Will my 2015 Coachman VIP roof take my weight?

Jul 10, 2012
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Whilst away this winter, I have seen several people standing on the roof of their caravans to clean windows, or do maintenance work. They are usually european manufacture caravans.

Will my 2015 Coachman VIP take my weight if I get on the roof?
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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It depends whether it is a loose laid or composite.
If loose laid, NO, if composite , maybe.
However, it is not to be recommended even if possible,,,,,,,,,,,,,its a long way down !!!!!

European made vans are very different to UK ones !!!!
 
May 24, 2014
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Regardless of the structure, and as Damian says, its a long way down. Caravan roofs are notoriously slippy when cleaned, and at the edges, there are absolutely no hand holds. If its just a matter of cleaning, a long brush from the step ladder is as good as anything..
 
May 7, 2012
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Only Bailey have ever advertised the strength of their roof so probably not. on a Coachman.
As someone involved in accident investigation, all I can say about the idea is that it is downright dangerous and even if the roof can take your weight, only a fool would try it.
 
May 24, 2014
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I should have said, I actually bought a platform to work on mine. Quite a few of us got them on an Aldi special buy last year and they come up every now and then. About £60 I think they were.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thingy said:
I should have said, I actually bought a platform to work on mine. Quite a few of us got them on an Aldi special buy last year and they come up every now and then. About £60 I think they were.

I got one but even st 6 ft 4 in there are roof areas that are difficult to access. Younghusband platforms are higher but a lot heavier and more expensive.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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It seem to me that the only people who are likely to be able to answer this question will be your seller as they wold be liable under contract law if they claimed it were safe, and subsequently a roof failed when some one walked on it.

Historically, it is not normal practice to walk on vehicle roofs (including caravans) and most reasonable persons would expect that doing so is likely to damage the roof, structurally or its finish.

Walking on a caravan roof is not normal behaviour, nor is it easily achieved, so consequently caravan manufacturers are not expected to design their caravan's to accept such abnormal loads. Any one injured whist doing it, is not likely to have a claim against a caravans seller or manufacture upheld.

Unless a seller or manufacture tells you it is permitted, assume its not a good idea.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Thingy said:
I should have said, I actually bought a platform to work on mine. Quite a few of us got them on an Aldi special buy last year and they come up every now and then. About £60 I think they were.
I bought one too. The platform mode is no good for reaching the entire roof. The extended ladder however does work but needs to lean against the caravan . It is stable with the broad foot print.
Even on a Bailey, I can’t recommend walking on the roof :woohoo:
 
Oct 12, 2013
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I agree don't wanna go on the roof , slippery and dangerous , with the platform that I have on the top setting I can get to over half of the roof then just take the platform round other side and do the same , easy peasy - and safer .
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Craigyoung said:
I agree don't wanna go on the roof , slippery and dangerous , with the platform that I have on the top setting I can get to over half of the roof then just take the platform round other side and do the same , easy peasy - and safer .
Craig
Would that be with the platform braces in place? :)
 
Oct 12, 2013
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otherclive said:
Craigyoung said:
I agree don't wanna go on the roof , slippery and dangerous , with the platform that I have on the top setting I can get to over half of the roof then just take the platform round other side and do the same , easy peasy - and safer .
Craig
Would that be with the platform braces in place? :)



Get an assistant to steady them :p
 
Jan 3, 2019
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Interesting topic for me since only this morning I got up onto the roof of my 2017 Venus to clean the skylight windows, however I would suggest never physically climbing onto the roof standing upright, 2 reasons, firstly as many have said it is very slippery up there and if you fall off....it's gonna hurt....secondly it would be an expensive repair should you go through or even crack the surface, depending on your weight image 15 stone pushing down on an area the size of a playing card (the ball of your foot when walking) thats an awful lot to ask of a caravan roof,
I actually climbed up a ladder and laid across (spreading the weight) which allowed me to reach all around all 4 skylight windows with ease (i'm under 6ft by the way) so i can't image the need to physically stand up on the roof for any type of maintenance.
 
