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Chassis Straightening Or Replacement Query?


PhoenixUK
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Hi All,

 

I've searched through the "Chassis" topics and can't find anything from a poster to go from, so here goes.

 

We bought an insurance approved Abi Monza 550 CT 1993 damaged repairable last spring and the damage is essentially where the jockey wheel is.

 

It sits off at a diagonal angle, instead of being true and vertical. It would seem after having a local mobile caravan repair and servicing guy call round to look at it last week, that the previous owner has hit for e. g. a pot hole or something in the road surface, whilst the jockey wheel is down.

 

This has put a very slight dent / kink in the horizontal underside of the tow hitch area in the Alko chassis.

 

Now after speaking direct to Alko and taking some pictures and explaining to them the issue, they said to the caravan repair man that it should be able to be bent back in to true shape for £800+vat but that's without the man hour charges too by Alko.

 

It would have been £300+vat had it being a bolt on / off tow hitch part of the chassis but unfortunately for us, this isn't the case on our van and it's straight through.

 

Therefore, as it's a really nice van apart from this and suits our family perfectly due to it being a 6 berth, having a nicely fitting full awning and just basically one we want to keep for as long as possible, I'm looking in to if there's any alternatives but safe one's of course.

 

I have been advised also by CRiS that should I get it repaired and get an engineer's report confirming this, then it can be reCRIS registered and this in turn we will be able to insure it which is ultimately what I want / need.

 

So,

 

  1. I'm looking in to finding a carvan repair company who have an on-site JIG to be able to straighten cvan chassis as an option.
  2. I'm also looking in to if it's ever been heard of car repair chassis straightening company's ever taking a touring caravan and straighten it out, as another option
  3. Finally, locating and purchasing a professionally refurbished inlcuded with road safety certificate chassis and taking the current one off and putting the new one in, as another possible option.

Either way it's going to cost us money but if we were to just sack this current van off, it would likely cost us more than Alko are asking for to fix but as our finances are strained at present, I'd obviously like to try and find a middle ground other option if it's possible.

 

Can anybody help with any advice, knowledge of friends, family or such like who have ended in the same kind of position or generally just think you have a bit of guidance for us, all things will be listened to in equal measure.

 

I look forward to hearing from some of you soon.

 

P. S. I'm based in South Wales, UK for what it's worth.

 

Regards,

Rob

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I would have said that if there's a kink then the metal will have stretched and will be seriously weakened. However, a local repair with a length of appropriate angle section, bolted in place (galvanised is nasty stuff to weld) should restore the strength if carefully done.

 

Presumably the diagonal you mention is in the fore / aft plane?

 

I must admit I'm a little surprised that Al-Ko are sanctioning a repair like this.

Ian.
2013 Freelander 2 SD4 Auto / 2005 Bailey Pageant Vendée; 1952 Norton ES2

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Trying to straighten the metal would lead to further problems as once metal is bent it reduces it strength and will weaken it and also straightening it can lead to cracks in the material . The safest option is to replace the damaged drawbar as they only bolt on from Alko.

 

EDIT Before you start spending money on repairs do you know what Cat write off the caravan is ? As usually chassis damage they make them Cat B which is not repairable and can not be put back on the road .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

Jeep Commander 3. 0 V6 CRD

Isuzu D- Max Utah Auto

Elddis Crusader Storm 2000 Kgs, Unipart Royal Atlas Mover .

 

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I suppose the reality of it is 6 berths are rare until the last say 5-7 years, so you are going to spend a lot more money buying a modern 6 berth van to replace what you would have to spend to repair yours, though any investment you put in to your current van your unlikely to get back

 

 

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Why buy a write off when you dont know what you are doing

Valid point maybe, but Why kick someone when he is down, with a comment thats too late and doesnt help. ?

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A photo would help if possible?

 

Geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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Valid point maybe, but Why kick someone when he is down, with a comment thats too late and doesnt help. ?

:goodpost:

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Valid point maybe, but Why kick someone when he is down, with a comment thats too late and doesnt help. ?

The point is would you buy a car thats been written off if you did not know how to mend it now me who used to hand make limo,s for a living and worked for alko would still think twice about it.

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I m surprised that Al-Ko would suggest straightening any part of the chassis. If the parts are no longer available from Al-Ko then a breakers may be your only hope.

