Re-sealing a Caravan ?

Dave

Red Leader
Staff member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2001
Messages
66,272
Our caravan has developed a leak along the roofline. It looks like it's coming from the seal behind one of the awning rails.
Has anyone resealed one before?

My plan is, once the rain stops, is to remove the awning rail and clean the old mastic off it and then re-seal it with a new mastic strip, which I've bought. Any advice would be welcome (apart from get rid and buy a tent lol)

There is some damage behind a cupboard on the inside where the damp has caused the plywood panel to break up, right where the cupboard is suspended from. So, the plan is rather than try to remove the panel as I know you can't buy them anymore, is to cut out the damaged section and bond a new piece of plywood to it. Behind the plywood is polystyrene sheeting but the only thing I can't see at the moment is how the plywood was fixed in the first place. As far as I can find out the caravan is not built on a timber frame.
 

Markywhizz

Clueless member
Site Supporter
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
3,927
You need Sicaflex to seal that. When I lived on a boat we used it for sealing everything. It sticks like nothing on earth and seals beautifully but you’d never be able to take the awning rail off again.
 

ukzero1

Growing old disgracefully.
Site Supporter
Joined
Oct 3, 2004
Messages
15,370
You need Sicaflex to seal that. When I lived on a boat we used it for sealing everything. It sticks like nothing on earth and seals beautifully but you’d never be able to take the awning rail off again.

I'll go with that. Had a similar problem with our tourer and Sicaflex did the business.
 

Dave

Red Leader
Staff member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2001
Messages
66,272
Well what a chuffin job :eek:

I've got one half of one rail off so far but cleaning the old mastic off is an absolute mare - imagine trying to peel 5metres of chewing gum off.

The missus was cleaning the rail and in the end I had to lend her my blow torch :eek:

I'm sorting the caravan out and have found where the water was getting in so just need to get the rest of the old mastic off then replace with new and I've got some Soudall Fix all High Tack which was recommended, works in the wet as well which is a good job as it's now raining.

I might just give the thing a wash with half a gallon of petrol and use the blow torch to dry it lol :D
 

ukzero1

Growing old disgracefully.
Site Supporter
Joined
Oct 3, 2004
Messages
15,370
I might just give the thing a wash with half a gallon of petrol and use the blow torch to dry it lol :D

That's a bit drastic. All you have to do is cover it with dog food and get doggy to lick it clean. You stay dry, doggy gets fed and everyone's a winner. :LOL:
 

Pompous git

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
5,344
Watcha Dave, sorry to hijack your thread but two things have come to mind.

In 1988 I bought a new caravan from a Kent dealer, within six months it had developed a slight bump where the edge of the roof sloped
down to the front window. Fitter from the dealer came round and said it was something or other `creep`, well I had bought a new caravan
and I wanted it like new! Also I was worried that it may start to leak.
I towed it to said dealer and after five weeks there had been no progress despite letting them know my displeasure. Boss of the dealership
said `the work requires peeling back the roof and refitting the front windows and will take up most of my workshop and two fitters for at
least a day but the caravan manufacturers will only pay us four hours labour`. I told them that is their problem and I want my caravan back
as it was almost summer. Said boss then showed me the correspondence between him and the maker {Avondale} , the cheeky baskets said
if I tow it to their factory {three hundred miles away!} I can have a free tour of their site.
It was obvious Avondale were dragging their heels and hoping I would go away much the same as the dealership owner so I decided to play
dirty.
Said dealership had a spot at the Earls Court caravan show, so I phoned up the stand and got through to the boss pretending I was a buyer.
I told him if I do not get my caravan back fixed to my satisfaction in two days myself and the wife and kids along with mother and mother in
law would turn up and cause a riot at his stand and I will also inform the BBC because it would make interesting viewing seeing the whole
git clan being arrested.
It gave me no pleasure getting into a lather over this I like to think of myself as a gentle soul but sometimes all people understand is the big
stick. My caravan was indeed returned to me within two days.

I had the caravan for a couple of years when I noticed a stain on a shelf just below where the bump had been, bollo thinks I and although
there was no obvious sign of ingress something was going on. I took off the trim and peeled back the headlining but all was fine. The
headlining and trim never went back properly and it irked me every time I looked at it.
Some time after my ill fated `repair` my eldest admitted knocking over some shampoo on said shelf and this is what had caused the stain
which would not go away and looked and felt all the world like a leak, bluddy kids!
 

spark1

Regular member
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
912
Plumbers Gold is an excellent sealant and adhesive you won't go wrong with it and Iv'e used it on a few different jobs. You can also smear it over a surface to seal as well as in between materials.
 