Jul 10, 2012
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Thanks everyone - I seem to have opened up a hot topic here!
There's always a danger of being over-cautious - didn't we all cllmb trees as kids and hang out on branches which obviously weren't safe to hold our weight?
Now we are older and wiser and take more care - and take account of the risks of accidents. At nealr 80I'm not going to take risks.
So i don't need to be told to be careful, thank you.
No offence intended or taken.
However, it can be difficult to reach the middle of the roof to clean the heki rooflights properly -especially if they are coated with seagull bird droppings after staying near the coast.... And ilike to keep the solar panel clean so it operates at maximum capacity.

What I was asking was whether the van roof would take my weight. I don't intend to dance up there, but it would be useful to be able to get off a ladder / step ladder and at least lie on the roof to do some proper cleaning.

My van is kept in storage with no facility to wash it on site, so I have to do my cleaning and odd-jobs when we are away at caravan sites. Carrying platforms / ladders is not an option. I usually manage to borrow a ladder from somewhere on a site and do what I can from that. It's rare that I can reach the centre of the van even with an extending pole and brush (which I do carry) to do a decent clean, let alone polish.
And yes, I do polish the roof once every couple of years at least - it makes washing so much easier.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Brissle, I have a 2013 Coachman, and asked The factory rep after having a new back panel if I could go on the roof , His reply was "Yes" as for other years, as Damian says Depends on the type of build. Call Coachman they .are more than friendly, to answer questions,. I am used to working at heights without hand holds but , its still dangerous. .
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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I bought one of the Aldi platforms which I haven't had a proper chance to use yet, maybe I'll have a good go with it when the weather improves a bit.
Brissle, have you thought about a telescopic ladder which you could place in the boot of your car when you go away?
With a short 3.8 metre (non telescopic in my case) ladder and my long handled extendable hose brush I get SWMBO to steady my ladder at our storage site, and can stand on the top but one rung to reach all parts of the roof if I approach the job from both sides, and I'm only 5'3" on tiptoe :lol:
To clean bird poo or general road gunge from the roof and skylights I put some neat Fenwick's Caravan Cleaner into a bottle with a trigger pump and squirt it over the pre-wetted area to be cleaned, including my solar panel and rooflights.
I agitate and spread the Fenwick's with the dry brush and leave it to stand for a few minutes to loosen the grime and bird droppings.
While the cleaner is standing and doing it's stuff I move along to the next section to do the same, and so on for three sections each side, with the jockey wheel wound for the water to run off the front or back of the caravan.
When I turn the hose brush to spray the grime etc comes off quite easily with no clambering about to potentially damage the roof. I must confess that I've never actually polished the caravan roof, I use Fenwicks Bobby Dazzler sprayed onto the roof to provide a smooth clean surface and I wax the front back and sides of the caravan to preserve a great shine on the areas that are always visible.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Parksy said:
I bought one of the Aldi platforms which I haven't had a proper chance to use yet, maybe I'll have a good go with it when the weather improves a bit.
Brissle, have you thought about a telescopic ladder which you could place in the boot of your car when you go away?
With a short 3.8 metre (non telescopic in my case) ladder and my long handled extendable hose brush I get SWMBO to steady my ladder at our storage site, and can stand on the top but one rung to reach all parts of the roof if I approach the job from both sides, and I'm only 5'3" on tiptoe :lol:
To clean bird poo or general road gunge from the roof and skylights I put some neat Fenwick's Caravan Cleaner into a bottle with a trigger pump and squirt it over the pre-wetted area to be cleaned, including my solar panel and rooflights.
I agitate and spread the Fenwick's with the dry brush and leave it to stand for a few minutes to loosen the grime and bird droppings.
While the cleaner is standing and doing it's stuff I move along to the next section to do the same, and so on for three sections each side, with the jockey wheel wound for the water to run off the front or back of the caravan.
When I turn the hose brush to spray the grime etc comes off quite easily with no clambering about to potentially damage the roof. I must confess that I've never actually polished the caravan roof, I use Fenwicks Bobby Dazzler sprayed onto the roof to provide a smooth clean surface and I wax the front back and sides of the caravan to preserve a great shine on the areas that are always visible.

