Lunar Quasar frame rot

Mar 21, 2022
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Hi Everyone,

I'm relatively new to caravanning having purchased a 2009 Lunar Quasar 525 2 years ago. I've been on a few trips and hoping to do a few more this year but since taking the van back from outdoor storage a few weeks ago I have found substantial rot in the frame in one of the front corners. I've had a look through a lot of other threads but unfortunately I can't find the answers i'm looking for so was hoping someone could help!

There was a damp patch on the front corner that didn't look too bad but once I stripped this back and removed some of the wall board I have found the frame to be completely soaked and rotten, all the way down to the floor and up past the back of the overhead locker. The frame is too far gone to be repaired so will need to be replaced. The main problem is in order to do this from the inside I would need to remove the overhead lockers but I'm not sure if this is possible as I think they may be screwed in from behind.

Has anyone here ever successfully removed overhead lockers from Lunar models of this vintage, and if so can they offer any guidance please?

After seeing the extent of the frame rot I'm leaning more towards getting a professional repair but this could be very costly so if I can do it myself I'll give it a go! I actually think the best way to proceed and possibly the way a professional outfit would proceed is to remove the external cladding and work on the frame from the outside. Does anyone know if that would normally be the case?

Thanks for your time and I'd really appreciate any advice!
 
Jul 19, 2021
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I can't help much, but when we had the damp in the front of our 2008 Bailey Pageant repaired, all the work for the frame was done on the inside.
The cause was some cracking around the screw holes where the window hinges were screwed through the outside panel. When the problem was fixed the caravan was kept in the workshop for several days and an industrial size dehumidifier used to dry everything out. When this had been done it was surprising how little of the original frame needed replacing.

So my advice would be to find the root cause of the water ingress, fix that first and take it from there.

I will also say that finding someone to do the job was not easy as pretty much all the local caravan repair places didn't want to quote or came to view the problem, never to be seen again.
 
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Mar 21, 2022
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Hi Bluetonic, thanks for the reply 😊. I found the source of the water ingress to be due to a bad screw (or 2) on the awning rail letting water in. When I removed the rubber trim from the awning rail there was a lot of water in under this and all of the screws were rusted. I think someone might have replaced these screws previously because they were of different lengths and if they had used stainless steel screws they shouldn't be so rusty. The screws at the back of the rail are still silver but maybe this just happened over time due to water...

I spent about 5 hours removing the front section of the awning rail to find the damage. I found out since that the rail on these vans is glued on with silicon or sikaflex equivalent so it was a nightmare to remove!

Unfortunately the wood in the frame can only be described as having the same texture as a Cadbury Flake but with a much more bitter taste 😒. There's not much of it left to salvage at this stage so it will need to be replaced.

Hopefully someone has experience of having done this before!

Thanks
 
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May 7, 2012
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I would try you tube where there is a video of nearly everything and you can see others doing the job.
 
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Mar 21, 2022
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I would try you tube where there is a video of nearly everything and you can see others doing the job.

Thanks Ray, yes I've had a good look through youtube and there are some great videos which have been a huge help, but I can't find any videos where anyone takes down an overhead locker from a lunar caravan. So before I even attempt this I'm just curious to know if it can be done or are they screwed in from behind making this practically impossible to do...

Cheers!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thanks Ray, yes I've had a good look through youtube and there are some great videos which have been a huge help, but I can't find any videos where anyone takes down an overhead locker from a lunar caravan. So before I even attempt this I'm just curious to know if it can be done or are they screwed in from behind making this practically impossible to do...

Cheers!
You could ring Granthams who were a main dealer and have been good in supporting lunar owners since the company failed. I’m sure they would be willing to offer advice.
 
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Mar 21, 2022
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You could ring Granthams who were a main dealer and have been good in supporting lunar owners since the company failed. I’m sure they would be willing to offer advice.

Thanks, that might be worth a try! I actually didn't realise that Lunar aren't in business any more, that's a real shame.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Ian,

You are correct, some caravans were constructed from the inside out, and yours may be one of them.

As you may have gathered, water ingress leading to rot has been the worst trait of most touring caravans for many years. The caravan manufacturer's have known about it for 75years but only really tried to address it in the 2010s by begining to use new construction methods, which do seem to have reduced the number of reports, and by removing wood from the construction, when ingress does occur (as it still can do) at least the structure doesn't begin rotting away.

Rot is the biggest concern for older caravans.

