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The Dreaded Damp Problems


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Hi all bought a swift charisma 550 2010 in September trailed it back from Cornwall to Bristol and put it on my storage site. The caravan had been kept in a dry storage. so we went and viewed it, tested all internal panels, ok i know only by tapping, but they felt ok. Caravan looked in excellent condition and seller assured me there was no damp or any problems.

Right here we go for the bad stuff. ....

Went upto the caravan at start of December and noticed soft panels at high level above the side window and around the window down to the floor and behind Kitchen. so pretty extensive. Contacted the seller who said i must have broken something. .. really. .... So that looks out of the question getting my money back.

So awning rail leaking top and bottom, removed battery box looks like it has never been sealed properly. the wood below box is rotted so i expect the whole side is. so to recap window leak high and low awning rails and battery box.

What i would like to know is correct way to remove the seating area and kitchen, to be able to remove wall panels and replace any rotten wood. Also what glue to reattach wood to outer panel.

I know this is a tall ask but hoping somebody has experience with the swift layout and how to remove. For replacement of the the wood and panels and resealing the outside is pretty straight forward. Any help would be much appreciated

 

 

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Thanks for all the kind words of support, awaiting a reply from legal company with the new information they requested so figures crossed. Time scale for repair not sure if you had a clear few weeks

It's not Peter that it happened to it's me"Kevin" but thanks anyway

Hi guys, final instalment of what seems like an epic journey. Can i have a drum roll. ............" it's finished", yes you heard me right it's finished. This has been a very stressful 5 months of o

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Is the caravan not still under manufacturers warranty?

 

 

 

Dave

Jeep Commander 3. 0 V6 CRD

Isuzu D- Max Utah Auto

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Is the caravan not still under manufacturers warranty?

 

 

 

Dave

I doubt it - sounds like it was bought privately and it is at least 5 years old. Any warranty left would need to have had regular servicing.

Graham

 

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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If it was bought from a dealer, according to the Sale of Goods Act if a fault is identified within the first 6 months it is down to the seller to prove it was not present at the time of the sale. This is called the Reverse Burdon of Proof.

 

You need to write recorded delivery back to the dealer telling them that, and that you are giving them 14 days to respond, you need to get the complaint in writing to them so that if it goes to court you have proof that you brought the fault to their attention within the first 6 months.

 

Unfortunately as you bought in September you are not covered by the new Consumer Rights Act as this only applies to purchases made after the 1st October 2015

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Sorry to hear of your troubles, but when you bought the van, did the seller provide you with any servicing documentation?

It's all well and good him saying that it's damp free and has no problems, but if he had it serviced by an approved workshop he would have been provided with damp reports.

 

Hindsight is a marvellous thing, but there was obviously a reason why he was dry storing the van. This is of no consolation to you, but personally I would be reluctant to purchase any van that had been in dry storage.

 

I really hope you get it sorted.

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Sorry to hear of your troubles, but when you bought the van, did the seller provide you with any servicing documentation?

It's all well and good him saying that it's damp free and has no problems, but if he had it serviced by an approved workshop he would have been provided with damp reports.

 

Hindsight is a marvellous thing, but there was obviously a reason why he was dry storing the van. This is of no consolation to you, but personally I would be reluctant to purchase any van that had been in dry storage.

 

I really hope you get it sorted.

 

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Hi guys thanks for all the replies. Yes it was a private sell and only the first service was carried out. The seller was the second owner of approx 1 year. We were completely taken in by them, they needed a quick sale as they had bought a cottage that needed renovating, I know alarm bells !! The caravan looked in lovely condition but as i said had been dry stored, yeah alarms bells again. Anyway there might be a glimmer of hope contacted trading standards explained my situation and a private buyer, But the rep told me even though as a private buyer you wave some rights under the distance of selling act some still apply. " inherent faults" such as damp. if the caravan has an inherent damp problem and it was not pointed out to the buyer then i can claim on these ground. They advised to write a letter to the seller outlining the problems, which i have now don, give 7-14 days for reply. If they reply with a resolution great, if not i have to contact trading standards and they will then step in. I will keep you posted of outcome. In the meantime i have put a tarpaulin over to keep it dry and have had a dehumidifier running 24/7 and taking out a full container daily. I have blocked in all the air vents fridge vent sink waste and flue but i know a a still sucking moisture from outside but it is drying. .... a little. Anyway removed battery to get a better view of wall and the wood along the bottom is completely rotten and has fallen to pieces the floor is also gone to about 5 inches into caravan. I have uploaded some pictures of battery box area to my gallery didn't know how to add to this post

