I am new to this caravanning stuff so please bear with me.
We are going to have an extension on our house shortly and have brought an Avondale Golden Osprey to stay in whilst the work is being carried out.
We thought we brought a decent caravan, didn't notice any bad things until we started to clean it when we were in possession.
The wall near the door and window next to the bunk beds are soft - the fire extinguisher actually came off in my hand and the nails were rusty, leaving holes in the walls.
Also the wall in the wardrobe is soft(ish) with visible paper deformities.
My question to you wise people is - is it Safe for me, my husband and my 3 year old to live in this caravan in the current condition - or should I repair it?
If it's safe - should I plug up the holes created by the rusty screws?
Should I try to seal the damp in to get us through the 4 months needed to live in it? Can I cover the walls?
How can I reduce the smell in the wardrobe? (My work clothes will be in there and I don't want to stink when going to work!)
I've probably already answered my own question - but we are already struggling to find a builder that is out of our price range, spent close to £4k on the caravan already and I will struggle to find the time to complete the works myself.
Repair? well anything is possible, as some brave stories on here can testify. However, since cash is a big factor here, having this done would expensive, but quicker than DIY, which could easily reach well into your 4 month timescale.
Damp? its never good to live in damp conditions, but fortunately the interior wall coverings are usually plastic, so you can see the effects of damp underneath, but it doesn't breakout immediately (which is probably why you got caught out).
Smell? will never go away until the damp is cured.
Seal it? Perhaps the only thing you can reasonably do in the short term to stop any more water getting in
where did you buy it from ? what was the description,have you contacted the seller ? tell us more , ..feel sorry for you ,try and contact a local caravan engineer to have a look for you and get his opinion..i know an excellent guy based in Norwich if thats any help to you
We brought it privately and signed a sold as seen disclaimer - stupid mistake I know but we thought the extension works would be starting sooner and needed to sort somewhere to live.
We have already had a caravan engineer out to fix the toilet flusher! Hubby asked him about the damp and the guy confirmed it but said all caravans had it - hubby is happy to live in like it is but I was concerned about spores etc. I would give the guy a ring, but we had some issues with payments (the card machine didn't work so paid cash, but the money was still taken out of bank - it's fixed now but . . .!)
I've been reading all of the DIYer's - would taking off the wallpaper and putting the wet rot wood hardener on the panels, then recovering the walls work as a temp cheap fix? Would it seal in any mildew/mould?
We've potentially only got a month before we move in!
Plus it's on a caravan site and I cannot tow it as do not have a tow bar on my car - which is too small to tow it anyway!
We originally only had a £2k budget for a caravan but I scraped around to find extra as I thought we would have more troubles with a cheaper caravan!
I'm not sure the extent of the issue - only the soft ish walls - but in the 2 weeks we have been leaving windows etc open during the day the walls seem to have hardened up.
I think I have found where the water is coming through - there is a seal across the side of the caravan which the sealant seems to be crumbly - what type of sealant/mastic do I use?
If the seller had a card machine to take payments then surely it was not a private sale? Only dealers use card machines. It might be worth talking to Citizens Advice or Trading Standards to see if they can offer any helpful advice. Did the advert give any information about the caravan's condition? Is there any service history with the caravan?
Sorry I should have made it clearer - the caravan repair guy had a card machine
The guy we brought it from was a private seller - no mention of damp at all - didn't say it didn't have it either! - we viewed it before we purchased it but didn't see anything to suspect damp - Hindsight we should have brought a damp meter etc. but we were foolish I know
I'm just trying to sort out something to make the place liveable whilst we can't live in the house!
silkaflex or bondit PU18 is the stuff to fix the place where the damp is penetrating ,don't be tempted to use ordinary bathroom sealant..good luck its not as difficult as it may seem, just a bit of patience,when you remove the old sealant use white spirit to clean it off..THEN meths to clean the residue left behind by the white spirit,,sealant won't stick where the white spirit has been unless you do that ..when you get it home how about using a dehumidifier?
I did think about a dehumidifier but as the caravan is on a caravan site and not on my driveway I was weary leaving it on whilst I wasn't there - or do you think it's ok to do that?
Would I leave the cushions etc. in the caravan whilst the dehumidifier is on?
I have made a note on the sealant, white spirit etc. thank you :-)
take the cushions out ,ideal weather for that ,humidifier should be ok to leave on , how far are you from storage place to go and check on it ? whats the current reading on the damp meter ? anywhere below 14 is normal for most vans .above that you def have damp