Jump to content


Photo

Caravan Awning Rail - Sealing


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 sotal

sotal

    Three Star

  • Approved Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 152 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Staffordshire

Posted 12 January 2011 - 10:53 AM

Whilst cleaning the caravan at the weekend, I noticed that the top right corner of the awning rail had a slight gap between the caravan and the awning rail so water was running off the roof and down the side of the caravan - there didn't seem to be any screws at this point - which was good as there wasn't an entry point for water, but the lack of screws probably caused it to come away?

Anyway - I don't think it's a major issue but obviously some rain will come into the awning when it rains.

What would be best to seal it up with?

I've got some proper mastic from a repair I had to make on the last caravan (replacing toilet cassette door), but I can't see how I could get it in place as the gap is only 1-2mm big. I'd have to pull the rail off altogether and start again - which seems over the top - would some standard silicone do the job?


Thanks

#2 Lefthand Down

Lefthand Down

    Robert Jackson Award Winner

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,120 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:East Midlands
  • Interests:Steam Railways Photography Classical Music Fishing

Posted 12 January 2011 - 05:06 PM

If you feel confident you need to take out the whole of the plastic insert in the rail from the end. This will reveal the screws. If you remove a screw and it is rusty you may have found a water access point. It is probably worth just removing the plastic from bottom to just past the problem area to make a larger gap. This may cause a leak further along though.

The plastic will go back easily if it is made hot by immersion in hot water first. This allows it to be stretched and it will go back better. The end is pulled under and tacked.

To do a proper job you would need to remove the whole rail from end to end. Then clean the old sealant off. This is a three person job to remove/replace because of the length to be handled. Also a dry day if you are serious about doing it.

Sealant can be applied along the rail and then replaced using stainless screws. It is probably best to fit the new screws in new places along the rail so a good fix is made.

I think a sealant in tape form is probably best to use to avoid a sticky mess.

I think other forumites may add a few more tips. It needs planning and preparation but will save the van from more leaks as it gets older.

I think awning rail seal replacment is probably ignored by many. It can add years to caravan life for a bit of effort. This applies to hinge rails also.

#3 borderman

borderman

    New to the board

  • Approved Member
  • 9 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:uk

Posted 13 January 2011 - 11:15 PM

Awning rails can be really messy to reseal and I have seen on some caravans you can't get the old mastic off that easy as its bonded to the rail and there is a lot of elbow grease to get this job done and on some pulling the rail off can bend the rail in most cases they put a new rail on as well ,

another thing is you got to be careful the wood is not rotten as the screws will not screw in .

if this happens some workshops use a permanent bonding that last for years

Edited by borderman, 13 January 2011 - 11:16 PM.


#4 Jocky

Jocky

    Three Star

  • Approved Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 394 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Teesside
  • Interests:Caravanning, 4X4's fishing and football

Posted 14 January 2011 - 07:26 PM

The best sealant to use is Sikaflex 512, its a polyurathane sealant and it not only seals its bonds the rail to the van:)

I used it on my old Lunar a few years back and it does what it says on the tinB)

Take the rail off, get rid of the mastic rubbish that the manufacturers insist on using :angry:and use new stainless steel screws when refitting.

If I remember right Hodgens sealants do a polyurathane sealant thats similar to sikaflex.

If found the sikaflex at an online boat chandlers as they use it on boats too:) if it seals a boat it will sort a caravan:P

#5 chashka

chashka

    Three Star

  • Approved Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 113 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Durham

Posted 14 January 2011 - 09:30 PM

The best sealant to use is Sikaflex 512, its a polyurathane sealant and it not only seals its bonds the rail to the van:)

I used it on my old Lunar a few years back and it does what it says on the tinB)

Take the rail off, get rid of the mastic rubbish that the manufacturers insist on using :angry:and use new stainless steel screws when refitting.

If I remember right Hodgens sealants do a polyurathane sealant thats similar to sikaflex.

If found the sikaflex at an online boat chandlers as they use it on boats too:) if it seals a boat it will sort a caravan:P



Yes, indeed. If you pay just a little more, you can get Sikaflex 221 - made for boats. It comes in a cartridge which you put in your own cartridge gun (like silicone sealant). It is important to clean the surfaces first - make yourself a little applicator (eg cotton bud) to get behind the rail and use white spirit to soften and remove the old sealant. I made a plastic scraper cut from a bottle to help with this. You need to use meths to wipe away the traces of white spirit when you have finished. You could then pipe plenty of Sikaflex in place and push the detached part of the rail back on.

If there are screws involved, remove them and check that new screws will bite into the underlying wood (it may be rotten)! If, as you suggest, there are no screws involved then I would be tempted just to rely on the Sikaflex - it really does stick well and would avoid making holes.

One useful tip - wear rubber gloves when using Sikaflex. It is a nightmare to remove from skin. You can then smooth the sealant with a wet finger. Avoid the dreaded silicone sealant. It doesn't really seal and will not bond. I think it is supposed to damage bare aluminium too. :unsure:

#6 sotal

sotal

    Three Star

  • Approved Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 152 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Staffordshire

Posted 15 January 2011 - 12:06 AM

Thanks for all the replies,

to be honest it sounds too much work for now, I notice I forgot to mention how much has become detattched - it's only 2 inches at most. I couldn't see any screws at this point, I was hoping to do more of a temporary repair rather than pulling the whole rail off.

I'll have another look next time I'm at the caravan and see if I can see a way of squirting some sikaflex in.

Thanks for the replies though - I'll try and take some pics next time as that will probably help




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users