Advice please on damp/rotten floor

Apr 9, 2018
Hi, I'm Matthew and yes I've gone and bought a damp/part rotten caravan. Elddis Avante 524 2002. So currently feeling ashamed and angry and upset but also got one eye on sorting it as quickly as poss as I don't want it to get any worse and we also need to be able to go away in it as soon as we can. On inspection I looked for damp all over the van but did not pull up any carpets. The damp/rot is at the door and runs all the way to the back corner. It also runs about 10cm under the cooker. It is about 30 cm into the van and has rotted the top layer of ply. The bottom layer seems ok. The thing that really concerns me is the batten rail has completely rotted and a screwdriver will pass through it. The wet has also got up the walls about 2 inches which I could not see as covered with the door threshold and them coving hiding the water pipes.Reading are showing dry just above this. I have stripped out some furniture to see what is happening easier and am a little overwhelmed now.

I have done a lot of work on my house over the years and feel confident that I am handy with tools etc but have never tackled any thing like this before. It seems like I will have to remove the door and frame and then the ally strip down the side of the van to get to the batten. My concern is with playing with the structure of the van as this all seems quite integral.

The leak looks to have been getting in via the door as the seal is perished in places and does not make a good fit at all. So am looking at replacing that. It seems to have pooled at the door as this was the wettest part and then run/spread to the back. I have a lot of photos and have posted below the ones of me uncovering the damp/rot of the floor. I have some of the seals and door too if anyone would like to see those.
I also know that water could be getting in via the awning rail and I will have to take that off and reseal.
I have a mobile man who can coming over tomorrow for a look and I am looking at my options with the seller as I would like to gat my monies tbh. She is a trade dealer but I have signed a receipt saying sold as seen but asked her a few time and she said she had done her own damp tests and it was all try. So feel I've been had really. I'm going to get on to trading standards asap and see what I can do.

Any pointers or help re the scale of repair would be most appreciated. And I thank you in advance for any input you all might have.
May 7, 2012
I doubt the sold as seen receipt will help but I do wonder if being asked to sign that should have put you on warning. Basically the Consumer Protection Act applies to the sale and as the caravan is not fit for purpose you should be entitled to your money back but i have a feeling the dealer will be difficult and you will have problems. If you are able to contact a legal help line through possibly your house contents insurer or any trade union you belong to then speak to them, if not I would have a word with Citizens Advice on their helpline and Trading Standards although the value of them seems to vary a lot depending on where you live.
As for the scale of the repair needed I think you need to see what the mobile engineer says. Once you have his advice you can post further and a few people on here have done this type of repair but they will need to know the extent of the damage first.
Apr 9, 2018
Thanks Raywood. It's nice to have made a contact with someone and been heard on the subject. I've hardly slept properly but am starting to feel a bit better day by day. I hear what you are saying about the legalities and will look into this further asap. I might have some legal cover on my Home policy. It is not fit for purpose no and I am sure it was known about in advance by the dealer. I will wait to see tomorrow report and then post back. I can't currently post photos as the forum will not allow me but I'll look for a way round that and hope fully get some images up too.

Many thanks
Apr 9, 2018
I've just spoken with Citizens advice and they were really helpful. I've got a lot of info now regarding the Consumer rights act 2015 and how to proceed from this point. I'll ask the engineer visiting tomorrow if he can give me a report that it is not fit for purpose and take it from there. I'll post up when I know some more.
Mar 14, 2005
Hello Mat
I'm really sorry about your experience, and I do think you may have a case under the CRA. In the interests of fairness we only have your words about the circumstances but I stress this is based on the information you have supplied.

By going to a dealer you are expecting them to have "expertise" in the goods they are selling. This places a legal duty on the seller to use that expertise and not misdirect potential customers as to the condition and suitability of the goods for their intended purpose.

You tell us you asked the dealer about the soundness of the caravan in respect of damp, and crucially that has made the condition of the caravan an enforceable term of the contract. The fact the dealer claimed the caravan had been tested and was "dry" is an inducement to encourage you to purchase the caravan. If the caravan is in fact damp so soon after purchase is almost certain to be taken to prove the dealer was not telling the truth. That is a falsification of the facts which is a trades description matter, it is also a breach of the CRA as the goods were not as described. That should be sufficient to negate any claim of immunity becasue the goods were sold as seen.

The matter will be much easier to pursue if you have any other person ( wife or partner for example) who witnessed you asking about the condition of the caravan, but that should not be essential.

If the damp is extensive and compromises the integrity of the caravan it therefore fails to to be fir for purpose.

If the damp has compromised the longevity of the structure, it fails to be durable.

I wish you luck
Apr 9, 2018
Thanks Prof. Really great to hear some sound words from people on this topic as it helps to lower my blood pressure! I feel a lot brighter today and am now able to think a little more clearly and not act as impulsively or emotively as the last few days.

I can see the start of a way forward even though it might be difficult.
The forum here and forums in general are a great way for connecting people and offering advice and support.

I'm glad that I found this one and got signed up.

I'll update soon.


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