Bailey beachcomber 500/5 caravan

Aug 2, 2022
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Hi guys,

We bought an old bailey beachcomber 500/5 caravan as its size is ideal for our dogs and its old enough that we don't have to worry about dog slobber. We have already replaced flooring and painted the woodwork but that got us thinking about what else we can do. There's only myself, hubby and the 2 dogs so we are debating taking away the 2 large seating areas and unit at the nose end and replacing it with a small sofa bed but we are worried about weakening the structural integrity.

Another thing we considered was instead of 2 seats either side having an L shape seating are installed instead. Would removal of the bench seats affect the structural integrity ?

Is there a way around that or are we better to leave it as is.
 
Jul 19, 2021
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Often part of the structural integrity of the caravan is from the internal fittings.
Does your caravan have a chest of drawers at the front? Sometimes this can be removed and cushions added, which would give you a U shaped lounge (and a bigger bed)
 
May 7, 2012
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The internal furniture is often vital to the rigidity of the structure and removal should only be done by someone who has checked this out and knows the design limits. My feeling is that using an L shaped lounge might work if you fasten it into the same areas, but it would be a risk.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Probably not a good idea to remove the seating as it will redcue the rgidity and you may not legally be able to tow the caravan as it is no longer standard and does not conform with its original CoC.
Also you probably will not be able to insure the caravan as you need tos tate any modifications although that is not a legal obligation, however if it is involved in an accident the car insurance may claw back from yourselves any third party claim. Not wise to not insure any caravan.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I echo the points regarding the internal structures of a caravan being part of the overall structural integrity, it would be unwise to remove any major parts of them.

However Though it isn't wise to change the structure becasue it might weaken it, and it will almost certainly devalue the caravan, in the UK it wouldn't be a legal problem, provided the trailer isnot dangerous but if you wanted to move the caravan abroad it might make it harder or impossible depending on the local certification requirements.

(Edit addition) In the UK when a vehicle has a trailer, the tow vehicles statutory insurance covers you for any third party claims resulting from any incident whilst the trailer is connected to insured vehicle.

In the UK there is no statutory requirement for a caravan to carry its own insurance, so there are no statutory model policies, consequently each insurer may have significant differences to their terms and conditions, and what questions they may ask you before offering to insure your caravan. However there is an underlying requirement running through the insurance industry that policy holders must inform the company of any matters that might affect the policies cover, and I am sure significant structural changes would be such a factor.

It might be an idea to run the changes you are considering past an automobile engineer who might suggest if any additional work is necessary to maintain the safety of the trailer, but it still wont necessarily satisfy insurers or foreign certification requirements.
 
May 7, 2012
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Prof, if the work reduces the integrity of the body it might then be regarded as dangerous and therefore they could be prosecuted if that were the case. I think it is unlikely but it is possible, but if Bailey are asked they may have the final say.
If the insurance asks for details of any alterations it would have to be declared and the insurer might then need an engineers report to get this.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I would leave it as is and use some flexibility for a work around if there are aspects that aren’t liked. Bailey are most unlikely to express any support for modifications, why should they?
 

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