Worries sick about damp

Jul 22, 2020
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We bought our caravan 3 years ago (just about to make final payment on finance) it’s a 2006 Bailey ranger.
last year just before the end of the season we took the van out and unfortunately banged into a tree.
we checked for damage but couldn’t see anything obvious so went ahead and put it into winter storage, then we went into lock down so this is the first time since last year we’ve been to the van and I’ve noticed some damp in the toilet ceiling. I went out to check the outside the caravan and noticed a small crack. Do you think this could be the cause of our problem and is damp really expensive to sort out.
 

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Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Coultscooking and welcome to the forum.

I'm sorry to read of your discovery.

I have looked at the picture and there does seem to be an open crack, and that is not good news. Obviously we can't tell for certain if that is the likely source of your problem, but it has to be a contender.

One of the problems with damp, is the appearance of damp on the inside does not always coincide with the actual point where water can get in, though the crack is below ceiling height and generally damp will more usually fall rather than rise so there is a possibility its not connected.

Either way you do need to the damp repaired before it becomes worse.

If the collision damage is not connected to the appearance of damp, you may have a manufacturers warranty still in place that might cover it, check your paper work. However the damage caused by the collision may complicate the process as you did not get it repaired when it happened.

A good repair should function as if the leak had never happened, though there may evidence of the repair still visible.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I had a couple of small cracks on the rear top corner. Damp was picked up very early and hadn’t damaged the shower toilet wall facings. The rear panel was removed to facilitate drying out and heaters were used too. The panel was then renewed. With the toilet wall facings quite impermeable the damp will only dry out slowly if left naturally. But that assumes further moisture ingress bid halted.
My advice would be get it to a AWS workshop for a damp check all over the caravan and ask their advice for a repair. I had front and rear panels replaced on a Bailey S5 Pageant Bordeaux due to poor build quality letting damp in via hairline cracks.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Hello Coultscooking and welcome to the forum.

I'm sorry to read of your discovery.

I have looked at the picture and there does seem to be an open crack, and that is not good news. Obviously we can't tell for certain if that is the likely source of your problem, but it has to be a contender.

One of the problems with damp, is the appearance of damp on the inside does not always coincide with the actual point where water can get in, though the crack is below ceiling height and generally damp will more usually fall rather than rise so there is a possibility its not connected.

Either way you do need to the damp repaired before it becomes worse.

If the collision damage is not connected to the appearance of damp, you may have a manufacturers warranty still in place that might cover it, check your paper work. However the damage caused by the collision may complicate the process as you did not get it repaired when it happened.

A good repair should function as if the leak had never happened, though there may evidence of the repair still visible.
Prof

its a 2006/caravan so the makers warranty is long gone. But agree that good repair will make the outside new again. There are companies that specialise in repairing damage. One was featured in PC mag some while back. Search should find it.
 
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Jul 22, 2020
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Thank you everyone I have someone coming to look tomorrow so fingers crossed it isn’t to expensive to repair or else our caravan holidays could be over for a while.
if it’s related to that crack our insurance company will pay for the crack and damage to be fixed so I’m holding out hope for that to be the case when the mechanic comes tomorrow
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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With the damp ceiling I doubt very much that it is caused by the crack where it is.
The most likely place for water ingress on Bailey vans is the roof strap, and that is where I would be looking first.

On a 14 year old van there will be no warranty in place so it is either the Insurance will pay or it will be down to the owner.
 
Jul 22, 2020
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With the damp ceiling I doubt very much that it is caused by the crack where it is.
The most likely place for water ingress on Bailey vans is the roof strap, and that is where I would be looking first.

On a 14 year old van there will be no warranty in place so it is either the Insurance will pay or it will be down to the owner.
Thank you for your advice, we’ve never own a van until we bought this one and it’s gave us some amazing holidays but we’re also complete novice in regards to paying for professional help to fix problems. Everywhere you look online says how bad damp is and how it usually results in the van needing to be scrapped so I haven’t got a clue what to expect tomorrow.
I would love to keep the van as apart from this it’s in great condition & has a lot more years to give but I haven’t got £1000’s to spend either.
In regards to the damage I can see there isn’t much the celling is pimpling a little bit and there isn’t the tiniest soft spot no bigger than an inch. If you didn’t poke and prod you wouldn’t know their was a problem
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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the celling is pimpling a little bit
Pimpling is a sign that the water has been getting in for some considerable time and has gone unnoticed.
It does rather beg the question, although academic in this case, what kind of servicing has been done.
Have you had the van serviced during your ownership?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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If as Damian says that it could be the rear roof strap there are excellent long term weatherproof tapes such as Eternabond or Rooflock. But see what Caravan specialists say.
 
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Jul 22, 2020
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Pimpling is a sign that the water has been getting in for some considerable time and has gone unnoticed.
It does rather beg the question, although academic in this case, what kind of servicing has been done.
Have you had the van serviced during your ownership?
Unfortunately we’ve never had to van serviced since we bought it. Regretting that now but lesson learnt for future reference. Funnily enough we have booked a full service which is being done in 2 weeks. Once we’ve sorted this out I will always make sure I keep on top of servicing from now on. I never really knew you needed to do it as some friends who have caravans said not to bother
 
Jul 22, 2020
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While your guy is there get him to check how the floors are in the corners and around the wheel boxes.
We have a full service booked in 2 weeks time, although I’m now beginning to think maybe the caravan life is only for the elite. I never knew they were sceptical to all these problems and if so how an earth do people afford to keep them on road?
 
