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Cobra trailer aluminum vs fiberglass top



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 12th 18, 05:13 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
2G
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Default Cobra trailer aluminum vs fiberglass top

I am interested in the pros and cons of aluminum vs fiberglass top for Cobra trailers.

Tom
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  #2  
Old July 12th 18, 05:47 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Craig Funston[_3_]
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Default Cobra trailer aluminum vs fiberglass top

On Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 9:13:33 AM UTC-7, 2G wrote:
I am interested in the pros and cons of aluminum vs fiberglass top for Cobra trailers.

Tom


I have the fiberglass top. It will need refinish sometime soon due to gelcoat chalking, etc. Wish I had the aluminum top. They seem to be holding up to the elements better.

ymmv
Craig
  #3  
Old July 12th 18, 05:47 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Alex[_6_]
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Default Cobra trailer aluminum vs fiberglass top

PRO Aluminum

Aluminum Cobra trailers are almost maintenance free. You can store them outside for decades and after a cleaning they shine like new.

CONTRA Aluminum

If you bend or dent anything the repair will always be visible.

If stored outside in cold condition, serious amounts of dew will collect on the inside, if you don't buy the optional insulation.

After 20 years the sealing of the overlapping aluminum plates will become brittle and start leaking.

Custom sizes can be ordered to your needs. (extra long Arcus trailer is a real improvement over the smaller fiberglass version. Also the JS1 with 18/21 meters really benefits from the wider version available in aluminum)

The aluminum version is more expensive

PRO Fiberglass

It looks more streamlined

It's a bit cheaper

The double walled versions basically have a very effective insulation per design (no dew on the inside).

Easy to repair

CONTRA Fiberglass

Stored outside the paint quality degrades quickly. Even with regular polishing and waxing the paint will start showing first cracks and yellow patches after a couple of years. This drawback could probably be mitigated by replacing the gelcoat type paint with something more durable.

Size limited by the available molds: single, double (and 18m ?).
  #4  
Old July 12th 18, 05:49 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Alex[_6_]
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Default Cobra trailer aluminum vs fiberglass top

Update:

the custom sizes are of course pro aluminum and not contra as listed.
  #5  
Old July 12th 18, 06:29 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
2G
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Default Cobra trailer aluminum vs fiberglass top

On Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 9:49:55 AM UTC-7, Alex wrote:
Update:

the custom sizes are of course pro aluminum and not contra as listed.


Thanks!

Tom
  #6  
Old July 12th 18, 06:48 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Nick Kennedy
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Default Cobra trailer aluminum vs fiberglass top

I've seen gliders stored in fiberglass top trailers that look like they have suffered long term UV damage. Not sure if the fiberglass lets UV through but that's what I've seen. My Aluminum top cobra is probably 26 years old and still looks good. And the plane inside looks good.
  #7  
Old July 12th 18, 07:59 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default Cobra trailer aluminum vs fiberglass top

Whichever you don't buy will turn out to be better. I bought a fiberglass Cobra 26 years ago for my ASW 24 because I didn't want to deal with leaks between aluminum panels. Later Cobras seem to have a layer that prevents UV from penetrating the trailer. And minor encounters with tree branches, etc., are shrugged off as scratches rather than as unsightly dents.

But...the gel coat did deteriorate. Worse, the top cracked, I believe because of flexing from buffeting on the highway, and eventually leaked anyway! Yes, it was repairable (thanks, UH & P3) but an aggravation.

A couple of guys here have gone aluminum recently and that's probably the way I'd lean, but obviously whatever you do will be a compromise.

Chip Bearden
  #8  
Old July 12th 18, 09:22 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Cobra trailer aluminum vs fiberglass top

I have had both, the fiberglass top is way heavier. I can barely push it around by myself even when empty. But both have or will have finish issues and it will cost alot more to refinish the aluminium than the fiberglass. In all considerations if I was buying new Id probably go with th aluminium top.. but just barely

CH
  #9  
Old July 12th 18, 09:42 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default Cobra trailer aluminum vs fiberglass top

On Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 9:22:31 PM UTC+1, wrote:
I have had both, the fiberglass top is way heavier. I can barely push it around by myself even when empty. But both have or will have finish issues and it will cost alot more to refinish the aluminium than the fiberglass. In all considerations if I was buying new Id probably go with th aluminium top. but just barely

CH


At the 2018 BGA conference exhibition I asked the 2 Cobra representatives which trailer top they would buy for themselves and without hesitation they said "the metal top but with with insulation".
  #10  
Old July 13th 18, 12:55 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Roy B.
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Default Cobra trailer aluminum vs fiberglass top

I have both: Metal top in the US and fiberglass in South Africa. The metal top seems to be easier to clean and keep clean. Also, the front door on the fiberglass top does not latch well or consistently. I have seen several of those blow open on the road. The metal top front doors don't seem to have that problem. But I don't think that there is a real big difference.
ROY
 




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