Dave

Red Leader
Staff member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2001
Messages
66,272
Well I went back out to it after the rain and started to seal the top jointing strip which went across the top of the caravan from side to side, also the side behind the awning rail where it had been leaking. The problem area was the joint between the roof panels, the side panel and the strip and rail, apparently it was a common fault on this model of caravan.

Anyway, copious amounts of sealant gunned in, some pop-rivets for good measure to aid the clamping effect, and I slipped with a screw driver and punched a chuffin hole through the roof - aargh :poop:

Luckily it was a small flat bladed screwdriver I was using as a scraper to get into the awkward bits, so I drilled the hole round and bunged some sealant in followed by a pop-rivet to fill the hole - it looks like its there for a reason lol

Onwards and upwards tomorrow if this rain ever stops long enough
 

Mr Bite

Missed a bite ???
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
2,370
I've had 4 caravans over the last 19 years all bought brand new. First 3 of them all suffered water ingress within 3-4 years of manufacture. I've had coumtless argument with dealers over repairs etc. The worst of all af them was when I had have a floor pannel changed on an 18 month old caravan under warranty.. They said they were gonna strip out the intereior seats and front drawers replace the said floor pannel then refit the seating and drawers and fit new carpet, I did'nt trust them so a wrote on the underside of the floor pannel the date and my name in permanent marker. They had the van for 6 weeks and I got a call to say the work was complete and it was ready to collect. Whem I collected it I asked for a print out of all the work that had been carried out. It was like a roll of wallpaper the list of work they had claimed for. Once I got home I inspected the work and as I suspected there was my name on the floor pannel so i had to get on the phone to the service manger to thank them for writing my name and date back on the new floor pannel. He neary shat himself when I explained what I'd done and they'd been caught out. He appologised reapeatedly and said that it had'nt been done intentionally it was just a huge error. I reckon all they done was remove the carpet, stick a dehumidifier in it, seal inside the front locker where the water had got inand fit new carpet. No different to car main dealers they can't be trusted.
 

Dave

Red Leader
Staff member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2001
Messages
66,272
Our mobile holiday cottage is far from new (1996 ABI Award Nightstar) but it does the job, doesn't owe us a penny, serves a purpose and is very tidy especially for it's age.
We bought it some seven years ago or so and it had had a bit of work done then by the previous owner to seal the same leak, so seven years it hasn't done too bad all in all.
We've done some mileage with it over the years, always maintained it, and recently had an offer for it nigh on what we paid for it :)

It's got a couple more outings planned for this year so I'll see where we go from there. The missus is hankering after a newer one with a fixed bed but unless they're giving them away she'll have to wait lol
 

Dave

Red Leader
Staff member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2001
Messages
66,272
I've told her to put a blow-up mattress in the awning but she's having none of it lol
 

Mr Bite

Missed a bite ???
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
2,370
should have put the screwdriver through the roof a few more times at least she could have a shower lol.
 

Simon Walsh

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
2,573
We bought a new caravan a year last March. Part exchanged our 2nd hand one. Got a fixed bed, happy days. Off to Eye Kettleby Lakes a week on Saturday. Lovely and comfortable and looks the business?
 

Trogg

the bouncer
Staff member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 11, 2001
Messages
28,638
I used to use a very large syringe and either sicaflex or a decent plumbing sealant, put some in the syringe and then "inject" it into the problem area, wet finger to smooth it down and jobs a good un.

The problem with modern trailers is the aluminium they use, after a few years it starts to shrink, pulls back from the joints and then you get seeping, the roof is the worst area because it is always getting the air flow pressing against it trying to either push the panel in or lift it up....i've seen a roof peel off going over the menai bridge, the seam had given and the lad was planning to sort it out at the next build up because we were there for 3 weeks.....he ended up touring the local area farms etc looking for a "parked n forgotten" trailer he could buy cheap.

Come winter, i'd park my trailer up on the winter quarters for the closed season, then i'd go around rubbing olive oil into all the rubber seals and closing the windows tight, after that i'd get two large tubs of salt, put one each end of the trailer, rub the door seal with olive oil and lock it up for the winter.... some of the guys would put a cover over theirs but i prefered to leave mine with air circulation!
 
Top