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Should I Buy A Caravan With Damp?


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Hi guys, I'm a new member, and new to caravanning, so please be gentle !

 

I'm probably opening a can of worms here, but in for a penny, in for a pound.

 

I've been offered a '99 Swift Challenger 520 SE, in what looks like superb condition. :unsure:

The guy wanted £2k for it with 2 awnings, and all the bits and bobs.

He said it was completely dry etc etc and I arranged to go this weekend.

He rang yesterday to say that he's found a bit of sponginess just below the window above the cooker, and just wanted to let me know as it's a fair distance away and he didn't want to waste my time. He said if I was still interested I could make an offer, if not he'll stick it on fleabay.

 

Just wondering if anybody thinks it's worth looking at, and what would be the likely cause, window or roof? And is it worth repairing, or even possible?

I'm presuming this would mean the whole kitchen area would have to be removed to get at the panel behind? Or could just the cooker be removed and the worktop and a piece be spliced in?

 

I'm going to try and get some more info/pics from him, to try and ascertain the extent of the damage before I decide whether or not to go.

 

Any help / advice / opinions greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks guys

 

spadders

Edited by spadders
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My advice - and others I suspect - is to walk away FAST !

 

A damp van can be a nightmare and we get so many newbies each year coming on here AFTER buying a damp van.

Thank your lucky stars, you came on for advice first.

 

Run, don't walk - the perfect van for you is just around the next corner.

 

And :welcome:

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Graham

 

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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I'd walk away.

 

Why did the seller suddenly find damp? Why were they looking? Although admire honesty of telling you before you traveled.

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The damp will have travelled much further than it appears and would require removal of all furniture and appliances on that side of the van, removal of wallboards, rotten wood and soaked insulation.

The cause may be a leaking window seal but could also be from another place which would need finding and fixing before refitting new wood, insulation and wallboards.

 

Don't waste your time and money, look around some more and find a dry van.

If you find one you like, get a mobile engineer to give it a pre purchase inspection.

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I would think with £2K you could get one local to you even from a dealer and it be newer.

Regards, David
Ford Kuga ST line 2ltr. Diesel 2017,  Bailey Pursuit 11 400/2 2018, Emove em303 motor mover, Hyundai 1000i Generator.

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Welcome to the forum Spadders,

It's good to hear of the seller's honesty in telling you about the damp patch before you visited.

Unfortunately what you can see is usually only the tip of the iceberg, and the damage can often be much more extensive than it would appear at first. I feel sorry for the seller, but in all honesty having repaired damp (wet) caravans in the past, it's not for the faint-hearted, so personally I would walk away.

Gordon.

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Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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I think there are a few things to consider before following the walk away advice.

the value of the caravan without damp, the value with damp and the cost of repair. how bad is the damage?

your buying a 15 year old caravan what do people expect?

you can have caravans less then 5 years old with damp.

I don't know how reliable a damp meter is, perhaps that's worth considering taking.

 

for 2k and a 15 year old caravan I think some faults should be expected but it is the extent of the fault that's the issue. a look on ebay shows a 2002 model for £4,900 and that's quite a difference for 3 years.

 

left unattended the damp will only get worse.

 

ask some caravan repairers if they can give you any idea on cost of repair.

 

if you can get it at a knock down price it is also a "cheap" introduction to caravanning.

 

if you buy a £20,000 caravan keep it 5 years and sell it what will you get for it, £18,000?

 

buy one for 2k keep it 5 years and dump it, you lose 2k, sell if for £500 you lose £1,500, may be worth buying as is and use it for a few years then get shot of it.

 

i'll take the sit on the fence position as I cant look around the caravan. oh, if your gut feeling is to walk away then that is the right thing to do.

good luck

macafee2

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It would depend on what offer he's willing to accept and what your plans are. If you're wanting a caravan to keep for a good few years then walk away, if you're wanting one as a stepping stone or just to try it out, if the price is reasonable buy it. You could try stopping the water ingress to prevent further deterioration at minimal costs - windows seals, awning rail etc. my first caravan I bought for £3k, it had damp in the shower mainly, I used it for 3. 5 years and still got £2500 when I part chopped it for a newer van. I kept all of the accessories, leisure battery, awning, aquarol, waste hog, water pump, gas bottles etc that came with my first van so all in all it was pretty good. Use the tale of doom to get the price down considerably lower or watch for it on ebay and bid on there.

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It's up to you really as it depends what you want. If you fancy a bit DIY and you really like the caravan then fair enough BUT be prepared, as said damp 9/10 times is much worse when you strip it all back even if it is only one area, trust me I know as do others.