Unfortunately it's far from uncommon to find a damp patch, but when it's investigated, it's found the affected area is often much bigger, and may relate to an ingress point some distance from the first signs found. This can make what at first seems a manageable job into a much bigger project. Don't underestimate what's involved.

Like dry rot in domestic properties, you need to remove and replace all the affected material otherwise the spoors from the rot may begin to enjoy the new wood you've just put back.

Good luck
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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As an unconventional repair method this may help.

We had a 2005 Compass. In 2011 I found damp in the same location as the OP. Removing a little I could see the sort of rot described by the OP. At that point I resolved to do a botch repair in order to px the van. Rather than throw money at it.

I removed the front part of the awning rail to find it had clearly not been fully sealed from new. This was bedded in and replaced. I then put plywood to the outside and the inside and clamped this with ’G’ clamps through the window. Lastly I carefully filled the void with expanding foam. I slightly overdid it and left a slight bulge.

Before I px’d it a friend said he would buy it. I made sure he fully understood what I had done.

That friend is still using the van 11 years on. My repair looks just as I left it.

As a method it sort of proved itself, It may be an idea that can be incorporated but always be aware of the expansion power of the foam when trapped.

John
 
Mar 21, 2022
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@ProfJohnL thanks for the advice. I'm just sorry now that I didn't take more precautions like using a cover during winter or investigating the awning rail for water and rotten screws. But I'm learning the hard way now!

Cheers, Ian
 
Mar 21, 2022
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@Jcloughie that's an interesting idea indeed! I suppose though in theory what I could have alao done was to use a dehumidifier and dry the van out and no one would be any the wiser, but doing this or using an expanding foam isn't going to offer any strength to the frame. I'd say there are plenty of vans out there that had this issue but were just dried out and resealed. A problem like this would then not show up with a moisture meter but the structural integrity of the van would be gone...

If I can get the overhead lockers out without breaking them then I can remove the wall board and find the true extent of the damage. If I can't do this I might just have to replace as much of the frame as I can get to, or try to remove as much of the locker as possible and work around it. The latter would certainly be my preference at this stage 😊.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Hi Everyone,

I'm relatively new to caravanning having purchased a 2009 Lunar Quasar 525 2 years ago. I've been on a few trips and hoping to do a few more this year but since taking the van back from outdoor storage a few weeks ago I have found substantial rot in the frame in one of the front corners. I've had a look through a lot of other threads but unfortunately I can't find the answers i'm looking for so was hoping someone could help!

There was a damp patch on the front corner that didn't look too bad but once I stripped this back and removed some of the wall board I have found the frame to be completely soaked and rotten, all the way down to the floor and up past the back of the overhead locker. The frame is too far gone to be repaired so will need to be replaced. The main problem is in order to do this from the inside I would need to remove the overhead lockers but I'm not sure if this is possible as I think they may be screwed in from behind.

Has anyone here ever successfully removed overhead lockers from Lunar models of this vintage, and if so can they offer any guidance please?

After seeing the extent of the frame rot I'm leaning more towards getting a professional repair but this could be very costly so if I can do it myself I'll give it a go! I actually think the best way to proceed and possibly the way a professional outfit would proceed is to remove the external cladding and work on the frame from the outside. Does anyone know if that would normally be the case?

Thanks for your time and I'd really appreciate any advice!
Hi cannot help you much i notice something wasn"t right with the corner of our caravan took a picture sent it to my caravan repairer he did it a lot cheaper than the main dealer (it sounds like you are handy with hands and with the help and advice from this forum you should able to good job on it .)
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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@Jcloughie that's an interesting idea indeed! I suppose though in theory what I could have alao done was to use a dehumidifier and dry the van out and no one would be any the wiser, but doing this or using an expanding foam isn't going to offer any strength to the frame. I'd say there are plenty of vans out there that had this issue but were just dried out and resealed. A problem like this would then not show up with a moisture meter but the structural integrity of the van would be gone...

If I can get the overhead lockers out without breaking them then I can remove the wall board and find the true extent of the damage. If I can't do this I might just have to replace as much of the frame as I can get to, or try to remove as much of the locker as possible and work around it. The latter would certainly be my preference at this stage 😊.

Don’t underestimate the structural stability of structures laminated with thin weakish flexible outer surfaces with a foam like interior. The stiffness and strength exceeds that of the component parts. Much of the caravan is already built using that technology. The floor, and internal panels. Also I suspect more modern vans depend on laminated sides for most if not all of the strength.

John
 
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