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WillcockCraig

Avondale Osprey 2005 Restoration

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Been camping for quite a few years and we now have our first caravan, albeit it requires some restoration. Severe damp in the rear bathroom walls & ceiling plus damp to kitchen and ceiling areas.

Been looking on the forum for inspiration and theres some amazing projects people have completed.

My first jobs are getting the MotorMover working and checking over the rest of the caravan, I'm also constructing a car-port style structure to the side of the house then I can keep the caravan protected from the worst of the elements while I'm carrying out the project. 

Will no doubt be on here constantly asking for peoples advice as I progress.

 

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It will be interesting to see how you get on. How abut some 'before' photos?

 

Good luck.

 

BH

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I would never ever buy a caravan branded Osprey as I am a diehard  Scarlets supporter, Ospreys are the enemy  :) 

 

But Good Luck with your project

Edited by Les Medes

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:welcome: to Caravan Talk WC. 

 

Nice initials :D

 

Enjoy the forum.

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9 hours ago, WillcockCraig said:

 Severe damp in the rear bathroom walls

 

I too bought an Avondale eight years ago and found damp in the bathroom - around the toilet.    See the first article HERE

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Thanks for all your replies, I thought I set notifications up but for some reason they didnt come through. I'll upload some pictures of the before and ongoing works BH. Jaydug, I've just had a quick look through your projects, they look excellent, I'm sure I'll be using them for plenty of useful info.  

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So the restoration has begun at last! With one thing or another my start had been delayed some what :D

 

I've built a large carport to protect the caravan from the elements during the project and it will help protect it once complete.

 

I have a few questions for all you renovation experts out there, the bulk of the damage to the van is at the rear bathroom and also along the kitchen side.

 

The main area of water ingress was from a badly repaired section on the top corner of the ABS rear panel, theres also a few stress cracks around the edge where it adjoins the side walls of the van along the awning rails.

 

Are there any good articles on ABS repairs or good tips etc.

 The side wall sections have really wet timber thats stuck inside the wall insulation, do I need to carefully chisel this out to the aluminium skin?

 

I think I'll be going down the route of plain ply and then applying my own vinyl paper to it, the pre finished ply panels do seem really expensive!

 

 

20200523_184534.jpg

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2 hours ago, WillcockCraig said:

Are there any good articles on ABS repairs or good tips etc.

Check out this:

https://www.boatworkstoday.com/videos/filling-old-screw-holes-in-fiberglass/

And this:

https://www.boatworkstoday.com/videos/fiberglassing-stress-cracks-and-making-progress/

The former I've seen and I will be checking out the latter.

 

2 hours ago, WillcockCraig said:

I think I'll be going down the route of plain ply and then applying my own vinyl paper to it, the pre finished ply panels do seem really expensive!

Seems a reasonable approach. It's the delivery cost that's the killer though.

 

Thanks for the photos!

Really interesting project you have going on here. All the best with it.

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Thanks for the links, the Avondale is ABS Plastic not fibreglass or is the repair process the similar?

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On 04/12/2019 at 14:58, Jaydug said:

 

I too bought an Avondale eight years ago and found damp in the bathroom - around the toilet.    See the first article HERE

We had exactly the same damp issue in the same place in our old Avondale Dart, l always used to fill the toilet flush tank to the top, also travel with it full. We were told by the dealer travelling with the flush tank full is where the damp came from. No idea if that’s true or false, but always now drain down for travelling and just put about a litre back in (in case it’s needed on route) Great blog by the way.

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I have always been wary of travelling with water in the flush tank after an unfortunate experience I suffered with a previous van. I collected the van for the first time from outdoor winter storage, hitching up and driving home. On going inside to the rear bathroom I was dismayed to find the floor very wet, and the loo bowl containing water. This was a total surprise as I am meticulous about draining everything down for winter. Initially I couldn't work out what had happened and then I discovered the flush tank was full!

The caravan had been parked with a slight incline towards the offside rear. Water had been running off the roof and down the side to the flush tank filler point. The cap seal was not water tight and water had been draining into the flush tank. Unbeknown to me the flush tank had been overflowing over the winter and I had driven home with a full tank. A simple reinforcement of the filler flap seal solved the problem but it served to illustrate that one shouldn't travel with water in the flush tank - at least not any significant quantity.