Thanks again for your kind words of support i feel sick to my stomach. This is our third caravan never had any problems with damp. Just sold our lovely bailey regency 523 it was immaculate but we wanted a fixed bed. As they say you live and learn. ........

 

 

If it was bought from a dealer, according to the Sale of Goods Act if a fault is identified within the first 6 months it is down to the seller to prove it was not present at the time of the sale. This is called the Reverse Burdon of Proof.

 

You need to write recorded delivery back to the dealer telling them that, and that you are giving them 14 days to respond, you need to get the complaint in writing to them so that if it goes to court you have proof that you brought the fault to their attention within the first 6 months.

 

Unfortunately as you bought in September you are not covered by the new Consumer Rights Act as this only applies to purchases made after the 1st October 2015

I purchased it on 7th November 2015 sorry put wrong date down on first post

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Sadly your photos are of rot, not damp. The previous owner clearly used the oldest trick in the book by dry storing the van for quite some time before selling. Good luck with your attempt to obtain redress, but I suggest not holding your breath!

 

On the brighter side, as far as your photo's show, the damage does not appear to be beyond repair, but there is a whole lot of work to be done.

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The year of manufacture of the van saw several vans having damp in like your pictures. If it had of had servicing done it would of been picked up and returned to factory for remedial work. It looks as though the previous owner bought it and found they had a problem so stored it undercover hopeing it would dry out and sell it on. As timber left damp and not dryed out quickly the rotting process continues. Due to the short time you had owned it I would be challenging the seller as that damage as not occurred in that short space of time. It will take a major amount of work to try and sort it satisfactory if at all.

Swift Archway Ruby.   Santa Fe Auto

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There are some scumbags in this world, so sorry to here of your problem. I hope you can sort it out. I have had some damp in my van but thankfully not on your scale and I have fixed it for now but I know in summer I am going to have to take the awning rails off and completely reseal them. Something I am not looking forward to doing I can tell you.

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On 01/01/2016 at 13:03, Digger_07 said:

I know in summer I am going to have to take the awning rails off and completely reseal them. Something I am not looking forward to doing I can tell you.

Providing there is no rotten timber, it's mostly time, effort and care that is needed to reseal awning rails, and it would be advisable to replace the fixing screws with stainless steel ones. Beware though, it is a messy job, and very easy to get sealant on our clothing, so dress appropriately ;)

If you know the seal is failing (has failed) then don't wait 'till summer, but seal it now, if only temporarily with waterproof tape over the joint.

See the video link below about testing for dampness

 

 

 

 

 

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Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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Hi Gordon, that is what I have done, removed as much of the old sealant as I could and put a new layer over the top. Meter readings have gone down indicating it is sealed for now. I have continued to check it and all seems fine. But the age of the van tells me it all need doing, so will do in better and warmer conditions.

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Hi Gordon, that is what I have done, removed as much of the old sealant as I could and put a new layer over the top. Meter readings have gone down indicating it is sealed for now. I have continued to check it and all seems fine. But the age of the van tells me it all need doing, so will do in better and warmer conditions.

 

I put a seem of sealer over my awning rail after cleaning and blowing away any dust, I did it in the autumn as a prevention measure, the idea was to stop leaks from the water and freezing cycle lifting the rail.

 

As I masked up the roof and rail to make a neat run of sealer it looks good and now I don't get black streaks down the sides.

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Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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Hi Gordon, that is what I have done, removed as much of the old sealant as I could and put a new layer over the top. Meter readings have gone down indicating it is sealed for now. I have continued to check it and all seems fine. But the age of the van tells me it all need doing, so will do in better and warmer conditions.

:goodpost:Nice_thumbs_up.gif

 

 

I put a seem of sealer over my awning rail after cleaning and blowing away any dust, I did it in the autumn as a prevention measure, the idea was to stop leaks from the water and freezing cycle lifting the rail.