If you do find someone to straighten it you may have trouble finding an Approved Workshop that will sign off the work.

For any additional information or advice please have a look on my website. .....

www. thecaravanmedic-swindon. co. uk

 

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The point is would you buy a car thats been written off if you did not know how to mend it now me who used to hand make limo,s for a living and worked for alko would still think twice about it.

Yes, as my post said, Valid point. First two words of my post in fact.

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The point is would you buy a car thats been written off if you did not know how to mend it now me who used to hand make limo,s for a living and worked for alko would still think twice about it.

That may well be the case, but the OP has bought the caravan, and is asking for help.

 

If you reply is only to criticise and pour scorn why bother?

 

Perhaps as you have worked for AL-KO you could offer some constructive advice that might actually help

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I would venture that your caravan is at the lower end of the market, and at that stage why insure it? As long as you're careful when it's not connected to the towcar! :rolleyes: As previously stated, some photos would help.

Edited by drummond
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I would venture that your caravan is at the lower end of the market, and at that stage why insure it? As long as you're careful when it's not connected to the towcar! :rolleyes: As previously stated, some photos would help.

Because it is a legal requirement that a caravan or any trailer is insured under the road traffic act usually covered by your vehicle insurance company issuing a third party policy which would require a possible engineers report to state it is road legal.

 

Dave

Jeep Commander 3. 0 V6 CRD

Isuzu D- Max Utah Auto

Elddis Crusader Storm 2000 Kgs, Unipart Royal Atlas Mover .

 

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I know of someone who had whole A Frame section split and a new one was made of old and bolted to chassis. ...this was an Insurance job as well. ......

 

Geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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That may well be the case, but the OP has bought the caravan, and is asking for help.

If you reply is only to criticise and pour scorn why bother?

Perhaps as you have worked for AL-KO you could offer some constructive advice that might actually help

Al-ko have given a price of over £800 plus vat + man hours would the owner have to remove the caravan body prior to repair this would involve other skills .

The current al-ko chassis is not compatible with the old style,its not just a case of getting a length of angle iron and bolting it on as you have to take a lot of stress factors into account, then would you be able to get it insured so many things to take into the equation i am not trying to put scorn on the family just pointing out all the problems which cost money to resolve.

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CommanderDave, you're perfectly right, of course, insofar as all trailers have to be declared to the insurance company ab initio. I don't know anyone who actually sends out a representative to inspect the trailer. No-one I know, anyway.

 

Separate insurance of the caravan is another matter. Personally, I don't, but mine aren't worth anything, anyway.

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In my industry, where there are areas of high stress, we weld plates on, known as doubler plates, which is exactly what has been proposed above.

 

 

Called a "flitch in time"?

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Called a "flitch in time"?

 

 

Thought that was a Bacon Joint they give to not-combative partners in Dunmow Essex

 

geoff

 

( For younger viewers please Google Dunmow Flitch)

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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What's the problem? It is insurance approved, ALKO say it can be done safely. All our OP is asking for is if someone knows of a body shop with experience of this sort of problem and able to fix it properly.

Enjoy every minute of every day. It doesn't last nearly as long as you'd like, and there's no guarantee of coming this way again.

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Al-ko have given a price of over £800 plus vat + man hours???

 

+man hours and another 20% VAT on that!

 

I'm left asking what sort of a quote is that? if man hours are not included, what on it's own is going to cost 960 quid???

To me it means. ... we think it it can be done but without seeing it, not at all sure how!

 

But of course they have at least seen some pictures, but I for one, is still totally in the dark as to just how this is bent??

gary1s.gif

 

Arc Systems are specialist Carver caravan product repairers, committed to providing a comprehensive service as well as spare parts for these popular heaters.

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Morning Ian,

 

Thanks for replying, as I said in my OP I'm still unsure of what route I will take yet as I'm still gathering information for which route(s) are open to me safely etc but from what I can gather prior to posting on here, there should be something that can be done as it doesn't seem a particularly bad or catastrophic issue and it can't be the latter as stated CRiS have it de-registered for now until it's repaired and a engineer report post repair provided.

 

I will be posting some pictures I took earlier, so have a look at those if you're interested.

 

Regards,

Rob

 

I would have said that if there's a kink then the metal will have stretched and will be seriously weakened. However, a local repair with a length of appropriate angle section, bolted in place (galvanised is nasty stuff to weld) should restore the strength if carefully done.

