We’ve been asked why Gnome Homes uses galvanized frames. Since we build teardrop trailers to last a lifetime, we decided to use a lifetime frame. Why is galvanizing a lifetime finish? Because it will last 75 years.
Hot dipped galvanizing will last 80 to 100 years in an environment that has moisture and some salt. To be safe we’ll say 75 years on a teardrop trailer. Paint systems designed for 5 to 15 years will likewise have a shortened life in a wet salty environment. Corrosion/ erosion from debris in will further lessen the life of paint systems.
The zone where the zinc steel are bonded is actually harder than the underlying steel, improving to scratch and impact resistance. This is important when considering where you’re driving, and the projectile impacts that go with the region. In Canada we get slush and salt and rocks. And remember that when you speed up from 80 kph to 90 kph the force of the impact is doubled. At 100 kph the force is four times as much. So, if you drive really fast, traveling down the road is like using a sand blaster on your paint. This is where galvanized frames are truly outstanding. The frame in the shot below has seen over 2000 km of tough winter-road travel.
Ah, corners. I just love putting paint on corners knowing it is the first part of the paint to get removed. Weakness of painting systems are amplified at every corner (I love puns too). Galvanizing protects corners extremely well. Unlike paint, there is no layer that can flake off. The metal is bonded and reconstructed to create an unyielding exterior.
To get equivalent life from a painted frame, the frame will have to be re-painted or touched-up 5 or 10 times. Galvanizing is so valuable because the initial cost as a fraction of the lifetime cost of painting. And who wants to be painting when you should be camping? Right?
Zinc used in galvanizing is green. Yes. Zinc is 100% recyclable, it is commonly found in the natural environment. We use zinc in baby cream and sun block. And Gnome Homes! Live a little!