 

If it's a massive discount he's offering then might be worth thinking about if you just want to try before you buy then might be worth thinking about but it could end up a project so be prepared. There's loads of advice on here about repairs.

 

Most caravans leak at some stage, even brand new ones!

Compass Shadow 1988

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Welcome to the forum Spadders,

It's good to hear of the seller's honesty in telling you about the damp patch before you visited.

Unfortunately what you can see is usually only the tip of the iceberg, and the damage can often be much more extensive than it would appear at first. I feel sorry for the seller, but in all honesty having repaired damp (wet) caravans in the past, it's not for the faint-hearted, so personally I would walk away.

Gordon.

 

As Gordon says and anyone that has taken on a damp repair it is always far more than expected . It will cost money for materials but far more time .

 

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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The other thing to remember is that a little damp over 6 months is unlikely to make boards spongy in my opinion. However either a lot of damp or a little damp over a longer time will and particularly in the later case by the time it is that obvious it is likely to have affected a large area.

Alan

 

2005 Nissan X-trail 4WD diesel and Swift Charisma 540 2012 Lunar Clubman ES  2018 Lunar Clubman ES

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Hi guys, I'm a new member, and new to caravanning, so please be gentle !

 

I'm probably opening a can of worms here, but in for a penny, in for a pound.

 

I've been offered a '99 Swift Challenger 520 SE, in what looks like superb condition. :unsure:

The guy wanted £2k for it with 2 awnings, and all the bits and bobs.

He said it was completely dry etc etc and I arranged to go this weekend.

He rang yesterday to say that he's found a bit of sponginess just below the window above the cooker, and just wanted to let me know as it's a fair distance away and he didn't want to waste my time. He said if I was still interested I could make an offer, if not he'll stick it on fleabay.

 

Just wondering if anybody thinks it's worth looking at, and what would be the likely cause, window or roof? And is it worth repairing, or even possible?

I'm presuming this would mean the whole kitchen area would have to be removed to get at the panel behind? Or could just the cooker be removed and the worktop and a piece be spliced in?

 

I'm going to try and get some more info/pics from him, to try and ascertain the extent of the damage before I decide whether or not to go.

 

Any help / advice / opinions greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks guys

 

spadders

If you can get it for around £800/1000 & can repair yourself then it may be a good buy, anything else walk away.

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

www. thecaravanmedic-swindon. co. uk

 

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The van on offer is 15 years old so I would be surprised if one didn't find other areas of damp in it.

Why? I have a 14-year-old Swift which, upon inspection by a specialist, showed it to be completely dry! Usually damp is caused by accident damage somewhere or an owner who is neglectful when working on the caravan!

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Not too sure about newer models but anyone in the trade used the term 'soggy Swift' .

The light at the end of the tunnel has been switched off.

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We did!

 

One patch around the front LHS, after resealing the cant rail it has got no worse and may be drying out, another patch on the back wall near the sink that needs dealing with.

Apart from that we have no issues!

 

Given the weight (below 1000 kg) and layout we have decided to investigate a repair to extend the life of this 24 yr old van as more modern designs don't suit and would need a bigger tug

 

Oh and it was £1000 to purchase so it is worth spending some cash on

 

 

P. S. anyone know of a good workshop in the north that might take the job?

Edited by Ich

My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely

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Not too sure about newer models but anyone in the trade used the term 'soggy Swift' .

Leaky Lunar was another one i've heard! :lol:

Compass Shadow 1988

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I had a van like this, due to a leaking locker door, and it was behind the cooker/kitchen worktop. This involved all of the kitchen out which are a pain to do. Cost to fix was £1300.

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We did!

 

One patch around the front LHS, after resealing the cant rail it has got no worse and may be drying out, another patch on the back wall near the sink that needs dealing with.

Apart from that we have no issues!

 

Given the weight (below 1000 kg) and layout we have decided to investigate a repair to extend the life of this 24 yr old van as more modern designs don't suit and would need a bigger tug

 

Oh and it was £1000 to purchase so it is worth spending some cash on

 

 

P. S. anyone know of a good workshop in the north that might take the job?

Crossley coachwork in Leyland.

Another point of view is that it has two awnings, which have a value on ebay. If you could get it for about £1000 pounds it would be usable for a couple of years without any treatment and then would have a scrap value. If you use it like that then you find out whether caravanning suits you and have a longer look round in a couple of years. No work done on it, and lots of enjoyment at a reasonable price.

Bill

 

Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.

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It will alwats be worth £200 for scrap, so if you can get it for 1k and have a few holidays then at worst scrap it in my eyes its been worth it. I have had new vans leak from new, i have had this 1 7 years and cant beat the layout, style and reliability of the van, so it will be staying for a while yet

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