 

As I masked up the roof and rail to make a neat run of sealer it looks good and now I don't get black streaks down the sides.

:goodpost:Nice_thumbs_up.gif

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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Hi guys,

thanks for al the support, it is also damp and extends one side of the van to the wheel arch from floor to ceiling. I can do all the work myself no problem. But thats not the point i bought the caravan and the advert clearly states no damp accident from and hpi clear, so possible redress, but as you say " don't hold my breath". The damp has now tracked about 6-8 inches across the floor as well. I know it is rot but also damp as well, the walls are spongy with streaks down wall paper. Water is entering via high and low awning rails the battery box was never sealed properly, the fridge vent was also leaking. I have uploaded a few more pictures in my gallery hard for you to it in some but your good the general feel for it. If it was a horse it would have been shot. ...... sorry trying to be humerous. not that it's funny in anyway. I feel sick to my stomach. .just can't beleive somebody could do this, there are some nasty people out there

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It is obvious from your description of the way the caravan was advertised and your subsequent problems that the advert was misleading and that your were subsequently defrauded.

The photos clearly show that the caravan is suffering from a long term problem.

I would write to the seller explains the the problem has been there well before you purchased it and you feel you were deliberately mislead and what are they going to do to remedy it.

Send it special delivery as it has to be signed for and you can track the delivery.

Give them a reasonable time to respond and include it in the letter, say 14 days from date of delivery.

Should they fail to respond make a claim via the small claims court, once you have received judgement against them if they fail to pay send in the high court sheriff's to recover the monies.

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Them pictures are pretty sickening my heart go out to you and how you must feel. I know you said you can fix it but you shouldn't have too. I hope you find a way to get some money back form these people if only to teach them a lesson not to do this again to someone else.


Wish you all the luck with this.

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I would not put too much faith in getting redress. As the advert says, there was no damp, dry storage took care of that! The seller made sure of that. The advert did not say "no rot". You had chance, and took advantage of it, to inspect the van before money changed hands so the old caveat emptor (let buyer beware) takes precedence in a private sale.

 

I am not trying to put a damper on your hopes, just trying to inject some realism. British law very firmly puts responsibility on the buyer in a private transaction. The seller very much seems to have been out to get someone and, sadly, caught you!

 

Maybe a proper damp test would have found enough to prompt you to walk away, but there is no way now that you can prove that.

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It is obvious from your description of the way the caravan was advertised and your subsequent problems that the advert was misleading and that your were subsequently defrauded.

The photos clearly show that the caravan is suffering from a long term problem.

I would write to the seller explains the the problem has been there well before you purchased it and you feel you were deliberately mislead and what are they going to do to remedy it.

Send it special delivery as it has to be signed for and you can track the delivery.

Give them a reasonable time to respond and include it in the letter, say 14 days from date of delivery.

Should they fail to respond make a claim via the small claims court, once you have received judgement against them if they fail to pay send in the high court sheriff's to recover the monies.

hi have sent registered letter and checked royal mail site and the seller has signed for the letter. Put on letter to hear back 7-14 days. Already spoken to trading standards and have ref number they told me to wait given time if no answer to contact trading standards and they would take it on

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hi have sent registered letter and checked royal mail site and the seller has signed for the letter. Put on letter to hear back 7-14 days. Already spoken to trading standards and have ref number they told me to wait given time if no answer to contact trading standards and they would take it on

 

Good, your best bet, by a long way, is for trading standards to decide that the seller is, in fact, a dealer so it was a trade deal not a private sale, SOGA then kicks into play.

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Good, your best bet, by a long way, is for trading standards to decide that the seller is, in fact, a dealer so it was a trade deal not a private sale, SOGA then kicks into play.

Actually as it was purchased in Nov 2015 it is the Consumer Rights Act that kicks in if it turns out to be a trader or dealer?

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Actually as it was purchased in Nov 2015 it is the Consumer Rights Act that kicks in if it turns out to be a trader or dealer?

 

OP said he bought it in September.

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OP said he bought it in September.

i put wrong date in first post actually purchased 7th November 2015

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