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5 hours ago, WillcockCraig said:

Thanks for the links, the Avondale is ABS Plastic not fibreglass or is the repair process the similar?

 

Sadly no.   Fibre glass is much easier to repair - especially if you can get to the mat side.   ABS is more difficult and I have no experience of doing repairs.   From your photos, it would seem that the roof timbers will be below the cracks, and no doubt the wood will be saturated and rotting.   New pieces will be required and as they are curved, will need cutting from wider boards.    A band saw would make short work of the shaping although a jigsaw would be ok.   Pieces can be done in shorter lengths with a lapped joint at both ends.   A cardboard profile will help with the marking out.     When I did my repair, I found it best not to remove too much rotting wood at once, but rather replace in short lengths.   The ali sheet becomes floppy if unsupported especially around openings.       A broad wood chisel is useful for cleaning up the ali before fixing new timber.

All the best.   You have your work cut out!

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I've seen a really good article on the forum regarding abs plastic repairs/ reinforcement, i'll try and find it and share the link.

 

The side walls have the PIR insulation bonded to the aluminium skin, all the framing timber is sodden and rotten, so I'm carefully removing the timber from the joints and from around all of the caravans apertures.

 

Should I be completely removing all the windows on the sections as I'm doing the repairs? I'm a complete newbie, the frames are bonded to the plastic or aluminium skin on the outside and then retained on the inside by screws and aluminium retainers, the bathroom blind cassette is beyond rescuing by the looks of things.

 

The original timber used in the framing seems to be 23mm finished size which I'm struggling to source at the moment....

 

See below a few more pictures of progress....

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link to screenman's ABS plastic repairs

 

 

1 hour ago, Jaydug said:

 

Sadly no.   Fibre glass is much easier to repair - especially if you can get to the mat side.   ABS is more difficult and I have no experience of doing repairs.   From your photos, it would seem that the roof timbers will be below the cracks, and no doubt the wood will be saturated and rotting.   New pieces will be required and as they are curved, will need cutting from wider boards.    A band saw would make short work of the shaping although a jigsaw would be ok.   Pieces can be done in shorter lengths with a lapped joint at both ends.   A cardboard profile will help with the marking out.     When I did my repair, I found it best not to remove too much rotting wood at once, but rather replace in short lengths.   The ali sheet becomes floppy if unsupported especially around openings.       A broad wood chisel is useful for cleaning up the ali before fixing new timber.

All the best.   You have your work cut out!

 

Hi Jaydug,

 

Thanks for the tip with the bandsaw, I have got one 👍,  I was thinking of using the cupboard that has the exact shape and then offsetting by the required amount to create the pieces, it looks like they originally used 22mm ply to create the pieces, so I'll get hold of a decent sheet of marine grade WBP.

 

 

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If the polystyrene is firmly fixed to the ali sheet, I would leave it there and dig out the rotten wood with a broad chisel.   To fix the new timber in place I used THIS

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, WillcockCraig said:

link to screenman's ABS plastic repairs

 

 

 

Hi Jaydug,

 

Thanks for the tip with the bandsaw, I have got one 👍,  I was thinking of using the cupboard that has the exact shape and then offsetting by the required amount to create the pieces, it looks like they originally used 22mm ply to create the pieces, so I'll get hold of a decent sheet of marine grade WBP.

 

 

 

Have you any children, if so grab a handful of their white Lego bricks and some pure acetone, not the stuff for removing nail varnish it sometimes has oils in it, get yourself a glass jar with a good screw on lid, dump some of the bricks in, keep giving it a swirl till they dissolve, you want it about the consistency of thick tooth paste then build your cleaned out crack with multiple thin layers, on not too hot a day if you can help it, due to acetone flashing off quickly, which can leave the surface dry but it takes a while for it to evaporate completely, and especially with thicker layers on a hot day where you can get ' popping ' due to the acetone vapour expanding and causing bubbles an craters.

 

You can also use ABS drain pipe, ( check to see if it's ABS some are made of PVC ) .if the kids won't let you have any Lego 😉

 

When you are applying the layers don't leave the top off the jar, it's amazing how quick the acetone evaporates.

Edited by Silversurf

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9 hours ago, WillcockCraig said:

Thanks for the links, the Avondale is ABS Plastic not fibreglass or is the repair process the similar?

