Update on the Damp problems with our 'van

Mar 14, 2005
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I'm here again looking for advice from some of you folks out there.

A couple of weeks ago I posted that I had found the dreaded damp in our Avondale Landranger (1997). It is in the nearside back corner and within the fitted wardrobe area. Readings of 60% on the damp meter along corner angle. I then got 2 sets of advice from Dealers A and B

(A) Said dismantle wardrobe and strip rear and side wallboards and replace. Reseal all back and side rails and rebuild wardrobe. Estimate £1450.

(B) Said leave wallboards to dry using electric heater, after sealing rear nearside and back rails. £295 for sealing rails.

There was, also, small area of high reading (60) on damp meter above offside centre window. There is no sign of softness at that point. Dealer B included resealing this rail in above quote.

I am pretty confident that the rails DON'T need resealing as a I re-sealed the whole van myself very carefully in July 2005.

I've had the electric heaters on in the van and damp crystal in van for a fortnight and today hired a damp meter (Protim Mini BD2000). The readings ARE NOW LOWER.

The corner nearside wall NOW has readings OF 40% in a strip extending from the floor to about a metre above the floor. This strip extends about 15 cm wide from the corner at a height of 70 cm and narrrows to 5 cm wide. Near the floor this strip widens with readings up to 22% 20cm from the corner. Other readings on this wall are within the acceptable range. There is a further small soft patch about 1.48 metres above the floor at the same height as the exterior side joining rail with readings of 40% +.

The back panel has a high reading area near the floor. This has readings of 40% along near the corner to a height of 20 cms from the floor and then drops to reading of 12% above this. This patch extends in a rectangle across the back panel 30 cm wide by 20 cm high with the readings gradually decreasing to 16% at 30cm width from the corner and then dropping below 10%.

This reading do seem to have dropped compared with the 2 dealers' readings of 60% in the problem areas a fortnight ago. All over the other parts of the van I generally got much lower damp meter readings and some borderline areas (previously 17-19%) are now reading nearer to 10%. So the van seems to have dried out and the resealing seems to have been effective.

My problem now is to now what to do with the remaining problem areas?

The rear corner does seem to be drying out slowly but is there likely to hidden decay under the boards? I feel that replacing the side and rear wallboards in their entirety seems a bit excessive as such small areas are effected, especially on the back panel.

Would a dehumidifier help to dry the back corner out more?

With the side high reading spot I am puzzled to know what is the cause? The rail which I sealed seems sound and there isn't even a joint in the rail above that point either.

Should I leave the van to see if dries out more or should I strip out, or get someone to strip out part of the wallboards at the rear.

Cost and time are both at a premium for me at the moment as I was made redundant and I am now working part-time. I hope we can keep the van which we have lavished a lot of care, money, on in wealthier times!! and as it our lifeline to getting a break - even more so now

Thanks for your patience in reading this. Any comments or advice gratefully received.


Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Tim,

I personally don,t over trust some of these caravan repairers I,ve been lead up the garden path by them,fortunately I didn,t fall for there tricks.What I would do in your case is to use a de-humidifier and dry the caravan out with that,I did this and was amazed at how good it was.

In saying all this I did find where there was a seepage of water coming into the caravan and that was near an air damn we have on our the back of the roof where there was a rail which had loosened,so with this re-sealed and the de-humidifier the caravan is now nice and dry.We also leave 2 bowls of salt in the caravan in the winter which helps to keep the damp air down.Hope this helps Tim and enjoy your caravanning its a great hobby.Jim
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Jim / Tim

Hope the problem gets sorted Tim

Jim - like the idea of the Salt bowls - I shall do this with mine - do you find you need to replace the salt?

Also - like you I have little confidence in so called "professional" repairers. Far better to use a good manual and the expertise available from Forums such as this.

We were told "your fridge will not lite on gas -


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