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Subject Topic: New pitched roof on an older van Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by MisterB195902/9/2017 at 11:44am
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hi all. long story as to why, but ive just almost finished installing a new pitched roof onto an older 'curved top' van. it had nothing to do with leaks, but as part of siting it next to our van (for our daughter) we agreed to put a new roof on to keep it in keeping with other vans.

I will try to upload some images of how we did it - that's not to say there may be better ways, but this way worked for us.

I used pre treated slate laths and used my table saw to put a groove (using a double blade) along their length (2m long)

I then cut 6mm ply into 2.4m lengths which were 75mm at one end and 175mm at the other - I then used one to make a template of the curve of the roof

insert the 6mm ply into two pieces of grooved slate laths and using glue and 8mm dowels (pins or screws made the laths split, dowels worked perfectly) into holes drilled through both materials - lots of dowels along the curved edge

- that gave me strong preformed and very much uniform roof trusses.

I then screwed slate laths along the length of the van, I used three each side - you could use more. they were screwed into the vans structure along the wall and wherever you could feel there was the original roof structure - its not that hard to locate them! I used stainless steel screws.

I then fixed the preformed trusses onto them and then added laths again on top of the trusses this time four per side - on which I fixed the roofing tile sheets.

the photos will make it a little clearer and show you what I did

TOTAL COST - under £1000 !!

photos added as gallery images, thanks Bob



Post last edited on 02/09/2017 12:34:34

Message posted by Hacksaw Bob02/9/2017 at 12:00pm
Outfit:  Various tents      Location:  West Midlands
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You could put up to three at a time on your Profile Gallery (then no need for Photobucket etc).

Message posted by Hacksaw Bob02/9/2017 at 12:37pm
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MisterB1959's photos:







There you go!


Message posted by MisterB195902/9/2017 at 1:34pm
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thanks, i think anyone interested will get an understanding of what I did now by reading the text and looking at the pictures.

if anyone needs anymore info - just ask !!

Message posted by Joiner 1725 via mobile 18/5/2021 at 2:25pm
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Hi my name is John am a joiner read your posts about pitched roof would be very interested in any info you have gained during your project hie did you come up with design ,what did you do with peak, what pitch did you use ect ect a lot off questions I know to get someone's ideas who had all ready done it would be first class I too am now between newer caravans
        John gillespie
Info at johngillespie.uk

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Message posted by MisterB195918/5/2021 at 7:37pm
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the peak (or ridge) where the two sides of the roof join, was covered by a ridge flashing, same colour as the roofing sheets, i think it was a 90' ridge flashing, about 400mm wide from memory. i just put pressure on it from the top and pushed it down onto the roof sheets and fixed it to them.

i scribed a piece of 6mm ply to the curve of the roof, keeping the the other long edge as a straight piece. i then set up my table saw with a double blade and cut a groove into roofing lathes

i used the scribed ply to make up about 20 or so identical (well almost) pieces and then inserted them (glued) into the slotted lathes, used clamps to pull the lathes tight onto the ply and then drilled holes along the length and glued in 8mm dowels (which were cut to size later)

more lathes were then fixed to the original roof structure, glued and screwed through the tin and existing ply roof - i tried to 'hit' the existing purlins where possible and used a decent building adhesive . - if you look at the photos, that part is self explanatory


additional work included 90' cappings along the two ends - and then i used white upvc to 'fill in' the ends and white upvc fascia to fix the gutters to (as you will need to fit new gutters and down pipes

if i was doing it again, the things i would change would be to fix the fascias for the gutters first, to give a good starting point for the roof sheets, to make sure they discharge into the gutters and also fix the end fascia boards.

i wouldnt have ordered the roofing sheets as long as they were, the ridge flashing if 'wide' enough can cover quite a large gap where they meet



it may seem a like a complicated job or even that i over complicated and over engineered the design of things, i could have taken a simpler approach. but the reality is, the roof is still intact, it looks as good as it did when it was installed and unless you knew and looked really hard, you would think it was original.

i turned an old tired looking caravan, that my daughter paid 3k for into a van now that would sell for upwards of 15k on site (there is no age limit on vans) - since then we have removed all the fitted lounge and dining room furniture, fire and false chimney breast, carpets - refitted much more modern lounge furniture from a newer van, laminate floor and table and chairs from ikea.

i would say its prob only worth doing it though if there is no age limit for the van to stay on site - yes you can make it look more modern, but to me a caravan is about how you use it, not necessarily about what it looks like from the outside

Post last edited on 18/05/2021 19:51:11

Post last edited on 18/05/2021 19:51:41

Message posted by Fiona W via mobile 23/5/2021 at 3:37pm
Outfit:  Autosleepers: Clubman > Nuevo.     Location:  Ayrshire
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Looks smart!
Just curious, speaking only as someone who’s felt cold in a (hired) static bedroom, is there any insulation in the roof? I can’t see any in the photos or mentioned in your description of the work.

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2022 - 3 sites, 8 nights / 2021 - 11 sites, 29 nights / 2020 - 4 sites, 20 nights / 2019 - 13 sites, 35 nights / 2018 - 20 sites, 33 nights / 2017 - 10 sites, 22 nights / 2016 - 19 sites, 33 nights / 2015 - 15 sites, 27 nights.

Message posted by MisterB195923/5/2021 at 8:58pm
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i didnt add any insulation as there is already plenty in the original roofspace. if the van was in the UK then i would prob have filled the void with fibre glass insulation rolls - as it is in France and not used 12 months of the year i didnt bother.

if i was doing something similar in the UK, i would prob have looked at recladding the walls and filling them with insulation AND then adding the roof so it extended over the new walls.

the roof didnt need to to be replaced - it was purely aesthetic - the site owner didnt want an older looking caravan in the middle of and adjacent to newer pitched roof vans - by doing it, it allowed us to move the van onto the pitch next to ours making for great family holidays, weve had 4 generations of the family there at times .....

Message posted by Skelly1980 via mobile 11/9/2021 at 9:54am
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Are you a joiner MisterB?
And do you have any before and after photos of the van?
Looks like you’ve done a good job 👍

Message posted by MisterB195912/9/2021 at 10:42pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Skelly1980 on 11/9/2021
Are you a joiner MisterB?
And do you have any before and after photos of the van?
Looks like you’ve done a good job 👍




no, not a joiner but i am reasonably practical - it really was just common sense and taking it one step at a time after a lot of planning and drawing things out, trying to work out the best way for me to do it.i am pretty sure some people would have done it differently, but this way worked for me . dont have any photos handy, sorry, but effectively it doesnt look any different that any other caravan roof. the hardest part was doing the flashing around the flue, but i just bought a premade flashing and used that


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