The link given by Jaydug was very interesting. It was no surprise to read that the Acetone/Lego brick repair failed. ABS is plastic so ideally needs a plastic weld repair involving heat. But this is very specialized and thus cost prohibitive. I have a plastic welding gun and have found it is very easy to let the tip get too hot, and then the weld becomes contaminated with charred plastic. Adding to the complication is that you are not working with any thickness of material, it's like an eggshell.

 

I believe the best repair method is to treat it as though it were glass fibre and use the techniques set out in the Boatworks video. If the panel is coming off then that's perfect, you can lay on some chopped strand behind the area and it will be fine.

 

Whatever the repair, you have to consider how you will finish it off. Will this be paint, or will it be Flowcoat (unwaxed gelcoat)? Here I would suggest Flowcoat and will be using this on my Bailey at some point soon.

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46 minutes ago, limecc said:

The link given by Jaydug was very interesting. It was no surprise to read that the Acetone/Lego brick repair failed. ABS is plastic so ideally needs a plastic weld repair involving heat. But this is very specialized and thus cost prohibitive. I have a plastic welding gun and have found it is very easy to let the tip get too hot, and then the weld becomes contaminated with charred plastic. Adding to the complication is that you are not working with any thickness of material, it's like an eggshell.

 

I believe the best repair method is to treat it as though it were glass fibre and use the techniques set out in the Boatworks video. If the panel is coming off then that's perfect, you can lay on some chopped strand behind the area and it will be fine.

 

Whatever the repair, you have to consider how you will finish it off. Will this be paint, or will it be Flowcoat (unwaxed gelcoat)? Here I would suggest Flowcoat and will be using this on my Bailey at some point soon.

Id never seen the flowcoat before, that looks ideal for the finished topcoat, Avondales are beige, does anyone have any idea if they used a RAL code for the externals?

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Couple of questions about the timber used for the frame replacement, the majority in the caravan is 22mm x 22mm Square timber, im struggling to source this at present, on the rear section its not really as important because it could be constructed from some timber thats slightly bigger or smaller, but on the side panels these have PIR insulation bonded to the outer skin and the 22mm x 22mm timber is rotten so this needs to be carefully chiselled out and replaced with the same size.

Could 22mm marine grade WBP be cut into strips 22mm wide for these areas?

 

Also is it essential that my framing timber is treated?

 

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Most timber merchants will supply what ever size you want. They will plane it down. It might cost a little more but will be as strong as original. Strips of osb might not have  same strength.

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48 minutes ago, WillcockCraig said:

Also is it essential that my framing timber is treated?

 

I didn't treat mine as I didn't know how the adhesive would grip on the treated wood.   If you're looking for 22mm size Wickes do some which is finished to 22mm.   The width might need ripping a bit to fit - although width doesn't matter too much.

https://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Sawn-Kiln-Dried-Timber---22mm-x-47mm-x-1-8m/p/9000036490

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1 hour ago, Ched said:

Most timber merchants will supply what ever size you want. They will plane it down. It might cost a little more but will be as strong as original. Strips of osb might not have  same strength.

 :Plus1: for the timber merchant. I have needed some odd size timber profiles over the years and our local company have been more than happy to machine it to my specifications. It's better quality than the D.I.Y. sheds too. :)

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Posted (edited)

Couple of points.

1. On the Bailey when I fitted a toilet window, I used ordinary roofing batten timber from a builders merchant which was nominally 25mm and pre-treated. This stuff is dirt cheap and could be planed if needed.

2. I said Flowcoat is unwaxed when actually the opposite is true. Gelcoat is unwaxed ready to take the next layer of resin, while Flowcoat has the wax included which must be why it is sometimes known as Topcoat.

https://youtu.be/5MWN7kbzutM

 

Edited by limecc

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Cheers for the input everyone,  box of Soudal Fix all ordered for bonding the frame to the outer skin (can this be used to bond the 3mm ply to the insulation and frame also?)

 

Got some 22mm x 47mm treated timber from wickes, and I'll get some smaller lengths from a local timber merchants planed so they fit on the sidewalls.

 

Whats everyone's take on the rear bathroom window, theres absolutely no sign of water ingress around it on the frame, can this be left, or should I really remove and reseal it into the abs rear panel with sika 512, it looks like the avondales external window frames are bonded to the outer skin, which is different to a lot of the others I've seen where there's a rubber gasket that is stapled all around the aperture and then the window is fitted after......

 

 

 

 

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