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Message posted by nevetsyenevoc on 02/10/2017 at 10:49am
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Hi folks new to the forum and have the above caravan which needs some repair work. I may put this into a specialist but have been quoted in the region of 800. I had a small leak over the summer during the storm that hit Coverack in Cornwall. I did a DIY temporary repair which has worked. I am now considering a professional refit and seal of all the rails. I am also considering the DIY angle and my main question is what type of awning rail rubber do I need to replace the existing rubber? I have called COH Baines and they require a sample but I do not want to remove any at this point in case this causes damage.
Any help much appreciated.

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Message posted by Colin21 on 02/10/2017 at 4:47pm
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Welcome. There are people on here who can advise with DIY repairs if you decide to go that route. How far to go depends very much on what the van is worth. Older vans like mine can give great service but are probably not worth spending mega-bucks on. I'm a firm believer of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" so if things seem ok I tend to leave them well alone. I personally wouldn't take any rails off unless there was a problem with them, as removing stuff can open up leaks that weren't there before. If I had an expensive van I may think differently.

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Message posted by nevetsyenevoc on 04/10/2017 at 8:46am
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Thanks Colin, I would prefer to not have to spend the money but.... I have ordered some mastic and will be having a go at one of the side rails. The quote I have had did not include new rubber seals either. They would just be removed and thrown away. I don't like the sound of that. It seems I have will to remove a portion and get a comparison done.

Message posted by nevetsyenevoc on 04/10/2017 at 9:43am
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In addition to the sealant job I also want to clean the mastic around the windows and doors as this has a black "mould" to them. I am unsure if this is mould or just years of dirt / grime. This does not come off with washing products. I intend to replace the Herzim strip as well but in relation to the mastic mould is there any product I need to clean this thoroughly without degrading it? I will be taking W/spirit and Meths to the lockup along with associated cleaning products and need to arrive with a full compliment of ingredients as It's in the middle of nowhere and a pain / distance to retrieve other items.

Message posted by GERONA on 04/10/2017 at 9:44am
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if the rubbers are not perished are damaged then there is no need to replace them.

Message posted by Colin21 on 04/10/2017 at 9:49am
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Personally I am always very wary of removing anything that isn't leaking, as it's all too easy to create a problem where there isn't one already. If something is giving problems that is quite a different matter.

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Message posted by Geoff48 on 04/10/2017 at 10:42am
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I'd clean the Herzim strip with meths.

Message posted by nevetsyenevoc on 04/10/2017 at 10:43am
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Points taken folks but what about the mould?? any products that you can name would help as I intend to go out to it tomorrow morning.

Message posted by Opensauce on 04/10/2017 at 3:46pm
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The best reason for diy repairs is not just cost it is that you know the repairs have been done properly. You may find out later that the 'professional' you pay has not done a very good job at all.

Message posted by Colin21 on 04/10/2017 at 5:19pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Opensauce on 04/10/2017
The best reason for diy repairs is not just cost it is that you know the repairs have been done properly. You may find out later that the 'professional' you pay has not done a very good job at all.



That's very true Opensauce, when you DIY at least you know what has been done and how. Unless you are with the "professional" while they are working how do you know what they have actually done? The less scrupulous ones may well look at a seam that isn't leaking and leave well alone (as I would on my own van) but still charge you for removing and re-sealing it. Also, costs can soon spiral when they find more work that "needs doing" but that they didn't quote for. Not very trusting, am I?

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Colin D.

Growing older is compulsory, growing up is optional.

Message posted by nevetsyenevoc on 05/10/2017 at 6:23pm
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Meths is cleaning the Herzim strips ok which is a good thing. I have bought a tube of Caraflax IDL 99 and have used that on my leccy box. Time will tell if this gives the seal I require. I have also bought some plastic padding marine sealant for a bit of "pitting" that's appeared in the N/S panel. Will have a go at that tomorrow.
Just a word of caution when using Gorilla tape.. it makes a very good temporary fix and sticks very well but leaves a residue which takes a bit of time to remove with wd40. I have also used a product called Bicom R391 which I borrowed from my boat. This is like a putty and remains permanently flexible. You work it with your hands / fingers. I wedged some of this (thin sausage) into my top awning rail where I believed the leak was coming from. I think I got it right as no water ingress since. This is a temp fix and to remove it you scrape out whatever you can then good old wd40 clears the rest.
Another word of caution with the IDL 99... the tube was bigger than my mastic gun so make sure you have the right size gun.


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