I pretty well do the same as Parksy using Fenwicks Caravan Cleaner and Bobby Dazzler. Can’t really see much to be gained by polishing the roof. Towards the end of last season I used Autoglym on sides and end panels. But must admit the front panel being grp doesn’t come up as well as the rest. But I don’t want to use anything too abrasive as I suspect the gel coat will be thin.

When I use a ladder rested on the van then I spread the weight by slipping a length of split pipe insulation on each leg of the ladder where it rests against the awning rail. But I don’t rest a ladder against the rear ABS panel as having had replacement panels on each of my last two vans they seem to be too fragile even without ladders leaning against them.
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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I've only used a mildly abrasive polish on the back front and side panels three or four times in the past ten years.
A regular wash using a good automotive hydrophobic shampoo followed by a good coating of Collinite 845 insulator wax properly applied every Springtime keeps the caravan free from grime. I also use pipe foam insulation on the sides of the ladder and manage to reach the small areas of the top of the front and rear panels which I didn't get from the ladder by standing on the ground.
 
Jul 10, 2012
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Thanks everyone - that's a bunch of useful info.
I haven't tried the Fenwicks caravan cleaner - I usually use autoglym car shampoo, but the cleaner sounds like a lot less effort and the bobby dazzler rather than autoglym sounds a good idea - will try both.
Yes I do have a telescopic ladder and have taken it to the van when we are on a site near home, but I'm not going to carry that extra weight when we come over to Portugal for 10 weeks in the winter (where we are now) - just too much extra weight with all the other stuff we carry.
But as I said, when we are near home for a few nights (which we do before and at the end of a trip like this to load and unload) I can fetch the ladder from home and do some cleaning then. I like the idea of slipping insulation pipe over the ladder to stop it rubbing the paintwork - much easier than my system of trying to get a folded towel between the ladder and the van.

So thanks everyone - some great tips to keep me going.

And I WILL NOT be standing on the roof.......
 
Jul 10, 2012
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- Oh and I should have mentioned that I do not have the use of a hose, Parksy - not allowed (and no water point) at the storage site and few caravan sites are happy at people washing their van on site. So all my wetting, washing and rinsing is done with buckets of water carried up the ladder.
A site warden once told me it would be OK if I did a "dry" wash !
I envy those who have their van at home.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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We traveled to france a few years ago & we had some horrible weather when traveling and both car & caravan was filthy dirty , a few days after set up i wash car and caravan on site , luckily i wasnt too far from the site tap for carrying quite a few watering cans worth of water back to rinse off !! :p
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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brissle said:
- Oh and I should have mentioned that I do not have the use of a hose, Parksy - not allowed (and no water point) at the storage site and few caravan sites are happy at people washing their van on site. So all my wetting, washing and rinsing is done with buckets of water carried up the ladder.
A site warden once told me it would be OK if I did a "dry" wash !
I envy those who have their van at home.

I was somewhat surprised when we visited Polmanter Touring Park near to St Ives last year to see a mobile caravan valet guy, complete with his work van, hosepipe and equipment completing a full valet on a touring caravan a couple of pitches away from ours.
I wish that I'd copied his phone number at the time, I might have saved myself some ladder work before our main summer holiday for this year. :S
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Parksy , we were there I think for 12 days as you recommended the park and it was lovely but I never seen him ...... or is that because it rained for the full time we were there :(
 

Parksy

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We had a bad weather stay there the year before, 2017.
Atlantic gales, rain and cold days. Of course as soon as we hit the road for home after 16 nights the sun began to blaze in the sky :(
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Parksy said:
We had a bad weather stay there the year before, 2017.
Atlantic gales, rain and cold days. Of course as soon as we hit the road for home after 16 nights the sun began to blaze in the sky :(

I know the feeling !! :lol:
 
Nov 14, 2006
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I have a 2015 vip,I polish the roof once a year,I climb onto roof by a high step ladder then polish in three sections usually rear, centre @ front I sit on the roof and slide along on my backside but never stand up, the vip has rails running the
Length of the van on both side so is fairly safe as long as you don’t go too near front & rear edges of va;
 

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