Damp in Bailey Caravan

Jun 28, 2022
We bought a 2006 Bailey Pageant Series 6 as our first caravan around 18 months ago and it’s a fab little caravan. However we have found some damp that appears to have been there a while, due to cost constraints we need to try and fix this ourselves, we also don’t have the monies to get rid of this and buy another caravan.
We have been able to remove the bench on the left side of the caravan, which has revealed part of the damp, we have taken out the struts and it is drying nicely, the floor or higher parts of the wall doesn’t appear heavily affected, even looking from underneath the van.
However a larger part of damp seems to be between the battery locker/outside plug socket (where we suspect the damp is coming from as the sealant is pretty poor and behind the wheel arch appears to be dry), we have tried to take the fireplace out to access this but the final part of this appears to be wired in without easily being able to disconnect this. We also considered taking out the battery locker to access the damp but some of the sealant is stuck fast and we can’t get this out either with the fear that we will damage the outer wall of the van if we are too forceful. We haven’t attempted to take apart the cabinets as yet as this would seem a huge job to do.
Any tips or advice on a way forwards to access the damp would be really appreciated, together with any tips of how to put back together once we have taken out/dried out damp, many thanks!


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Mar 14, 2005
HI and welcome to the forum.

Damp is one of the issues that seems to befall many older caravans, and whilst if it is caught early enough, it can be repaired to soldier on for many more years, unfortunately it always devalues a caravan, and can make it almost unsaleable, as the general advice is if a caravans suffered with damp it's best not to buy it. However from your posting you have no present intention to sell it, you want to repair it.

It is of course repairable, but there are some things you really must be aware of. Almost anyone who has had a problem with a leaky flat roof will know the first signs of water inside is often some distance from the source of the leak on the outside, and much the same happens in caravans. so any repair must include the actual source of the leak, otherwise the same will happen again.

Another concern, and why damp repairs should be treated with great caution, is how long has the leak been occurring but not visible. This is important becasue if the longer a leak is active, there is a greater chance that some of the structural wooden parts may have actually begun to rot. any wood affected by either wet or dry rot needs to be removed completely and replaced with treated timber to prevent any remaining spoors from propagating any further after the repair.

There is nothing to worry about if the repair is done correctly. The caravan can be made sound, but you might have some difficulty to match new materials with old which often leaves the repair site identifiable.
Nov 11, 2009
Your first paragraph is overtly pessimistic in your views on damp and saleability. If caught early through regular damp checks it can be properly repaired with no visible damage inside or outside of the caravan. I would bet that 80% + of caravans have had it or will have damp at some stage in their life. Mine have had a near 100% record of damp, except for a Trigano pop top that was remarkably damp free. Lockers, awning rails, window and door seals, roof straps all being likely source of ingress particularly as the caravan ages.

Notwithstanding your comments the one pictured does appear to have being going for some time so does require to be addressed.
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Jun 20, 2005
Hi Franfrancis,
Welcome to the Forum,

Damp isn’t the end of the world.
Identification of the cause and failed seals is your priority.

The Bailey Caravan Owners Club and The Bailey Senator Owners Club have a wealth of diy videos fixing your type of problems. The damage always looks worse than it is.
Use the correct materials eg Soudal RV 61 sealant.

The Truma heater can be removed. You will have to ensure no gas cylinders are connected and then disconnect the gas pipe connection to the fire. Mine was located underneath the floor from the outside.
When you reconnect be sure to test for gas leaks, CO leaks etc. If you are unsure on gas get an engineer to do the reconnections. Never reuse the gas exhaust seal again. Buy a new one. Good luck


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