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Thread: Fleetwood RV. Cabinet wood

  1. #1

    Fleetwood RV. Cabinet wood

    Hello!

    I have been asked to build a cabinet for a Fleetwood Bounder RV.
    Online it says, "Hardwood Cabinets" Plantation Cherry is the color given.
    In a photo it says " with Plantation Cherry wood cabinetry."

    Anyone know if it is cherry wood? My hardwood dealer said it is most likley Soft Maple with a cherry finish. (if it is not Cherry wood)
    The photo below is not of the actual RV. Just what I found on-line. The finish is much darker.

    http://www.fleetwoodrv.com/bounderdiesel/default.aspx

    Last edited by Dave Lehnert; 07-17-2009 at 11:17 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lehnert View Post
    (if it is not Cherry wood)
    Before Alder became so popular it was marketed at the poor mans cherry. At that time though you could get it for about $1 a bd/ft. Now the clear stuff is as much or more than cherry.

  3. #3
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    In a Bounder, whether it's the diesel version or gas, the cabinet doors may be solid wood, but the cabinet boxes are vinyl wrapped. I've owned 3 Fleetwood motorhomes, and the cabinet doors are pretty soft, but I never really gave much thought to what they were made of. Next time I'm in it, I'll give it a careful once over.

  4. #4
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    I would guess Alder.
    Cody


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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Gamble View Post
    In a Bounder, whether it's the diesel version or gas, the cabinet doors may be solid wood, but the cabinet boxes are vinyl wrapped. I've owned 3 Fleetwood motorhomes, and the cabinet doors are pretty soft, but I never really gave much thought to what they were made of. Next time I'm in it, I'll give it a careful once over.
    Thanks everyone.

    Brent,

    Would it be safe to say "It is not cherry wood"? I am ok using another hardwood. Just don't want to use something other than cherry if the cabinets now in the RV are cherry.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  6. #6
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    Would it be possible to get a phone number, best if to the plant, and ask for the production manager? I'm sure they would be happy to help if you told them what you were doing. If their brochures say cherry wood and not cherry finished hardwood, then they would be setting themselves up for a lawsuit if it wasn't cherry. If it is worded more like the cherry finish then it could be anything, including faux finished man made material. Just a thought! Jim.
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  7. #7
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    Its a hardwood, not cherry, with a cherry plantation coloring.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Carlson View Post
    Its a hardwood, not cherry, with a cherry plantation coloring.
    Jim,
    I have an e-mail out to Fleetwood but guess they went out of the RV bizz first part of this year. I'll see what I get back.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim O'Dell View Post
    If their brochures say cherry wood and not cherry finished hardwood, then they would be setting themselves up for a lawsuit if it wasn't cherry.
    There's no legal definition for "cherry". So, I can make cabinets out of MDF, paint them red and call them "cherry cabinets". Similarly, a cabinet maker can make cabinets from alder, put a red stain on them and call them cherry.

    The cherry cabinets I've seen in homes are typically alder with a cherry stain. And they look pretty nice. Dollars to doughnuts, if the RV cabinets are actual wood, it's alder.

    What might seem obvious to us woodorkers really isn't obvious for most consumers. For example, furniture can be advertised as "solid wood!" even it's made completely from particle board. Particle board is made from wood. "Solid hardwood!" usually means at least something in the furniture is actual wood. But it doesn't mean the entire piece is actual wood and not particle board.

    I was recently looking at some Craftmade cabinets. (Just curious.) I noticed all the shelves were particle board. The sales woman told me particle board was a superior shelving material because it didn't warp. I told her I respectfully disagreed.
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  10. #10
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    Take it from a guy who has worked in the RV industry for over 15 years. Those cabinets are not real cherry. Most of the RV industry, including Fleetwood uses the "cheapest" materials they can get their hands on. This includes wrapping cabinets built from particle board with "cherry looking" paper. I have replaced a lot of cabinets in RV's because the cabinet(s) get wet once or twice then swell after they dry out.
    Last edited by Denny Rice; 07-20-2009 at 1:44 AM. Reason: spelling

  11. #11
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    Cabinet wood

    We have about 4 shiploads of Cumala / Banak / Virola (same wood) leave this area of the Amazon each year for the RV and Mobile Home industries in the States and Brazil has much more. There are a large number of sub species included in the above names.

    The wormy lower grades are molded and wrapped in a woodgrain plastic to look like wood for moldings and the best grades look like the photo of the cupboards in the photo. As said if it is in a wet environment it will fall apart. Flawless boards can bring $0.80 a bf and the lower grades $0.30 to $0.40 a bf.

    Cumala is a fast growing light weight hardwood that grows in flood planes and matures and dies in about 25 years. It is considered a weed here.

    Try this link.

    http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/piper/quer...e-0b9a8166c3ac
    Last edited by Jim King; 07-20-2009 at 9:56 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lehnert View Post
    Thanks everyone.

    Brent,

    Would it be safe to say "It is not cherry wood"? I am ok using another hardwood. Just don't want to use something other than cherry if the cabinets now in the RV are cherry.

    I'm sure it's not cherry. Fleetwood filed bankruptcy earlier this year. It's my understanding that they are still building motorhomes, but I have heard various and conflicting reports about their current responsiveness (is that a word?) to owner inquiries. If you do hear back from them, let us know what you hear.

  13. #13
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    Dave,
    Any chance you can get the customer to send you a door? I was surprised to see on alot of new RVs that the doors are vinyl covered in such a way that at a quick glance appear to be solid wood, but it is an overlay, even on the raised panel doors. I'm not sure if it is thermo-foil, but in my opinion it is alot of work to make wood look like wood. I'm sure it makes sense somewhere.

  14. #14
    Update.

    I got an e-mail back from Fleetwood.

    "The cabinetry would be vinyl overlay or plantation cherry stained"

    So I take from that, What is hardwood is not cherry. Anything else is Just MDF or the like.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  15. #15
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    I think anybody that passes through the northern part of Indiana should visit an RV manufacturer and watch a motor home being put togeather.. Its amazing these things stay togeather as long as they do with the materials that are used to construct anything that sells for 500,000.00 and below. You really have to spend 500,000 or more to get to a level of RV that isn't slapped togeather with screws and silicone. If Fleetwood and others would spend a little more time with craftmanship and pride they wouldn't be in the trouble they are in. Back in the late 80's a Bounder was one of the best RV's built for the cash, now its as bad as anything Fleetwood makes. I hate to say it but I have watched their craftmanship decline over he years.

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