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So just had a damp test done as part of what was going to be a service on the old caravan i acquired, I knew it had some damp in one corner and the interior front panel was damp but the damp report reveled that all four corners of the floor are basically crumbling away meaning the structural integrity is compromised which is a bit of a bummer.

 

The majority of the floor is fine, unfortunately it is mostly the edges and corners which are testing bad.

 

Anyone had any experience of replacing either sections of flooring or the whole floor? Time doesn't bother me too much but obviously need to balance the cost against just scrapping it and buying another van. I am reasonably good with the tools and have a decent tool set.

 

Would be a shame to scrap as the rest of van is in decent condition for its age and all appliances etc. .. all work fine.

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I think caravans are built from the floor up so this is a major problem. Maybe another member has some experience of doing this.

 

If not, consider a seasonal site and don't tow it.

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Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately the reason for having it is to use while out of fireworks sites which means we need to be able to tow it about otherwise it isn't much use to us.

 

As you say, hopefully someone with some experience of this will come along

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I think caravans are built from the floor up so this is a major problem. Maybe another member has some experience of doing this.

 

If not, consider a seasonal site and don't tow it.

+1

 

Not only built from the floor up, but the edges are critical from a structural strength perspective!

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+1

 

Not only built from the floor up, but the edges are critical from a structural strength perspective!

Yes, that was why the service guy condemned it, because all round the edges where it damp are the structural points that hold the whole thing together

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So after having a think over the weekend we have committed to replacing the floor ourselves as we think this will be cheaper than replacing the whole caravan.

 

I have started to remove some of the rotten floor ( in the OSR corner i only had to step on it and the floor fell through!)

 

I am now just deciding whether to strip the interior of the caravan and replace in sections with the body in situ, just supporting the body where it isnt connected to the floor

 

OR

 

Leave most of whats in the caravan in situ and just unscrewing anything that is connected to the floor inside and lift the body of the caravan up and roll the floor/ chassis out from under it. Replace the floor on the chassis and then roll it back under and reattach.

 

Anyone have an opinion of which way might be easier? if i lift the body off do i run the risk of it collapsing (it will still have cupboards and anything i can leave in it inside for some structural strength)

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Separating body from chassis would enable a nice strong one piece floor to be fitted but adequate support for the detached body would be a challenge.

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Thanks, thats kind of what i am thinking. I can build the floor separately and bolt it all down to the chassis then just roll it under the body and attach it. I just about have enough space to do it on my drive.

 

Anyone ever separated the body from the floor or supported the whole body before?

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but adequate support for the detached body would be a challenge.

 

Quite! Without the floor and the furniture providing rigidity, I can't see how the body can be lifted without the structure going out of shape. Once the corners begin to twist, the seal around all the joints will be lost.

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I would leave as much of the furniture in as i could, just unscrew it from the floor, also thinking of maybe bracing it somehow? Maybe diagonal batons front middle and back

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Maybe diagonal batons front middle and back

 

Yes - that would help. Then perhaps two lengths of 3x2 timber temporarily screwed to the sides at floor level and supported by an axle stand at each of the four corners. If two people jacked up first the front corners then the rears in small increments, with the axle stands being raised at the same time, sufficient height could be gained to bring out the chassis. New floor could be accurately measured and made up prior to starting work.

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I would be inclined to jack the whole thing up, support the body static, including by the window frames, then drop the floor and chassis.

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I would be inclined to go out and buy a 2nd hand dry van. Some older vans are quite cheap.

 

All the above carries quite a risk of distortion.

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I would be inclined to go out and buy a 2nd hand dry van. Some older vans are quite cheap.

 

All the above carries quite a risk of distortion.

Certainly the easier option, which is more important, a caravan to use in the short to medium term or a challenging and satisfying project?

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I could certainly do without the project, so yes buying another van was certainly on my mind.

However when we discussed it, to get something suitable is realistically going to cost £2k minimum. Plus we would need to get it inspected etc. .. and chances are even if it's dry now. Doesn't mean we aren't going to be in the same situation in a year or 2 whichos why decided to go down the fixing route.

 

Having mulled it over for last couple of days I think I am leaning towards replacing the parts that are rotten rather than the whole floor. I have ordered myself a damp meter so I can test what's good and what's bad and go from there

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I could certainly do without the project, so yes buying another van was certainly on my mind.

However when we discussed it, to get something suitable is realistically going to cost £2k minimum. Plus we would need to get it inspected etc. . . and chances are even if it's dry now. Doesn't mean we aren't going to be in the same situation in a year or 2 whichos why decided to go down the fixing route.

 

Having mulled it over for last couple of days I think I am leaning towards replacing the parts that are rotten rather than the whole floor. I have ordered myself a damp meter so I can test what's good and what's bad and go from there

OK. Remember though that the floor is probably the most important single structural member after the chassis and any repair pieces need to be securely fixed to the remaining good floor. The battens are only there to give something for the screws joining floor to walls something to fix into.

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Certainly the easier option, which is more important, a caravan to use in the short to medium term or a challenging and satisfying project?

No question - the caravan to use as that's why I'm a caravanner and not a caravan restorer :)

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OK. Remember though that the floor is probably the most important single structural member after the chassis and any repair pieces need to be securely fixed to the remaining good floor. The battens are only there to give something for the screws joining floor to walls something to fix into.

 

Agreed. I am planning to use plenty of glue, along with brackets and anything else i can do to ensure it is as strong, if not stronger than original

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As an update if anyone is interested. Managed to cut out the first section of bad flooring and started making the replacement sections. Had to remove everything in the bathroom and go all the way up to the wheel arch. Hopefully will have this section all rebuilt by the end of today and then moving on to front OS section, then NSF section. Will try and get some photos small enough to be able to upload here later

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On 03/08/2017 at 09:42, Firediamonduk said:

As an update if anyone is interested. Managed to cut out the first section of bad flooring and started making the replacement sections. Had to remove everything in the bathroom and go all the way up to the wheel arch. Hopefully will have this section all rebuilt by the end of today and then moving on to front OS section, then NSF section. Will try and get some photos small enough to be able to upload here later

Hi, wondered if you could send me some details of what you completed and photos? As I have a similar issue 😭

Thanks dem

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10 hours ago, Dem said:

Hi, wondered if you could send me some details of what you completed and photos? As I have a similar issue 😭

Thanks dem

 

You might be in for a long wait!   Firediamonduk hasn't been back on the forum for nearly two years.   What happened to his project is anyone's guess.

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