Oct 12, 2016
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Your caravan needs an annual service just like a car inside and out. Because caravans spend a lot of time idle things rust, stick and deteriorate. Brakes need attention and adjustment, corner steadies and the hitch need lubricating etc. Inside the van the gas appliances, cooker, fridge and heater need checking and of course a full damp check will be done enabling any water leaks to be identified and attended to before they become too far gone to be cost effective. It. may be a condition of your insurance that it’s regularly serviced. Evidence may be required.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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If it is, as I suspect, the roof strap causing the problem, then the fix for that is relatively easy, the strap is removed, cleaned of all old mastic, as is the van roof where it will go back, then a good bead of Soudall Fixall along the roof strap and replace, using new stainless steel screws.
The damage caused by the damp inside is another matter, it depends on how much is affected, and it is always more than first thought.

As far as friends saying not to bother with servicing, they are wrong and have given you really bad advice.
If you had the van serviced then in all likelihood the problem would have been identified before it got to where it is now.
 
Oct 12, 2016
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We have a full service booked in 2 weeks time, although I’m now beginning to think maybe the caravan life is only for the elite. I never knew they were sceptical to all these problems and if so how an earth do people afford to keep them on road?
Servicing your caravan is not an expensive operation and it does ensure your caravan is roadworthy and safe for you to live in. It should be factored into your budget.
 
Jul 22, 2020
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If it is, as I suspect, the roof strap causing the problem, then the fix for that is relatively easy, the strap is removed, cleaned of all old mastic, as is the van roof where it will go back, then a good bead of Soudall Fixall along the roof strap and replace, using new stainless steel screws.
The damage caused by the damp inside is another matter, it depends on how much is affected, and it is always more than first thought.

As far as friends saying not to bother with servicing, they are wrong and have given you really bad advice.
If you had the van serviced then in all likelihood the problem would have been identified before it got to where it is now.
Lesson learnt I will have to wait and see what the man says tomorrow.
Perhaps they would be able to fix the source of the leak quickly and at a reasonable cost to stop further damage & then we could save up to get the inside replaced and made up to a good standard. As I said earlier I will in future make sure I get an annual service
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Lesson learnt I will have to wait and see what the man says tomorrow.
Perhaps they would be able to fix the source of the leak quickly and at a reasonable cost to stop further damage & then we could save up to get the inside replaced and made up to a good standard. As I said earlier I will in future make sure I get an annual service
I normally have an annual service and a damp check six months later. That only costs £50 and I look on it as an insurance vas it hopefully finds any damp before it really takes hold.

You can buy damp meters fir less than £20 for self checking.
 
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May 7, 2012
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I completly agree with Damian. The crack looks too far down to affect the roof so in that position the strap across does look to be the culprit and needs dealing with. I have only had the job done under guarantee so do not know the cost but it will not be cheap.
The crack in the rear panel also needs attention, as it could allow water in but you could make an insurance claim for that although they might complain about the delay. Luckily it should not have caused additional damage, but if the insurance renewal has passed it could complicate matters.
As a temporary measure I would cover the crack with waterproof tape to prevent any water entering.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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I have only had the job done under guarantee so do not know the cost but it will not be cheap.
The actual resealing is not that long to do, what takes the time is the cleaning of the strap and van, however, it should take no longer than 2 or 3 hours, lots of scraping(NOT with anything metal) and white spirit followed by Meths, a tube of Soudall Fixall and some screws.
 
Jul 22, 2020
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The caravan mechanic has been and accessed the damage.
when we reversed into the tree last year we have actually cracked the body work in 2 places. Both of which are letting water into the van. One crack is right next to the awning rail on the roof and the other like I showed you on the picture.
he reckons it’s going to be a couple of grand to sort the problem out but he agrees it was caused my the damage from the tree so we have been onto the insurance company and it’s looking positive for something we can claim for
 
Mar 17, 2020
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The caravan mechanic has been and accessed the damage.
when we reversed into the tree last year we have actually cracked the body work in 2 places. Both of which are letting water into the van. One crack is right next to the awning rail on the roof and the other like I showed you on the picture.
he reckons it’s going to be a couple of grand to sort the problem out but he agrees it was caused my the damage from the tree so we have been onto the insurance company and it’s looking positive for something we can claim for
I am certain the whole forum have their fingers crossed for you!
 
Jul 22, 2020
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I am certain the whole forum have their fingers crossed for you!
Thank you, we have decided we are going to go ahead and get the damage repaired despite what the insurance say as the van is in good condition apart from the obvious and we have lots of small happy breaks in it. We are going to take the van to another repair man next week also for a second estimate just incase the insurance won’t pay out but we really are keeping everything crossed they will.
we’ve learnt a massive lesson from all this and that’s to make sure we have the caravan serviced every year.
it’s booked in to be serviced in 2 weeks time where I know the tyres are going to need replacing an god knows what else so it could end up being a very expensive year for us but hopefully if we get it all done over the course of this season it will be more plain sailing from the on
 

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