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Hi all, am viewing our first caravan tomorrow... its recent service showed 25% damp at the wheel arch, it has been repaired, but just wanted advice, if anyone has experienced this, what is the likelihood of that damp reducing now it's been repaired?

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What is the age of the caravan? Do you know what the repair involved?

 

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Difficult if not impossible to answer.  Simplistically :-

Wood does not rot as such.  It is 'eaten' by fungus.  To reach this point (dependent on the wood type) the fungus needs moisture, and other things to exist and thrive.  How much damage it does is dependent on type of wood, how wet, temperature, and time.  This results in the break down of the wood structure.

 

So a 'caught early' damp problem where the fungus is only just starting ? If the reseal is good and the wood is able to dry out naturally it will solve the problem ( the fungus will remain dormant and kick off as soon as sufficient moisture is present however). The strength of the wood depends on the damage done to date.

 

Same situation where the wood cannot dry out and remains wet the fungus will remain active.

 

Also you can have damp reading that measure surface moisture in the upper layers of wood,  that will dry out in the right conditions rapidly.  Conversely you can have the same reading but the moisture is present throughout the full structure of the wood.  This will take months if not years to 'dry' below a danger level.

 

Constructively.  If the repair was carried out by a competent person,  the structure has not been damaged and it continues to dry, then all could be well.  

 

Who did it?  When ? and what guarantee does it carry?

 

 

 

 

Kia KX 3 auto / Bailey Alicanto Grande Estoril and Swift Challenger 570 (2010 model Not towed - used as a static)
 

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we would need to understand the extent of the repair carried out. Propely any wood which has lost it's integrity should have been replaced and any surrounding wood treated with a damp treatment that re-hardens it and kills the fungus. If this was all done properly and the seals remade then it could well be OK, as long as the price you are paying reflects this. 

 

If the repair was simply to reseal the van to prevent any further water ingress then walk away. 

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My feeling is that you will be replying on the repair having been done well. Personally I would avoid it and try and find one with no damp problems, as there is plenty of choice out there.

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There is much confusion about damp and its consequences.

It is, in fact, a thee fold issue:-

Leaks,

Damp,

Rot.

 

Leaks can be fixed by resealing etc. No big deal in themselves, but they are a precursor to the other issues. Even the smallest leaks can let enough water in to soak into the structure

Damp, which is merely water soaked into the structure. Dries out all by itself if it gets chance, but vinyl wall coverings tend to trap it in place. However, if it stays too long the big enemy develops, rot!

Rot, when it gets hold it destroys the structural integrity of the wood. Even if caught early and the damp is rectified any rot lies dormant until such time a more damp enters. Rot can, if not too bad be sort of cured chemically and the wood can be chemically hardened. But once it has gone too far the wood is gone.

Many damp repairs are simply resealing and drying out, fixing rot is very time consuming and expensive to have done professionally.

 

Would I buy a van that had suffered damp and been repaired? Most definitely not, unless the price reduction was huge!

Would I buy a van that had suffered significant rot? Most definitely not unless I wanted cheap and cheerful with an expectation of it only lasting a couple of seasons anyway! 

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Posted (edited)

Most buying caravans properly repaired would have no idea as to whether damp repairs have been carried out in the past.

 

Inevitablely most caravans above a certain age will have had some sort of damp problem during their life.

 

Out of all my caravanning friends who have had caravans, mostly from new, some keeping them for several years, all have needed damp repairs at some time or other either in or out of warranty.

 

In my case three separate damp cases in 11 years.

Edited by Griff
Typo.
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                      Stay safe - Griff.:ph34r:

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Carly

This is your first caravan and the fact you are asking for advice re damp illustrates you are inexperienced. As you can detect from the previous posts this is not a simple issue - damp/rot is not always easy to detect, identify the extent of or determine the required rectification and accompanying cost. Similarly the timeliness and quality of previous repairs is not always easy to judge.

Some temporary water ingress due to a failing seal that is quickly rectified is not big deal and will be common on older vans. Very minor ingress left for a long period can lead to serious problems. As I said not an simple issue.

Unless there is a big cost benefit my best advice would be to find a van that is, as much as is possible, certified by the service record of a reputable engineer to be damp free. There are lots of vans out there to choose from. 

Of course this is easy to say and it depends a lot on how your requirements/budget determine what age of van you are restricted to. Just go into it with your eyes wide open.

Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

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Since you will probably be looking at quite a few caravans before deciding on which you like, it will pay you to buy a damp meter and do your own checks. You can also check the one you are going to look at to see if there is still any damp. Considering it has not rained for a long time and the caravan has not been moved this year (most likely), then the wheel arch will not have got wet so any damp if not repaired properly is likely to have dried out anyway. In some ways it can be better to look at caravans after a wet spell since damp is more likely to show up.

 

A few of us on the forum have a Brennenstuhl damp meter which can be bought from Machine Mart for about £20. Other suppliers are available but may need to be mail order with delivery costs. Machine Mart have been open for a few weeks and if like the Lincoln shop, they have a good system in place for social distancing. You go to a new counter in the doorway, tell them what you want, you are not allowed to look round so you need to know before going, then go to the main counter for the goods and to pay and off you go with your new toys. Be polite to the staff since they seem to be getting abuse from customers (not me).  https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/brennenstuhl-moisture-detector-md/

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10 minutes ago, Paul1957 said:

A few of us on the forum have a Brennenstuhl damp meter

 

As Paul1957 says and I am one of them.

 

Don't get too concerned about mid to high mid teen readings as dry timber will register around these numbers.

 

The pic below shows my Brennenstuhl registering my dry garage bench in spring time.

 

20200511_062046.thumb.png.45c04f34a17a85dfa9fd16c35548d4fd.png

                      Stay safe - Griff.:ph34r:

Discovery 4 with a Bessacarr 845 behind

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Hello. Thank you so much for all your replies. The caravan is a sterling europa 565 2010. 

Attatches is the work that has been carried out. 

IMG-20200528-WA0001.jpg

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A ten year old caravan can be expected to have had some repair work done, but its price should reflect that. It will be of conventional (wood based, screwed together) construction.

If the work was done properly it should have plenty of life left.

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Stress cracks in the top rear corners of the rear panel on a van are not uncommon nor restricted to particular manufacturers or models. Provided the problem wasn't left untreated for a long period of time it shouldn't be an issue and in this case it looks like it has been sorted.

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Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

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Hi I have just viewed the caravan. I have attached a of the picture of the area on the roof that was repaired. Thanks for all the advise 

20200528_105432.jpg

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I suspect the stress crack will be back in a few weeks since it does not mention sorting the underlying problem which could be the wood work under the panel. It also does not mention replacing the wood inside the caravan which might have suffered from the damp. Our caravan gained stress cracks on the front panel which had a similar price repair, looked good at the time but in a few months the cracks looked just the same. They said a proper repair was a new front panel and the wood sorting.

 

I would be tempted to look at another caravan and avoid this one.

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Carly - if in doubt. walk away.  Otherwise you'll always wonder if you made a mistake.

Include a full damp report (preferably an independent one) and if possible a full service history with any used caravan you think you'd like.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Caravan dealers are opening soon so there will be a good choice of other caravans to have a look at. No need to set your heart on a particular one yet until you've have a good look around.

Edited by Paul1957
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One thing I would like to add, buying a damp meter is good advice but you have to know how to use it, and also know the acceptable levels, different parts of a caravan will give different readings. 
 

Also if you are going around with a damp meter, don’t go putting random holes everywhere in other peoples caravan walls, so easy to do. 
 

 

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Do remember that wood burning stoves require fully seasoned dry wood. Anything less than 20% moisture  is considered dry so Griffs meter reading is quite rightly - 'dry'.  Our one year old Swift had readings of 10 and 11% round the floor- perfectly acceptable. 

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Posted (edited)
On 28/05/2020 at 11:33, CarlyAshworth said:

Hi I have just viewed the caravan. I have attached a of the picture of the area on the roof that was repaired. Thanks for all the advise 

20200528_105432.jpg


looking at this picture, I would guess this has not been ‘repaired’ but had some sealant put over the joints .... some people call it a re-seal 

personally I call it a bad job ( no offence intended) 

 

 

 

I had this issue with a previous caravan and found the solution was to remove the top trim completely, clean out the degraded sealant along the entire seam, run new sealant along the seam and replace the roof trim with a new strip and end caps. 
 

I used a generous amount of Sikaflaex along the joint, also before replacing screws put a dab of sikaflex into the screw hole to allow the screw thread to seal correctly. 

Edited by Keith C
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