Every model is built with comfort in mind, avoiding any potential for cold, condensation or damp.

It is also important to us to use the minimum number of joints. Our panels are directly bonded to each other using a ‘biscuit’ joint and structural adhesive for maximum strength – which would not work as well with multi-jointed pieces, cold-bridges etc.

Have you tested SoLiD Construction?

Yes, we undertake stringent real-life track testing and extreme temperature testing typically every six months – all beyond the industry norm.

You can see behind-the-scenes footage on our website (SoLiD Construction > Videos). Our testing now exceeds the equivalent of 100,000 miles.

And even after testing caravans are still in show room condition!

Why do you use a GRP underskin on your floors?

We were the first in the leisure vehicle industry to pioneer the use of GRP underskin to the floor. In addition to our fully-bonded structure, the GRP offers durability and proves a waterproof membrane that will not let water in.

How have you tested the awning, will it blow off?

We tested in extreme conditions during the Winter of 2011. The awning was lost in the storm force winds yet the caravan awning rail was undamaged.

Note: a 250mm piece of awning rail will need 2.29 tonnes of weight applied to pull it off. The caravan will be dragged sideways before the awning rail comes off!

Does the SoLiD Construction jointing system require any servicing in a similar way that other relatively new construction systems do?

No. Normal regular servicing schedules apply to maintain your free manufacturer-backed 10 Year Water Ingress and Body Integrity Warranty.

With SoLiD Construction there are no bolts to re-torque or mechanical fixings to fail or work loose.

Can a caravan or motorhome built using SoLiD Construction be repaired?

Yes. SoLiD Construction has been designed with accident repair in mind.

It’s no different to repairing your car. We use the same tools and methods. In some cases repairs are easier to undertake than previously.

How do I undertake these repairs?

Your approved Elddis/Compass/Xplore/Buccaneer Retailer will follow the Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) provided by us.

All of our approved workshop personnel are fully trained at our Factory, with Henkel, showing them how to prepare, bond and repair vehicles to the most exacting standards.

How does an Approved Elddis Service Centre know how to undertake these repairs?

We provide training to all our Approved Service Centresin the Basic Principles of SoLiD Construction Repair techniques, and have undertaken the most comprehensive training program ever given by a touring caravan or motorhome manufacturer.

All ApprovedElddis/Compass/Xplore/Buccaneer Service Centres are required to participate in this training in order to be authorised to undertake repairs of a SoLiD Construction touring caravan or motorhome.

Why no black lines on your caravan and motorhome sides?!

Butyl – used previously - contains oils which run and stain.

SoLiD Construction’s adhesive doesn't, so our touring caravans and motorhomes always look cleaner and brighter.

How do I clean my vehicle?

You can clean your vehicle in exactly the same way as recommended before.

So, is my old-style vehicle no good now?

It’s fine - we've just improved the way we build our vehicles and we're confident that when you choose to upgrade to a new model, that SoLiD Construction will be a key factor in your purchasing decision.

Is there a contact at the factory to ask questions about adhesives?

Yes. Elddis Customer Services will direct you to the appropriate person.

Are there specific warranty requirements?

There is no change to the current warranty terms and conditions.

What if I have an internal leak?

The vehicle can be repaired as normal.

How do I add accessories?

YourElddis/Compass/Xplore/Buccaneer Retailer will be able to do this for you.

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