Maintenance

All maintenance comments

After recently completing a major roof and ceiling repair, the question of a suitable but not intrusive seal became apparent.  I was not keen on using the thick rubber based seal of old; sometimes a car boot seal is used, so attention was centred on making up one.

The internal ‘walls’ , or to give them a technical term “up-stands” of the opening had been replaced with light oak faced ply, and did look quite pleasing.  Now with the two parts of the opening, GRP outer and light oak faced ply inner there becomes a natural channel in which to start. It is possible if the up-stands have been replaced there could be a gap between the two walls. After feeding in some sealant adhesive then pushing in a suitable piece of ply it is possible the two conclusions are found. One is that the volume used of the sealant is reduced, but perhaps more importantly the whole area is strengthened way beyond what was previously fitted. I made sure that the extra reinforcements were set in where the screws for the hinge brackets would be for added security and strength.

Using a Tiger Seal Silicone Adhesive/Sealer, the same product used in assembling Luton type van bodies; in white, I proceeded to build up a base for a final bead just proud of the top. Letting the preceding runs dry overnight or better still over 24 hours. The final bead was laid then grease proof paper strips placed over the Tiger seal to prevent the seal from sticking to the Moor-light. The Moor-light roof is then lowered and pulled down. If the bracket assemblies have been removed, hang some heavy weights from the roof brackets to pull the Moor-light down evenly.

I did find that it took two or maybe three attempts to complete a seal between the Tiger Seal and the Moor-light. This is crucial as water has a habit if tracking and finding its way to places it shouldn’t be!  If travelling during a rain storm or driving heavy rain even when stationary there is always a possibility of water finding it way in the slightest hole, as it generally does.

The result is then an almost seamless and inconspicuous join between the two parts which in turn does not draw ones line of sight towards the fairly large previous black rubber surround.  The only downside is that the gap from the previous rubber seal will be that much larger meaning repositioning of the hinge brackets. As I had replaced the inner up-stands of the opening earlier this was not a problem, but it may be that some clever disguise are needed to fill the old screw holes in the existing up-stands that may be left.
Chuck Berry.

 

I did not have leaks as such that I know of but when replacing a ceiling panel with insulation I noticed daylight through a myriad of imperfections and pinholes.

The roof was rubbed down clearing all bad points and old gel coat; Carefully so as not to go too far as the roof is very thin (2oz) layup. I then applied two separate coats of resin followed by a coating of Gel coat. Finally a primer of Nitrous Oxide followed by a standard synthetic coach paint primer, two coats of under-coat and a top coat mixed with liqueur.

It helps to remove the Moorlight and work from the opening rather than with step ladders.  Chuck Berry

 

Replacing Glass in Opening Windows

 This process is illustrated in the “Readers Digest Repair Manual” (circa 1973),
The procedure is: - 

1.      Remove aluminium drip cover above window by undoing approx 6 slotted head screws, once these are removed slight force may be needed as the cover is also sealed with mastic. 

2.     Remove 2 screws each side securing stays to window frame. 

3.     Remove approx 6 slotted head screws, securing window hinge to body, gently remove window from van 

4.     Peel back each end of the window to body sealing rubber about 2” to expose 2 frame corner fixing screws each side. 

5.     Soak screws with penetrating oil and leave overnight 

6.     Remove screw with a well fitting screwdriver. 

7.     Pull lower half of window down from header rail 

8.     Glass can be cut to size by a local glazer. Idealy tape the broken pieces together. 

9.     Some glaziers may claim that you cannot use std glass (non toughened) in a caravan; this only applies to caravans manufactured after 1980. 

10.    Alternatively have a replacement window cut from Perspex or acrylic (local suppliers in Yellow pages under “Plastic” or fit double glazing from ECCO. 

11.    Consider fitting new frame to caravan sealing rubber whilst window off van and, if required the white plastic surround around window apertures (supplier details on COC website). 

12.    Reassembly is reverse of removal! 

13.    Suggest using Copperslip grease on frame screws to ease future dismantling. 

14.    Push the rubber seal back into slot using a flat bladed screwdriver. 

15.    Corrosion can be cleaned from frame using Scotchbright pan cleaners lubricated with oil and polished with Solvol Autosol car chrome cleaner. 

16.    Oil hinge and stays 

17.    Use a non-setting mastic sealant (such as Caraseal) between hinge and body and drip cover to body. 

Photofinish table repairs.
I was recently asked to replace the working surface of a photofinish table in a Sable that was showing signs of wear.  The request included replacing the surface of the shelf  between the front windows and the chest of drawers.  This had begun to delaminate.  The final effect needed to reflect the nice condition of the rest of the van.

The table has two folding sections hinged to the chest top. As it was quite sound I chose to refinish it, using a 1mm thick light oak wood veneer finished laminate.  Being much thinner than oak faced plywood I was able it apply it directly on top of the old surface.  There was enough slack in the folding parts to accommodate the extra thickness but I did have to adjust the height of the hinges on the chest and reprofile the facing edge of the chest.  Here the extra thickness reduced the clearance on folding only.  Using the router, I cut away the old edge, and after gluing in new one, shaped the new edge shape to suit the movement.

Resurfacing the table was the same as fitting formica to a kitchen surface.  l stripped off the edges, ironed on new ones, contact glued the laminate sheet to the surface and finished its edges with a laminate trimmer, again in the router.

For the shelf, after stripping off the old beading and corner moulding, I glued new laminate over the old surface and replaced the edgings with new white oak mouldings, to avoid future unsightly stains from rusting nails, I glued and  /or brass screwed everything back in place.

Several coats of matt  Ronseal finished the job nicely.  It looks very good and the colour match is excellent.  Hopefully it will give another thirty years use. 

I have noticed that Cheltenham interiors are like old houses - you can’t expect everything to be square, level or sound.  Certainly not after more than thirty years of age and wear.  The approach I find works is to make everything to measure and expect to repair or replace everything I touch.    

 Roger Sutton.

A strange omission in most Cheltenhams is a light in the toilet compartment. This can be resolved by fitting a white plastic Britax awning light with integral switch, on the side of the compartment, so that the screws and wires run into the rear upper locker above the cooker.
Being designed for exterior use this unit is waterproof, if you are one of the fortunate few with a shower.

You can also try a battery cupboard light, there is a wide range readily available, search the web to see choice and prices.