 

Presumably the diagonal you mention is in the fore / aft plane?

 

I must admit I'm a little surprised that Al-Ko are sanctioning a repair like this.


Hi Dave,

 

I appreciate that once metal is bent it can lose strength etc but I'm also aware that metal can be re-inforced and hence I'm looking for if this is a possibility in this instance.

 

I can't remembered 100% off the top of my head and can't find the blasted paper work at this time but from what I can recall it's Category D, as the caravan salvage company I bought it from last year have either Cat A/B never to be repaired and are quite strict on "do not ever ask us if these can be repaired as they can't" and ours was bought from their "repairable" stock, of which ties in with what CRiS have the caravan down as etc.

 

Regards,

Rob

Trying to straighten the metal would lead to further problems as once metal is bent it reduces it strength and will weaken it and also straightening it can lead to cracks in the material . The safest option is to replace the damaged drawbar as they only bolt on from Alko.

 

EDIT Before you start spending money on repairs do you know what Cat write off the caravan is ? As usually chassis damage they make them Cat B which is not repairable and can not be put back on the road .

 

 

Dave


Hi,

 

Thanks for the reply. Yep this is the issue, well along with the safety of ourselves and other road users of course and that's always paramount whatever age one's cvan is but we just have to weigh up as many and all options once we know what these are, so we will see what comes from a consensus in this thread and sit down and think hard about our next moves etc.

 

Regards,

Rob

I suppose the reality of it is 6 berths are rare until the last say 5-7 years, so you are going to spend a lot more money buying a modern 6 berth van to replace what you would have to spend to repair yours, though any investment you put in to your current van your unlikely to get back


Nev,

 

As it was bought NOT as a write-off, in essence it all points to it being fixable due to all my posts to date in this thread, adding to this 100% of caravan lovers don't have the financial ability to start out with a £10k cvan!

 

I grew up through my childhood touring with my grandparents and my sister and now I have a 4 yr old son, I wanted to start passing this love on to him but unfortunately for us at this time, it's on a budget. .. is this wrong?!

 

I suppose you do everything in your life perfectly huh, thought so!

 

Maybe a little less assumptions without knowing us might help, didn't your parents teach you not to judge a book by it's cover

 

(The cover being my first ever post about this issue)

 

*sighs*

Why buy a write off when you dont know what you are doing

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Hi Ship,

 

I took these when I returned from work, so it was starting to go more towards dusk but here goes;

 

As you will see, the jockey wheel is not sitting vertically upright as it should be and in the other images you will see the crease that's causing the biggest part of this problem I would imagine.

 

You can also see the other blue circle to the left side and this is from what I believe to be a mounting plate for the old style bulldog snake bars and this is again following the same angle from whatever bump the previous owner had.

 

post-65505-0-73152000-1391824678_thumb.jpg

 

You may just be able to make out at the end where your viewing starts to end, the crease I'm on about.

post-65505-0-61079600-1391824676_thumb.jpg

 

This is a much better close up on the offending crease. I have felt all around this area and along with eye-balling it, I cannot locate any form of crack / break in the metal. However, I am acutely aware that it could have a non visible stress fracture of whatever it would be called, but I feel this would be a very very minute risk on this occasion.

 

post-65505-0-14480700-1391824671_thumb.jpg

 

An even closer, close up.

 

post-65505-0-11639200-1391824681_thumb.jpg

 

So there you have it people, some pictures of what I could get at this time.

 

Regards,

Rob

 

A photo would help if possible?

 

Geoff

 

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Nev

 

You're privileged to be in that kind of "life experience" position but are you saying that your analogy aside that one should only caravan if you know 100% what you are doing, whatever it is to do with within caravanning itself?

 

We can all purchase items whether on the road types or household, garden and so forth. .. now we may not know ourselves at that very time but feel that when everything is put together in to the melting pot, that the given item or purchase can indeed be fixed.

 

However, just because I myself was not aware of "Exactly" how to go about the repair at the time of purchase, I believed it to be a non regrettable purchase to get us on the caravanning ladder and I still don't regret it, as much as that seems to pain somebody like yourself judging by your replies to date.

 

Regards,

Rob

 

 

The point is would you buy a car thats been written off if you did not know how to mend it now me who used to hand make limo,s for a living and worked for alko would still think twice about it.

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