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Soft Corners To Rear Underfloor - Easy To Fix?


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Today I viewed a 2004 Lunar Stellar and found it to be an ideal van, but once again there was a problem. I poked around underneath, and found that the two rear corners were soft, with my key sinking right into the wood. This only extended for about three inches from each corner.

I don't think it is from leaks as although the toilet compartment is at one corner, the other is under a large cupboard. I think it's more likely the result of ten years of weather hitting the underneath of the floor and slowly degrading it.

 

Assuming I am correct, would I be right in thinking that repairing this would be straightforward for an experienced handyman? I have seen this problem on many vans, but have not done this job before but would probably cut back the wood to solid timber, then insert a triangle of wood into the gaps, bracing them with brackets and silicone to prevent re-occurence.

 

Does anyone know if the corners are structural, and if my proposed solution is viable?

 

Thanks

Edited by joggerman
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It may be worse than you think. .........if you look at this link you will see that delamination often occurs but it is almost always in a high use area, doorway,kitchen etc. ....I would not expect to see it on a corner area unless it has been subject to serious damp. ..like flooding. ............others may disagree,

 

http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/topic/92084-what-is-delamination/?hl=delamination

 

geoff

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

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It may be worse than you think. .........if you look at this link you will see that delamination often occurs but it is almost always in a high use area, doorway,kitchen etc. ....I would not expect to see it on a corner area unless it has been subject to serious damp. ..like flooding. ............others may disagree,

 

http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/topic/92084-what-is-delamination/?hl=delamination

 

geoff

Is it possible that spray from the wheels has driven up between the floor and the back skirt of the van, and slowly degraded the wood over the years? This limited corner damage does seem to occur frequently.

I notice that vans do seem to have a slight gap between the floor and the side/back panels.

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I had the damp floor corners, and ended up replacing the rear 3 foot of floor, mine was due to a leaking awning rail. I don't think spray from the wheels would be able to really cause the damage unless it was towed through deep water for a while.

 

After my experience with damp corners, i'd be walking away from a similar van simply due to time took, and the fact that for me it was reseal awning rails, replace floor and reconstruct the sandwich effect floor, which fortunately for me was under the rear single bed/bunk, so not much weight. Trying to patch it I don't think would be much use as the strength comes from the bonded construction so unless properly bonded in, i'd be wary of having a weakness there as the sides are supported by the floor.

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I have seen this damage caused by the pvc insert in the awning rail being fixed to the floor at the corners without leaving a loop for any rainwater to drip from. Water runs down the rail and tracks straight to the wooden floor and soaks the wood.

 

Repair could be very difficult / expensive. I would look for another van.

 

Bryan

Swift Challenger 530 SR 2012

Landrover Freelander 2 Td4 Auto Diesel 2010

40 years a Caravan Club member

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I have seen this damage caused by the pvc insert in the awning rail being fixed to the floor at the corners without leaving a loop for any rainwater to drip from. Water runs down the rail and tracks straight to the wooden floor and soaks the wood.

 

Repair could be very difficult / expensive. I would look for another van.

 

Bryan

I find this quite often and it's the main course of wet rot under the van in the corners and if I find high damp readings inside the van at the bottom corners then it's the first place I check to see were it is coming in .

Olympic caravan services.
Approved mobile workshop covering wrexham northwales shropshire and west cheshire.

mob 07827738671 land line 01978 710 943

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I have heard that it is possible to inject a soft floor with a bonding agent, I am trying to remember who told me about it, it may have been my mobile service man, I shall ring and ask unless someone can tell me they have heard of it .

Coachman Amara 500/5 pulled by Rover75 Diesel Auto.
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Hi OCS1

Over the last week I have noticed the bottom back corner getting wet on my Lunar Astera, had thought it might be coming through the toilet waste tank door but after reading earlier posts I think it's the awning rail. Have you got any advice on a quick fix for this.

Many thanks Graham

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  • 6 years later...
On 05/03/2014 at 19:32, Hambo said:

Hi OCS1

Over the last week I have noticed the bottom back corner getting wet on my Lunar Astera, had thought it might be coming through the toilet waste tank door but after reading earlier posts I think it's the awning rail. Have you got any advice on a quick fix for this.

Many thanks Graham

Did you ever get the problem repaired, if so how it is just i have the same problem tia.

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I had soft corners on my van last year, luckily it wasn't either of the awning rails, (but I did have a very small area of damp coming from one of the ones at the front, not a quick job repairing leaking awning rails.).  I think it was made worse by having my van nose-up, more water run down the rear panel and then onto the floor ply underneath.

 

Mine turned out to be from two sources, the seal between the toilet door outer frame, which I removed, replaced the rotten wood directly under it, and resealed again. The second source I think was from rainwater running down the rear panel and onto the floor plywood . The floor normally gets wet in transit on a rainy day but,... and this is the crux, if it never gets to dry out properly it starts to rot. So with the wet year we had last year and this, it's exaggerated the problem somewhat.

 

I have added some 90 degree plastic corner strips that I obtained from my DIY store,  cut them to size and fixed then under the ABS back moulding, (including the little area around the sides too). The rainwater now drops off as it should and the ply is dry. I didn't replace the soft ply as it wasn't too bad, I impregnated it with Ronseal wood hardener liquid.

 

There are loads of places that rain water can get in. run down to the floor and rot it over time, rear light clusters, hairline cracks, awning rail, Shower tray, toilet or locker door frame, flush water fill door just to name a few. Have a look for any tell-tale signs, that will help you decide.

 

Dave.

On 05/03/2014 at 19:32, Hambo said:

Hi OCS1

Over the last week I have noticed the bottom back corner getting wet on my Lunar Astera, had thought it might be coming through the toilet waste tank door but after reading earlier posts I think it's the awning rail. Have you got any advice on a quick fix for this.

Many thanks Graham

 

There are not many quick fixes to leaking awning rails other than a bodge that won't last. Most involve a time consuming job taking it/them off carefully, cleaning all the old gunge off, refit with new seals, sealant, screws and insert.

 

Dave.

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1 hour ago, Darvros said:

Did you ever get the problem repaired, if so how it is just i have the same problem tia.

Sadly I doubt you'll ever find out  Hambo hasn't been on the forum since 2016

Lunar Solaris 1 Limited Edition 2007 Hopefully Behind A

BMW 520D MSport Touring. ...

 

***** Jack of all Trades. ... Master of None *****

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9 minutes ago, Pickled Onion said:

 

There are not many quick fixes to leaking awning rails other than a bodge that won't last. Most involve a time consuming job taking it/them off carefully, cleaning all the old gunge off, refit with new seals, sealant, screws and insert.

 

Dave.

 

The chap I was an apprentice to many years ago now had a good mantra.

 

“Do it properly the FIRST time and there won’t ever be a second”

 

As true today as it was then. 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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I totally agree, my mentor used to say, if you think it's 'good enough' ,..... do it again. That's always been my philosophy in life.

 

Dave.

 

 

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