I've Been and Gone

Oct 17, 2010
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and done It now. Reversing my van onto the drive, I hit a planter fixed to the garage wall and split the rear panel,
It's about 18" long and next to the awning rail and resembles a comic lightening bolt. The awning rail is intact and I don't want to disturb it, the split seems to have closed nicely, so not being pulled apart.
I'm going to repair it myself. I believe it's plastic and bearing in mind I cannot get to the rear of the panel any advice would be much appreciate. I have repaired stone damage using Car Plan body filler. This is a little bigger.
Thanks. :whistle:
 
Nov 11, 2009
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You will need plastic staples and welding. The problem will be that ABS panels flex and are subject to cracking in normal use. Just treating it like filling a car body panel will not work. There seems also to be a view that staples and welding aren’t too successful. Makers tend to replace panels. I would speak to one of the specialist caravan repairers like Caravan Medic.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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otherclive said:
You will need plastic staples and welding. The problem will be that ABS panels flex and are subject to cracking in normal use. Just treating it like filling a car body panel will not work. There seems also to be a view that staples and welding aren’t too successful. Makers tend to replace panels. I would speak to one of the specialist caravan repairers like Caravan Medic.

This is a link from PC
https://www.practicalcaravan.com/advice/31934-trade-secrets-caravan-bodywork-repairs
 
Jun 20, 2005
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You won't be the first Dave.
If you visit a motorcycle repair shop they will have plastic repair experts. Look at the very expensive fairings they repair. They may be willing to help out .
 
Oct 17, 2010
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Dustydog said:
You won't be the first Dave.
If you visit a motorcycle repair shop they will have plastic repair experts. Look at the very expensive fairings they repair. They may be willing to help out .
Have a little part time job and the bosses (two of them) are bikers, will ask them, they've had a couple of fairings repaired.

This weather. damaged van and it's tipping it down. Thank goodness for gaffer tape.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Dave, why not ask your insurance company about the repair, they will pay for a new panel !!!! A weld repair, or right of the van, which you could then buy back at a cheap price and do a weld repair. You are going to spend more on a repair than a years insurance cost.
 
Oct 17, 2010
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EH52ARH said:
Dave, why not ask your insurance company about the repair, they will pay for a new panel !!!! A weld repair, or right of the van, which you could then buy back at a cheap price and do a weld repair. You are going to spend more on a repair than a years insurance cost.
Hi Hutch.
The repair would have cost less than my excess on my insurance or very near. so would cost me anyroad. Taken the plunge. will post before and after, constructive criticism would be appreciated :unsure: :unsure: . Already sealed the split.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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DaveA1 said:
EH52ARH said:
Dave, why not ask your insurance company about the repair, they will pay for a new panel !!!! A weld repair, or right of the van, which you could then buy back at a cheap price and do a weld repair. You are going to spend more on a repair than a years insurance cost.
Hi Hutch.
The repair would have cost less than my excess on my insurance or very near. so would cost me anyroad. Taken the plunge. will post before and after, constructive criticism would be appreciated :unsure: :unsure: . Already sealed the split.

Here was my split. Coachman had it back though new rear panel under warraty, , a repairer said £250, for welding.

Awning rail screws , without pilot holes.

Screenshot-2018-07-09-20-07-20.png
 
Oct 17, 2010
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First shows spilt cleaned and first lay of weld in place. Second layer filled completely, rubbed down as smooth as a babies ------

Second shows repair completed. I still have to rub down over spray and blend repair in.
Time will tell how good the repair is. Quite pleased with it at the moment.
 
Oct 17, 2010
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otherclive said:
Looks good could you give an explanation of your approach and materials please
Hi Clive
I used a two part epoxy resin called J.B.Weld, very fast setting.
The more I go through the sequence I used, the more I think "I should have done and that and that"
First I drilled the top of the split. then opened it to 8 mm later.
The split was over lapping, had to prise it open until it clipped back into place. Lucky!
Using a wood chisel cut the split into a V shape. Then sanded back the plastic around the split.
I needed to get behind the split to give it more support, so I praised the split open again with a small screw driver.
Then using plastic seed/plant markers, you know, the ones you put at the end of newly set row of beans, marking it carrots!! Cut them down to 25 x 8 mm so it would pass through the top hole. using bags of resin, I laminated two peaces together, using a length of twine and my Stanley knife blade point, to keep it way from the back,
I lowered it down to about half way, then pulled it against the back, then tied it off using a piece of wood to hold it in place, did the same with a second one,
Bit of a fiddle. Took screw driver out and the split closed nicely. (should have drilled a couple of extra holes) Got another in lower down were some plastic was missing.
Filled the split up with the resin, ensuing it's pressed through the split as much possible. went for a cuppa.
Sanded down, and sprayed, as pic.
Time will tell if repair good

Total cost 22.95
 
Jun 17, 2011
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Looks good. I had a repair done last year to the front by the dealer and they charged me £250. Even then I had to do some vigorous polishing to make the repair shine.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Nice work DaveA1, and thanks for sharing your repair with us, I hope it will work out well long term.

We never know when we might have a wee 'crash', really helpfull to have repair ideas other than running off to a repair shop in the first instance.

Ta again :)
 
Nov 11, 2009
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You did a cracking job especially given the difficulty of access. Just for info of any members I have used Fiber Fix repair patches and Fiber Fix extreme glue and found the patches very good. They harden quickly and bond to ABS like anything. I used one on an A frame fairing. If you can access the inside the repair is difficult to spot.
 
Oct 17, 2010
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otherclive said:
You did a cracking job especially given the difficulty of access. Just for info of any members I have used Fiber Fix repair patches and Fiber Fix extreme glue and found the patches very good. They harden quickly and bond to ABS like anything. I used one on an A frame fairing. If you can access the inside the repair is difficult to spot.

I'm a little worried that I haven't got enough support at the back. I Wish I'd the courage to drill more holes, wouldn't have needed to rush. As after 4/5 mins the resin hardened, almost as if someone had thrown a switch. Still, I will be watching the repair like a Hawk for a few weeks.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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DaveA1 said:
.....Still, I will be watching the repair like a Hawk for a few weeks....

Well done on the repair it looks like you've done a good job , I also hope that you look out for the planter next time you reverse in :lol:
 
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Craigyoung said:
DaveA1 said:
.....Still, I will be watching the repair like a Hawk for a few weeks....

Well done on the repair it looks like you've done a good job , I also hope that you look out for the planter next time you reverse in :lol:
:lol: When I suggest what I was going to do with it SWMBO put her foot down with a firm hand.
 
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Well it's about six months since I repaired my van after reversing into a planter. What with doctors appointments, we've managed only about 400 miles since and the repair is still holding so far. Polished and blended in nicely.
 

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Nov 11, 2009
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Well it's about six months since I repaired my van after reversing into a planter. What with doctors appointments, we've managed only about 400 miles since and the repair is still holding so far. Polished and blended in nicely. Have tried to upload a pic bit no matter what I do, file is too large. Always worked fine before.
Resize to below 2 mb seems to work. Old forum required 400x400 to post. This one is so much better.
 
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