International Wood International Wood 2005 - Page 54

Imported Wood Products Keep Winnebago Rolling PHOTO COURTESY OF WINNEBAGO W innebago Industries is the leading manufacturer of mo- torized RVs in the country, and sets high standards for its products and the materials it uses to build them. “We buy thin Asian lauan plywood by the carload in two different lengths, 96 and 99 inches, to span the widths of the different size RVs we manufacture,” says Rex Ennen, purchasing agent for Winnebago. “At 2.7 mm it’s much thinner than any plywood we can get domesti- cally, and suits our needs very well. “To give our exterior skins – walls and roofs – the structural in- tegrity we need, we laminate the lauan between fiberglass and poly- styrene foam. Another panel with a decorative vinyl is then laminated to the polystyrene to create the interior wall. “For floor panels we start with a .012-inch thick aluminum on the bottom for rock deflection, laminated to the lauan. Then there’s an inch and a half of polystyrene and a sheet of 5/16-inch plywood, on top of which is your flooring material – vinyl tiles, carpet, or ceramic. “As part of a sandwich, lauan plywood is a very im- portant part of the puzzle,” says Ennen. “It’s light, water resistant, easy to laminate because of its porosity, and has good screw-holding characteristics. We specify it with low-formaldehyde content, which meets stringent HUD regulations.” 54 IMPORTED WOOD