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Standing on caravan roof to clean

Jul 30, 2007
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Just changed storage compounds,(no more overhanging trees,tree sap,bird droppings etc).
I've tried using a step ladder and extending brush to wash the roof but just can't get enough "downward pressure"to clean properly.
The van is 2015 Bailey Unicorn Cadiz.
I have an 8ft long,6 " wide and 2" thick length of timber which I could wrap a strip of old carpet around it and span the roof to stand on and wash it properly.
Probably only need to use it in two positions(keeping clear of roof straps).
Used to be an industrial roofer so I do appreciate the aspects of health & safety but would appreciate any comments on the weight on the roof(it would overhang each side by about 3 inches).
 

Mel

Mar 17, 2007
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When Bailey built the Alu tech system, the strength of the roof was much advertised. There were pictures of a car being put on the roof. How this relates to your own plan, I wouldn’t like say, but good luck.
Mel
 
Jun 16, 2020
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I got up on my Valencia and the roof held up very very well as the Alu-tech are supposed to be. But, like you, I have no problems with height and have worked on many a roof. But getting up and down through the roof light is very much for younger active bendable people. A secured overlong ladder on the side is best, with something to spread the load.

I went up with crocks (type) shoes on. Soooo slippy. So I tried bearfoot. Also slippy.

But the roof was clean.

John
 

Damian

Moderator
Mar 14, 2005
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When Bailey built the Alu tech system, the strength of the roof was much advertised. There were pictures of a car being put on the roof.
What they did not show was the supports that were placed along the length of the caravan above the roof to wall joints to spread the weight along its length.

Whilst the bonded roof vans do have the advantage of being able to take some weight it is still not advisable to walk on what will become a wet and slippery surface as you wash it , and it is a long way down to the ground !!!
 
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Jul 30, 2007
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Thank you.
Looks like I may be ok then.
Don't think I will take the car up there🤣
but should be ok for what I have planned.
I've treated myself to a cordless pressure washer(not overly powerful with the seals etc.. in mind,but will be a great help for wetting and swilling off).
Thank you Damien.
No,I won't actually be standing on the roof itself and the carpet will cover the whole of the timber(fixed at the top not lying on the "roof side"),so shouldn't be too slippery.
 
May 24, 2014
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I would use two step ladders and a decorators plank. Its our normal method and works very well.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Perhaps some pre-wash, like snow foam, (applied via pressure washer or pump sprayer) might help your cleaning efforts. Spray-on and leave to loosen the dirt for a few minutes.

Two hands on the pole of the brush would give you the leverage, if your step ladders are stable enough. I have a set of those folding ladders which have wide feet so are more stable; when folded into the step-ladder shape, I can let go to brush the roof two-handed.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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No way ever-caravans don't need any persuasion to leak at the best of times without extra stress-ladders and a long brush. Can even polish ours like this with a microfibre wrapped round the end.
 
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Oct 12, 2016
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Seem to remember the Bailey with the car on top was a marketing idea as previously stated. If you spread thd load over as big an area as possible, should be OK. Never had the need to climb on the roof, a long handled car was brush suffices.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I have never ever been tempted to stand on a caravan roof. I use ladders with sponge to protect the caravan awning rails, the ladders came from Aldi and have a very wide well supported base, long handled telescopic soft brush and various lengths of wood that I attach chamois or microbe cloth to. Still achieve a clean shiny surface without undue effort, and have only ever done the roof twice a year maximum.
 

Ern

May 23, 2021
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The car on the roof stunt was a very different matter to standing in the middle of it. The weight of each car wheel was a static load close to the edge, the area supported by the wall, and they no doubt used spreader boards anyway. I am a fairly short 76 year old and get up the ladder (a simple aluminium one from Screwfix) and apply plenty of umph with my extending car wash brush.
 
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Jul 30, 2007
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Yes I use foam pipe insulation at the part where ladder meets the caravan.
There must be about 8 months worth of muck up there from the trees and birds so I feel that leaning up on ladder with awning rails at waist height will not enable me to get enough downforce on extending brush to make a good job of it.(tried this approach last year and it just seemed to remove the top surface of dirt).
I was however able to use the storage compounds (not sure how to explain it)but its the sort of equipment used in warehouses with 4 wheels and a locking mechanism when its in place to stop it moving.
When standing at the top my feet were almost level with caravan roof......great bit of kit.
Unfortunately,I've now changed compounds.
The plank of timber is 8 ft.long so my weight whilst standing on it won't put any pressure on the roof.
May sound a bit over the top but the timber will be wrapped in a very thick carpet and the only point of contact will be on the side edges.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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At 6 foot I am lucky. Standing on the ladders I can lean right over with my body but feet firmly on the ladders. Small sections at a time and wiped dry with an old towel. Then sprayed with Bobby Dazzler. I did polish it once . It took an eternity!
 
Jul 30, 2007
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DD..thats what I shall be able to do once it has a really good deep clean.
Then just a case of washing any normal dirt/dust off.
It just needs a really good clean,then I can keep on top of it.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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At 6 foot I am lucky. Standing on the ladders I can lean right over with my body but feet firmly on the ladders. Small sections at a time and wiped dry with an old towel. Then sprayed with Bobby Dazzler. I did polish it once . It took an eternity!
DD We have something in common i am 6ft 5ins tall it comes handy for cleaning the caravan ;)
 
Jul 30, 2007
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Very true otherclive😂

Beachball.......if your 6ft 5in.....if I give you my storage compounds address.....can you give my roof a clean please👍
( Think I know the answer to that one)😂
 
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Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
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At five foot three and a bit I can't reach right across the caravan roof when standing on a ladder.
I use a cheapo house plant spray bottle to spray the automotive shampoo across the roof after washing the dust off first with my hose.
I use my extendable cleaning brush to agitate the nearest section of shampoo to create a lather.
I move my ladder along the sides of the caravan all round until all the lather is worked in.
I have a cup of tea to allow the automotive shampoo to loosen stubborn marks, then I go back up the ladder with my extendable brush now attached to my hose to rinse the shampoo and dirt off, moving the ladder along both sides as before.
When the roof is done the front, back and sides are easier.
It works ok for me
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Why not open the skylight wide if you can, put the ladder inside and through the skylight and then wash the surrounding area. We had our caravan done with Paintseal so that the dirt does not stick and should wash off. Appears to be working as roof reasonably clean.
 
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