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Stainless Steel Screws


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#1 BOAC

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 05:09 PM

A friend of mine wants to buy a second hand caravan and he wants to know what models and year have stainless steel awning screws.

He had a leaky Lunar 1991 where all the steel screws were so badly rusted, one of the awning rails fell off while travelling.

There was also lots of wooden frame to renew. Costa Lot !!!

I would be grateful if you could let me know the following :-

Manufacturer
Model
Year
Are there stainless OR steel screws.

Please answer only if you definitely know one or the other.

The list will be invaluable for any prospective buyers of second hand caravans.

Thanks for your help




#2 RogerL

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 05:23 PM

ABI Ace 1983 - steel :rolleyes:

Generally people only find out when they have problems as the screws are usually hidden under the plastic trim which can't be pushed back easily after checking. I haven't got a clue what my 2001 Bailey has.

Edited by RogerL, 04 December 2010 - 05:24 PM.


#3 chashka

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 06:13 PM

He is absolutely right about wanting stainless steel screws but, as far as I know, they are not used as standard. I would also not trust any second hand information about what screws have been used, especially in an old caravan. I would pull back a little of the rubber trim which covers the screws in rails and have a look. You may even be able to see the screws directly if you inspect the ends of the rails because the rubber trim tends to shrink and so the screws become exposed.

Also, have a look at the screws used to fix the end caps on. If these have rusty heads, then you are definitely looking at old steel!

If the van has had a good DIY repair, then there is a chance that stainless steel screws were used. Again - ask and LOOK.

#4 chashka

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 06:19 PM

ABI Ace 1983 - steel :rolleyes:

Generally people only find out when they have problems as the screws are usually hidden under the plastic trim which can't be pushed back easily after checking. I haven't got a clue what my 2001 Bailey has.


I was able to push the trim back OK - just take a broad-bladed flat screwdriver or a dinner knife. If you press one edge back in then you can carefully curl the other edge back into the undercut (don't scratch the aluminium). In fact, when I re-did our awning rails, I put a nice flexible new rubber trim in and then put the old harder one in on top. This gives a nice tight fit and should last longer too. ;)

#5 xtrailman

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 09:10 PM

A friend of mine wants to buy a second hand caravan and he wants to know what models and year have stainless steel awning screws.

He had a leaky Lunar 1991 where all the steel screws were so badly rusted, one of the awning rails fell off while travelling.

There was also lots of wooden frame to renew. Costa Lot !!!

I would be grateful if you could let me know the following :-

Manufacturer
Model
Year
Are there stainless OR steel screws.

Please answer only if you definitely know one or the other.

The list will be invaluable for any prospective buyers of second hand caravans.

Thanks for your help





I had a Avondale 1997 which did not use stainless.

I personally checked a 2004 coachman that did not use stainless, last week i emailed coachman to ask if they were now using stainless steel awning screws, and as yet i have had NO REPLY.

Your friend is very wise to avoid these caravans, after 7 years my avondale had rusting screws, some with no heads left.

#6 Lefthand Down

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 09:11 PM

If you do remove the trim insert it is wise to immerse it in HOT water to soften it. It can then be put back and will stretch to fit. Fix end with a staple to retain.

:mellow: I find it difficult to understand how you managed to install two trims in the rail!

#7 JTQ

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 09:31 PM

Using your magnetic compass drawn close along the rail will indicate by deflecting where steel screws/staples are fitted. With the more appropriate grades of stainless steel the compass will be undisturbed. My rail is bonded in, so I cant test against that but I have just successfully tested the method with some marine grade stainless and normal screws using my Silva compass.

#8 RogerL

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 09:38 PM

Using your magnetic compass drawn close along the rail will indicate by deflecting where steel screws/staples are fitted. With the more appropriate grades of stainless steel the compass will be undisturbed. My rail is bonded in, so I cant test against that but I have just successfully tested the method with some marine grade stainless and normal screws using my Silva compass.

Depends on the grade of stainless used http://www.azom.com/...?ArticleID=1140

I'm not a metallurgist but the less expensive grades of stainless likely to be used in caravans will be just as magnetic as ordinary steel.

I doubt caravans use "marine" grade - that's expecting too much.

#9 BOAC

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 12:46 AM

Thanks for all your replies.

I really am after the the makes and models that have the stainless steel screws though.

My friend does not want to travel miles to see a second hand caravan only to discover - if the owner lets him have a peek under the sealing strip - that there are stainless screws.

He would far rather have the information before going to view, it would drastically cut down the milage.

Just out of interest, has anyone been to a seller and asked him if they could look under the sealing strip?

How would dealers and or sellers react to this?

The honest ones would no doubt agree to this request, I suspect - or would they ????

AND Roger - your 2001 Bailey is reported to HAVE stainless screws.

#10 Watson(JohnG)

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 07:36 AM

Its not new technology but that doesn't really help you
We had science tutor at college in the 50s who was a fanatical caravanner
He used his caravan as an example of dissimilar metals and electrolytic reaction between metals higher and lower in the periodic table
I wonder if that's what got me interested in caravans in the first place
I don't recall reading many postings (if any) about awning rails being affected by corrosion under the plastic strip :mellow:

Edited by Watson(JohnG), 05 December 2010 - 07:37 AM.


#11 vectra

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 08:38 AM

I had a Avondale 1997 which did not use stainless.

I personally checked a 2004 coachman that did not use stainless, last week i emailed coachman to ask if they were now using stainless steel awning screws, and as yet i have had NO REPLY.

Your friend is very wise to avoid these caravans, after 7 years my avondale had rusting screws, some with no heads left.


I have rceived a response from Coachman and that response is that they USE stainless steel however I can't tell you as to when they started. Hope this clarifies.
Regards
vectra

#12 xtrailman

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 09:05 AM

I have rceived a response from Coachman and that response is that they USE stainless steel however I can't tell you as to when they started. Hope this clarifies.
Regards
vectra


Vectra

This is the email i posted to coachman, i got a reply on the 29 Nov 2010, message is pasted on to customer care team, AS YET NO REPLY, just like the response i got two years ago.

But still hopeful?


"I am currently looking at a used caravan. My budget is limited, but i want to purchase a coachman fitted only with stainless steel awning rail screws.

Can you tell me the year coachman started to fit the stainless screws, then i can work out my budget.

Thank you"

#13 xtrailman

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 09:15 AM

Using your magnetic compass drawn close along the rail will indicate by deflecting where steel screws/staples are fitted. With the more appropriate grades of stainless steel the compass will be undisturbed. My rail is bonded in, so I cant test against that but I have just successfully tested the method with some marine grade stainless and normal screws using my Silva compass.


Agree

All the stainless steel screws i have personally tested, Bailey included will not support a tiny magnet, those such as the 2004 coachman i looked at buying did, as did my rusting Avondale screws.

I use a Magnet from a old aquarium cleaner, if you take it apart often it consists of four small magnets.

Its true some stainless is magnetic, i worked in stainless steel for 25 years, although i don't claim to be a expert, still you do pick up information from the chemists/lab workers.

Some stainless sinks are magnetic for example.

But on the other hand, ALL the SS screws from screw fix i have will pass the magnet test.;)

#14 KenMc

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 10:42 AM

The first van I had with SS screws was a 1989 Ace (ABI) Viceroy, I know this for certain as I had to reseal the rail when it was 8 yo ( my own fault for pressure washing it, the mastic was pushed out from under the ally in places ). my previous Viceroy an 83 had steel screws.
Atb
Ken

#15 Watson(JohnG)

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 10:57 AM

Agree

All the stainless steel screws i have personally tested, Bailey included will not support a tiny magnet, those such as the 2004 coachman i looked at buying did, as did my rusting Avondale screws.

I use a Magnet from a old aquarium cleaner, if you take it apart often it consists of four small magnets.

Its true some stainless is magnetic, i worked in stainless steel for 25 years, although i don't claim to be a expert, still you do pick up information from the chemists/lab workers.

Some stainless sinks are magnetic for example.

But on the other hand, ALL the SS screws from screw fix i have will pass the magnet test.;)



I have drawer for stainless in my screws cabinet and touch the screws against a magnetic tool dish to see if they are stainless :D

Edited by Watson(JohnG), 05 December 2010 - 10:58 AM.


#16 KenMc

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 11:15 AM

The first van I had with SS screws was a 1989 Ace (ABI) Viceroy, I know this for certain as I had to reseal the rail when it was 8 yo ( my own fault for pressure washing it, the mastic was pushed out from under the ally in places ). my previous Viceroy an 83 had steel screws.
Atb
Ken



Sorry!! That should have been 1998 not 89 :rolleyes:

#17 CommanderDave

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 12:37 PM

Stainless screws and bolts are supplied in two grades A2 or A4 . A4 which is a Surgical /Marine grade and is good against corrosive materials like sea water but for general use a A2 material screws are used and will be slightly magnetic when a magnet is used but is fine in just wet conditions .


I get my Stainless Steel self tappers off Ebay .


Dave

#18 xtrailman

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 12:57 PM

A friend of mine wants to buy a second hand caravan and he wants to know what models and year have stainless steel awning screws.

He had a leaky Lunar 1991 where all the steel screws were so badly rusted, one of the awning rails fell off while travelling.

There was also lots of wooden frame to renew. Costa Lot !!!

I would be grateful if you could let me know the following :-

Manufacturer
Model
Year
Are there stainless OR steel screws.

Please answer only if you definitely know one or the other.

The list will be invaluable for any prospective buyers of second hand caravans.

Thanks for your help




Forgot to mention, swift challenger 440/4 1992 bought new had stainless steel screws,( thats why i ASSUMED ALL caravans used SS, WRONG assumption, as Avondale showed me in 1997!)

If i recall correctly swift had been using SS since 1985?. SS was even mentioned in their brochure at one time as a selling point.

Edited by xtrailman, 05 December 2010 - 12:59 PM.


#19 BOAC

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 01:09 PM

If i recall correctly swift had been using SS since 1985?. SS was even mentioned in their brochure at one time as a selling point.



Thats handy info.

Thanks

#20 sandy

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 01:32 PM

Hi
With regard to stainless steel. For steel to be stainless it should contain a minimum of 11% chromium. There are three main grades austenitic martensitic and ferritic. The latter two are plain chromium steels and are magnetic. Austenitic stainless steel is non-magnetic but becomes magnetic when strain hardened. It is likely that screws for a caravan would be manufactured from austenitic stainless steel. Austenitic stainless steel is sometimes called 18-8 as it contains about 8% nickel as well as chromium.
Sandy




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